The TRUTH About Solar! 4 Year Review

The TRUTH About Solar! 4 Year Review

I’ve had my solar panels for 4 years and it’s time to look back and see what I would and wouldn’t do again. If you’re interested in learning more about solar, check out Energy Sage

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// Credits
Editing: Ben Sullins
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JeffJasperVO says:

Um, I think you need new shingles.

MrShowwoff says:

Any diminished ability on your solar panels? Do you use AC a lot?

Vincent Robinette says:

you did NOT make a mistake, getting the behind the meter battery system. As time goes on, the utility is going to give you less and less for the excess energy, as well as charge you more and more for the energy you do buy from the grid. When enough people have solar, you will all be considered "renewable energy generators", and will only be paid the wholesale value of the electricity. (~1/4 the retail rate) With the battery, you get a 100% savings on the excess power that the batteries are able to store. Consider those, your "Ace in the hole". I'm putting in an enormous system, which will include 54 300 watt panels, (16,200 watts total) and I'm going to install ~65 kWh of battery capacity. That's enough, to supply my house on its worst day, running central air, and my Koi pond pump, which runs 24-7, for a full 24 hours without any power source. It may seem like an awful lot, but, in the winter, the sun is lower in the sky, and the days are shorter. Thankfully, I don't have to run central air conditioning. I do have to run the pond pump. I have a choice: This system is enough to charge an electric vehicle, or, heat the house with a heat pump system, if it has a performance factor of 3.2 or greater. It will not support both in the winter, however, it will be enough to run central air, and charge an electric car in the summer. For anyone considering a photovoltaic system, I would go grid autonomous, rather than grid tie. Solar panels are so inexpensive now, that it's easier to budget for a battery system big enough, to pretty much run self sufficient. There will still be the connection fee, and, it's available power for the rare instances, that the system can't meet demand. The grid is merely a backup battery charger, and still costs much less, than running a generator to meet those demands. The only mistake you made with the batteries, is not buying more!!

William Dunn says:

Currently installing a 9.2kW system. One note, I wanted to install more but was limited to 120% of current usage.

BajaPete says:

Take the cost of the solar install and invest it in another rental house or TQQQ (Triple ETF). You will be much wealthier than the solar panel owners.

johariace says:

HI Ben. It seems crazy to me about the microinverters , the payback period is triggered. Please inquire about the new Fronius Gen 24, which comes with the PV point function( It is the only inverter on the market with this solution)I don't know how it works in the USA but in Europe it also has the best support or Call Center in the market. By the way it can be installed outside. Greetings I love your videos.

Forrest Everett Townsend says:

Alaska’s state status as having net energy metering is meaningless when we have communities that have exclusive contracts with power companies. Meaning the community is contractually obligated not to credit you back the electricity you supplied to the grid.

Nate's Random Videos says:

You left off the slow degradation of the panels. 25 years without an efficiency change isn’t happening.

Appreciate the numbers though.

Still can’t make the break-even work here with .13/kWh-ish pricing.

ARK rain FLOOD says:

i purchased a solar power system, the financial calculation factored in the interest on my money market account (<1%) and price increases (>1%) on kwh from the power company.

Sherylin says:

In Canada where I live we can get a solid three hours of sun per day in the winter. Also it takes 70 Kw to heat and maintain a 1,000 sq foot place. So would need 25 Kw of panels to break even.
Good video and informative. Thanks. 🙂

ArizVern says:

Had my 12k solar installed 12 years ago. Net Metering allows me not to buy batteries. Built 9' tall 30' x 60' Ramada. Never bought electric power, plus ordered second Tesla.

pauld315 says:

31 cents ? Here it is 12 cents

pauld315 says:

Here the local community electric company has to approve how big of a system you can install based on your previous year's usage. You can't install more than you have proven you use.

jacob says:

Really started looking into solar a month ago and the fact he has a string system and recommends a micro inverter really shows a true impartial opinion.

I would also like to point out going with the micro inverter system makes it easier to add onto the system down the road compared to string systems.

Only thing I disagree with is assuming energy cost will go up 5% for the next 25 years. I believe small modular reactors and micro reactors are going to be common within the 25 year time frame making energy cleaner and cheaper.

Tom Waznis says:

I picked the company myself based on engineering emphasis. about 12 years ago

June Campbell says:

Thanks, Ben, really helpful.

TheHuell says:

Tim Dodd everyday astronaut is a b**

Paul O'Neill says:

Ah, but what would the repayment time be compared to a system where you charge powerwall batteries at night for 12c/kWh instead of the 31c i.e. no solar cost but 2x/3x powerwall cost. (although, I believe that sort of off-peak battery system might be currently illegal in CA!)

cusman says:

I live in TX where we get plenty of sun year round, including in winter and with my heating by natural gas, main use of electric is cooling during the hotter months and my Tesla vehicle charging. I sized for 100% of my expected usage and with all the work / school from home throughout 2020, it has been over producing to where I am accumulating credits with my electric utility and they send me a check every now and then. As a result it is also paying for itself faster than originally calculated.

The Powerwalls are different story. They don't really pay for themselves, but they were very useful during the week long power issues in Texas a couple months back during the arctic blast that pretty much shut down TX power infrastructure, but my home stayed powered. So these are more of a luxury spend, but I was glad to have them during that situation.

rvnot1one1 says:

Love my SunPower Panels

Willwork4 XRP says:

Couple things. Panels lose capacity over time, so do battery backups. You also have to consider the TVM of the initial investment. Payback period isn't as good as 6-7 years. It's almost never worth it financially.

Still, nice to have when the power goes out.

magnetmannenbannanen says:

because of the poor political system you americans have , the big oil have put so many "traps" in your way , permit to put solar on roof when it is mandatory anyway? STUPID. no powerwall in the garage because of fire restrictions? stupid! companies involved just to put up the panels??? stupid!, you are so not free to do anything in your state.

magnetmannenbannanen says:

you completely forgot to mention getting a electric car, which in the future seems more likely than not. you want to get a fuckton of solar so it totally maxxes out your ability to get power , even when you are away and the power just flows into the powergrid. because then charging gets cheaper.

Kim Dahl says:

Great video Ben. I too have been very pleased with my solar panels that I have had for 4 years in Utah. I have 23 Sunpower 350 W panels with micro inverters which make for a very nice clean install. My system provides all the power for my fairly large house and one electric car (Bolt EV). I figure that 6 of my panels are needed for just the car. One thing I have always questioned however is the need for a powerwall where time of use isn't applicable and winters preclude storing enough energy for more than a few days. For me, solar panels make sense, but battery storage systems are expensive and dont make financial sense for Utah. Thanks again!

Martin Stepetin says:

Here’s a weird question. Are you Native American? Honest question. You look Native.

That Guy says:

You can get net metering in Texas
I have it through Green Mountain Power

Jason Hua says:

You are right Ben. In my opinion I will do 180% to 2X more than how much energy I use today.

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