Unlike power from a wind turbine or even a power plant, solar panels don’t seem to have any moving parts -- so how exactly is that energy being produced?
The simple answer is that solar panels are made up of silicon and conductive metals, which form an electric field. When sunlight hits, the solar energy shakes electrons in the silicon out of their “natural” state, while a circuit attached to the panel is able to generate a current out of those electrons’ desire to return to their original positions within the panel.
Photovoltaic panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt. If you live in an area with a strong net metering policy, energy generated by your panels during sunny hours will offset energy that you use at night and other times when your system isn't operating at full capacity.
There is a 30-percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy systems in place until December 31st, 2019. Both residential and commercial customers can take advantage of this tax credit, and it applies to all three major types of solar technology; photovoltaic, solar heating & cooling, and concentrating solar technology.
In addition to the federal ITC, many states, counties, municipalities and utilities offer rebates or other incentives for solar energy technologies. Your HomePro Solutions advisor will be able to provide the most up-to-date information on solar incentives.
Our HomePro Solutions typical residential solar power job takes us about 4-6 hours of installation time. We typically send two technicians, so most jobs are completed in 1 day. That said, our installation queue is typically 2-3 weeks out, sometimes longer, so contact us as soon before you pay another month of those high summer utility bills.
So depending on the finance option chosen and your current electric monthly bill, a lot of people saw solar “pays for itself”. The reality is that you are generally saving a pretty good chunk of change every month, and instead of paying for the high cost of electricity for your home you are now paying for the cost of the solar panels that are producing the electricity you need. So with that in mind over time your solar system will indeed pay for itself based on you reallocating the funds you normally send your utility provider to pay for your solar system.
Simply put – the sooner you get solar, the sooner you will enjoy its benefits! If you wait for some unproven technology down the road, you will have missed the opportunity to generate your own power now. Solar is like saving for retirement – the sooner you start doing it, the better.
In Northern California the ideal roof orientation is south facing, but with technological improvements such as optimizers you can compensate for shading issues to some extent. The best way to know for certain if your roof is viable for solar is to contact HomePro Solutions for a free solar evaluation.
That varies from home to home there is no “standard package” and is based on energy usage, solar exposure, and a few other factors. For an exact design, speak to one of our HomePro Solutions advisors.
As people have converted more aspects of their life to solar (e.g. running heating, cooling, and electric cars) the number of panels we install in the typical system has increased as well. In 2018, the average # of panels installed for residential systems was 25.
Today nearly all inverters come with built-in monitoring that varies based on manufacturer. By reconciling your production with your electric bill, you can get a good idea what your household’s electric load is and how much of a difference the photovoltaic system is making.
Our HomePro Solutions solar advisors design your system to meet your yearly electric use, using the best weather-data available from government sources (NREL) as well as our proprietary data-set, having built and monitored 100s of solar arrays across Northern California our design process is based around annual production, not seasonal, so naturally solar panels produce more in the summer and less in the winter. While the build-up of dust and pollen can affect panel efficiency, panels also clear easily (their surfaces are made of hardened glass) so with the typical rainfall in California washing the panels yourself is only necessary if you notice a pretty decent layer of dust on them.
When the power goes out, so does your solar array. So, nothing changes in that regard. Luckily most power companies have most households back up pretty quickly by re-routing power from their network of power plants on their grid. Typical power outages last only seconds, with the more lengthy ones closer to 20-30 min.
HomePro Solutions chooses among a variety of top manufacturers depending on the application. Currently the vast majority of systems we install use SolarEdge inverter technology, they offer at least a 25-year warranty.
In California it depends on how much electricity you are currently using and potentially the configuration of the panels on your roof. Most homeowners not on a discounted rate plan save 30-50% off of their current electric bill. A HomePro advisor will gladly go over the savings you will achieve with you.
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