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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GAF Energy Timberline Solar:
Eliminate Lag Bolts
Eliminate Wind Uplift
Eliminate Rodents and Bird Activity
Easier Maintenance
Easier Installation
—“But Is This A Game Changer??”—“What Wins/Fails Should We Foresee?”
 

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Thin film solar looks like, been an ongoing promise to revolutionize the industry. Could be good, could suck.
How expensive is it?
How long is the warranty and how solid is it?
How hard is it to replace a bad panel?
If one panel goes out does it effect the other panels?
Do the panels use micro inverters or a large inverter for the total system ?
How efficient are the panels? Do you need twice the roof area for the same punch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We were concerned with the same questions⚡
Background: Located in the Silicon Valley of CA (so the engineers are asking/addressing the same things in the heart of our installation area)

How expensive is it?The system (price wise) offers superior products for the same price of a traditional solar roof. It has the benefits of looking great, waterproofing and is backed by an enormous roofing company.

How long is the warranty? —25-Year Warranty (Roofing/Solar). This stands uniquely in the Solar/Roofing industry (Product/Installation/Labor/Power Output are all included)

How solid is it?You can walk on it. It has ‘Class-A’ Fire Rating & Is Hail Resistant.

How hard is it to replace a bad panel?It’s not hard to replace. The design is friendly for repairs with only roofing tools required and offers accessible electrical components.

If one panel goes out does it effect the other panels?No. (There is no ‘Christmas Tree’ effect). This question is partially addressed by the panels smaller profile. Smaller panels are allowing for more shading control (which can be more efficient) and lower voltage components last longer and are supposedly less expensive.

Do the panels use micro inverters or a large inverter for the total system? —String inverters (Again, there is no ‘Christmas Tree’ effect)

How efficient are the panels?23% efficiency (as efficient as any current mono PERC)

Do you need twice the roof area for the same punch? Each roof design will dictate what’s allowable, but in short NO. The panels are efficient while the smaller profile seems to allow for better “Fill Factor’ than traditional solar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't hold a lot of faith in GAF products
Understood, we have had your same feels over the years (Not product related)😉
GAF Energy is a privately held company that has built and set up local operations (San Jose, CA) to produce products for GAF‘s clients. They are not GAF, but we do use GAF Roofing products to maintain the warranty.
 

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How many watts per panel, what size and what price? Also, when you say string inverter does this mean that each panel has its own inverter so the product coming out is AC? Is it an option to omit the mini inverter (if your panel has them)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How many watts per panel, what size and what price? Also, when you say string inverter does this mean that each panel has its own inverter so the product coming out is AC? Is it an option to omit the mini inverter (if your panel has them)?
Oy Vey! You’re talking to a roofer Rio. More Practical, Less Technical.😂
You can likely reach out to GAF Energy for specifics on watts and inverters.
I believe they offer 45 Watts capacity per shingle and the inverter stuff is over my head.
I’ll see what answers I can get from them today.
 

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Understood, we have had your same feels over the years (Not product related)
GAF Energy is a privately held company that has built and set up local operations (San Jose, CA) to produce products for GAF‘s clients. They are not GAF, but we do use GAF Roofing products to maintain the warranty.
GAF is GAF Energy.
 

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How many watts per panel, what size and what price? Also, when you say string inverter does this mean that each panel has its own inverter so the product coming out is AC? Is it an option to omit the mini inverter (if your panel has them)?
Did you ever find an answer to this question? Do the GAF timberline panels have micro inverters on each panel, "string inverters, or an inverter solution for the entire array?
 

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No Authority Having Jurisdiction should allow a SINGLE WATT of solar (photovoltaic) power on a roof UNTIL two things happen. 1. A solar water heat system designed to meet an average of 100% of the customer hot water need is installed.
2. After 1 is complete a NEW energy assessment for the entire house, including bringing all insulation, windows etc as close to current code as reasonable for the design and age of the property. The assessment MUST include the total expected Electrical and BTU loading of the house after enhancement.

At that point the customer should be allowed to install photovoltaics as long as the productivity of the photovoltaic installation is GUARANTEED to some contracted production for 25 years minimum. I would never trust anything that is placed in any current photovoltaic contract. I know too many people with HORROR stories of what they paid for vs what they received in productivity.

Also,hot water is up to 40% or more of your power consumption (depending upon your habits and number of people in the home). Hot water is FREE as far north as San Jose, CA without any issue almost 365 days a year! IT makes no difference if you have gas water heat, you should have to REPLACE IT with SOLAR BEFORE PHOTOVOLTAICS!
 

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No Authority Having Jurisdiction should allow a SINGLE WATT of solar (photovoltaic) power on a roof UNTIL two things happen. 1. A solar water heat system designed to meet an average of 100% of the customer hot water need is installed.
2. After 1 is complete a NEW energy assessment for the entire house, including bringing all insulation, windows etc as close to current code as reasonable for the design and age of the property. The assessment MUST include the total expected Electrical and BTU loading of the house after enhancement.

At that point the customer should be allowed to install photovoltaics as long as the productivity of the photovoltaic installation is GUARANTEED to some contracted production for 25 years minimum. I would never trust anything that is placed in any current photovoltaic contract. I know too many people with HORROR stories of what they paid for vs what they received in productivity.

Also,hot water is up to 40% or more of your power consumption (depending upon your habits and number of people in the home). Hot water is FREE as far north as San Jose, CA without any issue almost 365 days a year! IT makes no difference if you have gas water heat, you should have to REPLACE IT with SOLAR BEFORE PHOTOVOLTAICS!
Solar water heating systems are pretty pricey and they also require maintenance. While they are nice they certainly have some warts, not the least of which is they have to use some sort of antifreeze which means a heat exchanger which means more complexity which drives up the cost. Also when they break down, and they do break down, the service call is likely to eat up a bunch of the cost savings one is getting from using them. I like solar water heaters but they are no panaceas.

What's being pushed now by TPTB in Cali are heat pump water heaters. They're very energy efficient and coupled with the PV systems that are now required for every new build in the state can provide a lot of hot water for not much dinero. When used along with heat pumps for space heating and cooling it becomes practical to go all electric on a structure which is the goal of the climate zealots here.

PS In California most hot water heating is done with natural gas which is both clean and abundant but which has been demonized by the zealots. There is such an energy penalty when doing the required Title 24 energy calcs for electric resistance water heaters that unless you're in an area that is all electric with no propane availability that type will kill the energy model and without the compliance certificate no building permit will be issued.
 

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Did you ever find an answer to this question? Do the GAF timberline panels have micro inverters on each panel, "string inverters, or an inverter solution for the entire array?
Never did, like the idea of an integrated system but also have concerns about something like that. What happens when a panel fails? How hard is it going to be to slip out the bad panel and put in a good one?
In general like the concept of micro inverters, nice as one can upsize a system without having to upsize a giant inverter but really don't know how long the mini inverters last, how much they cost and how hard are they to replace.
 

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Also,hot water is up to 40% or more of your power consumption (depending upon your habits and number of people in the home).
Absolutely untrue. Unless you heat your outdoor pool water :LOL:

Here is a quick reality check. My current electric bill is $200, my current gas bill is $40 (month of June).

The gas bill includes water heater, gas dryer and outdoor grill. Grill and dryer get almost daily use. So I conservatively estimate I'm paying well under $20/month to heat water. That includes heating the water for the dishwasher and clothes washer, both of which are always operated on hot water setting.

So, I'm no fan of PV for the home, but for <$20/month I'm not buying anything, let alone a rooftop solar heater. It's well under 10% of my energy use, and will be much less % in the cold and hot months when I use more energy to cool/heat the house.
 

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Solar water heating systems are pretty pricey and they also require maintenance. While they are nice they certainly have some warts, not the least of which is they have to use some sort of antifreeze which means a heat exchanger which means more complexity which drives up the cost. Also when they break down, and they do break down, the service call is likely to eat up a bunch of the cost savings one is getting from using them. I like solar water heaters but they are no panaceas.

PS In California most hot water heating is done with natural gas which is both clean and abundant but which has been demonized by the zealots. There is such an energy penalty when doing the required Title 24 energy calcs for electric resistance water heaters that unless you're in an area that is all electric with no propane availability that type will kill the energy model and without the compliance certificate no building permit will be issued.
In Israel solar water heat has been a REQUIREMENT for many decades. In fact one can not even get a permit to change anything until they install solar water heat. Their systems are designed VERY well.

Most of the Gulf Coast can use a direct system. Yes where it freezes an isolated antifreeze system is required. In Florida we only need a freeze activated relief valve. HOWEVER, it is extremely efficient in general, maintenance costs are usually a LOT less than the cost of heating water any other way. So what if natural gas is available and relatively cheap, it can be used for other systems such as LNG for vehicles! Cost? most of the cost is just profiteering literally. I am considering making my own for about 500 and a few hours work.
So far everyone involved has told me that the hybrid systems are not built well enough, too many problems. Yes, they use less than 20% of power to heat water, and exhaust cold air a huge benefit in the south. I had an opportunity to install one at a decent price and chose not to after reading up on design issues and failure rates/vs warranty. Certainly, for anyone that wanted a whole house instant hot water system they are a MUCH better deal, and probably are no worse in maintenance than instant water heaters.
 

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Dj, I will make you a great deal.
You can come install a solar water heat system at my house. I will pay you the same $20 a month I currently pay. You maintain the system and replace it as needed. You should be able to make a profit if you are correct :giggle:
 

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Once upon a time...
This my energy story and experience. Northeast.

My first house 1,050 sqft. I managed my oil. Baseboard hydronic., thankless coil. 35 years ago, did this for 19 years...

I had two 275 gal tanks. Fill in Aug/ Sept. 550 gal. Paid cash when the price was low.Jan /Feb. Would fill with a minimum delivery of 100-150 gal. (It started as 100 and changed to 150 at some point over the years)
That would get me to sometime in June /July where I would maybe dump 10-20 gals of diesel in every week or two. Summer was hot water only, at five to eight gallons a week....

Hot water was a huge part of the oil use.

I'm currently on gas, 2600 sqft 1840 circa house, steam radiators with steam. Separate gas hot water tank. $4-500 per month electric and gas. Gas will be 300-450 in the winter. And it flips during the summer with the window shakers in. So $85-150 winter electric bill becomes the gas bill, and the gas bill becomes the electric.

First house two people for fifteen years, 1 for a few years,, second house four people for fifteen years.

...and it's always uphill!
 
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