Will my system still generate power during a blackout?
For the safety of workers attempting to fix power outages, solar systems that are connected to the electrical grid are required by utility regulations to shut off during blackouts. Solar Alliance recommends battery backup or traditional generators in places where blackouts occur regularly.
I'm concerned that there is a problem with my solar panels. What should I do?
If you suspect that there's a problem with your solar system, the best first step is to contact the solar installation company who originally installed the system. They will be the most qualified to troubleshoot the PV system and contact the manufacturer of any equipment that may be malfunctioning.
Is any maintenance needed for my solar PV system? How often should solar panels be cleaned?
With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors such as annual rainfall, roof tilt (some arrays mounted at steep tilt angles in locations with hard rains will somewhat self-clean), and proximity of factors causing dust or debris on the array (such as trees or a frequently-traveled dirt road). It is best to consult your solar installer for a recommended cleaning schedule. Solar Alliance recommends annual servicing to inspect electrical and mechanical connections for cleanliness, tightness, possible damage, and to ensure that the PV system is operating properly. Please see our Cleaning and Maintenance guide for more information.
How many solar panels do I need to offset my electricity consumption?
The number of solar panels required will depend on how much electricity you consume in your house, also what percentage of this electricity is offset and the available solar resource at your site. A great resource for determining system size, annual production and providing a rough estimate of system cost and savings for your given location is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Will I see a difference in my lights or in how my appliances run, like on a generator?
Solar electricity is identical to grid power, so you will never notice that the house is running on solar power. What you will see most importantly will be is a smaller utility bill.
Will my property taxes go up because of solar?
The short answer is - it depends. Most municipalities will not increase your property tax values due to a solar installation, but it's worth checking with your town (or city) hall to be sure. There is a list of municipalities in NH that have specifically opted-out of applying taxes to solar upgrades.
How will my utility bill be different with a solar electric system?
It will be smaller! With solar, your inverter and your household loads are all "behind the meter," meaning that if the sun is out and you are in your house and running loads - say a TV, dryer, and electric stove - your solar-generated power will be consumed without it ever being registered by the utility company. So at the end of the month, your electric bill will say you've exported fewer kWh to the grid than your inverter says you have generated. This is because your home consumed some solar power before it was ever sold to the utility. Though it can be a bit confusing, you can feel good about this situation because every kWh you didn't export, is also a kWh you didn't have to buy! That's putting your photovoltaic system to work.
How will I know if the system is working?
Today nearly all inverters come with built-in monitoring that varies based on manufacturer. By reconciling your production with your electric bill, you can get a good idea what your household's electric load is and how much of a difference the photovoltaic system is making.Every kilowatt of solar array takes about 75 square feet. So a typical 3kw array (twelve panels) will take a roof area about 11′ tall by 20′ wide (two rows of six).We mount solar panels on a purpose-built aluminum rail system that is fastened about every four feet by penetrations into roof rafters. On a standing seam metal roof, these attachments are made directly to the standing seams, with no roof penetrations. On asphalt roofs, each mount is sealed with 50-year Tripolymer Injection Foam sealant to prevent any leaks. We guarantee all roof work will be free from leaks. As for the weight of the array, it is less than 5 pounds per square foot, so a typically framed roof is more than adequate to carry the weight.
Does my roof need to face directly south?
Not necessary. Even more easterly and westerly roof installations are available, especially on shallower roofs. More important than angle is shading most of the time and if your house is covered in trees. Technological improvements such as micro inverters can compensate for shading issues to some extent. The best way to know if your house is solar compatible is to contact us for a Free Solar Orientation.
What are the incentives?
Incentives change periodically. We keep a very close eye on all solar rebates. You may experience a large decrease in your federal tax credit when you file your yearly taxes, and some sort of state rebate that arrives as a check a few weeks after your system is installed. Some companies offer an additional cash incentives for solar power sold as carbon credits on an annual basis.
What are the financial benefits of solar energy?
When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save a ton of money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save will mostly depend on the utility rates and solar policies in your area. Solar energy is a great investment for you regardless of where you live.
How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?
Solar panels absorb all the suns energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. A lot of homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.
Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn't shining?
The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is always dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy or there is no energy at night time. Even if you live in a cloudy city solar system will work great and cut down your high utility costs.
Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?
Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels? Maybe, Maybe not! When asked the "Will I receive an electric bill if I have solar panels" question, I wish I could say yes to everyone, but not every home, family, or business is the same. Each situation can be different when installing solar panels. So, we will need more information to give you the accurate answer. However, if you are fully off the grid, and your solar system includes battery storage, the answer would be yes. You will still receive a utility bill from a company due to battery storage. Although, your bill will be dramatically reduced! We can help cut down the amount you owe, if you do receive an electric bill, to zero dollars, or near zero, with the right solar panel. It is all about matching your energy use. Experts at Solar Alliance can answer more questions you may have and give you a free and personalized in home estimate. Book your appointment today!
What panels do you recommend?
Our favorite panels are hands-down the innovative creations made by Mission Solar. Mission Solar is not only a firm believer that solar technology has the capacity to change our world but they are also trustworthy and locally manufactured right here in San Antonio, TX at Brooks City Base. We pride ourselves in providing our customers with the highest quality products for every installation, that's why we trust and recommend Mission Solar as our top module provider. Read more about this company and what they do by visiting our MISSION SOLAR page under the PRODUCTS tab.