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Ask HN: Recommendations for Home Solar Install?

Hi HN! I’ve been considering adding solar to my home but I really have no idea where to begin. Purchase or lease? What are my giant battery options and which seems best? What kind of requirements are there for the home electrical infra (200 amp, 300 amp, doesn’t matter)? What sort of total cost of installation am I looking at for an average size house on the East Coast (MA, 2000 sqft)

Any wisdom or resources would be greatly appreciated.

4 days ago

Created a post 8 points @hanklazard

Ask HN: Recommendations for Home Solar Install?

@ghufran_syed 4 days

Replying to @hanklazard 🎙

I got mine installed in northern california in 2019, I would have liked to go with Tesla but they were too expensive at the time. When I looked again last year, they actually looked a lot cheaper than everyone else. I think we paid $2.75 / watt. We used energysage to get and compare quotes, and there is a lot of other useful advice on that site.

In Cali there was also some issue that the rebates for each Tesla powerwall were somehow distributed per company. So if we bought the Powerwall directly from Tesla, we wouldn’t have got a rebate because they had run out, but other installers could still supply the rebate.

The Tesla software to monitor the solar generation, battery use and home energy usage is really nice, certainly much better than the “enphase” software that came with the solar panels and inverters.

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@giantg2 3 days

Replying to @hanklazard 🎙

I've been looking into this a little. It's cheaper if your not using batteries and are tied into the grid. This might be necessary anyways depending on home layout and appliances. Your existing electric panel should need minimal alteration since they typically put a power management switching box in (forget the real term) similar to some generator setups, plus other things like an inverter. That will determine what sends power to your main panel and if any electricity is sent out to the grid.

For example, my 2 story house doesn't have enough roof space to fully run solar. This is in part due to the fact that everything is electric - heat pump, stove, water heater, etc. So it would make more sense to sell it back to the grid rather than use a battery since I need to be tied into the grid anyways.

Personally, I would want to own things that are a significant part of my house, but other people may feel differently. I decided not to do solar because there is not enough benefit to it in my situation. The grid is increasingly moving to renewables since they can bid the lowest. This will continue to push prices lower, thus reducing the incentive for private individuals to assume the purchase, installation, and maintenance costs (or lease costs).

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@h2odragon 3 days

Replying to @hanklazard 🎙

First thing is find out what your local power company will let you do.

There's places you can push or pull power easily; and some where they require you to buy their grade of isolation equipment before you do anything that might ever risk backfeeding a line. That's at the engineering level; the bureaucratic levels can be much worse.

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