Framing Makes A Difference
Framing is also important its the skeleton holding together your solar cells. It is easily overlooked when selecting solar panels for a commercial or residential installation. Conventional solar panels frames can warp and break over time .
SunPower is known throughout the solar industry for its durability. SunPower solar panels have Class 1 black anodized framing, which is the highest rating through the American Architectural Manufacturers Association . SunPowers cell is the only solar cell built on a solid copper foundation or backing, and its impervious to the standard corrosion and cracking that degrade conventional panels. SunPower has also ranked exceptionally high in various durability tests.
How Do I Know You Are The Developer To Go With When Considering Leasing My Land For A Solar Farm
A good, reputable solar developer should keep you informed throughout the whole process. Along with this, they should recognize that for you, this is a big decision. No reputable solar developer will exert undue pressure on you to sign a contract without giving you time to review the lease with a lawyer, if you so choose.
Throughout the process of a solar project, solar developers work with you to ensure that you are always kept in the loop. You should be their number one priority because it is your land that will be used for a solar farm.
We always encourage our clients to ask us questions so we can address their concerns, and we encourage them to keep in touch with any queries they might have. We strive to build a long-lasting bond with those who lease their land to us, and any solar developer you choose should do the same.
To recap, when solar companies are visiting you onsite, remember to use this time to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have about the project.
The five questions weve listed above will give you a good starting point for any other inquiries you may have. Your solar developer should want you to be fully comfortable with your decision and should want to build a relationship with you.
Does Solar Panel Efficiency Really Matter
Like we said earlier, solar panel brands love to bring up efficiency ratings. And we cant blame them! Saying youve beat the competition by having a record-breaking efficiency rating looks really good for the brand. But while it is nice to have a high efficiency panel, its really not going to do much good for most homeowners. In fact, all it will probably do is increase the price of the solar installation.
What really impacts how much electricity solar panels produce is the wattage, or power rating, of the panel. For one thing, the efficiency of a panel directly affects what the power output will be. Youre probably not going to find a solar panel with a high power output and a low efficiency rating.
Not only that, but the wattage of a panel serves as a cap of how much power the solar panels can produce. So say if you have two 350-watt panels, one with an 18% efficiency rating and one with a 21% efficiency rating, theyre both only going to be able to produce 350 watts of power.
In this case, youre probably better off with the 18% efficiency panel, because its likely cheaper.
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Figure Out If Your Is Home Ready For Solar
After youve decided on a system and developed a budget, youll need to make sure your house is ready to handle the addition of solar panels. Some homes are more capable than others, but almost all homes can be improved to handle solar panels.
Important things to consider are the condition of your roofing and what supports it. Solar panels are not heavy about three pounds per square foot but some instances do require an engineering study. The age of your roof is the key consideration. If it needs to be replaced in the next 3-5 years, then we would recommend replacing it before installing solar panels.
An alternative to installing solar on your roof is installing it as a ground system. Choosing to install a ground mount solar array isnt always the best option when it comes to visibility and it can take up a lot of space in your yard. But, its not a bad alternative. For people with extra space or an abundance of land, a ground mount might be the best option.
Understanding How Your Home Uses Solar Energy
Your solar system installation will only ever operate in one of 2 modes:
Mode #1 Your system is generating more solar power than your home needs.
Here, my solar power system is producing 4.4 kW.
0.9 kW is going into my home, with the surplus 3.5 kW simply going into the grid.
My retailer pays me a feed-in tariff for each kWh of solar energy that I export. Here in SA at the time of writing, Im getting 14 cents per kWh of energy exported.
Mode #2: Your home is using more power than your solar system is generating
My home solar power system importing grid electricity because Im not generating enough solar electricity at this point in time.
Here my home needs 2.1 kW of power, but my solar power system installation is only generating 1.8 kW. The grid simply tops up my home with the extra 0.3kW required. Obviously, you have to pay for any imported energy.
In Adelaide, I pay 36 cents for grid electricity and get 14 cents for exported solar energy. This means self-consumed solar power is more than twice as valuable as exported solar electricity.
This is why I have my appliances set to run when the sun is out and dont feel guilty when I switch on my aircon to pre-heat or pre-cool my house during the day, for a comfortable temperature at night.
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Things To Look For When Hiring A Solar Installer
Solar energy is an abundant source of renewable energy. By switching to solar energy in your home, you can save on monthly utility bills, and reduce your carbon footprint which helps the environment. Solar-powered homes are eligible for tax incentives, and in many cases can earn money from surplus power fed back into the power grid.
Its much simpler and safer to hire a full-service solar installation company like ION Solar, which performs every step of your solar energy installation from start to finish, including long-term maintenance coverage.
ION solar premium services are available in:
Panel Failure And Damage
If a solar panel fails because of a manufacturing defect, you should hear from the installer whether they want you to contact them first or reach out to the manufacturer for warranty repair. The answer to this question will likely be different whether you own the solar panels or lease them.
Side note: solar panels are covered by most homeownersinsurance policies. If you own the system and your panels are physically damaged, your insurance company will likely pay for any repairs, minus your deductible.
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Pros And Cons Of Palmetto Solar
|Protects solar panels with a 25-year output warranty||–|
Palmetto Solar offers customers a full-service solar installation and post-installation services. To help customers understand their solar savings, Palmetto has an online tool that calculates your electric bill savings with solar energy.
Palmetto Solar offers customer support through phone, email, and online chat to give customers a variety of support options. Post-installation, Palmetto offers customers a Peace of Mind Protection Plan. The plan, which is also available to non-customers, includes active monitoring and discounts on services like solar panel cleaning and pest abatement.
Before working with Palmetto Solar, we recommend getting quotes from a variety of providers. Use this tool to get matched up with solar energy providers in your area.
Workmanship Warranties: What’s Covered And For How Long
In the unlikely event theres an issue with your solar panel system, its important to know who to call if something goes wrong. There are multiple different warranties that come with your solar energy system, from manufacturer warranties for different components to workmanship warranties from your installer.
The workmanship warranty is specific to the work the installer performs, and is typically somewhere between 1 and 10 years. Be sure to check with your installer to see whats included in the warranty, if there are any exclusions, and if theres any cost to you in the event they have to come out and check on or replace some equipment.
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Understand The Companys Solar Warranties
Its a breath of fresh air to see that your solar panels have been installed and are working properly.
But imagine in a few years something goes wrong. Did you double-check with the solar installation company if they have any warranties? This is a crucial step that you cannot miss!
Simply Solar has a 10-Point Guarantee to keep their customers happy. Within this, they include:
- 25-year warranty
- A performance level at or above 90% of the original solar power or will cover the cost of any extra electrical costs on your bill
- Free replacement of the solar panels if your roof needs replacement
- In-house installation team
With this guarantee, youll be sure to always have the company coming back to help if you need it!
Walk Away From High Pressure Sales Tactics
Many honest and reputable solar installers incentivize their sales staff with commissions, so itâs not automatically a red flag if the sales rep youâre meeting with is working hard to make a sale. But high pressure sales tactics are a different matter, and a sign that a company is putting sales volumes ahead of quality.
What are high pressure sales tactics? A good case study is Vivint Solar, which was so bad that they were actually sued by the Attorney General for the state of New Mexico. Here are some examples of things to watch out for:
- Door-to-door or telemarketing sales, especially those that prey on the elderly
- Pushing the customer to go with âno-money-downâ financing schemes
- Encouraging the customer to quickly sign a contract instead of letting them carefully study it on their own
- A company tells you that solar will be great for your home while other companies tell you otherwise
Check out the BBB complaints for the big national installers such as Vivint Solar, Sunrun, and SolarCity to see more examples of bad sales practices.
High quality local solar installers arenât trying to become huge national companies, but prefer to stay local and emphasize high quality work. This is why The Solar Nerd goes with local installers, and will never refer you to the big national companies.
Tips On Choosing A Solar Company For Your Home
If you are ready to install solar panels in your home, first off, congratulations! This is an excellent decision you have made.
There are many benefits of solar energy, like eliminating or reducing your electricity bills, giving you control over the increasing energy costs. It also reduces carbon emissions and improves the value of your home.
If you are ready to reap the benefits of solar energy, then youll be choosing a solar company to help you with the installation. There is an abundance of installers these days and comparing installation fees alone is not the best way to go. In this article, we have a few tips on how to help you in choosing a solar company.
The Manufacturer Has A Good Reputation
Good solar products are provided by well-known manufacturers. If the company that supplies you with solar products is reliable, there is a great chance that the products you receive are made out of high-quality materials.
A well-known manufacturer may also be able to help you with problems and issues that arise with your products.
The better the reputation, the lesser complaints it has received. It is the best option for you to buy products from highly reputed manufacturers.
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What Should I Check In A Quote Before I Buy A Solar Power System
Make sure the installer comes to your house and has a look, before you get the quote. Internet based solar companies quote you for a system over the phone can spell trouble for the install quality, as they cannot truly appreciate the individual set up of your house. Are the tiles brittle ? Where are any surrounding trees, which can cause overshadowing?What about antennas and chimney locations – which in the future through overshadowing can affect the system output significantly? How old is your switch board and does it need upgrading to handle solar? All these questions only become clear through a proper home inspection.
When internet or call centre based solar companies sell you a system they use the one size fits all approach and give you a standard price. They then negotiate with a sub-contract installer to install your system for an agreed price. So the sub-contracted installer holds all the risk should your system requires extra cabling or is a particular labor intensive installation. It is more likely in this situation for the installer to find the quickest way, not necessarily the best way to install the system. Being a sub-contractor to the company that sold you the system, the installer’s relationship with your system is one of “get in and get out as quick as possible”.
A proper, considered quote should include also datasheets of the supplied products. In general make sure your quote includes:
Choosing A Solar Installer: What To Expect
When choosing a solar installer, a consumer can expect a several step process. Important considerations are whether the company has a licensed installer, what the timetable is for installation, insurance, and warranties for the PV system, and whether they are trustworthy. Every state has different licensing requirements that solar installers will have to meet before installing the PV system. For example, Massachusetts and Connecticut both require a solar installer to have an electricians license and Massachusetts requires an additional construction permit. Other states require installers to have a roofing contractors license, such as in Arizona.
Also, solar companies should be transparent about the solar installation process. From choosing a company to the finished product, the process can vary for every site depending on the size of the PV system and the homes unique attributes. The site assessment and design phase can last from anywhere between 1-4 weeks. Then, permitting can be a span of 2-8 weeks depending on the state, which permits are needed, and if the permittee hits any snags in the application process. If the consumer is hooking up their solar panels to the grid, they will go through a local municipal utility and/or government inspection process by an inspector that can take about 2-3 weeks for completion. During this phase, the net meter may be installed. Finally, once all these steps are completed, the solar system can be activated.
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Why Are We The Best Choice For Your Solar Panels
Beacon Solar is dedicated to bringing solar energy closer to your home. As the most trusted solar repair company in Massachusetts, we sell, install, and maintain solar systems. You only have to deal with one contractor for all your solar energy needs.
Our solar panels have been tried and tested for years. We will find the best solar energy system for your home and install it right away. As experts, we know where to place the panels to ensure that they will absorb the most amount of light.
We cater to both residential and commercial energy needs. If you need commercial solar repair in Massachusetts, we are the experts to call. We can repair just about any solar energy system, panels, and other components, regardless if we installed them or not. For our residential solar panel maintenance in Massachusetts, we keep our rates low so every household in Massachusetts can afford the best service.
At Beacon Solar, we are focused on reducing your carbon footprint. Our solar panels will help you cut back on your energy bills while enjoying a clean and renewable source of power. In just a few years, you will save more than the value of your solar system.
For over 12 years, we have been the go-to solar experts in Massachusetts. If youre ready to make the big switch, call us, and we will give you a no-strings-attached quote. We are a local company, so rest assured that the installation will be conducted fast and with the highest standards.
Component #: Solar Inverter
The second main component of a solar power system installation is the inverter. They come in two main flavours:
- A string inverter, which is around the size of a briefcase
- Microinverters, which are around the size of a paperback book.
Microinverters cost more than string inverters, but bring a number of benefits
String inverters go on a wall, and all the solar panels connect to it. Microinverters go on the back of, or underneath/beside, each solar panel.
Theres also a third option power optimizers. These are a hybrid between the two. An optimiser system has both a string inverter on the wall *and* optimisers on each panel.
You can read about the pros and cons of each inverter choice in detail here.
Pro-tip: Never mount a string inverter where it will be in full sun. Choose a shaded spot, a cool garage, or ask the installer to build a simple shade over the inverter. Direct intense sunlight kills inverters because it cooks them and Australias sun is particularly harsh. Installing an inverter where it is exposed to direct sunlight may also void its warrany.
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