Solar power for my new home

Poohbear

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L3301 HST, LA525, LP shredder, BB1566 box blade, QH10, Worksaver pallet fork
Jul 6, 2018
379
81
28
Gilmer,Tx,United States
We sold our big house in town & living on the " farm " getting ready to build my Wife a more ADA style home.Plans are for 1800 sf barndominium & Im the GC, electrician ,& AC guy. Been thinking/researching putting in a solar power system . My CoOp allows "net metering " ( selling back to co-op) so looking at both non-battery & battery equipped types. I have a BiL in the backup battery business so can get a really good price on that part.
I would like to hear from any of ya'll that are useing solar now . I'm in Tx so it's going to be a big system so the hvac can Be powered . We are 73 so ROI isn't a big concern. With a modern insulated home & really high efficiency AC electric bill won't be bad but with tax credits & not spending on a big generater backup system it just might not be so costly in the end. What am I missing ?
 

ctfjr

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L3800HST
Dec 7, 2009
1,164
1,240
113
central ct
we are getting our house ready to sell and then move south. I have very similar plans but hoping to buy not build. A solar system will be a 'have to have'.
Good luck on your project!
 

Dieseldonato

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B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
717
419
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Pa
I have a 9.88kw system. With tax credits deducted it cost just under $30k. It's a bit over sized for our needs. Solar edge inverter, and panel modules and silfab panels. Battery back up for an 8hr load would have been close to $40k extra. Not worth it. I loose power a bit more then most and my lane is the dead end of the line so power company is never in a hurry to get us back up and going. Already been on gen power for a week. The batteries were a nice idea, but the upfront cost, short usage and 10 year expected life just didn't add up vs my little diesel generator.
I will note, I had wanted to do the installation myself (I have a cousin thats an electrician, that would have helped.) However I couldn't find a supplier of tier 1 panels that would sell direct or sell direct and honor warranty without their training. Same issue with the inverters. I understand your not worried about the roi, but the systems are too costly to replace if they don't last long enough to pay for themselves, and problems can arise from time to time. I expect our system to pay for itself in about 10years.
 

Grindstone

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B2601, FEL, BH, MMM
Mar 10, 2022
84
38
18
CT
I put solar on my house a few years ago and havent been disappointed yet. I have a 7.6 kW (from Sunpower) system which is just the right size for my house/needs. Since installing my electric bill has only been around $9 a month just to keep the service open through the electric company. I believe the panels have a 25 year warranty. I made the move after my electric co keep jacking up the prices around us. We went from an average $165 bill to an over $300 average bill with no changes in our usage. So I was more than pleased with my $252.33 solar payment for 10 years which after I own and will have just the $9 monthly payment to electric co. Felt great giving the electric co the big middle finger by going with solar.
 
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Jchonline

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Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
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Red Feather Lakes, CO
We sold our big house in town & living on the " farm " getting ready to build my Wife a more ADA style home.Plans are for 1800 sf barndominium & Im the GC, electrician ,& AC guy. Been thinking/researching putting in a solar power system . My CoOp allows "net metering " ( selling back to co-op) so looking at both non-battery & battery equipped types. I have a BiL in the backup battery business so can get a really good price on that part.
I would like to hear from any of ya'll that are useing solar now . I'm in Tx so it's going to be a big system so the hvac can Be powered . We are 73 so ROI isn't a big concern. With a modern insulated home & really high efficiency AC electric bill won't be bad but with tax credits & not spending on a big generater backup system it just might not be so costly in the end. What am I missing ?
I had off grid only in my home for some time. While different than a grid tied system I do have concerns about backup batteries for HVAC. Since you are the electrician and AC guy how much start and run load do you expect to need to run it? How long do you want to run it for?
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,196
1,776
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
as a reference,a '10KW solar system' will only supply about 40 amps, and that's in full sunshine(no trees nearby,NO dust on panels) with panels properly aligned to the 'yellow ball in the sky'. Older house usually have 100 amp service, newer ones 200 amps.
There's a lot of 'numbers to crunch'. If you're on a 'smart' meter, you should be able to see what your 'demand' is hour by hour. divide the kw number by 240 to get the 'ballpark' amps. Worst time usually is summer afternoon around dinner time( A/C and stove on,sun beaning in the windows.....)
There are online aps that allow you see how much energy you might get from solar panels. The good ones figure in historical data like cloud cover,temperature as well as panel 'orientation'. The ONLY installations that will be the same are your neighbours ,so you need to run the numbers.

Do you weld ? If so that can easily max out a 10kw system !! getting an EV or hybrid ? That'll max out he system as well....
When people go 'solar' they tend to downsize their electrical demands... use LEDS, get rid of freezer,get a gas stove,etc.
It's not a simple...buy this system and hurrah.. there are a LOT of things to consider.
 
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Poohbear

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L3301 HST, LA525, LP shredder, BB1566 box blade, QH10, Worksaver pallet fork
Jul 6, 2018
379
81
28
Gilmer,Tx,United States
We will be using propane for cooking & on demand water heater. The big load will be AC, fridge, & freezer. It's going to have to be a 13KW or larger even with a 18+ seer hp since hi stage pulling about 19 amps RLA ( spec sheet ) when in hi but it won't stay in hi except late afternoon..
if I go with batteries I can get 2 yr old batteries for scrap price as my BiL gets these from his customers that demand new batteries on thier computer system on a regular basis.
I may not be able to justify 30 grand . That will buy a lot of power. .lot more reading todo.
 

Dieseldonato

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Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
717
419
63
Pa
as a reference,a '10KW solar system' will only supply about 40 amps, and that's in full sunshine(no trees nearby,NO dust on panels) with panels properly aligned to the 'yellow ball in the sky'. Older house usually have 100 amp service, newer ones 200 amps.
There's a lot of 'numbers to crunch'. If you're on a 'smart' meter, you should be able to see what your 'demand' is hour by hour. divide the kw number by 240 to get the 'ballpark' amps. Worst time usually is summer afternoon around dinner time( A/C and stove on,sun beaning in the windows.....)
There are online aps that allow you see how much energy you might get from solar panels. The good ones figure in historical data like cloud cover,temperature as well as panel 'orientation'. The ONLY installations that will be the same are your neighbours ,so you need to run the numbers.

Do you weld ? If so that can easily max out a 10kw system !! getting an EV or hybrid ? That'll max out he system as well....
When people go 'solar' they tend to downsize their electrical demands... use LEDS, get rid of freezer,get a gas stove,etc.
It's not a simple...buy this system and hurrah.. there are a LOT of things to consider.
You have a semi valid point. Most houses never use close to their service rating. I can actually run everything save the water heater on 26 amps. Thats a fridge and deep freeze, deep well pump, 3 window ac units, whatever lights we want, and the TV. No your not welding or anything like that, but really thays not the point of the solar system. Also grid tie systems work off your average production and consumption. Typically we produce a lot more then we use, we haven't changed any of our bad habits. (I really wish we (wife and kids) did.) Sure rhere are some days you don't produce as much and days yoir using more electric then your producing, but it pretty much evens out if your system is properly sized. I've had an amp meter on my mains and haven't ever seen close to even 100amp draw, and we have a 200 amp service. I also enjoy $8.00 electric bills and pay $147.00 per month for the solar system. We actually make double payments since our old electric bills were in excess of $300.00 a month.
 

Dieseldonato

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Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
717
419
63
Pa
We will be using propane for cooking & on demand water heater. The big load will be AC, fridge, & freezer. It's going to have to be a 13KW or larger even with a 18+ seer hp since hi stage pulling about 19 amps RLA ( spec sheet ) when in hi but it won't stay in hi except late afternoon..
if I go with batteries I can get 2 yr old batteries for scrap price as my BiL gets these from his customers that demand new batteries on thier computer system on a regular basis.
I may not be able to justify 30 grand . That will buy a lot of power. .lot more reading todo.
Part of the thinking you need to do has to do with typical inflation, electric averages between 3 and 5% per year.(give or take) somewhere I have a break even sheet for our system. We basically break even at the 10 year mark. The warranty for the panels is 25 year and 20 year for the modules and inverter. The panels are guaranteed to still be 97% efficient at year 20. So far it's been a really good decision to go solar, but I do wish I had gone with a different installer. They did a wonderful installation, but their office people's communication has been pretty pathetic. I get farther ahead calling the one guy that came out for the installation then calling the office.
 

Vlach7

Member

Equipment
L47
Dec 16, 2021
66
28
18
Frazier Park Ca
I put in a grid tied system myself 10 months, 8.25 kw, will be paid off in 5 years, $14,000, all so with the Q7 inverters it auto shuts off with no gride power for lin-men safety, I could put in a secondary system for $3-5000 to fool it with a/c coupling, but I am not going to worry about it for now with the high S. Ca. energy prices I am loving it, You are very smart to do your homework because I did for a year and still had some Suprises. My son had a company put in his system which is smaller than mine and it cost him $7000 more, It is easy to install yourself, just fallow the plans.
 

sheepfarmer

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L3560, B2650, Gator, Ingersoll mower
Nov 14, 2014
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517
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MidMichigan
I have a system that was designed to take advantage of the plan offered by Consumers Energy at the time where they “paid” the same for my excess power as I paid for theirs at night. Over the last 2 years I have more or less broken even, they have “useage” charges every month, about 8 to 20$ a month. Not necessarily the optimal system, but I probably did the best I could do at the time.

The gotchas that you have to look out for if you are on the grid at all are
1, maximum peak out put the power company allows for residences, mine was 20kW
2. What happens to array out put if there is a power failure. My inverters are dependent on the line current to work to send power to house, so in a power failure nothing from panels, only what I can get from generator. Several other threads have mentioned this, and there are work arounds. One of the complexities is how you may have a generator and transfer switch tied into the system. I have been told that there are other systems being developed so a generator and inverters will work together, so I am waiting.

Power here goes out fairly frequently for 1 to 7 days max. Long term outage would be problematic. I’d like to use panels in the daytime to conserve propane at least. Battery installation has its own problems, array and inverters in back pasture, batteries don’t like cold weather.
 

top gnome

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Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade
Dec 12, 2021
329
140
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
We have a 8.96kw grid tied system with LG panels and Enphase controllers. We could not be happier. Not very useful in the winter as snow is a deal killer. But the summer rocks. We have had it almost 3 1/2 years and are having some of our best months this year. I actually forget the thing is there until the electric bill comes. We are a total electric house with a little supplement wood heat. and our bill is about 3/8 what is was before we but solar in. good luck with your build.
 
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Jchonline

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Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
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Red Feather Lakes, CO
We will be using propane for cooking & on demand water heater. The big load will be AC, fridge, & freezer. It's going to have to be a 13KW or larger even with a 18+ seer hp since hi stage pulling about 19 amps RLA ( spec sheet ) when in hi but it won't stay in hi except late afternoon..
if I go with batteries I can get 2 yr old batteries for scrap price as my BiL gets these from his customers that demand new batteries on thier computer system on a regular basis.
I may not be able to justify 30 grand . That will buy a lot of power. .lot more reading todo.
Starting the AC is also going to be a challenge. You need batteries specked and wired so they can handle a high amp surge to kick it on. Two year old batteries? I hope they are Lithium. AGMs or SLAs could be fairly used up in 2 years depending on how they were cycled. Remember with non Lithium you cant discharge them much past 50% SoC and keep good longevity….so you need to double whatever true capacity you need.

I think in the end you will find batteries for a central AC arent going to be worth it. Good luck, keep us updated on what you decide to do.
 
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shelkol

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bx-2200, Woods BH6000 backhoe, Tach-N-Go quick attach bucket, snow blower
Nov 12, 2015
147
97
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Westford, Massachusetts
shelkol.com
I put in a 5.7KW grid tie system 10 years ago. At the time I looked at the cost of batteries (lead acid), the maintenance, and replacement cost and bought a standby generator instead. Been very happy with the choice. The system paid for itself in 6 years.

Since then I have installed the split/mini air conditioners. I love them. Inverter driven so you shouldn't have the high startup surge. They are quiet and use much less electricity than the central A/C. I've turned the central on once in 10 years because we had company and had to cool the whole house down.
 
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Dwight Bremer

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L4060 HSTC, LA805, L2195A, BH92, .5TBB, PF, 12K TAT,
May 16, 2021
75
58
18
Hardwick, MN
Putting in a 18KW system here. 45 panels at 400 watts each. No batteries for now. I am not happy with the battery technology at this point.

The way the feds are throwing money at wind, solar, electric everything, maybe something better will be on the horizon. In reality, they waste a lot of our money on all kinds of STDM.
 

jkrubi12

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Equipment
B2601HSD, LA435/QA 54", LP SGC0554, BB1254, PFL1242; WC-68 Chipper
Sep 24, 2012
176
143
43
right coast
Tax incentives should (if possible) be a part of any installation. It seems like gov't money for alternative energy is becoming more & more available all the time; waiting until you've finished most/all of the new place may be the best time to consider the solar component.

As a New Englander I assume that there isn't much snow in TX so a roof-top mounting could be the way to go. Snow cover shuts down a solar panel. In my area I would consider a remote yard-located solar array to enable snow removal and roof maintenance.

I would generally recommend professional installation but be wary of being fleeced by unscrupulous 'installers'. You could do as much research / knowledge collecting as possible so you can talk the talk when it comes to working out your system. A well-intentioned reputable installer would likely be a great source of current technology info as well.
 

DustyRusty

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BX23S
Nov 8, 2015
2,247
1,441
113
North East
Our electric bill has gone over $300 a month, so it is starting to look more viable for us, except for the fact that we are elderly and most likely not be living in the home in 10 years. If it is financed then the next owner is going to be responsible for any money that will still be due on the note. Might be difficult to sell the home. Will have to do more research.
 

skeets

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BX 2360 /B2601
Oct 2, 2009
12,850
1,624
113
SW Pa
Must be nice to have enough money to do things like this,,, When I looked in to it the price was around 50k with out battery back up,, so yeah its not worth it to me
 

DustyRusty

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BX23S
Nov 8, 2015
2,247
1,441
113
North East
Don't have the money to buy it outright, but the way inflation is going what little money that any of us have, isn't going to buy very much in 5 years. The value of the dollar has been shrinking for decades, and now the way the government is running the printing presses 24/7 to buy more votes to stay in power, we are way past ever being able to pay back the national debt. Have you ever seen a poor politician? I rest my case!
 
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