What a Homeowner Should Know Before Getting a Solar Panel Installation Part 4

Jessica PirroJanuary 20, 2020 4455 1

When it comes to solar power there’s going to be a lot of information floating around, and the information can be helpful to homeowners when they are deciding if they should get a solar panel installation. Here is some more information homeowners should know when it comes to installing a solar power system.

What a Homeowner Should Know Before Getting a Solar Panel Installation Part 4

Check out part 1, part 2 and part 3 for more in-depth information about solar power systems.

How Does an Off-Grid Solar Power System Work?

Most homeowners have the common misconceptions that when you install solar panels, you are going off the grid. With a true off-grid solar power system, your home is not going to be connected to a utility company’s electric grid. You would produce all of the electricity that your home and family needs through your solar power system during the day, while you have solar batteries to store the excess solar power that your solar panels are producing, to power your home throughout the night. If you want to maintain the average family’s lifestyle, this is going to mean a larger financial investment.

Also, if your home is already connected to the grid, or if a new home can easily connect to the gird, an off-grid solar power system isn’t going to offer you any practical benefits. It is going to be a lot less expensive and less complicated to reach annual net-zero energy usage by investing in solar power and still maintaining your connection to the utility grid as a secondary source of power.

Energy independence and reaching net-zero electricity are still going to be achievable, most professionals in the solar power industry aren’t going recommend getting an off-grid solar power system unless it is necessary.

Alternative Solar Power Applications

There are going to be a lot of cool ways that solar power can be used to power different parts of daily life. From solar power robots to water purifying systems that run on solar power, there’s a lot of new solar power technologies that are on the market. A lot of people have questions about solar water heaters and solar power pool heating.

Solar Thermal Hot Water System

Solar thermal systems are going to come in several varieties that are going to function slightly differently. In general, a solar thermal system is going to heat water by transferring heat from the solar panels on the roof (which are called collector) to water that circulates through a series of pipes that run through the tank (known as the heat exchanger). This is going to create a circuit where cool water is pumped to the collector, heated by the sun’s power, it will then flow through the heat exchanger to the tank. As the water passes through the tank, it transmits its heat, cooling down to cycle through the process again.

As the technology for solar panels advances and prices have fallen, we have found that it is more economically viable for our customers to invest in a whole-home solar power system instead of focusing on solar thermal water heating systems.

Solar Pool Heating

Solar power pool heaters work in a similar way to solar thermal water heaters by cycling cold pool water through solar collectors which will heat the water before it is sent back to the pool.

Solar Panels Durability

Knowing how your solar power system is going to handle the wind and hail. The good news is, this isn’t going to be something you need to spend a lot of time worrying about.

Solar panel installations are specifically designed to endure high wind-speeds and are typically going to be tested by solar panel manufacturers to ensure that they will last in the most extreme weather conditions. Most solar panels are certified to withstand winds of up to approximately 140 miles per hour. As long as your rood is still in place, your solar panels will be right there with it. The typical casings that hold the solar cells are highly waterproof, even during heavy rain. When it comes to hail, most solar panels are going to be engineered to handle the impact of hail 1inch in diameter.

Trees, failing limbs, among other debris may damage your solar power system or the surrounding roof might be damaged. The good news is, most racking systems allow for solar installers to easily remove the solar panels if the roof needs to be repaired. If either of these events occurs, the damages should be covered by your homeowner's insurance and most qualified solar installers are going to ensure that they will have all the information you need to file a claim.

Solar Battery Overview

Regardless if you are looking for energy storage to keep your power on when there is a grid power outage, or if you want to power your home with clean solar power, solar battery storage is going to help you reach those goals. The solar battery is going to store the excess solar power that your solar power system produces to be used later by your home. When the power goes out, the solar battery is still going to operate and the home is going to automatically switch over to the solar battery to pull power from. The solar power system is also going to keep recharging the solar battery this way you can keep the lights on.

Solar battery storage can also be used to capture a higher value for solar power in areas served by utility providers that aren’t going to offer net metering or have more expensive rates during certain times of the day. In these scenarios, homes can maximize their solar power savings potential by programming the solar battery system to store solar power when rates are low to then be used when rates are high.

Solar Panel Installation Warranties

Most solar panels are going to typically carry a 12-year product warranty and a  25-yeat solar power output warranty. The solar power output warranty guarantees that, in 25-years, each solar panel will produce approximately 85% as much solar power as it does when it is first installed. After 25 years, your solar panels are still going to produce solar power and will continue to degrade at the same rate. If the solar panels production level drops below the linear degradation rate defined in its warranty, the solar manufacturer is going to replace the solar panels. The solar power inverter is also going to have a standard 12-year warranty, while the solar power optimizers are going to come with a 25-year warranty.

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