Solar University

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

There are 3 ways to go solar.
• Cash Purchase
• Financed Purchased
• Monthly or Prepaid PPA (Power Purchase Agreement): Similar to a solar lease.

Purchase

Payment: Pay the full amount and directly benefit from the 30% federal tax my homework help credit next year Warranty: 20years Monitoring: Included Return on Investment (ROI): Highest Advantage: Best value, highest ROI, most savings in the long-term

Financed Purchase

Payment: Minimum $ Down or $0 Down Warranty: 20years Monitoring: Included ROI: Less than with straight cash purchase Advantage: No money down. Complete financed solution Disadvantage: Will pay more money in the long-term due to interest.

Monthly PPA

Payment:$0 Down Warranty: 20years (insurance included) Monitoring: Included ROI: Less than with financed purchase Advantage: No money down. Most savings in the short-term Disadvantage: Less savings in the long-term

Prepaid PPA

Payment: Pay only the net system cost Warranty: 20 years (insurance included) Monitoring: Included ROI: Highest Advantage: No need to wait for FTC next tax year, getting the best value for the system Disadvantage: none

BEST SYSTEM DESIGN AND COMPONENTS:

Often times we hear folks talking about PV module efficiency and solar PV module brands as being a major factor in determining overall system efficiency. Since a solarPV system does not only consist of modules and inverters but other components as well, we need to look at the whole system. Then we determine what combination of modules and inverters would result in the most efficient solar system for your home.

Doesthe module brand really matter?If so, what brand of modules is the best choice?

Criteria for Choosing PV Module Brand:
  1. Financial stability of manufacturer, company history, warranty policy, how long have they been in business?
  2. Module PTC rating
  3. Module density: Highest kWh’s produced per squarefoot
  4. Cost of modules, directly impacting the overall system cost
Inverters:

There are 3 different types of inverters: microinverters, centralized inverters, and optimizers: Different companies offer different inverters based on their availability and their selection. It is a fact that the best system output on any given system would be achieved through the use of microinverters, however because of their higher cost, it is not always the best way to go.4 Advantage of microinverters, specifically Enphase brand: There are 3 ways to go solar.
1. Design flexibility
2. Best DC to AC derate factor
3. LowDC voltage on the roof
4. Flexible and easy solar design based on azimuth, tilt angle and shading

Disadvantage: Higher price

It is important to analyze whether or not it’s worthwhile to spend more money on mircoinverters. Will the extra power generated (as compared to the use of a centralized inverter)justify the increased cost of the system?Let’s look at some examples:

Example 1:Let’s say your house has two semi-shaded roof areas, one facing east and one facing west. Let’s assume that the optimum system size is 7KW or 28solar panels. As previously mentioned, if we were to install a centralized inverter, the cost of the system would be less than if we use microinverters, however the overall system production, especially in this case because of the shading, would be less. Conclusion: It would be worththe money to spend the extra $2,200 (on a 7KW system) to go with themicroinverters rather than a centralized inverter.

Example 2: A house has a non-shaded roof and the actual roof area what is the american dream essay topics where the PV modules would be installed is facing one single direction (west): This 7KW system would produce more-or-less that same amount of solar energy regardless of whether using microinverters or a centralized inverter. Conclusion: In this case we would recommended a centralized inverter, unless you as the customer are attracted to the other features of Enphasemicroinverters like the 25-year warranty (as compared with a 10-year warranty on centralized inverters), and the real time solar module monitoring (which shows production of each individual panel in real time).

HOW DOES THE WARRANTY WORK?

A complete system warranty includes:1. Equipment warranty : Always 25 years on panel performance
2. Installation and labor warranty: Minimum 10-year warranty
3. Roof warranty: The roof area where the solar panels are installed would be fully covered. After your free site evaluation we would let you know the exact warranty info. All of our roof work would be covered under our 10-year warranty.

MORE EQUIPMENT WARRANTY DETAILS:

For 10 Years: Your system would be covered under a complete warranty. We would replace any faulty equipment if necessary (this would include all labor costs). If were wrong with an installed solar PV panel it would be determined in the first 1-4 weeks after installation, which is why we test all panels before and after installation.Performance Guarantee (Solar PV Panels): First 10 years: Modules guaranteedto produce a minimum 90% which means that in next 10 years the performance will not degrate more than 10%. 10-25 years: Modules guaranteed to produce a minimum 80% which means that in years 11-25 the performance will not degrate more than 20 %.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WARRANTY?

The labor warranty would be covered by LA Solar Group. The solar equipment warrantywould be covered by the manufacturer. We choose to work with only the top equipment manufacturers, publicly traded companies, whose ability to honor their warranties would never be in question.

WILL MY ELECTRICAL PANEL BE ABLE TO HANDLE SOLAR?

Most of time, yes. The typical residential home has a 100amp or 200amp electrical panel. A 100ampelectrical panel can handle up to a 20amp solar breaker (in this case, the maximum system size would be 4.5 KW or 18 solar panels). A 200amp electrical panel can handle up to a 40amp solar breaker (in this case, the maximum system size would be 10.0 KW or 40 solar panels).

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM CHARGE FOR ELECTRICITY BY MY UTILITY?

Utility companies set a minimum charge for each type of account.LADWP’s minimum charge is $11. Also, there are two different ratesavailableto homeowners. R1-A and R1-B.R1-A is a tiered rate structure which is based on how much energy you would use. R1-B is a TOU (time of use) rate where the price of electricitywould not just be based on how much electricity you would use but on the time of day in which you use it.

The vast majority of LADWP residential properties are on a R1-A rate plan (with a$11 charge). The R1-B rate plan does not havea service charge,which means that, if after installing solar, you want to switch your rate plan to TOUthen the $11 service charge would not apply to your bill.For SCE Utility customers, the rate plans do not have a minimum service charge, however taxes need to be paid monthly which amounts to $2.

WHAT IS NET METERING AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

After installing solar, your account would be on an NEM (net energy metering) rate plan and your billing would be yearly instead of monthly or bi-monthly. The big advantage to net metering is that it allows a solar customer to transferexcess power credits to the following month. Example: If you were to go on vacation during the month of August, your solar PV system would produce much more energy than you would use for that month. The excess power would be credited to the month of September and at the end of the year your bill would reflect the net difference of the kWh’s of power you purchased from the utility (not much, now that you have solar!) minus the amount of excess power your system has fed back into the grid, for your neighbors to use. To determine the optimum system size and type, we perform calculations based on your past or expected future electricity. It’s a fact that solar production is more during some months than other, but because of net metering we are able to balance-out the design and install the most optimum, cost effective system to handle your year-round electricity usage.

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