Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

We have written previously about some of our experiences with five different solar installation vendors and their proposals.

When you are thinking of investing tens of thousands of dollars on a product, you really need to do your homework.

Hopefully you can benefit from our experiences and be more motivated not to accept the first or second proposal you receive.

So far we have written about differences amongst the five different solar panel installation vendors regarding:

Today I wanted to provide you with the different proposed solar array each proposed for our home’s roofs.

Vendor A’s Proposal – South Facing Roofs

Vendor A, the one who did the realtor type measurement, provided the following proposed solar array for our south facing roof:

  • 4.6 kilowatt solar array
  • 20 – 230 watt Sharp solar modules
  • 1 – 5000 Watt inverter (unspecified)

No diagram was provided to see this solar panel installation vendor’s proposed placement for the solar panels.

This proposal indicated we would expect 17.94 kilowatt-hours of production per day but then elsewhere in the same proposal it indicated we could expect 16.1 kilowatt hours of production per day.

(more on these estimates in another article)

Vendor B’s Two Proposals – South and West Facing Roofs

The second solar panel installation vendor provided us with two initial proposals as follows:

1. South Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 4.3 kilowatt solar array
  • 19 – 230 watt Canadian Solar modules
  • 1 – 5000 Watt inverter from SMA Sunnyboy

This proposal indicated an expected production of 4,765 kWh per year.

Here is a visual they provided of the solar panel layouts on our south facing roof.

Vendor B South Roof1 Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

2. South and West Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 6.21 kilowatt solar array
  • 27 – 230 watt Canadian Solar modules
  • 27 – Enphase M190 Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 6,834 kWh per year.

Here is a visual this solar panel installation vendor provided of the solar panel layouts on our south and east facing roofs.

Vendor B South and West Roofs Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

Vendor C’s Proposal – South, West Facing and Garage Roofs

The third solar panel installation vendor provided us with one proposal as follows:

1. South Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 5.635 kilowatt solar array
  • 23 – 245 watt Heliene modules
  • 22 – Enphase D380 Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 6,317 kWh per year.

2. South and West Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 8.820 kilowatt solar array
  • 36 – 245 watt Heliene modules
  • 18 – Enphase D380Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 9,566 kWh per year.

3. South, West and Garage West Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 9.800 kilowatt solar array
  • 40 – 245 watt Heline modules
  • 29 – Enphase D380Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 10,571 kWh per year.

Here is a visual this solar panel installation vendor provided of the solar panel layouts on all three areas of our home’s roof:

Vendor C 3 Roofs Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

Vendor D’s Proposal -South, West Facing and Garage Roofs

This vendor had the largest number of solar panels in their proposal.

1. South Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 6.125 kilowatt solar array
  • 25 – 245 watt Heliene modules
  • 25 – Enphase M190 Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 5,570 kWh per year.

2. South and West Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 10.780 kilowatt solar array
  • 44 – 245 watt Heliene modules
  • 44 – Enphase M190 Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 9,799 kWh per year.

3. South, West and Garage West Facing Roofs Solar Panel Proposal

  • 11.760 kilowatt solar array
  • 48 – 245 watt Heline modules
  • 48 – Enphane M190 Microinverters

This proposal indicated an expected production of 10,552 kWh per year.

Here is a visual this solar panel installation vendor provided of the solar panel layouts on all three areas of our home’s roof:

South Facing Roofs

South Roof 1 Solar Panel Layout Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

South Roof 2 Solar Panel Layout Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

West Facing Roof

West Roof Solar Panel Layout Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

Garage West Facing Roof

Garage Roof Solar Panel Layout Comparing MicroFIT Solar Panel Installation Vendors – Solar Panel Configuration Proposals

And, Vendor E simply copied one of the above proposals.

Conclusions on Different Solar Panel Installer Proposals?

There are many.

I’ll leave to the different numeric differences to those who like to play with the numbers, other than to say that Vendor D who spent the most time and provided the largest proposal had the most conservative (some might say realistic or overly realistic) production output for the same solar panels.

From a bigger picture perspective, it seems that the more time a solar panel vendor installer spends on their site visit, the larger the solar array proposal they make. Vendor D spent several hours measuring the sun’s rays on our roof top and they had the largest proposal. Vendor A didn’t even go on our roof and simply gave us the south facing roofs.

I hope this helps you with your solar panel installation vendor decision.

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