Most Frequently Asked Questions For Solar

Most Frequently Asked Questions For Solar

Most Frequently Asked Questions For Solar

Solar energy is still a relatively new concept, and the solar industry is constantly growing and developing with the help of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other industries across the world. When customers call for their first time, they often have lots of questions about solar power which we are always more than happy to answer. To help out, we’ve decided to compile a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked daily about our favorite form of renewable energy.

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What is solar energy?

Solar energy is quite literally the energy that is irradiated from the sun, and solar panels capture this energy with photovoltaic cells that will convert sunlight into electricity. Solar energy is the cleanest of all sources of electricity. When sunlight strikes a building with solar panels installed, it can be used to create energy that can be used directly to power the building.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are made up of multiple photovoltaic cells which are what enable sunlight to be transformed into electricity. When the sun’s rays hit the solar pv cells, it allows these particles of light to knock electrons loose from their atoms. This generates an electric current of DC electricity, which then flows into a solar inverter to be converted to AC electricity, the type that is most commonly used by homes and buildings today. The electricity generated is then sent to the breaker box, which will direct the power to the appropriate appliances. 

What happens to excess solar power?

If your solar panels produce electricity that is above your energy usage, one of two things can take place. In many states, you can sell this excess renewable energy back to the electric grid and receive a credit on your next monthly electric bill. This is a benefit of net metering laws.

Solar Batteries

The other way to utilize surplus solar power is to have a battery backup system with solar batteries installed. When solar energy systems generate electricity, the amount that is not used by your home or business can be stored away in these solar batteries for times when your solar PV system is not producing electricity. This will help you to avoid power outages and blackouts, and will also allow you to go off-grid if that is your goal. Solar battery storage is a great investment for those looking to gain complete energy independence.

Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

Most homes and buildings that we come across are able to have rooftop solar systems installed. Even if roofs are oddly shaped or don’t have a ton of space, we are typically able to find a way to make a solar installation work. However, if we determine that your roof is not suitable, whether it be too brittle, too small, covered by shade, or whatever the reason may be, we can install a ground mount system on your property.

How much does a solar installation cost?

Probably the most commonly asked question we get is from people that are concerned about solar power cost. The price of installation will depend on the size of the solar energy system. If we’re looking at a standard 6-kilowatt system, which is typically the starting point for an average home, the cost will be around $11,000 to $16,000. However, keep in mind that there are solar incentives to help reduce these costs and allow you to get a great return on investment.

What is the solar tax credit?

The Federal Government offers incentives to help people go solar and help stop the current climate crisis. In the year 2022, 22% of the cost of your solar installation will be applied as a rebate on your federal taxes. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is literally saving you thousands of dollars right off the bat as soon as your solar system is installed.

How much money do solar panels save?

This is a tough question to give a straight answer for, as it will largely depend on your energy usage and the size of the solar system you install. The goal is for your solar panel system to produce enough electricity to completely offset your energy costs, which in the state of Florida is about $130 a month. Estimates show that you can save anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per year on electricity costs, and of course, this number could be higher or lower based on your electricity demand. 

How long do solar energy systems last? 

Most solar panels typically have a 25-year warranty, which means that the panels will work for at least that long. Inverters and other components in a solar system can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Racking and mounting systems are also designed to last decades, despite harsh weather conditions. Your solar panels will still work even after the warranty, but typically you will start seeing a drop in their efficiency to generate electricity.

How do I know if my home or business is a good candidate for solar energy?

A simple way to tell if you’re likely a good candidate for solar panels is by looking at how many hours of usable sunlight your building gets each day. If we look at any home or business we can determine the exact number of available daylight hours and sun-hours that it has, and then use that data to determine if a solar installation would be worthwhile.

What is net metering? 

The National Electrical Code requires that all homes and businesses have the option of producing their own electricity from renewable sources, such as solar energy systems. When you generate more power from your solar panels than you are using at any given time, the excess energy is put back into the grid and your account with the local utility company is credited. Once you’ve generated more than what you need, then all of that excess energy goes down the line to power other homes and businesses in your area, which is known as net metering.

Can I qualify for a solar loan?

Absolutely! A large majority of our customers utilize solar loans to help them make the switch. These work just like any other type of financial loan and all the funds will be allocated towards your solar panel installation. With a decent credit score, you can finance your solar system and make very affordable monthly installments.

Secured vs unsecured solar loans

When it comes to installing solar power, there are two main types of loans. With a secured solar loan, you will be using your house as collateral. Unsecured loans don’t use your house, instead, you will use your solar panels as collateral. As you can probably imagine, the secured loan offers lower interest rates than the unsecured. 

What are solar power purchase agreements?

A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is an agreement that you sign with a solar company to help them finance, design, install and maintain your solar system. You typically buy the power generated by your panels over 20 years through this agreement, which locks in your electricity costs for years into the future.

How does leasing work?

The way it works for leasing solar is that you borrow the money to finance your system and then lease it from the company that owns it. You’ll typically pay a monthly rental fee for the solar panels, which provides you with tax credits and other benefits. Since there is no upfront cost, most homeowners will qualify for this type of agreement without an issue.

Do I need solar batteries?

There are two ways to store the energy produced by your solar panels – through a battery or through kinetic means. Solar batteries are typically very expensive, so most homeowners in this day and age will use advanced inverters that store power without the use of batteries. Kinetic systems utilize different types of devices to capture solar energy, such as water tanks that raise and lower to store the energy.

What happens if there is a blackout? 

If you have solar panels, they will continue to work during all types of power outages. The only time there would be an issue is if your inverter failed, which isn’t very common with modern technology. Normally, your solar panels will work just as if it’s a bright sunny day.

What happens during high wind/rain storms?

If you have solar panels, they’re sturdy enough to withstand average rain and wind conditions. If you’re worried about what would happen to them in the event of severe weather – these types of events are relatively rare and shouldn’t cause any type of material damage. Everything from the racks to the solar panels themselves is built to withstand harsh winds, high heat, and heavy rain. In fact, rain and wind can actually be beneficial to help clean them off!

Do solar panels work at night?

Solar panels do not produce electricity during the night time, however, your home can still utilize solar power throughout the night. During the day, the solar panels will absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity for use in your home. When nighttime comes around, there is usually a small amount of power stored from your battery or inverter that’s used if you have any appliances running.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

There’s no doubt that solar panels will produce the most energy on sunny days when they are receiving direct sunlight. However, solar panels are still able to generate solar electricity via indirect sunlight as well, similar to how a solar panel works in cold temperatures. Cloudy days aren’t the best for electricity generation, but they’re still good enough to produce an amount that can used or stored.
Is there maintenance required for solar panels?
The only main repair your solar panel installation will require is simply cleaning them from time to time. There are different types of maintenance required based on the type of panels you have, but in most cases, it will only require periodic cleaning after storms or dust settle. You can also take advantage of our annual inspections to make sure everything is working well!

Will solar panels damage my roof?

Your roof should never be subject to damage when you install solar panels, as long as they are being installed by professionals that know what they are doing. That’s why at South Florida Solar Company, we have qualified professional roofers on staff, and they are the only people that lay a hand on your roof. We recommend always hiring trained solar installers and don’t recommend performing the installation yourself.

How many solar panels power a home?

The number of solar panels you’ll need depends on the size of your property, how much energy you use each day, any appliances that require extra power, and whether or not you have a pool. It also will depend on the type of panels you use for your solar power system. It typically takes anywhere from 15 to 25 solar panels to create enough power for most homes, but it’s best to hire an expert who can help you determine the best system for your home.

Will I still receive a bill from the utility company?

Most solar systems are tied to the grid, which allows you to still draw power from the utility company in case your energy needs exceed the amount your solar energy system generates. Even if your panels produce enough solar power to completely offset your electricity costs, you will still receive a bill in the mail. There are typically small monthly service fees to pay in order to stay connected to the grid. If your utility company allows for net metering and you sell enough solar power back to the grid, you can actually end up with a negative electricity bill!

Call South Florida Solar Company To Install Solar Panels

When you’re ready to make the switch to solar energy, call your local experts at South Florida Solar Company. We take care of everything from A-Z. Everything from providing the solar equipment, to the installation and the mount of solar panels, to helping you keep your solar system running efficiently. We are one of the best companies in the solar industry, let us prove to you why and give us a call or fill out a free quote form today!

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