Your most common questions, answered.
Q: What are the advantages of using solar over other renewable energy sources?
A: Since solar has no moving parts and the modules last for 30+ years, it is one of the best renewable sources for generating energy. Solar PV systems can often be easily expanded as your energy needs change, require little to no maintenance and are extremely durable. Especially with the implementation costs of solar PV continually decreasing, coupled with the projected costs of conventional energy in the future, solar PV can be approached as a fixed cost solution. The payback period depends on many factors and in most cases is less than 10 years. In addition, companies can rely less on energy dependencies and fossil fuels to provide them with energy. Solar PV is good for the environment and a safe way to provide your facility with clean energy.
Q: How reliable is solar power?
A: PV systems built today are very reliable. They have proven to be dependable sources of energy for large office buildings, mass retailers and governmental agencies, supplying megawatts of energy. Some of the largest companies in the world have buildings powered by solar energy, including Google, eBay, WalMart, and the US Air Force. Solential has incredible high quality standards and only use best equipment.
Q: How can solar Photovoltaic (PV) deployed at my business?
A: There are three ways to deploy solar PV. The majority of solar PV is deployed with ground-mount systems. The second option is if adequate roof space is available. And finally, deploying solar PV integrated into solar carport canopies. We are happy to provide the first step of a preliminary assessment of your facility. [Contact us]
Q: Will I need to adapt my business to run on solar power?
A: No. Solar PV electric systems fit seamlessly into your building. You won't have to buy new appliances or change your electrical outlets; everything will work just the same as it did before. You should experience no practical changes.
Q: Should I wait for new technology?
A: No, now is really the best time to invest in a PV system with the combination of technology and cost. The underlying benefit of turning sunlight into electricity will not change for as long as we still use electricity to power our homes and businesses. Solential offers multiple energy solutions to our customers. We continue to evaluate new technology and will offer it to our customers as it becomes a reliable and cost effective option.
The other key component in evaluating the right time to install solar is government incentives. Federal and state governments are currently offering incentives to go solar; however, these programs are designed to reward early adopters of solar power, so the rebate amount per project continues to drop as the allotted funds are consumed.
Q: What size PV system do I need?
A: Every situation is different, so the size of your system will depend on your energy need and available space in order to achieve your energy goals. Solential can provide you with a preliminary assessment to custom design an energy solution that fulfills your need.
Q: What maintenance is required?
A: Your PV system requires very little maintenance, largely because it has no moving parts. All your system requires is minimal to no shade, occasional cleaning and inspection. Our SolView Asset Management — a software suite that monitors your system's real-time performance — allows us to proactively measure your system's performance across the life of the asset.
Q: Do I need a battery back-up system?
A: Depending on the type of system that you desire, there are many options to incorporate batteries and a battery back-up is just one of the options. The Solential team is ready to make a tailored system to your specific needs.
Q: What happens when the weather turns cloudy, or at night?
A: Since the amount of power your PV system generates is a direct result of sunlight, it will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy. Your system will not produce any energy at night. Your Solential PV system can be interconnected to your local utility grid, so that you can automatically begin to draw power from the grid whenever you need it.
Q: What happens if there is a black out?
A: In the event of a black out, your system is designed to turn off. This is a safety requirement by the utility company so that their technicians can safely repair down electrical lines. Should you decide to use a battery-backed system, you will have a minimal amount of time without power while your backup system starts up.
Q: How long will a PV system last?
A: Most of the parts on your PV system, such as solar panels, carry manufacturer's warranties of 25-30 years; other parts, such as inverters, carry 10-20 year warranties. Most PV systems far outlast their warranties; many of the first PV systems installed more than 30 years ago are still going strong.
Q: Is it difficult to switch over to solar power?
A: No. Solential makes it easy to switch to solar. We will get your PV system up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible so that you can start saving money and using clean energy. You won't experience any changes inside business.
Q: How long will it take to get my new PV system up and running?
A: A typical solar panel installation takes about 1-3 weeks from the day we begin the installation. The length of time depends on the complexity of your roof and the number of panels that will be installed. The estimated installation time will be included in the design proposal presented to you by Solential.
Q: What kind of permits are needed to meet local building codes?
A: As part of our comprehensive service, Solential will obtain all building permits and design your system to meet your local building codes. We’ll arrange the electrical, building and utility inspections and be on-site to make sure that everything is up to code. Solential takes care of your project every step of the way.
Q: What if my roof needs repairs after I've installed solar panels?
A: Ideally, you should install solar panels on a roof that is in good condition. When a Solential site auditor comes out to inspect your building prior to installation, he or she will check to make sure that your roof is suitable for a solar installation. We partner with AAA Roofing to ensure the roof integrity is in place and will remain so even after installation. If you should ever need to make repairs on the roof, the solar panels will need to be removed and re-installed. Solential offers this service for a reasonable fee.
Q: Does a PV system make financial sense for my company?
A: Absolutely! Solar is cleaner and less expensive than power from the utility company. Solar is a smart financial investment because you will save money on electrical costs for years to come and increase your property value. Our customers who purchase their system typically see a strong Return on Investment (ROI) and expect to recoup their PV system investment within 5-10 years. Depending on the rebates and incentives offered in your area, you may be able to pay back your system even sooner.
Q: Will the government really give rebates and tax incentives for going solar?
A: The incentives and rebates are available. Local, state and federal governments offer tremendous financial incentives for businesses to choose solar. A combination of incentives and tax credits can cover up to 50% of the total cost! The most important thing to keep in mind about these governmental programs is this—they won't last forever. Now is the time to take advantage of the federal and state mandate to switch to renewable sources of energy; once the adoption rate reaches a certain level, the incentives will disappear.
Q: Is now a good time to buy a PV system?
A: Now is the perfect time to switch to solar. Federal, state and local governments are offering generous rebates and incentives to go solar; however, these programs are designed to reward early adopters of solar power, so the rebate amount per project continues to drop as the allotted funds are consumed. In additions, solar can dramatically reduce your utility bill and will protect you from rising utility rates for years to come.
Q: Will solar energy work in my area?
A: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has put together a group of maps showing the amount of solar available for the United States. The U.S. fares better against Spain and Germany, two leaders in solar PV systems in the world today with a comparison map.
Q: What happens when it snows?
A: Sun can penetrate light snow and the panels will heat up with the sun's rays to melt the snow. Heavier snow can be removed with a squeegee or panel-safe pole.
Q: What is a power purchase agreement (PPA)?
A: A PPA is a contract between two parties, one that sells the energy from the solar PV system and one who buys. Often, the one who buys provides the location for the solar PV system and has the option at a future date to purchase the system outright. The advantage is there is no upfront cash outlay for the organization providing the location and purchasing the energy.
Q: How Much CO2 and Pollution Does PV Avoid?
A: An average U.S. household uses 830 kWh of electricity per month. On average, producing 1,000 kWh of electricity with solar power reduces emissions by nearly 8 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 5 pounds of nitrogen oxides, and more than 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide. During its projected 28 years of clean energy production, a rooftop system with a 2-year energy payback and meeting half of a household’s electricity use would avoid conventional electrical-plant emissions of more than half a ton of sulfur dioxide, one-third a ton of nitrogen oxides, and 100 tons of carbon dioxide (see Figure 2). PV is clearly a wise energy investment that affords impressive environmental benefits.
Q: What is a “grid-tie” PV system?
A: Many states allow you to connect your PV directly into the wires of the utility. These laws essentially allow you to spin your meter backwards when your system is generating more power than you are consuming. When you generate excess electricity (more power than you are using) it will enter the grid and be used by your neighbors. Your meter will tally the excess and give credit your account.
Q: What is Net Metering?
A: Utilities that have a Net-Metering Program allow customers to “sell” clean solar generated electricity to the utility at the same price at which it was purchased. This is fundamental to the economics of generating your own power and has been instrumental in the development of Distributed Generation (DG) of power. Without Net Metering, the utility would, as it has in the past, sell energy to you at retail but buy any energy from you at wholesale pricing. This is a huge benefit to anybody owning the property now and in the future as there are only a limited of Net Metered systems being allowed in any utility’s territory.
Q: Where can I get more information about solar PV?
A: Give us a call at 888-430-7508 or email us here and we will be happy to talk with you or send you some information packets. We are looking forward to giving you a custom solar PV system that you will be proud to be a part of.
Q: What is the process of getting a PV system installed and operating?
A. After contacting our team, we will set up a consultation to review aspects such as site location, energy usage and system size options. Once a complete review has been completed, the client will be presented with a system overview and financial analysis. Solential will begin the process of obtaining permits and equipment and perparing site location. Installation will commence and the length will vary between a few days and a few weeks depending on the size of the system. After testing all equipment, Solential's team will be ready to turn on the system. Using SolView Monitoring, the client can begin observing their system's output.
Q: Can panel be installed in high-wind locations?
A. Solential will only install panels that are able to survive the toughest of weather. We will review each location and choose equipment that is suitable for the region and application.
Q: How much will I save by installing a PV system?
A. Savings will vary greatly depending on many factors:
- Buildings energy consumption
- Regional energy costs
- System size
- Net-metering or PPA contracts
Contact Solential today to schedule a consultation!
Q: Can I add on to my solar PV system?
A. It is always possible to expand your PV system. We have found that once our clients install solar, they are very interested in expanding their systems. After some minor adjustments to equipment, solar panels can be easily added to increase the electricity production of the current system.