Homeowner Story: Aaron Alexander

You are my sunshine

Portland, Oregon

My wife is a type 1 diabetic. So having her medicine available and cold at all times is very important to us. Losing power for a couple days is not good. It can really put her health in jeopardy. So getting solar and then having the battery back up to keep it available to us all the time was very important.

A matter of life or death, not a choice

Aaron Alexander from Portland, Oregon installed a solar system to protect his wife. It was less of a choice, but more of a matter of life and death.

Products Installed: Q.HOME⁺ ESS HYB-G1

System Size: 10.5 kW

Installer: DPI Solar

Est. Cost Savings: $1,700/yr

Est. CO₂ Savings: 22,764lb/yr

The Challenge


Portland is a beautiful city, despite the fact that it rains over half of the year. Aaron, who works as an IT security solutions delivery engineer, moved here from Phoenix about 2 years ago. Until then, Aaron didn’t think much about solar at all. However, his thoughts changed when he experienced power outages due to Portland’s winter ice storms and summer heat waves. His wife is a type 1 diabetic and she always needs refrigerated insulin. If the power goes out, her life could be in danger so they needed an electrical system that would prevent those emergency situations.

Aaron Alexander

Most people think solar gives you power when the power goes out, but it doesn't, for safety reasons. So the battery is the only way you're going to get power during an extended outage. It can store the energy that was produced, and it can protect my wife and children. I don't care about me as much, but as long as they were healthy and happy, then the battery was a smart investment for us.

Project Overview

While looking for solar installers, Aaron’s neighbors referred DPI Solar to him. DPI Solar immediately stopped by Aaron’s home to give him a quote and explain the process in detail. They explained where they would install the system, how much it would cost, how much money he would save on his electric bill and the amount of incentives he would receive from the state. Aaron and his wife were impressed by their knowledge and friendliness which led them to choose DPI Solar to install their solar and battery system.

Aaron Alexander in front of Qcells hardware

Our installation was the first installation for DPI Solar with the Qcells battery and inverter solution. They've installed plenty of solar, but this is their first install of the battery solution. I worked with their installers…and that was great because I got to learn how it worked from them as they were installing it. They were great at answering my questions. I think they did a great job with the install.

Aaron chose the Qcells system with 3 batteries. Since the batteries did not take up much space, he was able to install them in his small garage. Also, the lifespan and warranty of the product was impressive to him. Therefore, Aaron was able to decide on the Qcells system immediately. After installation, Aaron was most satisfied about Qcells’ smartphone app. As a self-proclaimed tech geek, he uses the app all the time. He checks the total amount of energy production and power usage, as well as the amount of energy that can be used immediately.

Overview of house


Aaron Alexander

I'm a computer fan, so I like to play games. I have a big computer gaming rig and whole solution that keeps the house warm. We've spent too many years in the Arizona desert, so we run the AC a lot. It's nice to not have to worry about paying for that electricity anymore. Our system provides enough power so that we are selling power back to the generation stations.

I've learned that solar actually performs better when it's colder because heat takes away from the efficiency of the panels. So having it here in beautiful Portland, Oregon, is actually a good thing for us.

Aaron Alexander in front of house

Aaron receives a lot of questions from his friends and neighbors. He highly recommends Qcells’ Q.HOME solution in addition to their solar panels because this assures him even in an unexpected blackout.


This may sound ironic, but Aaron is looking forward for the next power outage. He wants to check out for real how well his Qcells battery system can help them survive through a power outage. He imagines a moment of feeling rewarded when inviting his neighbors over to his house who would have suffered without electricity for a warm meal, and shower during blackouts. This is why he constantly recommends solar systems to his neighbors whenever he has the chance.