SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEMS/PHOTOVOLTAICS
SOLAR ELECTRIC ENERGY
Solar Electric Made Simple…
If you are confused or frustrated, as you try to determine if investing in solar is right for you, rest assured that you are not alone!
The hardest step for many consumers is trying to figure out where to start. Our hope is the following guide will help take elevate some of the confusion.
STEP 1. HOW DO I DETERMINE WHAT SIZE I NEED OR WANT?
The best method is to call your utility company and ask for a rolling 12-month period of total kWh’s used. Or you can take your average bill say $150 x 12 months = $1,800 and divide that by your rate say .07 = 25,714 kWh –While not as accurate, it does put you in the ballpark.
You can then take that information and use our calculator tab to determine what size system matches up with your objective I.E. reduce the electric bill by 50%, 80%, etc. and the calculator will also show the potential savings.
How are systems sized and what does 7kW even mean?
# of panels X watts per panel = total watts / 1,000 = kW
26 panels X 300 watts = 7.800 watts / 1,000 = 7.8kW
What is kWh?
kWh is the number of Kilo Watt Hours your system produces based on your areas available sunlight hours. For example: If you put a 300-watt panel in Nome Alaska in the winter it will not produce near the kWh that the same panel will produce in Eastern WA. This is the number you get billed on by your utility.
STEP 2. CALL US!
Call us armed with the information above and a few questions ahead of time and we can come prepared with recommendations for you. We strive to keep our appointments to 20 minutes or less out of respect for our customers’ time, but are always eager to share our knowledge and discuss things in more detail if you wish.
STEP 3. WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT
- Warranty length on panels and Invertors should be minimum of 12 years and preferably 25
- Does the system have online monitoring and is there a fee for that?
- String or micro inverter?
- References to call if you cannot find online referrals you trust
- How many years in business and main office location.
*If the main office is in Seattle and this market slows down what will their support for issues be?
- When can they start and how long is the installation process?
- What incentives, tax credits, or rebates are available to me? Also listed in our FAQ but always ask as these things tend to change.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Grid Tied vs Off Grid:
Grid tied is the most common by far, and it simply means we take the electricity your solar panel produces and we send it into your homes electrical system to offset the power you use from your electric company. This in turn reduces both your dependency on the power company and your electric bill!
Off Grid runs without the benefit of the power company and battery capacity or storage becomes a significant issue for these systems.
Please call us direct if you have additional questions. We are always happy to help!
AND OF COURSE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION…
If I don’t have Bill Gates or Warren Buffet kind of cash flow, how do I pay for this?
How Do I Know My Solar Panels Are Working?
Once your system is installed, you can download an app to your phone will provide you real-time data and details of your solar system. Below is an example of what that may look like: