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BowDownToLSU
LSU Fan
Livingston louisiana
Member since Feb 2010
15712 posts

Anyone have solar panels?
My bill doubled with Demco . What are the Pros and Cons with Solar Panels? TIA…. Article from WAFB
quote:

Hundreds of customers around the Baton Rouge area are outraged after finding out their bill almost doubled, in some cases, tripled in costs over the past month. “$600. It went from $80 to $600,” Stacy Slaughter said. “We’ve been paying it perfectly fine with the checks we get, but with it being monthly it’s just tempting to just turn it off and live off a generator and fuel costs are even higher.” According to the Public Service Commission, the recent spike is because of two things. One is usage, and the other is the cost of fuel, or cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh). “Think about it like in a car analogy. You’re both driving farther, which means you’re using it more, and the price of gas is higher. So, the whole trip is going to be more expensive,” Commissioner Dr. Craig Greene said.


billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
I do, AMA.

ETA i also consult for a couple solar companies from a technical perspective so I know a couple things about it. But if you want economics calcs, TDcline is your best bet on here.

Pros -
In some areas, depending on your rates, you can save a lot of money.
If you couple with storage you can be off grid capable.

Cons -
Expensive.
Intermittent generation.
Degradation, this is blown out of proportion by 99.9% of people but it is real.
This post was edited on 9/15 at 10:31 am


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Chad504boy
Member since Feb 2005
147851 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
peej don't.


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02
CoachChappy
LSU Fan
Member since May 2013
28778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
I do, but I got the when Louisiana was giving $12,500 on the first $25K you spent. With the fed kicking in 7,500, I only came out of pocket $5K. I broke even in 5 years.

Louisiana no longer gives the 12,500.

You need to know several things to calculate the economics

1) The roof needs a clear view of the Southern sky.
2) KW per hour your being charged vs what a system can produce
3) Current state and federal Government kickbacks
4) How much you are willing to pay out of pocket?
5) How long will it take to break even vs the life of the system? If it is 20 years or greater, its not a good deal.
This post was edited on 9/15 at 10:34 am


billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

1) The roof needs a clear view of the Southern sky.

Make sure they run an Aurora or something similar to get TSRF. DO NOT trust anything that uses google SunRoof. Its garbage. Once that goes into a production engine with CPR or NREL it should shoot out a decent production simulation and they should be able to provide that to you.
quote:

2) KW per hour your being charged vs what a system can produce

Really depends on the ownership structure. PPA, Lease or Loan/Cash. But correct best to understand system nameplate versus expected production with point 1 factors.
quote:

3) Current state and federal Government kickbacks

Fed ITC is in step down, currently at 26%, 22% in 2023 and 0% for residential in 2024. That's based off date of of authorization to interconnect, not when you decide to pull the trigger.


LSUFanHouston
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Jul 2009
26375 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
We have them. The prior home owner did some sort of deal where it was a 15 year lease for 45/month. We took over the lease when we bought the home. I've been here for 6.5 years with them... and they are about 9 years old.

In the winter I save maybe $70/month on electric costs (total monthly production of the panels times Entergy's kWh cost). In the summer... it's more like $125-$150/month.

So subtract the $45 monthly cost, and I'm still pretty much always coming out ahead. Plus... it's nice to not have to pay that money to Entergy =)

I will say that I needed a new roof after Zeta, and so I had to hire a company to take the panels down, store them, and reinstall/test them when the new roof was on. The company that was used to install them originally is no longer in business and so I had to find a new company and they were backed up... so took a few weeks to schedule them. Also, the cost was $3,900. Luckily, because the roof was damaged due to Zeta, my homeowners paid for that.


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40
Teufelhunden
LSU Fan
Galvez, LA
Member since Feb 2005
4760 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Make sure they run an Aurora or something similar to get TSRF. DO NOT trust anything that uses google SunRoof. Its garbage. Once that goes into a production engine with CPR or NREL it should shoot out a decent production simulation and they should be able to provide that to you.

quote:

Really depends on the ownership structure. PPA, Lease or Loan/Cash. But correct best to understand system nameplate versus expected production with point 1 factors.

quote:

Fed ITC is in step down, currently at 26%, 22% in 2023 and 0% for residential in 2024. That's based off date of of authorization to interconnect, not when you decide to pull the trigger.


I understand none of this. ??


Cotten
LSU Fan
Memphis
Member since Jan 2018
944 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
Probably not the response you’re looking for, but we’ve been full time in our RV for the last 3 years and built out a Van about a year ago to replace the RV.

Residentially, it’ll be tough to ever “make” anything off solar (now at least) and it may be quite awhile before you get a return on your investment. But we have 3 210w panels, 2 60a mppt charge controllers feeding 2 300ah lifepo4 batteries and have no issue running a Bosch electric water heater (enough for 4 15-20 min hot showers a day, 2 for each of us), 8 cu/ft fridge/freezer, induction cooktop, router, fans, lights, tv, etc.

I’m only commenting because when we do lose power, we just go work/sleep in comfort in there.


billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

I understand none of this. ??

Sorry let me back up.

1. Not every house is good for solar. You need some decent southern facing roof space that gets good irradiance(sunlight). You can do east and west facing, but its less efficient. An example of this is my house in Houston that is a terrible candidate because it has little south facing roof space.

The input that matter to solar production are the tilt (angle of the modules), azimuth (angle relative to the equator) and shade (or Total solar resource factor, TSRF). The shade is calculated by a CAD over imagery software that build obstructions (i.e. trees) and models your house in 3D then runs through an annual cycle to get an annualized shade stud, remember shadows move with the sun and that impact production. Any decent company can provide a good shade study and production model. If they can't tell them to get lost.

Plenty of companies will send dudes in with iPads and some bs software that just uses some Google data that is garbage. Its designed for canvasing neighborhoods, not as an engineering tool and its a good way to get fricked.

2. The ownership structure can vary based on how you do it.
Lease - 3d party owned and you pay a fixed rate. They get the federal investment tax credit and any other credits. you put no money down and pay a fixed rate.
Power Purchase Agreement - 3rd party owned and you pay a per kWh rate. They get all incentives like the lease.
Loan/Cash - either a traditional loan or cash transaction. You get all incentives and own the system outright. Some companies still offer warranties or production guarantees on loan products.

3. The federal ITC is a program where you get a percentage of the fair market value of the system as a tax credit. You have to have the taxes to offset it though. If not you'll lose whatever is left. They aren't cutting you a check for the difference. It is currently at 26% FMV but scaling down. The credit is available for the tax year the system is placed in service, not when you pay for it or decide you want it. Placed in service is when the system is authorized to interconnect by the utility company which in the final step before you can energize the system. Storage has some different rules I can get into if anyone desires.
This post was edited on 9/15 at 12:24 pm


Teufelhunden
LSU Fan
Galvez, LA
Member since Feb 2005
4760 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
Thanks for info. And for the details for my dumb ass.


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goofball
Navy Fan
Member since Mar 2015
12943 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Anyone have solar panels?



Yes. Lots of people.


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billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Thanks for info. And for the details for my dumb ass.

Always happy to explain. I get ahead of myself because I spend too much time talking to engineers about this shite.


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20
CitizenK
McNeese State Fan
BR
Member since Aug 2019
2735 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
Treehugger neighbors ended up cutting down two oak trees to get morning sun on the panels they installed. They don't have power during outages.


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10
bayoudude
LSU Fan
Houma
Member since Dec 2007
21831 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
Cotten

Will it run your ac in the van? I have been thinking about a system to run my RV at my hunting property but if I still need a generator to run the ac it doesn’t pay to do it in my case.


Cotten
LSU Fan
Memphis
Member since Jan 2018
944 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Will it run your ac in the van?

Unfortunately, nope. Even with the roof space that a 40’ Class A would hypothetically have, there’s just not enough space for that many panels and the battery bank would have to be insane. It’s just not super feasible.

Now, since you’re talking about a camp I could see running a mini split being possible without issue. It would just depend how many sq/ft you’re trying to cool and how much space you’re willing to dedicate for panels and bank storage.


billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Now, since you’re talking about a camp I could see running a mini split being possible without issue. It would just depend how many sq/ft you’re trying to cool and how much space you’re willing to dedicate for panels and bank storage.

The real key to running A/C units is storage for the starting load of the compressor. Even a Tesla PowerWall 2 struggles in a single configuration to run a normal sized house a/c and that usually with a large PV system. I always say you'll need 2 at a minimum and about 25kW PV before we can really start talking about being off grid capable. You can lower the PV size for a smaller house but you'll need the 2 PW2s just for the load capacity.

As an example, I run 4 PW2s with 45kW on a ground mount. That will take 2 houses (4000ft2 total) and a barn off grid.


bayoudude
LSU Fan
Houma
Member since Dec 2007
21831 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
Cost for a system like that must be pretty steep


SaintEB
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jul 2008
19317 posts

re: Anyone have solar panels?
billjammin covered a lot of good stuff. I'll add one other thing. Check with your utility company. After 2020, most only pay back an adjusted fuel cost. Its no longer a 1 for 1 pay back. So, your payback will be longer. You'll want to know what your utility pays so you can properly do a cost analysis.
This post was edited on 9/15 at 1:29 pm


billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

billjammin covered a lot of good stuff. I'll add one other things. Check with your utility company. After 2020, most only pay back an adjusted fuel cost. Its no longer a 1 for 1 pay back. So, you payback will be longer. You'll want to know what your utility pays so you can probably do a cost analysis.

Very good point. Any decent company should be using something like PVWatts for production then Genability or similar for utility data to provide the economic analysis. Maker sure they're using the correct net metering rates and regular grid consumption rates. If they don't, tell them to kick rocks.
This post was edited on 9/15 at 1:35 pm


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billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
2778 posts
 Online 

re: Anyone have solar panels?
quote:

Cost for a system like that must be pretty steep

I got plenty of hook ups in the industry, so I didn't pay full price but it still wasn't cheap.

It's also become a bit of a hobby for me to throw a new type module or inverter up there to compare it to some known units. Like a mini testing site.


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