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Frequent Questions

What is Solar Energy?

Solar Energy is produced by nuclear fusion that occurs in the sun and can be harnessed for human use such as electricity.  This renewable resource can be captured in different ways and one method is by active solar energy.  Photovoltaics, a form of active solar energy, is probably the widely known means to utilize solar energy.  Solar panels usually are included photovoltaic arrays.

How does a solar panel function?

When a solar panel is struck by sunlight, the panel begins to generate “DC” (Direct Current) electricity. The DC electricity is then supplied into a solar inverter which transforms it into “AC” (Alternating Current) electricity. The AC electricity then energizes houses and businesses.

Can a grid-tied system provide electricity during a power interruption or blackout?

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What is Off-Grid?

Also known as stand-alone power system (SAPS), off-grid is not connected to the national power grid, therefore a battery storage system is required.

What is On-Grid?

A grid-tied solar system, also known by many other names, such as ‘on-grid’, ‘grid-connect(ed)’, ‘grid-intertied’ and ‘grid-direct’ solar systems, is connected to the electrical grid and requires the grid to be running for the solar system to produce energy.  Grid-tied systems tend to be the less expensive option, since it does not use batteries and other equipment — The grid acts as the battery instead.  Excess or surplus solar power that is generated is exported to the electricity grid through the Net Metering program of the DU (Distribution Utility).

Why is having an on-site assessment important prior to having a PV (photovoltaic) system installed?

Having an on-site survey is integral since it will determine important factors that are necessary in having a successful PV system installation. It will find out if the structure is suitable to have a photovoltaic system set up, especially the condition of the roof. In general, most of the solar panels are roof-mounted, so the roof should be made sure that it will be able to support the added weight. Engineers will check on the structure’s current electrical work to determine its compatibility and if repairs are needed prior to installing the panels. Energy usage is another important factor to determine the correct size of the PV system, that is why the electricity bills for the year will help provide solar panel installation providers the average usage of the household/business. The significance of having an onsite assessment is to provide the proper quotation and to ensure the quality and safety before installing solar panels. Not having an inspection on the property can have a disastrous outcome, like expensive repairs due to inharmonious installation of the PV system.