There are two primary technologies that can harness the sun’s power and turn it into electricity. The first is the one you’re likely most familiar with – photovoltaics, or PV. These are the panels you’ve seen on rooftops or in fields. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow.
The second technology is concentrating solar power, or CSP. It is used primarily in very large power plants and is not appropriate for residential use. This technology uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat, which can then be used to produce electricity.
Solar panels are built to work in all climates, but in some cases, rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If there are trees near your home that create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the most ideal option. The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too. You should also consider the age of your roof and how long until it will need replacement. Ask your Solar Consultant about our new roof and panel package!
We use proprietary software that uses state of the art mapping that will help you determine if your roof is suitable for solar. Contact a solar consultant today and we will provide you with a free quote.
Right now, the best way to install solar is through a qualified professional who holds a certification to do so and works with high-quality solar panels. The industry-standard certification is awarded through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Phenomenal Power works with certified installers so our homeonwers can have peace-of-mind and know that we are fully qualified to get our clients up and running without a hitch.
The amount of money you can save with solar depends upon how much electricity you consume, the size of your solar energy system, if you choose to buy or lease your system, and how much power it is able to generate given the direction your roof faces and how much sunlight hits it. Your savings also depend on the electricity rates set by your utility and how much the utility will compensate you for the excess solar energy you send back to the grid. One of our qualified solar consultants will help you determine your savings.
In some cities around the country, solar is already cost competitive with the electricity sold by your local utility. The cost of going solar has dropped every year since 2009, a trend researchers expect to continue. Not only are the prices of panels dropping, so are the costs associated with installation, such as permitting and inspection—also known as “soft costs.”
It should also be noted that energy efficiency upgrades complement solar energy economically. By using Energy Star appliances and other products in your home, you’ll need less solar energy to power your home.
A solar loans can lower the up-front costs of the system. In most cases, monthly loan payments are smaller than a typical energy bill, which will help you save money from the start. Solar loans function the same way as home improvement loans. Buying a solar energy system makes you eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, which is a 26 percent federal tax credit on your system that is available through 2022. Learn more about the ITC.
Buying a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. A recent study found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without. In 2008, California homes with energy efficient features and PV were found to sell faster than homes that consume more energy. Keep in mind, these studies focused on homeowner-owned solar arrays.
Absolutely! All solar panels meet international inspection and testing standards, and a qualified installer will install them to meet local building, fire, and electrical codes. Also, your solar energy system will undergo a thorough inspection from a certified electrician as part of the installation process.
Using solar power instead of conventional forms of energy reduces the amount of carbon and other pollutants that are emitted into the environment. Reducing the amount of carbon in our atmosphere translates into less pollution and cleaner air and water.