DIY California Permit'd Sol-Ark Build

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
06/03 update.
Reached out to @SignatureSolarUS via phone and was transferred to claims. Spoke with Dana. I informed Dana of the damage to the one panel. She sent me an email while on the phone to submit a claim for the one panel.

I asked what the process would look like and was told that the policy recently changed to only refund for just the price of panels if it is 3 panels or less. If it is 4 damaged panels or more then they will ship replacements. I was told that SignatureSolar used to process replacements for individual panels but have had a low claim success rate with the carrier and individual panels have a higher chance of becoming damaged.

I asked if that updated policy was posted on the website and Dana let me know she wasn't sure but it should be but she wasn't sure where.
I let Dana know that I had pictures of the damage and video of the Pallet coming off the truck that showed the damage. Being I had this documentation would it be easier to get a replacement claim refunded with the carrier. Dana informed me to fill out the form and give her the video and she would take a look.

Here is the link to all photos and the video of the panels coming off the FedEx truck:

Panel delivery and damage photos/video

I will update here once I get more information from Dana on my options. Right now I am a bit stuck as the specific panels, wattage, amount, etc are all processed as a whole as part of my permit for my build. Swapping in a different panel or reducing the number could affect my ability to get signed off by the inspector. For now I will move forward with the install minus one panel and see what options I have through @SignatureSolarUS
 

KG6S

ELI the ICE man
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
88
Location
Nevada's Gold Discovery Site
05/16 mini update
Just got my application back from local utility and they didn't sign off on the size of my system due to my previous 12 month usage not being high enough. Utility does not allow you to exceed 12 months of previous usage. I reached out to the Utility guys and pleaded my case about having a new Electric car that increases my monthly usage from 2.2x to 2.6x my normal usage which is why the system is so big. They seemed more concerned with making sure I was sizing my system appropriate to my usage than anything. They have had a lot of people get Solar expecting to zero out their bill and with the 4.5 cents per kWh buyback they barely save $30 off their bill.

I let him know with the CT's on the Sol-Ark I can set export limits to whatever they wanted. My goal is to use them as a backup not send as much power as possible for a bill credit.

The other issue was not having a meter on my Single Line Diagram which I didn't know about. I thought they would only use a bi-directional meter at the main service but they also want one after the inverter before the AC side hits any load. He told me it was to track production which allows them to apply for my "Green" credits from the state. Adds a bit of complexity and another thing to mount but not a big deal.
Here in Nevada as I read it (YMMV) they can also sign off based on the projected consumption based on size of the house.
****
From the Net Metering & Energy Storage Device (ESD) Interconnection
Program Handbook
July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

6.4 Livable Square Footage
The system may be sized based on the interior living area of the residence. In northern Nevada the
solar system may be up to 2 watts (CEC-AC) per square foot of interior living space; in southern Nevada
the solar system may be up to 2.8 watts (CEC-AC) per square foot of interior living space. If 12 months
of energy usage history exists, then the watts per square foot of interior living space method may not
be used.
****
 

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
Mini update that happened on 06/02

1654280045043.png


Sol-Ark is wall mounted (she's a heavy beast!)
2 Lag bolts into studs and a high weight rated drywall anchor in the middle hole of the bracket. (Recommended by @Will Prowse in one of his videos)

Wireway is a little bent in the bottom right so I might swap it with the other one. One of those "Can't unsee" things.

Next steps is getting my materials list together to start running conduit and wire in the attic. I have a decent 3m mask for dust so I don't die up there. With gas prices I am trying to get a 100% list of parts available so I don't have a "Whoops I need to make another trip to Home Depot for that $3 fitting" moment.
 

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
Here in Nevada as I read it (YMMV) they can also sign off based on the projected consumption based on size of the house.
****
From the Net Metering & Energy Storage Device (ESD) Interconnection
Program Handbook
July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

6.4 Livable Square Footage
The system may be sized based on the interior living area of the residence. In northern Nevada the
solar system may be up to 2 watts (CEC-AC) per square foot of interior living space; in southern Nevada
the solar system may be up to 2.8 watts (CEC-AC) per square foot of interior living space. If 12 months
of energy usage history exists, then the watts per square foot of interior living space method may not
be used.
****
Great advice!

My specific situation is very very specific. California with a local town of 7100 people as their own utility. Everything is very rough and generic. The good side is there are literally 2 guys who manage the solar paperwork. I was able to call them and explain my current usage with an electric car and they signed off on it. They were more worried I was putting in solar with unrealistic expectations. They have had lots of residents get promised that their bill would be cancelled out by a salesman only to realize their buyback rate is 4.5 cents per kWH. With tier 1 rates being 16 cents and top tier being 28 cents you would need to export a lot of solar to put a dent in your utility bill. This is why using some form of storage is the only setup that makes financial sense where I live.
 

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
Update from Signature Solar.

Looks like a canned response telling me I will only get a refund or credit for the one panel.

1654289770864.png
This is going to put me in quite the pickle as I need that specific panel and quantity as per my permit with the county. I've asked Dana what the cost would be to replace the one panel.
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
1,461
Location
Visalia, Ca
This is why most solar places recommend you buy atleast 2, preferably 4 extra panels in case of shipping damage. If you end up with extras, then put them in storage in case one goes bad in the next few years.

With my luck, I always end up needing them lol
 

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
This is why most solar places recommend you buy atleast 2, preferably 4 extra panels in case of shipping damage. If you end up with extras, then put them in storage in case one goes bad in the next few years.

With my luck, I always end up needing them lol

I definitely should of done that. Hindsight is 20/20.

Latest from Dana is the cheapest way to get the one panel I need will require me to buy 4 panels and get a credit for one.

With shipping it will be $1112.18 + Taxes. That is an expensive panel.

I've reached out to Fedex and submitted a claim. I am hoping with video evidence of the damage it should be pretty straightforward but I am seeing a lot of horror stories getting shipping companies to pay out claims.
 

Danke

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 5, 2022
Messages
69
I just received 48 panels from Signature who used XPOLogistics. Terrible customer experience with this shipping company. It was a residential delivery, and they sent one driver who was clueless how to get pallets on lift gate. So he left and I was told I had to go to their warehouse and pick them up. Anyway, I did finally get them to redeliver with a different driver, but had to unload the panels from their truck, one by one. Good thing too, as one panel was damaged and noted in paperwork by driver, he took pictures also.
 
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bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
Signature’s Shipping page: NOTE: If this is in regards to returning damaged or mis-ordered products please use the Return Merchandise Authorization Form. That RMA link brings one to UnboundSolar Terms and Conditions: https://unboundsolar.com/support/terms-conditions

No where does it say they can just give you a partial credit on your order and not replace the damaged goods.
Yeah the terms are all over the place. Especially the unposted policy that just happens to get mentioned when I reach out.

I'm still looking at my options and trying to do my best to work with SignatureSolar as I am empathetic to their plight of terrible shipping companies damaging their products but at the end of the day I received a damaged product and expect to be made whole.
 
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onokai

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 9, 2022
Messages
169
Location
Nor-Cal
If you where to buy more panels-buy 5 and then sell 4. Better for others in even bundles
can you post a link to the wire way box you have
 

bertiojones

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2022
Messages
75
If you where to buy more panels-buy 5 and then sell 4. Better for others in even bundles
can you post a link to the wire way box you have


It actually looks like the seller has more to sell. You are getting two for the price.

 
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