Most people don't realize solar systems don't produce what the SW models say and end up with undersized systems. I knew that and had specifically requested from the sales guy 113-120% production to accommodate losses and to be prepped for the batteries I would be installing in a year or so. I don't care if I am giving free power to the company. I even had a design with the number of panels I wanted. The sales guy promised that would be the case. Time goes on and after a site survey, it is determined I would need to have a tree removed BUT if I did , I could eliminate 3 panels and still be getting over 113%. In fact the sales guy said we would actually again around 3% in production per the designers. In my excitement for that my engineering radar failed to go off.I had reviewed the drawings, I am a engineer, of the original proposal and was OK with it. I didn't due my due diligence on the updated one because we were now at around 102-103% of design, 10% less than what I has asked for. That means I would have to add more panels with the batteries AND no system ever works as designed. I had a few talks with the designers about sun surveys and even warned them twice about a low pitch roof they were putting panels on without a tilt kit.
Needless to say, 1 month into it and we have a 300+kWh deficit...in August where it is all sun all the time. Panel placement on the low pitch roof also insured that one panel wouldn't see sun until 1/3rd the production day was over. All in all it was a mediocre design at best and actually needs 2-3 additional panels to accomplish what I was clear about in the beginning.
Now, once things get going, they are very transparent and very communicative. Things progressed quite smoothly until installation. I respect the installers for telling me they screwed up but they began installing the wrong racking system on the roof and only realized they had screwed up when they didn't have sufficient parts to finish. That left me with 20+ holes in my roof ( which was less than 8 months old) that they had to go back in and fill. That caused then to run very late and they ended up leaving a huge mess in the backyard complete with about $1600 in racking, fasteners and parts. After multiple phone calls to the company to come and clean up their stuff, they say its the suppliers problem, it still sits. I have since moved onto the side on my driveway in hopes that someone will steal it.
So, in a nutshell, beware of their sales team and get a friends who is an engineer to validate their designs.Even then, make sure you look at the final delivered design to make sure it is in line with what was committed. They will be very friendly and efficient at getting the system built but you will most likely end up with a underpowered system what still leaves you with a power bill monthly and a overall cost increase. I would not recommend Blue Raven's design team to anyone however their project team was quite efficient and when I called customer support, they were very helpful and friendly. I also like the products ( Trina and Enphase) they use in their AC coupled systems.
Last note, As I was speaking and working with the engineering team ( they only have designers it seems as all stamped docs were from a 3rd part engineering company. Not a huge issue but that 3rd party is only looking at safety, not if it is a good system. I had added Consumption transformers to monitor my actual consumption in connection with the Enphase production monitoring. These are fairly simple and allow much more information about how your production is keeping up with, or failing to keep up with , your solar production. When dealing with their team , they had no idea how to install or use them and I ended up doing it myself if 5 minutes. They were also not very helpful when it came to the monitoring side. Enphase, however, was incredible and helped almost immediately.
Would I still go solar? I would. Would I use Blue Raven to do it? That remains to be seen. They have a production guarantee ( sales guys will tell you that but fail to mention it is with 15% of estimates which you will only see once docs are signed) and we will see if they honor it. Otherwise, I will hire someone else to add my panels for me to get ready for the batteries.