danrjones
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Solar wholesale recommendations

Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:32 am

11 years ago I had a small system installed.
It has gotten so cheap I'm going to add a second system. I plan to install it myself, and I'm working through my planning now. Micro inverter versus optimizer versus string inverter, sizing, layout, etc

For planning purposes I've been using pricing from wholesale solar, a well reviewed company in CA. Think they are near Shasta.
But I would be dumb not to shop around a little.

Any suggestions from other DIYers for whom they bought their system from?
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Oilpan4
Posts: 1771
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:31 pm

I bought my huge used panels cheaper than dirt from santan solar in AZ.

The only down side to big utility sized panels is it kind of sucks to move them by your self and you can't get micro inverters for them.
But that's what makes them so cheap.

If shadows aren't a problem then you don't need micros or optimizers.
But if you have a leas than ideal location then go for them. Your cheapest option by far is
to use 3 and 4kw string inverters.

I bought a whole pallet and figured I would sell the left overs to hasten the payback, but all that showed me was that a lot of people who want solar/free power panels on Craigs list are broke and/or stupid.
I'll hold on to a few more then what I was planning on in dark storage. If a hail storm takes out my arrays I can throw the spares up there and get a little over bare minimum cut in voltage on one inverter.
"THE ABOVE POST CONTAINS MISLEADING AND INACCURATE INFORMATION. PLEASE CONSIDER IT OPINION, NOT FACT". -someone who I offended and is unable to produce the facts in question.

danrjones
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:55 pm

In the end I used a CA company up near Shasta. I found there were other places for the same gear slightly cheaper but this place had better customer service. The package included the racking, all the paperwork I needed, panels, inverter, etc. The only things it did not include was the #6 ground wire and the conduit.

Just had my county inspector check it and he was very happy. Yippy! So I have an 11 year old 3.15 kW DC system south facing and now a new 6.4 kW DC system half East and half West, (no more south available)

I ended up going with an SMA string inverter, 6.0-US and it is great. Everyone seems to recommend enphase or the DC optimizers but I think simplicity is better, one string inverter. And as I have no shading issues, its cheaper too. A test has already confirmed my system beats the PV Watts expected production by about 13% for my test day.

In the end I'm sure I could have done the system cheaper buying used or piecemeal parts but after tax rebate this will still come out around $1/watt. I'm happy.
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goldbrick
Posts: 1021
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:09 pm

I'm still holding out for the micro-inverters since I'm planning to add more panels and I do have a bit of shade. The slight extra cost is worth it for the convenience for me but they are sold out of them currently. Who'd thunk it?

danrjones
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Re: Solar wholesale recommendations

Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:43 pm

If i had shading issues it would have been a different choice. But no shade.

I saw a cloud a few months ago.
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