How Do Solar Panels Work?
The simple answer is, “The sun shines down on your roof and magic happens!”
Can I Really Get Solar Panels for “No Out of Pocket Expense”?
Nope! That would mean that they’re free! Too many companies try to validate this “play on words” by saying, “If the system saves you more on a monthly basis than you pay to own it, is it ‘costing’ you anything?” The answer is no, but that doesn’t actually make it free to buy. You can, however, get it with no upfront costs!
Why Should I Get Solar?
Solar power will help you save money! Plus, it’s great for the environment.
Do Solar Electric Systems Pollute?
Solar electric systems do not pollute. The manufacturing process does (mining, shipping, assembly, etc.). But once manufactured, solar panels produce no waste at all. Once they reach the end of their life, panels are not thrown into landfills (like some people on the Interwebs like to claim); they are recycled.
What Is the Difference Between Solar Thermal Panels and Photovoltaic Panels?
Solar thermal panels heat water directly from the heat of the sun. (Much like a garden hose laying in the yard on a sunny day; open the nozzles and hot water comes out!) Solar photovoltaic panels collect photons from the sun and convert them into and electrical energy through a simple (yet complicated to explain) process. Just ask and we’ll tell you all about it!
Will My Solar Electric System Work on Cloudy or Rainy Days?
Yep! Sure will! Not as well as on sunny days, but they generally will produce about 1/3 to 2/3 their normal production, depending on the severity of the weather.
Will My Solar Electric System Work During Power Outages?
Nope. It’s designed to automatically shut off during a power outage for safety reasons. If the power company linemen or emergency workers (firemen) were to encounter one of these live systems during an outage, it would electrocute them.
How Long Should I Expect My System to Last?
The expected lifespan of a newer system is approximately 35 + years in Arizona, but can be up to 55 years in other, less intensely hot states.
What Kind of Maintenance Does a Solar Electric System Require?
There are no moving parts to lubricate and no fluids to change. The only thing you need to do is check your system monitoring once or twice a month, and “make it rain” on them (with your garden hose from the ground) once a month.
How Do I Know if My System Is Sized Properly?
This is a super important question! Without getting into an extremely complicated answer, it’s as simple as this: if someone is proposing a system that produces more than your annual to kWh usage, it’s too big and they’re trying to earn a bigger commission! Don’t get suckered by someone trying to sell you a system that will “completely wipe out your electric bill, and get you paid for the overproduction.” Biggest rip off in the industry.
What Role Does Panel Efficiency Play in Energy Production?
Nothing. A 325 watt panel produces 325 watts, whether it’s 18% efficient or 22% efficient. Sales reps love to use “efficiency” as a selling point, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t make much difference for the average person.
Does the HOA Need to Approve My Solar Electric System?
No. No matter what anyone ever tells you, the answer is no. Senate Bill 1254 was passed back in 2009, making it so that HOA’s no longer have the right to tell you that you can’t place solar on your property.
How Much Will the System Weigh?
Honestly? Not enough to be concerned about anything.
How Is the System Installed on My Roof?
Utilizing the “Triple Seal Method.” It’s the American Roofers Associations “best practices” methodology for any type of roof penetration. When we’re done, the points of attachments will be sealed better than anything currently on the roof. We’re so confident in our installation process that even though we’re only required by law to cover your roof where we’ve worked for two years, we voluntarily cover it for ten years!
Can I Install a System Myself?
Sure! But it probably won’t work as well as one professionally installed, and you likely won’t get it past the permitting process or get “PTO” (Permission To Operate) from the utility company.
How Durable Are the Panels?
They’re more than durable enough to handle pretty much anything that you or Mother Nature can throw at them.