/r/solar

Photograph via snooOG

Discussion of solar photovoltaic systems, modules, the solar energy business, solar power production, utility-scale, commercial rooftop, residential, off-grid systems and more.

Solar photovoltaic technology is one of the great developments of the modern age. Improvements to design and cost reductions continue to take place. How efficient will it become? When will it become so affordable that it's accessible to everyone? How are other energy industries having an effect on solar pv?

Welcome to the Solar Subreddit

Before submitting posts in this subreddit, read the current subreddit rules, suggestions, and helpful links post which is stickied to the top of the post list


This subreddit is for solar photovoltaic (PV) professionals, owners, and enthusiasts. The solar module and the systems it drives - whether small residential installations or large, utility-scale power plants - is one of the great inventions of the modern age. Steady improvements in materials, design and labor have dramatically lowered costs, module efficiencies have improved gradually as well - both serving to make the technology much more competitive against fossil fuels in recent years. What changes when solar PV is combined with batteries? What is the global impact of solar PV on the overall energy industry? When will solar become affordable for all? Shine on you brilliant solar enthusiasts!

Be sure to check out our wiki for more solar information and resources.

Tip for help requests - because of variances in things like regulations, prices, and amounts of solar radiation, it is useful to provide general location info such as country and state when asking for help/info regarding your solar project.

Solar Links

Solar Job Training Resources

* The Solar Career Mapping Tool - This is an interactive Solar Career Map offered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). It is designed for workforce professionals, educators, policymakers and job seekers. See - http://www.irecsolarcareermap.org

* Clean Energy Training Directory - Training providers, workshops, undergraduate degree programs, graduate programs, and more. Searchable by country, state, and technology. See - https://irecusa.org/credentialing/credential-holders/

Find the latest Help Wanted feature post HERE which includes links to several industry job listing sites

/r/solar

149,716 Subscribers

2

Easy question about the solar panel tax credit

Buying solar panels at 10.25k with a new build in California and had some questions about the tax credit. So if my wife and I pay 8k+ in federal taxes and we usually get a refund of 1k, we’d now be getting a tax refund of 4k, is that correct?

4 Comments
2024/06/17
22:10 UTC

2

Cost of system

I’m being quoted 45,000 for get solar excluded financing and govt tax credits. I have a 1600 square foot house. Does this seem like Im being taken advantage of.

The costs per month to pay it off in 25 years is higher than my current annual electric bill though my electric bill would increase by more than the financing over course of 25 years. They estimate 4 percent increase in electric bills year over year for 25 years.

18 Comments
2024/06/17
21:28 UTC

1

Enphase Consumption Monitoring Randomly flipping

I'm reaching my limit with dealing with Enphase consumption monitoring. No, this isn't the typical consumption monitor post where they are installed incorrectly.

I'm a local installer and manage our service department. Since November, I've seen a decent uptick in issues with Enphase's consumption monitoring - probably about 12-15 separate cases thus far.

In all cases, the system has been installed, granted PTO, and reporting out to Enlighten without any issues for months. The shortest timeframe from PTO to this issue presenting itself was about 12 weeks - so there's substantial data collected that shows that this was installed properly.

What will happen is that randomly, sometime around the time when the solar kicks on, the consumption data will flip, and show a negative consumption number - not 'net' but negative. This will signal the CT meter measurements alert. See graph from the Enlighten desktop app below:

https://preview.redd.it/hejn16za877d1.jpg?width=1552&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cfec09dd9e3eaf5909f767c7dc8fd7645b267415

This particular customer has had PTO since October. No issues with his system until I came in this morning and saw the alert. I've spoke with Enphase reps about this with previous cases and they only tell me that they must be installed incorrectly. "If they were installed incorrectly, how is it that they were reporting out without issue for months until now?" I haven't remotely flipped the polarity on these because I know that during an Envoy firmware update, remote polarity flips will revert back to the physical orientation of the CTs. There's nothing in the system diagnostics that would explain it, and no power outage that would either.

My initial troubleshooting when trying to diagnose this issue back in November was to, in fact, flip the polarity of the CTs but it would never read the way it was supposed to. We ended up going out and physically replacing the consumption CTs and the problem immediately goes away, which leads me to believe that the panel isn't unbalanced.

Enphase does not warranty these, nor do they pay labor reimbursement to replace them. I can't keep pulling installers off jobs to replace a faulty CT for free, either.

Has any other installer seen this issue? If so, what are your thoughts? Am I completely overlooking something during our install that would explain this (I doubt it only because of how long the system has worked and reported out without issue)? It's nice having all of the data in one app but having to replace this many CTs makes me want to consider scrapping these and moving to a 3rd party consumption monitor like Emporia or Sense.

4 Comments
2024/06/17
21:21 UTC

0

Solar panels still worth ?

My CRIMINAL electric company just jacked up prices for "Demand Charge" from $.10 -> $3. My monthly bill which was last year $30 (covered transport fee) jumped up to $90 since 01/24. I called them and asked them what the hell is this and the response was basically: you can't do anything about it, blame the increase in demand for EV which is overloading our grid. WTH ?? I do not own any darn EV nor any "green" stuff which is pushed from Federal Marketing Department aka Federal Govt and I'm paying for increase in demand ? Is there any way to avoid this ? Would batteries lower those spikes in demand ? At this time of the year I was supposed to be getting $30 easy now I'm scared about the date when both of my kids will come with their partners and we'll turn 2nd AC unit on + our well will be permanently in use - pumps are crazy on electricity.

https://preview.redd.it/whp4vna6b77d1.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=44d87523fad71b5205fd5d7098baf5def2e90007

19 Comments
2024/06/17
21:20 UTC

5

What are the logistics of peak shaving by strategic location of solar arrays?

I am not quite sure how to explain my question/concept. I am sure that this has already been considered. With the infamous duck curve, what would happen if solar arrays were located several hundred miles west of their biggest loads? Would this shift the peak of production to more closely match the peak of consumption? Do the logistics of transmission and associated losses make the concept invalid? It is interesting to move the solar demand west by one time zone and understand impact on storage needs, transmission cost, etc.

13 Comments
2024/06/17
21:01 UTC

2

Soleredge Water Damage - Warranty?

So I got an email back saying my Solaredge inverter is not covered do to water damage, "The problem is solaredge does not cover water damage. The system should looked at by the homeowner to make sure the system is not taking in any kind of water or bugs things like this during the time it is on your house, see photo. "This seems to be water penetration on the bottom of the case, but not touching electronic components. and it looks like calcium buildup over time.

So point to the home owner to check for leaks and bugs? Are they expecting everyone to unscrew the cover and look inside now. I think most homeowners would thing that might void a warranty. :)

So has anyone seen this type of water damage. Do I dispute this further? the system is 8 years old. They want $3800 to replace it. Curranty have SE6000 (240V). I am sure the replacement would be SE6000H (Hd-wave)

Thank you for commenting

https://preview.redd.it/n01rb6z2967d1.jpg?width=1575&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=44462d066b5ee05704eca157697bc7ecd4fad5fa

https://preview.redd.it/fczu46z2967d1.jpg?width=1575&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3ba893b74168e81cb836c280a796a88c72984891

5 Comments
2024/06/17
18:01 UTC

1

Dow solar shingle parts

Does anyone know I where I can get the connectors that go between the early model, Dow solar shingles? It has #469062001-09215 on it.

Please help!

0 Comments
2024/06/17
17:48 UTC

0

Flush and tilted

I received a quote from an installer for 25 panels. In the quote it says some of the panels are flush and some are tilted. Since this is a roof mount, does that sound right? Thanks.

3 Comments
2024/06/17
17:30 UTC

2

Slimmest ~200w solar panels?

I'm looking for some slim solar panels in the 200w range, preferably ones with a width of no more than 22", length isn't isn't really an issue. I've been searching high and low for options, but so far haven't found anything slimmer than 26" width.

Anyone know of a panel that would fit the criteria?

4 Comments
2024/06/17
17:23 UTC

0

2.3kW output at peak from newly installed 3kW plant on one of the brightest days of the year. Panels were cleaned in the morning. Is this normal or am I getting less output? What are the inspections can I ask the vendor of this installation to perform?

16 Comments
2024/06/17
17:20 UTC

1

ELI5 - Solar During a Power Outage

So, I gave a 5kw solar array on my house and no battery. I get that the system shuts down and doesn’t produce power in the case of an outage to keep the line workers safe. That makes perfect sense.

However, I recently bought 7.2 kw battery which will be wired into a 30 amp breaker on an interlock in my panel so I can safely choose grid or internal battery power. I was thinking, if I were to turn on the solar panel circuit while powered by the battery, would the solar panels detect voltage on the line and continue to contribute power to the home? So the battery would basically “prime” the panels. That would certainly extend how long the batteries last during the daytime.

3 Comments
2024/06/17
17:17 UTC

1

[Hypothetical] Summertime storm has hit, power is out. Not sure when it will be restored or how rainy/cloudy the coming week(s) will be. What do you do? (Enphase system with 10kwh battery)

I think main priority is the refrigerator so I would go about shutting every non-essential down. Most of our lights are LED so I would pay particular attention to turning off any that aren't.

My second priority would be AC. I know my HVAC (as well as hot water & stove) won't work (did NOT know that before installation...) so I think I should have some window units/portable ACs on hand.

What would you do?

31 Comments
2024/06/17
16:16 UTC

1

Quotes Received - Advice Welcome

I now have way more quotes than I probably needed. You can see them here. I'd welcome your feedback.

  • Location: Dallas TX
  • Roof faces south, no shade.
  • House has new windows, new insulation, gas furnace, gas water heater (tankless), gas stove
  • I have an EV.
  • I have TOU plans available.
  • DFW still has some 1:1 net metering, but not much. Suggestion seems to be that for a small system, TOU is more valuable than 1:1 buyback.
  • My annual usage last 12 months was about 9000 kWh, but I've only had the EV for 4 months, so I asked for systems that would generate closer to 10,500 kWh
  • I want a battery backup because we have power outages for a few days at a time every couple of years now, and I don't see that improving.

Questions:

  • Are the REC panels worth the higher cost?
  • If not, are any of the panels listed to be avoided?
  • What questions have I missed?
  • Is the 30 year warranty significantly more valuable than a 25 year warranty on the panels?

I'm leaning towards Texas Solar Professional or Infinity Solar, because those guys have been upfront with me from the beginning, and haven't tried to upsell me anything.

I've learned so much from this sub. I appreciate any insight!

4 Comments
2024/06/17
16:13 UTC

2

Any recommendations on a solar setup for small electronics

I’m headed out to our off-the-grid cabin in a few weeks. The sunlight off our porch usually get lots of sun. I’m on the fence regarding charging by solar or small inverter generator.

Can you recommend a solar setup that would charge our 3 smartphones or small USB devices reliable and safely?

1 Comment
2024/06/17
15:34 UTC

1

Direct Energy and Tesla app

I looked at the Utility Rate Plan setup in the Tesla app but Direct Energy isn't a provider option. Has anyone set it up using the custom options for the free nights 9pm - 9am plan? Does it matter what's entered really?

2 Comments
2024/06/17
15:18 UTC

1

Possible to get another Hybrid inverter in parallel but adding a different brand battery powerwall?

Hi guys,

existing setup:

  • 5kw DEYE Hybrid inverter

  • 2 x 200ah Meritsun Lifepo4 Powerwalls

Upgrade:

  • 6kw DEYE Hybrid (if possible)

if not possible:

  • 5kw DEYE Hybrid (same like the old one)

Main question/concern is if we can use a different brand for another Powerwall on the new inverter. Anything to consider?

Thanks for your help.

3 Comments
2024/06/17
14:48 UTC

0

I'm going to set this up this week. Any safety advice?

4 Comments
2024/06/17
11:34 UTC

8

How Can I Accept the Risk of Going Solar?

I'm sold on the idea of going solar with net metering. In Florida, net metering would add value to my home when I decide to sell. Upon research, I found out that a couple of years ago, Florida Power & Light lobbied the Florida Legislature hard to eliminate net metering completely, which resulted in a bill against it going to the governor. Luckily, he vetoed it, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be passed into law in the future.

The payoff of net metering makes it all worthwhile. Without it, it's a terrible investment, and no one will likely want to buy a home with solar panels that provide no added value and less curbside appeal.

A few years ago, we lived in Kansas City, and the power company there offered us a lower kwh rate if we had a heat pump instead of regular air conditioning. We bought in, but a couple of years later, the gas company sued the electricity company for giving a special rate to heat pump users and won.

How can anyone trust the savings they might receive if there's a good chance that some politician or court will rule against solar energy? What would keep Trump from removing the current 30% tax credit? It all seems too risky.

Am I wrong here?

77 Comments
2024/06/17
11:04 UTC

2

APSystems DS3 started to cut out at around 400w for the rest of the day

I have a ‘balcony’ set up with a 800w APSystems DS3 micro inverter.

It’s been working fine for over 2 months, but for almost a week now it’s been intermittent.

It’s been sunny and my off grid solar system has been working great.

However the DS3 seems to reach about 400w in output and then shuts itself down until the next day.

The status led is slowly flashing red, which in the manual just says ‘not producing power’ (super helpful lol).

I don’t think it’s overheating because it’s worked fine on much hotter days (ambient temp this week has been about 29°c)

Any ideas?

1 Comment
2024/06/17
08:43 UTC

4

How would I go about increasing my solar panels and remain in NEM 2.0?

I currently have a 5.25 KWH home panel system that came with my new build home. I wish I would have gotten more when when we bought the house but it’s too late now… can I still add some now? I want to add that and hopefully get a battery for help with my EV?

18 Comments
2024/06/17
07:24 UTC

3

Solar Planning for New Home in Surprise Arizona

All,

I preface this post with... I don't know much if anything about solar... But I desire to learn, and need to make a decision in the next 48hr about landscaping which will impact the solar choices downstream.

My family is building a new home in a planned community in Surprise Arizona. We are six or so months from completion and are about to finalize the landscaping plan. I am not interested in roof mounted solar at this time, so we've planned an area in the landscape to accommodate ground mounted solar. We have 7ft CMU walls surrounding the back yard that is 60ft wide. Its my plan to install solar along the rear wall of the property just under the top of the CMU wall.

We've lived in AZ for 8 month and we are about to experience our first summer. In the rental home we are in, the electricity bill went from 180 to 400. I'm anticipating it'll be closer to 5-600 for July-September. This is the impetus to considering solar. I'd like to have guilt free temperature control inside the new house, thus solar.

My question, we are about to spend a small fortune on landscaping and if we end up doing solar downstream, I don't want to have to dig it up. With 60' of possible width of solar, how large of a conduit would I need to pass the necessary wires through to the electricity panel and associated equipment? See the landscaping plan below, I'd like to run a conduit from the area marked P-1 where the electrical panels are, to the right rear corner of the lot, before the pavers are installed. To accommodate all possibilities, what size conduit would I need to run?

I've assumed to much its embarrassing but lets cover the basic assumptions, A. the wires can go underground, B. the city lets me install solar in this location, C. conduit on the wall may be a better idea, but less sightly, D. Shed roof will be 14x14 and might also use it for solar to get started... EFGHIJ...

House details - 3700sqft, two HVAC systems with variable speed fans, spray foam walls and conditioned attic space, sun nearly year round from what I can tell.

I appreciate any/all coaching on this topic and am thankful a space like this exists.

https://preview.redd.it/s0adsulvo17d1.png?width=344&format=png&auto=webp&s=b516eeaa7274ec4df3e0cf9dbd06e19446b0ea25

10 Comments
2024/06/17
02:54 UTC

18

Micro inverter issue? Production has really varied on this one panel. Zero some days. Today it was -30% compared to it's neighbor.

29 Comments
2024/06/17
01:04 UTC

0

Solar ac.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l2JOUCo7iaM&t=121s. I'm interested but I would want an installer.

3 Comments
2024/06/16
22:56 UTC

1

HVHZ Florida - New solar install

Looking for information for PV installations in Florida HVHZ. Is there a certain type of PV Module and racking system that's wind rated (or required)? Thanks

3 Comments
2024/06/16
22:40 UTC

1

Solax inverter showing battery status 0 %

Inverter showing battery charged percentage 0% while its fully charged

3 Comments
2024/06/16
21:36 UTC

2

Adding a battery payback time

I've had solar for a number of years. I am trying to get my head around how to estimate payback time if I add a battery. I have done some searching but not found a calculator that can help me do this. I can input all the data from my solar generation and utility usage. I am in Northern CA, utility is PG&E, and am currently on their time of use plan. I figure this must be a pretty common question.

19 Comments
2024/06/16
21:19 UTC

1

Seeking Recommendations for Solar Chargers

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a reliable solar charger and could use some recommendations. I'm particularly interested in portable options that are efficient for charging devices like phones and tablets during outdoor activities.

Any tips or insights would be greatly appreciated.

2 Comments
2024/06/16
20:15 UTC

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