Posted by:

sudhendu.pandey

20 days of Solar production = 13 trees, Clean energy to reverse climate change.

EnergySage Customer
Quick Facts
Average Annual Savings

$1,400

Energy Needs Met

100%

or more of electricity

Net Investment

$10,220

Return on Investment

13.7%

 

What You Need to Know

Description:

A 100% Electric energy consumption offset system that is designed to serve the needs of a family of 4 in California. Rated at 5.03 KW by design, the system has been doing 4.6 KWh peak production regularly on clear and sunny days. July monthly report after the system was turned on on 07/11/2019 says we saved evergy equal to planting 13 trees. Already over 1000 Units produced in the first month of use.

Other Benefits:

1. Guilt free (truly zero emissions including vehicle and energy source carbon impact) driving in the electric car when its charged directly from the solar energy during the day (over weekends especially) 2. Almost like converting the high heat from the sun in summer to cool air conditioned air without impact on the grid. Another offset that eliminates guilt for personal comfort at the cost of the planet 3. More flexibility in use of electrical appliances during the day as the PV system serves the home energy needs first before sending the excess to the grid 4. Readiness to extend the system with installation of batteries in the future for higher grid independence round the clock

Maintenance Requirements:

No moving parts so hopefully very little to no maintenance required over time. With micro inverters under each panel, the single point of failure of a single large inverter is also eliminated by design. Also allows future expansion of capacity without having to replace the inverter with a larger one in the future. With 25 year warranties on panels, energy production, labor and inverters etc., maintenance seems to have been taken care of. Rest will find out when there is need for some.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

We also replaced a gas powered car with an EV at the same time as going solar and that extended the benefits of efficiency and sustainability to daily commutes and long road trips. We did our first road trip in the EV over the July 4th long weekend to live in the future of transportation for a few days.

My Motivation:

The inherent urge to continuously move up the efficiency curve, to look for ways to reduce carbon footprint and reduce dependency on an ageing electric grid + unknown fuel source of generation plants used by the utility company were the main motivators in addition to a neighborhood move to clean energy with multiple neighbors opting to go solar simultaneously. Cost savings over the long term are side effects of the above as is the increased value of the property.

Advice:

1. Understand your warranties with in depth research as there are separate ones for panels, inverters, labor to replace, power production. These are often provided by different providers like the manufacturer of equipment, installation provider etc. 2. Read the contract and provisions for remediation carefully, not all of them are written to be unambiguous and clear by design. 3. Have a detailed conversation with the installer's design and assessment team / personnel when meeting them the first time. 4. Use an online marketplace like Energysage.com to request quotes initially and shortlist vendors based on quotes provided. Takes away a lot of searching and guesswork from this part of the exercise. 5. Leverage excellent content on Energysage to complete your research and also schedule phone calls with Energysage contact to clarify anything that is not. 6. Question the design provided by the installer, just because they are licensed does not mean they have the best common sense too :-)

Experience with Installer:

Likes - the installation process once started was finished as communicated in terms of time. - the overall experience was good with Ra Solar start to finish and I referred them to other neighbors and friends too Dislikes - installation had to be re-scheduled once due to wrong parts brought by the team resulting in a wasted day for them as for me. - The original design contained provision for a separate sub-panel to accommodate the AC, EV and Solar breakers but was not implemented as they found a quad breaker to install two circuits in the available space in our existing breaker panel

Additional Notes:

Did not have a south facing roof slope so has to install on the south-east facing side of the house which will perhaps reduce production overall. This was the best option available with the design of the house. Good learning to apply in case building own house in the future.

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