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  1. RALPHHOGAN

    RALPHHOGAN DI Member

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    Since I know all the parties mentioned in this thread I will add my $.02.

    Two years ago we engineered and metal-roofed a large South East facing garage area with the intent to then add a grid-tied solar array. We spoke with Bryan Pine( Polaris Perry Loos' partner), then The Solar Guy Jeff Davis, and finally with Ken Scales RIP.

    I found all 3 to be professional, likable, and informative. I took the time to tour previous installations performed by all 3. I spoke to some of their previous customers.

    Since our roof has a single "all day" unshaded face we decided upon the efficient "string inverters" rather than the slightly more expensive "micro inverters" then offered by Bryan Pine. If we had shady areas, or a multi-angled roof we would likely have used the microinverters and had Bryan do the job. Each type of system has it's advantages and disadvantages.

    Once the deal with Jeff was agreed on, the panels, inverters, and associated hardware were here( Dauin) the NEXT DAY. We used 66 Seraphim 260watt Poly panels. That's a total of 17.1 kw which we feed into 3 x 5kw inverters.

    I wanted to learn as much as I could so I was up on the roof asking alot of questions. Jeff, and most contractors will likely be using subcontractors to do the actual installation work. Some of the workers are great and some are still learning - I don't have a problem with that. I found errors and sloppy work. No surprises there - it's more fun in the Philippines. But realistically that's the case anywhere. To his credit Jeff promptly corrected the problems to my satisfaction. The installation didn't take long.

    Getting the permits went quickly. However dealing w/ Noreco took a while plus some creative lubrication.

    Over the last 2 yrs various parts of the system have failed. One of the 3 Zever 5kw inverters blew. Jeff replaced it with a new one for free under warrantee. However it took a few weeks to get the replacement part and the tech contractor back here to Negros. They travel all around the country to do installations as needed. There have been a few other less critical items that he swapped out as well (breakers etc) but that's to be expected I guess. There have been no issues whatsoever over the last 5 months.

    All things considered:

    I would use Jeff "The Solar Guy" again for an installation for an unshaded single faced roof.

    I would not hesitate to use Bryan Pine if I had partial shading, different roof angles, or I wanted to individually monitor the output of every solar panel.

    I live abroad and did not know Ken Scales had passed away until reading this thread.

    I currently use Polaris Power Engineering for misc electrical work at our property. I have never been unhappy with them over 10 yrs.



    Notes:

    1. The photo shows the roof w/ a few more panels left to install. 22 panels feed into each of the 3 inverters.

    2. The cost of solar panels has fallen quite a bit over the last 2 years. The cost of power purchased from Noreco has remained constant at 11p/kwh here in Dauin.

    3. Our Southeast facing roof has a 12 degree pitch as recommended for this lattitude. 66 x 260 watt panels fed into 3 x 5kw inverters offset approx 17,000 pesos/month of Noreco bills. Our monthly bills went from 24,000 p to 7,000 p on average. Dauin-Photos-Beachhouse-2.jpg
     
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  2. grandpainak

    grandpainak DI Forum Patron Showcase Reviewer

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    I had a good experience with a solar company on the south highway but he has sense died and so did his company.
    I signed a contract with "The Solar Guy" Jeff Davis in Jan. 2017 he quit our solar install in Jan. 2018 UNFINISHED! My wife and my handy man, with my assistance, finished the "Turn Key" install. Jeff is a very good sale person and also an even better lier.
    He stated that: He had an experienced install crew, A Lie! His crew had all the tools and equipment to do the install. A Lie! He had a licensed electoral engineer. I did not check but should have ask to see his license. This electoral engineer could not understand why a mag. starter would not work. I immediately knew that it would not work because they installed it backwards and it was not needed in the first place. The last time they installed it backwards they did NOT tighten the hot wire from the solar panels and FRIED the mag. starter! Even after I ask Jeff three times about the roof leaking (a new roof) his reply was "that there would be no leeks". A Lie! The first good storm and we had water leaking through the ceiling in three places! This install should not have taken more than a couple of days. It was more than THIRTEEN MONTHS and that was only because we finish it ourselves!
    My advice is to avoid Jeff Davis "The Solar Guy" like he was the Black Plague!
     
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  3. RALPHHOGAN

    RALPHHOGAN DI Member

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    Dan;

    I left out the price on purpose since there has been such a huge decrease in the costs over the past 2 yrs.

    Our system was then quoted at 80 pesos/ kw of rated panel capacity:

    So;

    17,100 kw x 80p/kw = 1,368,000 pesos total cost. Therefore payback period would be 6.5 yrs if Noreco prices remain constant. As mentioned, the panel purchase prices are quite a bit lower now. Therefore the payback period of a newly installed system today will be shorter.

    There is nothing preventing a hands-on homeowner from buying the hardware, obtaining permits, and performing a system installation themselves and saving $. The electrical tie-in must be done by Noreco.

    We chose to pay a bit more to have our fairly large ( 4x typical US Home) system installed professionally.


    There is one MAJOR benefit that is seldom mentioned in the PV decision making decision process;

    The panels also shield your roof from the hot sun. Any rooms below that roof are substantially cooler during the day and into the evening.
     
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  4. grandpainak

    grandpainak DI Forum Patron Showcase Reviewer

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    If your post is for me and my 3000 watt up grade. I will not be hiring it out, I will be doing it myself with my handy man doing the grunt work. When I saw that bunch of clown putting that mag. starter in (backwards) I whispered to my handy man it was not needed and that they were trying to use it for the wrong application and that it was not going to work because they were installing it backwards. I told him not to say anything because I wanted to see how it was going to turn out. After they pulled it out and reinstalled it THREE times the electoral engineer condemned it and took it back to Polaris. Polaris tested it and said that there was nothing wrong with it, gave it back to them. They installed it one more time, (helper and I were grinning), the whole time. It was this time that they did not tighten down the hot lead from the solar panels and fried the starter. It was installed backwards this time also, it was not needed in the first place. After the handy man and I finished this (TURN KEY INSTALL) I gave the mag starter back to Jeff and told him to return it to Polaris for a refund because it was burnedout, fat chance. I have another story about Polaris, I'll save it for another time.
     
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  5. grandpainak

    grandpainak DI Forum Patron Showcase Reviewer

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    I bought a 5000 w gas back-up gen. set very soon after I moved here 9+ years ago. Living in Valencia it has got plenty of run time. Just a couple of days ago I had 5 outages in a 9 hour time frame.
    Two more lies Jeff told me is that the solar would work even if I was on the generator. LIER His pay back break even time is more than double of what he said it would be. LIER.
    My system is 3000 wattage and produces just under that at noon on a sunny day. I am on an on grid system. My bill has gone from ₱6,000.oo a month to ₱3,000.oo a month. Before I turned the air-con off my bills were running as high as ₱13,000.oo a month. A off grid system is not feasible because of the batteries. I have hopes of doubling my system bringing it to 6,000 watt.
     
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  6. wolvhund

    wolvhund DI Member

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    What is the wattage on your system? I was going to reply that if you need to pump some water or keep your computer running solar will work but it isn't going to do much more than that, and the battery supply makes it even less workable, but since you have one you are in a much better position to answer about these things than me.

    Still, I'd suggest a diesel generator over solar for backup power.
     
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  7. jimeve

    jimeve DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    If you have grid-tie you will still get brownouts, off- grid will cost a lot more.
     
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