sounds interesting...I have so many questions. cost to install and maintain, durability and life after install, how many days can you go without sunlight. does it store energy for a rainy day...hahahaha
Cost to install: Both my father and I found systems to be about 7K per kwh, ours is a 5.16 kwh system. It gets a little cheaper as you get larger. If this industry grows hopefully prices will come down.
Maintain: I do not know yet but do not expect to spend anything unless a panel goes bad. I recall them being tested for good 25 year life or better. With my system I have more parts, but they are smaller and if something goes bad the replacement should be cheaper (this refers to my microinverters compared to my fathers). The system I have does have a $2 per panel per year fee for the internet interface, so $48 per year to have the enphase link work.
Without sunlight? No problem as we have two meters. We still pay local utility normally, sell ours through the other meter. In the end, we should make money at this, my rough estimate is 10% return each year.
Electrical storage? We did not install a battery backup system. This would allow us to live off grid but would add five thousand to the system cost and require more maintence.
A note on system cost: NC offers 35% tax rebate on system costs, maximum is $10,500. Federal government offers 30% tax credit, no limit. So while we had to get a bank note to pay for this up front, we will only be responsible for about 35% of the system costs. With the payments for energy generated, most systems will pay for themselves in 5-10 years.
See link at topleft for my father sharing his solar experiences pittsolar.blogspot.com