How is solar power different from grid power?
Solar power is generated directly on-site, whereas grid power is generated off-site and delivered by your utility through a complex network of transmission lines, substations, and transformers. The energy from your utility is AC power (alternating current), in contrast to the DC power (direct current) created by solar panels. The DC power from solar panels is converted to AC by means of an inverter, and the electricity can then be used to power your home or business.
Will my home still be connected to the grid after the installation of the solar system?
Most systems we install are grid-tied, so they still have a connection to your utility. If you require more energy than your system is producing, your system will pull from the grid to offset the difference. A grid connection also allows customers to take advantage of net metering if it’s offered by the utility, meaning any extra electricity produced by your system can be exported to the grid, resulting in credits on your power bill.
Will I still lose power during a grid outage?
Whether you lose power during a grid outage depends on the type of solar system you have. A grid-tied system without a backup energy source such as a battery or generator will lose power in the event of an outage. This is a safety measure since a grid-tied system is meant to export excess energy to the grid. During an outage, any electricity that could potentially back feed onto the grid would put workers who are repairing the grid’s issue at risk. A system that incorporates a battery or generator will draw from those sources without back feeding during a grid outage.
What is a solar site assessment?
Before beginning work on your solar system, we will first perform a free site assessment. During the assessment, we will inspect and measure your roof and look in the attic if you’re getting a roof mount system. If you’re getting a ground mount system, we will evaluate the terrain and find the best location for placement of the array. In both cases, we will examine existing electrical wiring, do an in-depth shade and load analysis of the site, and check for any potential obstacles that could interfere with installation. Many companies will install a solar system regardless of whether or not it makes sense for the customer, but not all locations are suitable for solar, and we will always be up-front with you if we determine solar is impractical for your site.
How long will it take to get my solar system turned on?
It typically takes around two weeks after installation for your utility to approve activation of the new system.