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Frequently Asked Questions
 
1. Why go solar?

There has never been a better time than now to go solar.With state federal and local incentives, you can purchase your system for 50% off.The money you save monthly and the sale of  your RECs would in some cases be more than your payment (if you decided to finance your project). Then it's all  for profit. Solar thermal systems to heat pools saves money and increases enjoyment. Solar powered hot water heaters save money as well. Renewable energy in all forms is good for the future of the Earth.It also really feels great that you are actually producing your own power.

2. Are there financial incentives for “going solar” and making solar electricity?

Absolutely.Both Maryland and Delaware are great states to "go solar". both governments are aggressive in pursuing renewable energy in their states. You will also get a 30% federal tax credit. So between federal and state incentives you will save between 40-60 % off your entire price. You can also sell your SRECs (solar renewable energy credits) at the end of each month . Depending on how much energy your system produces this can be quite significant. . We want you to know that we will handle all state grant applications. We will also help you handle the selling of your SRECs .Please call for more details on SRECs.

3. What will solar energy cost me, if I want to use solar panels to help power my home?

We charge on average $8.00 / watt.  So a 4kw solar system would cost about $32,000 . Now this price is before all federal and state grants and initiatives. So final price would be around $15,000-18,000. Please call us and we can set up a free cost analysis because each project is different. The money saved on utility bills and the sale of your SRECs will compensate for the monthly payment of a loan. Then once the loan is paid off , it will be all profit. Imagine what the utility bills will be like in 10-20 years, so you can imagine the money you will be saving

4. If I sell my property, what effect does a solar panel system have on the sale price?

It will increase your property’s value. A general “rule-of-thumb” is that your value will increase $20,000 for every $1,000 saved per year as a result of the installation of your solar panel system. It is a great home improvement.

 5. Can I get financing to help buy my new solar power system?

Yes, there are several financing options available. You should be able to get financing. You should investigate lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) options as well. With solar leases and PPA’s, you, in effect, purchase solar power generated by the PV solar panel system that someone else invests in. Maryland is also working on a low finance rate plan that would be incorporated on your property tax. For commercial projects the federal government has a special financing option available. Please contact us. We can help.

6. How much solar electric power do I need to power my home?

How much is your electric bill? Each family will have different needs depending on when the home was built, how large it is, what appliances are used, the family’s lifestyle, etc. All of these things can be reviewed and modified, but the starting point will be to look at your current electrical bills.Then you will want to decide how much of your bill you will want to cover by going solar. After reviewing your bill and your home/business we can give you four different scenerios of  25,50,75 and 100 % of your energy bill. This will give you four different sized and priced systems.

7. How much power does the solar panel system produce?

Solar panels systems can generate as little or as much power as you want. Systems are specifically designed to meet the needs of the home owner. They can provide a portion or all of the electricity required and can be expanded in the future, if necessary. Each site is different. When we give you our cost analysis, this will give you a better idea of the amount of power a system will produce.

8. How many PV solar panels will my house need?

The answer depends on a number of factors, including the type of project, the extent of the current electricity bill to be covered, the level of the monthly electricity bill, the extent of your peak electrical needs, the physical layout of your site, your budget and whether other forms of renewable energy are to be included in your project. The average house will require 3 kW to 5kW of power to be generated.There are 5 panels per 1kw.

9. How much space does the solar power system need?

A typical 4kw residential system would use about 340 sq. feet of roof space. Roughly 80-90 sq.ft./kw

10.  Do the solar panels need to be mounted on my roof?

This is by far the most common place for solar panels to be mounted, but they can also be mounted on the ground. There are many good reasons for some to consider ground-mounted, including too much shade or limited available roof space. Roof solar panels are the most common residential PV solar power systems.

11. Do the PV solar panels need to face south?

In the United States, having the solar panels facing south is the best, since the sun travels on that side of your home, at different angles throughout the year. PV solar panels facing east or west will still generate a high percentage of power. The design of your home and its roof angles should ultimately provide the answer to this question.

12. Can I start with a small solar panel system and later add more panels?

PV solar panel systems are designed to easily expand, provided you have adequate space. Solar power micro-inverters has made the strategy of starting with a small solar panel system and gradually expanding to a larger solar power system even more practical.

13. How long does it take to install a PV solar power system?

This depends on the size and complexity of your system, but generally a residential roof-mounted PV solar panel system will take between two to five days to install. A ground-mounted solar power system or a system with batteries will generally take longer. Commercial solar power systems usually take weeks or more than a month, depending upon size and complexity.

14. How long will the solar power system last?

PV solar panels have a twenty-five year manufacturer’s warranty, but will last longer than that. In some cases, solar panels have been known to last for 60 years. The remainder of the solar power system will have shorter economic lives and warranties. Solar power inverters come with up to a ten year manufacturer’s warranty. Most other parts of the system will be warranted for five years.

15. Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?

Since the solar panel system will last more than twenty-five years, it is important that your roof be in pretty good condition. Most solar panel installations do not require a new roof. Once the solar panels are installed, the wear-and-tear of the roof underneath is pretty well protected.

16. Do  I need batteries with the solar power system?

Most people do not use batteries in their solar panel system, as doing so increases complexity and cost of system and its design. Without batteries, the system has no way to store power. For safety reasons, the solar panel system cannot generate electricity without an electric utility in operation.

17. What happens when the utility has a power outage?

A solar power system without batteries will not generate electricity at all when the utility service is not operational. A battery system can be added to overcome this limitation, but doing so increases the complexity and cost. Most people do not use batteries in their PV solar panel system and find that occasional power outages are tolerable.The system will automatically stop producing power for the safety of the power company workers.

18. What is Net Metering?

“Net metering” is a regulatory term that describes the ability for a utility customer to get monetary credit for solar electricity that you generate and send back to the utility company. It is measured through your utility meter. The rules vary, depending on where you live. Under net metering, you can generate excess electricity during the day and use it at night, without using batteries. Your meter will actually spin backwards when producing more power than what you are using.

19. What happens if the PV solar panels are shaded?

Any amount of shade will significantly reduce the output of your photovoltaic solar panel system. The PV solar panels should be installed where they will get direct sunlight. Good design, engineering and equipment will assure that your solar power system operates as optimally as possible. During our site survey we will determine the best place for your solar array.

20. Do I need to clean the solar panels periodically?

Generally, rain will do this for you. Because of this, most people do not clean their panels. However, solar panel systems located in dusty areas will benefit by being cleaned periodically. A stream of water from a hose is usually a sufficient way to do this. There are a few “don’ts” to remember in cleaning your panels: don’t walk on them or over them, don’t spray water on them when they are very hot, and don’t use metal, hard or abrasive materials to clean them.

21. Are the panels fragile?

No. The solar panels are made to withstand hail and extreme temperatures. They are made of tempered glass. Because they are made of glass, no cold water on them when they are hot.

22. How do photovoltaics work?

Sunlight is made of photons, small particles of energy. These photons are absorbed by and pass through the material of a solar cell or solar photovoltaic panel. The photons ‘agitate’ the electrons found in the material of the photovoltaic cell. As they begin to move (or are dislodged), these are ‘routed’ into a current. This, technically, is electricity – the movement of electrons along a path. Wire conducts these electrons, either to batteries or to the regular electrical system of the house, to be used by appliances and other household electrical items. In many solar power systems, the battery stores energy for later use. This is especially true when the sun is shining strongly. Photovoltaic energy is the most promising and popular form of solar power. With solar photovoltaics, sunlight is actually converted into electricity. This is very different from a conventional understanding of solar power as only a way of heating water. Photovoltaic is now the biggest usage of solar energy around the world.  It can be used to power homes and RVs, calculators and street lights or as a part of a grid generation system.

23. What are the components of a photovoltaic solar panel system?

A basic solar panel system is comprised primarily of photovoltaic solar panels, solar mounts and an inverter. A solar power inverter converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). AC is the standard form of electricity available when you plug an alliance into a wall socket. In addition, a PV solar panel system might also include solar batteries, charge controllers, grid-tie-inverters, solar panel mounts and solar panel tracking. We use top quality components for every project no matter what the size

24. What is “Grid-inter-tied” solar energy?

Due to increasing government incentives and rising costs of electricity, buying a home solar electricity system that is inter-tied with the electrical utility grid in your area is becoming increasingly viable and popular. A grid interconnected solar power system is one that adds your array of solar panels onto the existing source of electricity provided by the utility in your area. With this system, your solar panels are connected to the “normal” source of electricity (the breaker panel) at your home. This type of system will be comprised of the normal components of a solar panel system, plus it will require an array DC disconnect device, an AC breaker panel, a kilowatt hour meter and a utility disconnect.

25. What is solar thermal?

Solar thermal systems will save on both gas and electricity costs (it can easily save you $1,000 per year or more). Solar thermal water heating systems collect the sun’s energy in the form of thermal or heat energy. Solar thermal is considered one of the most cost-effective energy systems. With this system, the sun does most of the work to heat water in your house or in your swimming pool.This a very efficient system at an affordable cost compared to other hot water systems.
 
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