Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does solar work?

Solar electricity works exactly the same as the electricity you buy from the utility company. You turn on lights, plug in lamps and power appliances the same way you do right now. In fact, if you didn't see solar modules on the roof, you'd never notice any difference—except a lower electric bill. While the science of converting sunshine into electricity is complex, the idea is pretty simple. Solar electricity is generated by a group of solar modules called an array that's installed on your roof or in your yard. When sunlight falls on the solar modules, a DC electrical current is created instantly. The DC electricity is fed into an inverter that changes it to standard AC electricity—the same kind your home already uses. According to the American Solar Energy Society, the amount of sunlight hitting the earth in just one hour is enough to provide the world's energy needs for an entire year.

 

2. How do I know if solar will work on my home?

We offer more than one way to go solar. With so many options to choose from, you can decide what's right for your home and your family. Much of the decision is based on the amount of roof space you have and which direction your home faces. South-facing roofs produce the highest annual output; however, east- and west-facing roofs can also harvest good results. It is important that your system will not be shaded by trees, buildings or other obstacles for long periods throughout the day.

 

3. Does solar work on cloudy days?

Yes, solar modules produce electricity on cloudy days, it is just less electricity. If the solar modules are completely covered in snow, they will not produce electricity. As a rule of thumb, if there is enough sunlight to cast a shadow, then solar panels can produce electricity. Of course, in areas where there is abundant sunshine—like California—a smaller solar electricity system will provide as much power as a larger system located in Maine or Washington. But, solar works just about anywhere and makes a difference on your utility bills.

 

4. Are solar modules dangerous?

All the modules that we use are UL 1703 certified and hold a Fire Rating of Class C. Solar systems should be installed by a certified solar installer, which will include work done by a licensed electrician.

 

5. How long does it take to install a solar system?

It takes approximately 1 month for the average residential rooftop system to be installed. One should expect 2 - 3 months for the entire process, which includes everything from a site evaluation to the switch being turned on.

 

6. Will a solar installation ruin my roof?

Green Power Industrial solar residential system creates a new dimension in solar aesthetics and reliability. Its clean, elegant appearance blends beautifully with rooflines, and sleek front, top and side trim covers improve water channeling and decrease wind drag. Custom-engineered tile attachments and ultra low-profile sliders atop hidden butyl sealant pads provide superior water protection. We performed extensive testing to ensure that water leakage is not an issue when our Solar Generation system is used on residential roofs. Our system has special sealant pads that instantly create a waterproof seal at all roof penetrations. A black silicone caulking is then added for additional protection.

 

7. How does using solar electricity help the environment?

Does solar help offset climate change? Coal-fired electrical power plants are responsible for 72% of all sulfur dioxide emissions in the U.S. On the other hand, solar electricity produces absolutely no pollution. One million homes going solar would result in a carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 4.3 million tons per year! That's the equivalent of removing 850,000 cars from the road. By using more solar electricity, fewer greenhouse gas-producing power plants need to be built. This is one major step to reducing climate change.

 

8. What if there is a black out, will I have power?

If you have a typical residential system, they you will lose power during a black out. This is due to safety precautions. Electrical workers need to know if electricity is running through power lines when working. If they believe there isn't electricity in the lines, because of the blackout, but your system is adding electricity to the grid, this could cause safety issues. You can still produce electricity when there is a black out if you have a battery back up system. Batteries add a significant cost of the overall system. Installing a battery back up system is not necessary unless you are in an area with severe black out issues, or intend not to connect to the utility.

 

9. How big of a solar system do I need?

The size of your system depends on how much electricity your household uses on a regular basis. You can figure this out by looking at the last 12 months of electric usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) on your utility bills. The most efficient use of your money is to offset your highest rates if you pay based on a tiered rate schedule. Instead of attempting to offset 100% of you’re your use, you may consider offsetting a portion of your consumption.

 

10. Is there maintenance required to keep a solar system operational?

Occasionally, a solar array should be rinsed off with a hose to clear the dust or debris that blocks sunlight and reduces efficiency. That’s about all that's required.

 

11. How do I get electricity at night?

Can my solar system store energy for use at night? While sunlight is required for solar modules to create electricity, your home will draw power from the utility grid during nighttime hours, unless you have a battery backup system for your home. While batteries are helpful during blackouts, this option is really only necessary for remote homes and cabins that are not connected to the utility grid.