ALL ABOUT SOLAR PANELS
SOLAR PANELS F.A.Q
About Solar Technology
How do solar systems work?
When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel. This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow. You can learn here
How long does a solar array last?
As a general rule, solar panels last for about 25-30 years. Solar panels will continue to work for many decades, given they aren’t physically damaged by wind, debris, or any other external factors. This is primarily because solar panels don’t have any moving parts. n general, solar panels are extremely durable. keeping your solar panel system well maintained can lead to a lower degradation rate
How do I decide how big my system should be?
The first step to sizing a home solar system is determining your home’s energy usage as accurately as possible or, in other words, calculating how much energy you use daily. There’s more than one way to do this.. Take a look on this article. We have a section where we explain in detail the correct way to do the calculation
Will my system need maintenance?
Solar panels are designed to withstand weather, including hail and thunderstorms. However, just like your car windscreen can sometimes get damaged by extreme hail, the same can happen to your panels. Poor quality solar panels are particularly susceptible to damage. Our team also offers proactive maintenance service to provide system inspections, performance reporting, and remote monitoring upon request.
What is solar water heating?
Solar water heating systems, or solar thermal systems, use energy from the sun to warm water for storage in a hot water cylinder or thermal store. Solar water heating systems use panels or tubes, called solar collectors, to gather solar energy. The solar collectors convert the infra-red portion of visible light into heat. They are filled with a mix of water and glycol. This fluid is pumped round a circuit, which passes through the hot water cylinder.
Can solar panels be recycled?
That’s right. Did you know you can reuse a solar panel system for reusable energy?. Take a look on this article and learn more about
On what roof materials can solar be installed?
Your choice of materials will make a massive difference in the cost and installation process of a solar system. If you are not sure how to choose the best roof material for solar panels, it is a good idea to request a free quote with us for a piece of advice. You can also read this article where we explain what is the best choice
What if my roof isn’t good for solar?
If your roof isn’t a good fit for solar, you may be able to install a ground-mounted system. For a ground-mounted system, you’ll need to have access to a clearing far away from trees and other objects that cast shadows. Most ground-mounted systems are composed of aluminum and stainless steel racking and are mounted on concrete footings in the ground. You can request a free quote here
What happens when the power goes out?
When the power goes out, most home solar installations are designed to shut down in order to stop them from feeding power back into the very wires that might be the source of the outage. After all, you don’t want your solar panels to be the reason utility workers are injured by live voltage in downed power lines.
How do batteries work with solar?
They have to be large enough to supply power through all year, but not too large that can’t get full charge and ruin batteries. Choosing the right battery bank is a crucial step when you start designing your off-grid system. There are three main types of solar batteries for home: flooded lead acid, sealed lead acid and lithium. The first two have a lower upfront cost, while lithium batteries have the longest lifespan. Learn more about it Batteries for Solar Systems
Can I install solar panels now and add battery storage later?
Yes! This also depends a lot on how much energy you are consuming today at your home or business.
About Installing Solar
Will solar work on my roof?
Should I repair or replace my roof before going solar?
As you can see, your choice of materials will make a massive difference in the cost and installation process of a solar system. If you are not sure how to choose the best roof material for solar panels or if you are not sure about the status of your roof, it is a good idea to ask for a free quote with us.
Do systems come with warranties?
Solar panel manufacturing companies offer a guarantee on their products. Also in South Texas Solar Systems we have the most qualified installers and we always protect your investment. We offer the Panel Guard Warranty wich includes: 1 Free Cleanning Annually. 2 Free Annual Service Calls!
What if my system has problems?
You can always give us a call and ask for a Service Maintenance. Learn more about what services we offer Here
What is the process to get my system permitted?
Because solar permitting is handled by the local municipality, the permitting process will vary based on where you live. Most localities require installers to file for a solar permit, the stipulations of which differ by jurisdiction. Solar permits are in place to ensure that your system is installed safely and follows local code. From a customer perspective, you should not have to file any of the local permits yourself. Your installer should handle all permitting aspects themselves, including submitting the permit application and getting the solar system inspected.
Can I install solar on a mobile, manufactured, or modular home?
Generally speaking, it can be more difficult to install solar on these types of homes. The structural design of the home, the foundation of the home’s site, and local building codes can all prevent a solar system from being installed, regardless of structural integrity.
How can I put solar on my RV camper or van?
Solar panels work in the same way on a mobile vehicle as they work on a home except they are usually not permanently attached to the vehicle or wired into its electrical system. You can buy or make your own portable solar panel system that can be taken down and set up or use small or flexible panels that can be roof mounted. A mobile solar system setup makes sense for owners who do lots of “boondocking” without a nearby power source, but doesn’t make sense if you are primarily at campgrounds with electric hookups nearby.
About Solar Economics
How do I read my electric bill?
Even before you install solar, reading your electric bill can be confusing. There are several charges and different line items to keep straight.
How do I get compensated for the electricity I produce?
Typically, you are compensated for your solar production by net metering. Net Metering allows solar energy generators to offset their energy consumption with their energy production. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you’re using on site, the excess electricity is sent out to the local grid. When this happens, your electric meter runs backwards, crediting you for this contribution. When you’re using more electricity than your system is generating, your electric meter runs forward, pulling the necessary extra electricity from the grid.
What happens if I produce more electricity than I use?
If you produce more energy than you consume on an annual basis, you will be compensated in different ways depending on the state policies in place.
What factors affect system pricing?
Several factors dictate the price of your system, not just the cost of the panels themselves. Other factors include the price of the inverter, racking equipment, and engineering time as well as design, labor, and permitting. Many of these components are soft costs that are not based on the price of physical equipment. Solar United Neighbors aims to reduce these costs so home and business owners can see more savings when going solar.
How much will my solar energy system cost?
There are several factors that impact how much your solar system will cost. These include the size of your system and the equipment you use. Local factors will also influence the cost of solar. These factors include costs for permitting and the local cost of labor.
What are the benefits of owning my system?
Owning a system outright means you purchase the system upfront. This can be done either through a loan or with an upfront cash payment. Owning a system means you will retain the rights to all of the system’s additional incentives. This includes the federal tax credit. Direct ownership of a system makes sense if you are able to pay for the system upfront or are able to take out a loan.
What does it mean to go solar through third party ownership?
Third-party ownership means that a solar company will own and maintain the panels installed on your roof. As the homeowner, you simply purchase the power the panels produce through a power purchase agreement (PPA) or pay a fixed, monthly rate (lease) for the panels.
Will going solar affect my insurance?
A report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that most rooftop solar systems should be covered as part of your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact your insurance company before you install your system to let them know about the addition to your property. You should be sure to verify that solar system replacement costs, don’t exceed your current policy coverage limits in the event of damage.
How will solar affect my home value if I want to sell?
There are many home upgrades that can increase your property’s value. One of the major home improvement projects that have gained popularity in the past decade is installing solar panels. Read here how solar panels boost the value of your property
About Storage Technology
How does battery backup work?
Storing electricity in a battery bank can serve many purposes. In most parts of the country, battery storage for residential homeowners is mainly used to provide backup power during power outages. When the utility grid goes down and you lose electric service, you can use a battery system to power some or all of your household electricity needs (called “loads”). The battery backup system works by isolating certain loads from the main utility system with something called an “automatic transfer switch”. You are then able to power these loads with electricity stored in the battery bank. Read here the recommendation on what batteries you should choose
What’s the difference between battery backup and a generator?
Battery banks in a home serve the same purpose as a traditional generator that runs on diesel, gasoline, propane, or natural gas. Unlike a traditional generator, a battery backup system does not require you to buy and store fuel or rely on fuel delivery during an outage. When paired with a solar array, the battery will be charged with the solar electricity you produce. If you do not pair your batteries with solar, the battery will charge and recharge only from utility-supplied grid electricity. This limits its usefulness for backup power purposes during a utility outage as it will only be able to discharge once before needing the utility grid to be restored for it to recharge.
What are the different kinds of batteries?
There are three main types of solar batteries for home: flooded lead acid, sealed lead acid and lithium. The first two have a lower upfront cost, while lithium batteries have the longest lifespan.
What’s the difference between energy and power?
While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are two different parts of our electricity system. Energy is what the electrical loads in your home consume over time in order to operate. It is measured in Watt-hours (Wh). A thousand watt-hours equals one kilowatt-hour (kWh). It’s the total amount of (electrical) work that can be done, and it’s what we pay for every month on our electric bills.
How do batteries work with solar?
Solar is the perfect partner for battery storage. A properly sized and configured solar system will re-charge your batteries on a daily basis, providing the fuel to keep your battery fully charged and ready for use. Unless you have special inverters which can allow you to use a portion of the array while the sun is shining, without batteries, your solar system will not provide electricity to your home during a power outage. This is because solar systems are required to automatically shut off if the grid goes down.
Are there different ways batteries can connect to my solar array?
When you’re thinking about integrating battery storage and solar, there are two ways to do it: DC coupling and AC coupling.