Frequently Asked Questions
How does this system heat my house?
It doesn’t, well not directly.
Photo voltaic or Electric Solar Power Systems make Electricity for your home. If you have an efficient Geo-Thermal heating system or a Mini-Split heat pump heating system your newly installed Electric Solar Power system will go right to work making the electricity these systems need to heat your home. Also if you heat with Wood, Gas, Coal or Propane systems that have pumps or fans that run on electricity then the Electric Solar Power System can generate electricity for these systems’ electrical needs. If you have Base Board Electric Heat, it might be time to think of purchasing a Mini-Split heat pump before an Electric Solar Power System. Remember that Electric Solar Power Systems make electricity for electrical devices.
How many batteries do I need?
For the most part, battery systems are a thing of the past. Most Electric Solar Power Systems installed are Grid – Tied Systems. These systems take the energy of the sun and convert it to electricity and through a box of electronics convert that electricity to what your home needs. The system funnels this electricity into your Main Electric Panel. Whatever you need at that moment is used by your home. Any extra is sold, immediately, to the power company by spinning your meter backwards.
Some small expensive battery systems are still installed today for Customers who want battery back up, natural gas or propane generators, and must have power when the grid goes down.
What happens to a Grid-Tied System when the Grid goes down.
It turns off.
Since a Grid-Tied Electric Solar Power System has no capacity for storage, the system must turn off. Imagine having a 10, 000 watt solar system and no place to put all that power. Systems also automatically turn off for the safety of the Electric Lineman. Electric Solar Power System’s value comes from the lower cost of solar, the generation of your own electricity from the sun, the 30% Federal Tax Credit, and the Alternative Energy Credits. Removing the Cost and maintenance of batteries was the best thing that happened to the affordability of Electric Solar Power Systems.
I have a 2700 square-foot house with 2 and a half bathrooms, how many solar panels do I need?
Let’s take a look are your electric bill.
Electric Solar Power Systems can be sized in three ways, 1) to generate a certain amount of electricity for the year, 2) to fit within a certain space (How many fit on the roof), 3) to fit within a certain budget.
When most people ask “how many solar panels do I need” they want to rid themselves of their electric bill in one step. It is unlikely this can be done with the little extra cash they have on hand. Most who Invest their money in Solar have the future in mind. Electric Solar Power Systems have excellent pay-offs of 7-12 years, guarantees for 25 years, and lifetimes of a usable 50-60 years. Most Electric Solar Power Systems cost between the installation price of a pool and the sticker price of a four wheel drive truck. Making an accurate Proposal for an Electric Solar Power System takes real world measurements, a quality shading analysis, and the consideration of the customer’s electric usage and wishes. Call for a Quote Now.
How Much does One solar panel cost?
About $1200 per Module installed. Less per watt for larger systems.
However, you may be looking on EBAY and seeing small modules and large modules for less or shopping in a farm equipment store seeing a solar module for cheaper. Please don’t be swayed. These are not full Systems; they are just cheap panels and will be installed by screwing them to a 2×4 and tossing a concrete block on it. A Quality Grid-Tied Electric Solar Power System uses Anodized Aluminum Rails, Solid Poly- or Mono-crystalline Solar Modules, Excellent Power Inverters and All stainless steel nuts and bolts which will last for decades. Remember I will be paying for Permits and Inspections for a System that will generate a substantial amount of electricity, not something tossed on your roof in an afternoon.
What is the Smallest Electric Solar Power System you can build?
One Solar Panel and a Single Micro-Inverter.
This might not be the best investment strategy. Usually people don’t ask “How Little Money can I invest in the Stocks.” I think I know what is going on with this question. Electric Solar Power Systems are Way Past the experimental stages of the 1970s and 1980s. Back then solar power (Thermal and Electric) made Big News and really weren’t quite feasible at over 4 times the cost of today, using huge battery banks and old heavy iron remote power inverters. Today you can have sound peace of mind that Electric Solar Power Systems Double and even Triple their value over their life-time. Worry not, these systems are not “Experimental” in the slightest.
How long is it going to take for this thing to pay for itself (or what is the pay off)?
7 to 12 years which is about 12% to 24% of its usable lifetime.
Electric Solar Power Systems are an excellent investment. With the 30% Federal Tax Credit, the Alternative Energy Credits, and the Electricity you make for yourself and sell back to the power company, the time to act is now. With all of these factors added together you can expect to double and even triple your invested money with a Grid-Tied Electric Solar Power System. Get a Proposal today!
How can anyone afford an Electric Solar Power System?
No money? – Get a Loan from the Bank.
I have mentioned before that an Electric Solar Power System costs somewhere between the installation cost of a Swimming Pool and the Sticker Price of a Pickup Truck. There are quite a few of those pools and pickups out there. How is your pickup paying off, dollars per mile per year with a 10 year max life expectancy? Nobody even asks those questions. There are some people who can put down $60,000 on a Pickup Truck, but most just Sign and Drive. It is best to talk with your local bank about your financing options. A simple 6 year, $6000 loan might be just the ticket for starting an Electric Solar Power System this year and adding on as you see the real benefits materialize. Or you can go for it and get a $60,000 home equity and invest with confidence in a material commodity.
What gets installed when I get a system?
Many things will need to be installed.
Depending if your system is a ground or a roof mount the first steps are a little different. If you have a ground mount, holes will be drilled and poles will be concreted into the ground. Then these poles will get the solar panel mounting rails installed on them. If you have a roof mount, the rails will bolted directly to your roof. Then 2 grounding rods will be hammered into the ground for grounding all your new electrical equipment. These will help protect your home from electrical shorts. Each panel is then installed using stainless steel clamps. The clamps will keep the panel in the rails in up to 35 mph winds and will keep your panels on your roof for easily the guaranteed life span of the panels. Metal conduit will need to be ran to the inverter. The inverter will change the DC power that is generated by the solar panels to AC which can be used by all your home electrical needs. To keep track of all the power you have produced a new meter box will be installed. Also two disconnect boxes will be installed one on the DC side and the other on the AC side. These are required by law. Once all this is in your now have a completed solar panel system!
Now I have it installed, How do I know it is working?
Simply watch the meter spinning when the sun comes up. Also check it out on the Inverter Screen or the computer.
Some Central Grid-Tied Inverter Systems simply have a Residential Grade Solar Meter, very similar to your current electric meter; it spins and records the electricity produced by the Electric Solar Power System. There is usually a small LCD readout on the inverter that displays all the technical information. Fronius inverters I have installed step through a series of menus on the Inverter Control Box located near the bottom of the inverter. SMA inverters have the LCD readout on the Inverter itself. A special “Knock Knock” Sensor (as if you are knocking on a door), allows for simply knocking on the inverter to step through the menus. OutBack inverters have the MATE LCD Display which uses a series of buttons on the front. Enphase micro-inverters use a direct connection to your home router to display detailed and complex information to the internet through the Envoy System. SMA and Fronius also connect to the internet through external boxes
What maintenance will need to be done to the panels after installation?
You literally never have to do anything to the panels. If you just want to put it up and forget about it then, solar is the way to go. If you want to you can use some Windex on the panels to clean them but this is usually unneeded. All other types of electric production requires maintenance. Wind turbines will need to be taken down at least twice a year to check or replace the braking mechanisms and they will need to be looked over for damages from flying objects such as birds and hail.
How do I replace shingles after I have a Electric Solar Power System Installed?
Because the Rails and the Clips are Anodized Aluminum and the nuts and bolts are all stainless steel, the Solar Array can be taken back apart years after it is installed and wired. The singles can be replaced and the Solar Array reattached to the roof. This will add some more time to the shingle job, but it is very do-able.