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Solar

Posted by Harry Pritikin on Monday, 11 March 2019, at 7:38 a.m.
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In response to 143145: Solar, posted by Jim L3 on Sunday, 10 March 2019, at 8:54 a.m.

Aloha Jim,

My personal residence has been off the grid since the beginning. So I'm a strong proponent of solar. However, I eliminated the middle man by doing most of the installation myself and buying my equipment directly from Interisland Solar. I recently got rid of my lead acid batteries and replaced them with SimpliPhi Lithium-Ferro-Phosphate batteries in conjunction with a Schneider 48 volt, 6,800 watt inverter. SimpliPhi are better than the Tesla Lithium-Ion batteries because they don't get hot, require no cooling fans, and there is no fire hazard. Also, they last longer. They are expensive, but they can last 20 years. Lead-acid batteries would have to be replaced 3 times in 21 years. I calculated the savings in 21 years would be $5,000. PLUS, they require no maintenance!!

Anyway, for a grid-tied system, the payback depends on the amount of sun you get. On the Big Island that translates into your location and elevation. Payback also depends on your usage. If your monthly HELCO bill is $150, payback will take a long time; maybe 10 years. But if your monthly bill is $600, payback will be rather quick; maybe 3 to 6 years.

My vacation rental has 47 grid tied panels. It was done by Solar City, which is now Tesla. Unfortunately, when Tesla took over, they eliminated their Big Island offices. Check with the people at Interisland Soar for a recommendation of the most reliable installation company. Personally, I would use an electrician named Nate Corson: nate.liuelectric(at sign)gmail.com He's my new solar expert. Using an electrician is way cheaper than a solar company. Solar companies have the overhead of owner profit, warehouse rental, employee & vehicle costs. Plus, Nate will buy parts wholesale from Interisland. But there is no warranty. However, he is always available to come back and trouble shoot at his hourly rate.

Mahalo, Harry


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