What is solar energy?
A solar energy system creates usable power from sunshine. There are two basic kinds of systems: Photovoltaic or PV uses sunlight to generate electricity. It’s the same technology found on pocket calculators, just on a larger scale. PV systems can be designed to generate the majority of the electricity used in your home, or just a portion of it.
Does solar work only on sunny days?
Solar systems work even when it’s cloudy. Naturally, cloud cover reduces the amount of solar radiation reaching the panels, but the system will produce some electricity and/or heat on all but the most overcast days.
How does solar help the environment?
Fossil fuels are a leading cause of global warming and air pollution. Solar energy reduces the amount of fossil fuel that is burned, thus reducing the pollutants and CO² that get into the atmosphere. Solar energy systems that are recommended by Solar Energy World have the added benefits of very high efficiency, durability, and service life – they’re engineered for sustainability. This means fewer replacements and repairs, saving even more energy and precious resources.
How long will my system last?
If properly installed, it should last 30-40 years. Systems that were installed in the 1970’s are still fully operational today. Technology has evolved so the systems from the 1970’s may not be as efficient as today’s technology.
How does a solar energy system benefit me personally?
In many ways:
It reduces your energy bill, and in many areas the utility will buy back any extra electricity you generate.
Federal, state, and utility financial incentives are also available in many areas.
It adds to the value of your home.
You gain energy independence.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s a good investment in a sustainable future for yourself and your loved ones.
How can solar help the economy?
Right now the US has to import oil and natural gas to cover our energy needs. The cost adds up to many billions of dollars, and all of that money leaves the country. But solar energy is generated locally. The energy dollars stay at home, creating economic growth and benefiting your community.
How does electricity buyback work?
This is often called “net metering” and is available from many utility companies. If you generate more electricity than you use, the excess goes back to your utility company, spinning the meter backward and giving you a credit for the electricity your PV system generated.
If the power goes out, will my solar system keep making energy?
No, for safety reasons, your solar system will automatically shut off if the power goes out.
What regular maintenance do I perform?
With systems that we recommend, very little. PV systems are inherently very lowmaintenance, requiring the system owner only to wash the solar modules down with water when they get dirty so light can get through.