What happens if the power goes out?
During any type of power outage, your PV system will automatically shut down and restart once power has been restored. This shutdown is for safety and is required by law. A battery storage system can be used if back-up power functionality is desired.
How do PV solar cells work?
The creation of electricity using a solar energy system starts with photovoltaic cells, otherwise known as PV cells. These cells include a positive and a negative slice of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. Sunlight that shines onto the PV cell knocks electrons loose from the silicon. Small wires collect these electrons and, when connected in a circuit, an electric current is formed. The electricity formed is direct current (DC) and is led through wires to an inverter. The inverter changes the current to an alternating current (AC) and is then distributed to the existing electrical circuits in your home. At this point, any excess electricity is sent back to the grid (Utility Power) or to a series of batteries.
How are the solar panels mounted to my roof?
We mount the solar panels using only the highest quality solar specific mounting systems. Every mount is thoroughly attached directly to rafters for additional strength. Roof penetrations are sealed and double flashed and backed by our 10-year warranty. All our designs are carefully vetted by a Structural Engineer for wind and snow loading. The systems we use add a nominal load of under 3 lbs/sq ft to your roof.
What is Net Metering?
Net metering is a billing process that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid at the retail rate. It allows you to use the electricity anytime, instead of only when it is generated. This means that a home can generate power during the day from a PV system and get kWh (kilowatt-hours) credited to be used at night or any other time they may need it. Credits are totaled each month by the utility and credits generated in low usage months may be used in higher usage months. In Virginia, residential solar systems are limited to generating enough energy to offset the average annual consumption with a maximum of 20kW.
What happens if I produce more solar energy than I use?
Excess electricity is exported back to the electrical utility company and the kWh’s are credited. You use these credits when your system isn’t producing enough power for your current demand. This is the concept behind Net Metering.
Is there any maintenance required on my PV System?
Your PV System has no moving parts, so it requires virtually no maintenance. In most cases, occasional rain will rinse the dust and pollen off the modules. The system is monitored in real-time using a smartphone app and is capable of notifying us immediately should there be a problem.
What is the warranty on my PV Solar System?
The solar modules are covered by a 12 or 25-year manufacturer product warranty and 25-year performance warranty. The balance of the system (Inverter, optimizers, mounting hardware) is covered by a 12-year warranty. Warranty extension up to 20 or 25-years is available if desired. Our installation is warrantied for 10-years against leaks or other installation related problems.
What happens if I sell my home?
Most home-buyers will be thrilled with the prospect of free electricity. This fact increases the value of your home and provides you in most cases with a much higher return on your investment compared to a kitchen or a bathroom remodel. This is not usually the case with a leased Solar System. Our company does not recommend and does not market leased systems.
Will my PV System work in cloudy weather or at night?
Your PV Solar System will still work even in cloudy weather. If it is mildly overcast, your system may produce about 1/3 to 1/2 as much as it would during bright, sunny conditions. Your solar system does require sunlight to work, so the system will not produce power at night. It’s during these hours that your electric utility company will provide electricity.
What about extreme wind and weather?
We only use the highest quality modules and racking systems that are individually tested, comply with UL-Standards and are built to withstand 115+ mph winds and 1-inch hail.