Going solar?


CIR is the source. Better panels, better pricing, cleaner install (seriously, go look).

Our CFO runs the solar group and his office is next to mine so I can quite easily get you any answers or service you need. I don’t touch solar or residential stuff personally as I am a big commercial projects guy.


CIR is not the source of the Solarize Amherst program, Amherst is. They put the program together and selected three solar providers, Solar Liberity, CIR and Frey. That’s why I linked the actual program, not the CIR specific one.

I’m 99% sure I’m going with Solar Liberty’s quote. A couple big concerns on CIR’s quote.

They’re using Seraphim 320w panels. That Chinese company only came into existence in 2009 and there is very little info out there about them. Not something I’d want to trust a 25 year warranty to.
They quoted me an 8.6kW system and estimated 9623 kWh of production on my west facing roof. After talking with a couple people and doing a lot of reading that number is seriously unlikely to ever happen. Southern facing roof maybe, but not west facing where you’re losing 15-25% right off the top.

Solar Liberty is going with a Hanwha panel. Hanwha is MASSIVE South Korean company that has been around since 1956, though they only became known as Hanwha in 1992. Their 300w Q.Cell panel has tons of positive reviews and installs worldwide. They’ve spec’d out a 9kW system with an expected production of 9168kWh annually.

Both systems will be installed the same way, running the conduit in the same locations, and locating the inverter in the same place. Both systems are using the same 7600amp solar edge inverter. Solar Liberty’s revised plan keeps all the panels on the back side of my house, just like CIR, but comes in $100 more out of pocket.


I’ve been solar for 3 months at my San Diego house. LG 320W panels and Enphase microinverters. Been overproducing big time ever since. Love the online interface that Enphase has, tons of charts, graphs, and alerts right to my phone if one panel is underproducing. Had one so far and turns out a palm had fallen on it.

Sounds like they’re quoting all string inverters for you guys. Those don’t make sense for me cause I have different faces that produce at different points during the day and also cause I was partially blocked by palms.


I was just being an ass about using the CIR link… Got to pay my salary somehow. I printed your post and handed it to our CFO…


First regarding the production, we are going to run a solar edge report which will give very accurate output values. This is again not my world but Jeff is acting on your concerns at least.

Next we spoke with the director of sales for Seraphim. Here is what they had to say:

At the end of the day Hanwha and Seraphim both make a great module. Ours have higher module efficiency and are made in Japan. Theirs’s have lower module efficiency and are made in Malaysia. The difference is I will respond to a residential sale, no one at Hanwha will. FUD on Hanwha is easy for me, Hanwha has financial issues and their Chairmen went to jail for corruption*. My short response would be Seraphim is profitable, been in business longer then Hanwha Solar and is more likely to survive. We are very profitable and Hanwha is not. Hanwha also made a big misstep investing heavily in Malaysia, (factory) Poly PERT (QCELLS). They have frozen capex for 2017, so no new expansion. Poly will not be viable in 12-18 more months, mono pricing will be better and higher power. There is also a very high likelihood Malaysia will get hit with Tariffs. This will be devastating to them. I would be happy to even speak with the customer. Hanwha is more polished then Seraphim. We are a newer brand to residential and are not currently marketing friendly to the public.

Honland Group was founded in 1969 and wholly owns Seraphim Energy. Honland has 15 business units much like Phillips. Business units range from Solar, medical devices, furniture, lighting, and others.

-Extensive USA Investment
-USA Factory JV http://seraphimusa.com/
-USA 1 GW Cell factory (early stage in VA) leadership team in the US negotiating this now.
-Very profitable
-Has been making 1 year longer then Hanwha Solar ***
-Eclipse is made in Japan with high labor standards and no human rights issues. Comparable to US working conditions.
-limited tariff exposure, no modules made in China come to the US.
-2018 New Factory opening in South Africa

Lots of random information there. I think that Jeff, Tracy, Ashley or Darrin will give you a call once they get a more polished quote together. Another option we could always offer is giving you whatever panels you want. Baldy knew exactly what panels he wanted and they can make that happen. We work to specifications often.


Holy solar panel due diligence Batman!




So CFO Jeff says Serphim panels are made in Japan? Everything I’ve seen says they’re made in China, Changzhou city to be precise. They have a small plant here in the US but as of February it was fighting just to reach the jobs they promised to get their tax incentives to build.

Here’s another article talking about how they’re thinking about explanding production to Mexico in addition to their plant in China and the small plant in Mississippi. No mention of Japan production there either.


That is from the Seraphim director of sales. Jeff reached out to him for answers as we use panels from all different manufacturers and couldn’t possibly know all the details he provided. He even said that he would be willing to have a conversation with you if you wanted.

Also, here is a link to the Bloomberg Tier 1 list which Seraphim is on: http://www.taipo-tech.com/index.php/tier-1-module/
He also sent some slide in PDF form that I can’t easily attach.


I’m signing my contract with Solar Liberty tonight so as far as I’m concerned it’s done. No need for anyone from CIR to call me. I’ll keep updating this thread with my experience though. I will say I’m not at all impressed by Seraphim’s sales guy saying they make their panels in Japan where there is NOTHING online to back that up.

I’ve also been playing with the PVWatts calculator.


My raised ranch has a standard 4/12 roof (learned all about this when I put a roof on in 2013) so 18.43 degree roof angle, 270 degree orientation (west). The array would be a fixed roof mount for any installation. Almost zero shading issues (no shade until shortly before sunset when the power from the sun is really low anyway).

When I plug in the numbers for the Solar Liberty quote, 9kW system, even when selecting standard module type vs premium (the Hanwha panels they’re installing are 18% efficient, which is much closer to the calculator’s premium of 19 vs it’s standard of 15). I’m not touching the 14% system loss which I know is probably high for a brand new system. The result? 9444 kWh annual production. Solar Liberty says it will produce 9158 kWh but they said they estimate low because they want to make sure a year from now I’m not going back to them saying, “You said it would produce X but it only produced Y”. I respect that.

When I run these the same calculations (using a standard panel) for the CIR 8.64 kW system? 9067 kWh per year. CIR says it will produce 9633 kWh. Bumping the calculator to a premium panel (which it’s not, the PDF from Seraphin says their 320 cell is only pushing 16.5%) only gets me to 9103 kWh. To get to their 9633 kWh number I have to select a premium panel and drop the system loss down from 14 to 9. The numbers don’t seem to add up.

If I give the Solar Liberty system the same premium panel selection and only 9% loss the production jumps to 10,043 kWh.

      • Updated - - -

PS… when the Seraphim sales guy says, “Ours have higher module efficiency and are made in Japan. Theirs’s have lower module efficiency and are made in Malaysia” uhe might want to get a PDF up online that proves it. This is the only 320w panel Seraphim has specs for online and it’s 16.5%

VS the 300w Hanwha panel I’m going with that has an 18% rating:


Welp, I’m actually more confused about solar than when I came into this thread.

Bottom line, when the new house gets built, I’m going to pay Jason to figure this shit out and handle it for me.


Dont forget about me. Ha

my Solar Liberty system gets installed in a few weeks. :slight_smile:

Once you understand the components and what the numbers mean, it’s pretty easy…


3 months in. Electric bills are so overrated. $500 coming my way and counting.


Today’s the day…


Cool, how long with the install take? More than a day?


All the hardware will be done today but the electrician had an emergency call so he has to come back tomorrow for a couple hours to tie into my panel and run some conduit between the panels in the attic.


Pretty interesting. My barn roof (south facing) would be the perfect spot for a set of these. With all the incentive it seems damn attractive.



x2 I might even do this in Mi considering the size of my pole barn roof.


Has anyone called their insurance company yet? I wonder if your home owners insurance costs will increase.


It’s a permanently installed structure so it’s covered just like any other home improvement. You just need to make sure you have enough coverage to cover the added value on your home in the event of a total loss.


We have officially made our first kW of power! Unfortunately we probably gave half of it to the neighbors and paid National Grid as if we used the power we gave them. Not much was on at the house and anything we feed back into the grid right now we get billed for because the current National Grid meter can only sense rate of flow, not direction of flow. So the system is off now and was only up for the self tests but our 9Kw system was still making between 5-7Kw on this very overcast day. Tomorrow the inspector comes then a few days after that the meter will get swapped and we can go live!