Solar Homes – We Help Homeowners Live Powerfully!
Sacramento is a Great Place for a Solar Home!
As a result of the rise in demand for solar and the supplies available in the Sacramento area prices have decreased to make the city more affordable. At the same time, financing and purchasing options have increased, making solar more of a normal thing. The more you know about your solar choices, and what questions you can ask the more you will be prepared to make the right solar choice.
How Solar Works
Solar electricity is the majority of home solar systems. Through a few hardware components, these devices generate electricity: a panel that converts light from the sun into electricity, and an inverter (or multiple inverters) that transforms the sun’s current into an alternating current that your home can use.
Details to Think About Before Adding Solar to your Home
Before you make this decision, you should determine how much solar you need. Since they have a more competitive price point, many businesses attempt to sell smaller systems than what you need to support the actual energy use.
What Condition is your Roof in?
It should be possible for the solar technician who visits your house to find out if your roof is in sufficient shape for panels, because If your roof needs repairs or is a roof that is likely to have to be replaced in the next five years or so, you should first consider getting such repairs made. That is because for these repairs to occur down the road, you would definitely have to remove the panels off the roof. And then you’ll have to have them re-installed, of course. Many solar companies work with roofing businesses so that you can get any job that needs to be completed at the same time.
Which Direction Does your Roof Face?
Your roof’s angle plays a huge deciding factor in whether or not you are a good candidate for solar. If your roof is facing south or west, then you’re probably a strong candidate. However, with the correct angle, panels mounted on your home’s north or east facing roof could pull in enough electricity.
Did You Know There Are Solar System Warranties?
Typically, solar power systems are a fairly smooth and solid investment, they require limited maintenance and are built to last however, all systems should come with a warranty included in the bid but some companies may not include them without you asking. All warranties are not equal, and you should always ask what the warranty length is and on what equipment.
There are typically two types of warranties; one is an equipment warranty on panels and inverters which ranges from 20-20 years on the panels, 5 to 10 for the inverts, and the other is related to the quality of the installer’s work. i.e. a guarantee that they didn’t make holes in your roof that will lead to leaks. This is normally an average of 10 years.
Example Warranty with Mr. Sunshine Solar
25yr. Product and Performance Warranty “Bumper to Bumper Coverage”
– 25 yr. Panel Warranty
– 25 yr. Inverter Warranty
– 25 yr. Racking System Warranty
The biggest commitment Sunshine makes is to its customers. They operate using the top tier warranties but also have a company committment to transparency, education, and customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW HEAVY IS A SOLAR PANEL?
How heavy are solar panels? This is a common question! On average, solar panels and the mounting equipment weigh 2-4 lbs per square foot (10-20 kg per square meter), which is usually within the acceptable limits of your roof.
WHAT DOES PV STAND FOR IN SOLAR POWER?
Photovoltaics (PV) are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into electricity. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light knocking electrons into a higher state of energy to create electricity.
WHAT IS SOLAR ENERGY?
Solar energy is, simply, the energy provided by the sun. This energy is in the form of solar radiation, which makes the production of solar electricity possible. Electricity can be produced directly from photovoltaic, PV, cells.
HOW CAN WE GET ELECTRICITY FROM THE SUN?
When certain semiconducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.
Sunlight is made up of photons, or particles of solar energy. Photons contain various amounts of energy, corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When this happens, the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the PV cell (which is actually a semiconductor).
With its newfound energy, the electron escapes from its normal position in an atom of the semiconductor material and becomes part of the current in an electrical circuit. By leaving its position, the electron causes a hole to form. Special electrical properties of the PV cell—a built-in electric field—provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load (such as a light bulb).
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE ENOUGH SUNLIGHT FOR PV?
A photovoltaic (PV) system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. Climate is not really a concern, because PV systems are relatively unaffected by severe weather. In fact, some PV modules actually work better in colder weather. Most PV modules are angled to catch the sun’s rays, so any snow that collects on them usually melts quickly. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in California.
HOW BIG A SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM DO I NEED?
The size of solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity or hot water or space heat you use, how, the size of your roof, and how much you’re willing to invest. Also, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact a system designer/installer to determine what type of system would suit your needs.