Do the solar panels need to be mounted on my roof?
Panels are often mounted on the roof, but can also be mounted on the ground. Ground mounts are great if your house is shaded, or if roof obstructions limit available space on your roof.
How much space does the system need?
As small as 100 square feet. Ideally, 400 to 600 square feet is good for average sized home. Larger systems will require more space and this will be determined during your site visit.
Do the panels need to face south?
South is best, but panels installed facing east or west can still provide a great deal of power for you. The best way to determine what makes sense for you is to have one of our solar professionals come out to your home. Contact us today at 512-837-4800 to schedule a Solar Evaluation.
How large of a system do I need to power my home?
Each home or application is different, and the amount of electricity you use is very dependent upon your lifestyle, how your home was built, and your appliances. When you contact us for a Solar Evaluation we will help you identify how much electricity you use and tailor a system that makes sense for your particular needs.
How much power does the system produce?
Systems come in many sizes, and we will work with you to determine the correct size system for your specific needs. Many of the systems we install produce a portion of the home’s required power leaving room for additional solar expansion in the future.
How long will the system last?
The solar panels have a 25-year power warranty from the manufacturer but they can last up to 50 or more years. What else have you ever purchased for your home with that kind of warranty? The other major components (inverters, mounting system) generally have a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.
What happens when the utility has a power outage?
All of the systems we sell are “clean power” systems, without batteries. For safety reasons, these systems do not generate power when the utility is out, even if it is sunny. The majority of our customers experience very infrequent power outages making clean power the most practical and cost effective option for them.
Do I need batteries with the system?
No, all of our solar systems are connected to the utility grid providing you with a secure and reliable source of energy day and night. The electrical grid becomes your battery for storage.
What is Net Metering?
Net Metering allows you to send any power that you are not currently using back into the grid, physically turning your meter backwards so you get credit for every kilowatt hour generated by your system. Exact provisions vary with each state, but the effect is to allow you to generate excess power during the day, and use it at night.
How does the solar power get stored?
In a Clean Power, non-battery system, power is not stored. It is either used immediately in the house, or fed back into the electric grid for net metered, creating an energy credit on your account.
Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?
Generally, if you think you will get another 5 years out of your roof go ahead and install the solar system. If you think you will need to replace your roof within the next 5 years you may want to install a new roof before your install your new solar system. Solar panels will last many years and after the panels are in place, they will greatly reduce the wear on your roof by blocking ultraviolet rays. Most installations do not require a new roof prior to PV installation.
What happens if the panels are shaded?
PV panels should be installed in areas where they get significant direct sunlight every day. Even small amounts of shade can significantly reduce the output of your system. Our designs and installations also seek to minimize the impact of any shade issues through selection of the proper equipment and good engineering. Part of our service during a site visit is to provide a full shading analysis for your location which will help us determine the best placement free of shade.
Do I need to clean the panels periodically?
Most of our customers do not clean their panels. In most areas of the country, there is sufficient rain to clean your panels. However, if you are in a dusty or dry urban area you may see a performance gain from cleaning the panels as needed. If necessary, a hose stream is usually sufficient for cleaning. Do not spray water on the panels when they are very hot.
Does solar power work for commercial buildings?
Yes, solar works very well for commercial buildings. We install solar on office buildings, retail buildings, schools, and government facilities, airports – anywhere electricity is used, solar electricity can is beneficial. For large scale commercial and utility solar applications, please visit our Commercial Solar section.
If I sell my property, what effect does PV have on the sale price?
Energy conservation and renewable generation adds value to a home. Surveys have shown that for every $1,000.00 saved per year, $20,000.00 is added to a home’s value. Solar energy can be one of the best home improvement investments you make.
How long does will it take to install my PV system?
Typical residential systems take from 2 to 5 days to install while commercial systems may take several weeks to over a month to install. Systems mounted on the ground are more complex, and may take longer. Most of the installation work is done outside of your home, so there is little disturbance to you.