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Solar FAQS
Q.Where can Solar Power be used?

Solar Power can be used in Residential, Commercial or Utility scale projects. It can be used to offset your entire electric bill or eliminate peak demand utility charges. 

Q.What do I have to do to use Solar Power in my home or business?

Request a free initial site survey of your property to verify if your home or business is a good candidate for a solar power system. Installation of a system generally includes installation of solar panels, wirings, inverters and monitoring. 

Q.What happens to my Utility Bill?

Depending on the size of the solar power system, your utility bill can be offset by up to 99%; most utility companies charge a minimal rental fee which you would still have to pay. 

Q.Can I install a Solar Power system that will produce more than my yearly consumption?

This depends upon the state in which you are installing the system. Several states have laws that prevent you from installing a system that will produce more power than your yearly consumption. For example, New Jersey does not allow you to install a system that would produce more than your consumption but does not prevent you from installing a system that gives you a 100% of your consumption and reducing your yearly consumption which indirectly allows you to produce more than you consume. State and utilities generally require you to provide the last 12 months of electric bills or in the case of no prior history such as a new home, a line item breakdown of all the appliances that will be used in the home. Using these numbers they can determine what size system would give you 100% capacity. 

Q.What is Net Metering?

Several states in the US have laws in the US that require utilities to track both production and consumption of power at a customer site. When you install a solar power system the utility changes your meter and installs a bi-directional meter. This meter tracks the excess power produced during the day time and the consumption of power from the grid during night, and gives you a kWh for kWh credit. For example, if your solar power system produces 75 excess kilowatt hours during the day the meter will track this excess and give you a credit for what you consumed during the night that your system does not produce. 

Q.What kinds of systems/technologies are available?

Solar energy falls into two main categories; these are solar photovoltaic and solar thermal. Solar photovoltaics are also known as solar power systems. The three main commercially available solar power technologies are thin film, poly-crystalline and mono-crystalline. Thin film solutions are low efficiency and low cost solutions, more suitable for large utility scale projects (approx. 6-10% panel efficiency). Poly-crystalline solutions are mid efficiency solutions with panel efficiencies ranging from 11-15%. 

Q.What kind of maintenance is needed?

Solar power systems, if installed correctly, require minimal maintenance. There are no moving parts. And most high quality panels have a life expectancy of 25-40 years and high quality inverters have a life expectancy of 10-15 yrs. 

Q.What size Solar Power system do I need?

The size of the solar power system needed is directly related to your consumption and budget. In addition to this, the amount of roof or ground space you have available to hold the system will determine the percentage of your capacity you can fulfill. 

Q.What is the importance of Solar Panel efficiency when choosing a Solar Power system?

The amount of space required to install a solar power system is directly related to the efficiency of the panels. The higher the efficiency of the panels the less square footage of roof or ground is required it to install the same DC wattage of solar power. For example, a system that utilizes 19.5% efficiency requires approx. 30% less space to install a system of the same size using 13.65% efficiency panels or another way to look at this is if you utilize panels that are 19.5% efficient you would be able to install approx. 30% greater capacity in the same space as a less efficient (13.65% efficiency) panel. 

Q.How reliable is Solar Power?

Solar power is an extremely reliable source of energy. Solar technologies have been in existence for several decades and there are systems in production that have been producing power for the last 25+ years. 

Q.When is my Solar Power system producing power?

A solar power system produces power when it is exposed to sunlight. Depending upon how a solar system is engineered, a solar panel system will turn on at sunrise and turn off at sunset. The intensity of sunlight falling upon the solar panels determines the amount of power produced by the solar power system. 

Q.What are On-Grid, Off-Grid and Battery back-up systems?

On-grid solar power systems are systems that are connected to the utility grid. They provide power only during the day when the sun is shining. Off-grid solutions are solar power systems that are not connected to the utility and again, will provide power during the day when the sun is shining. Battery backup systems are generally used in conjunction with off-grid solar power systems where battery banks are used to provide power when the solar power system is not producing any energy or power such as at night. 

Q.What happens if I lose Utility power?

If you have an on-grid solar power system your system is required by law to turn itself off if you lose utility power. It will turn itself back on once utility power is restored. An off-grid power system will continue to run during the day if you lose utility power. 

Q.What happens during the night or on cloudy days?

During the night the solar power system does not produce any power. This is the primary reason why an on-grid solution relies on the utility grid and Net Metering laws to provide supplemental power during the night or when the sun is not shining. On cloudy days a solar power system will still produce power but at a diminished rate. An on-grid solar power system will use power from the utility grid to supplement the power produced by the solar power system. 
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Eason Zhong

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