Solar Energy Facts & FAQs

Solar Power FAQs about Day One Solar Energy Systems – Get the Facts Today!

  1. I have limited availability of south facing roofing surfaces. Will a solar installation still work for me? South is the preferred orientation for mounting the panels, however, southwest and southeast orientations also offer good performance with minimal efficiency impact.
  2. How can I be sure that my solar system is functioning correctly? Monitoring equipment is an installation option that can track your solar system’s performance on your home computer, with real time energy production data as well as historical data.
  3. I live in an area that has frequent fog. Will my solar panels still generate power on cloudy days? Yes, photons from the sun still reach your panels on cloudy days, although the power output of your panels is reduced somewhat as compared to the maximum output on sunny days. You can see the effect of cloudy days by checking your daily monitoring data.
  4. I have some shading of my roof early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Does a solar installation make sense for me? Quite possibly. A free solar analysis will determine the effects of shading and the impact on the prime sun hours of 10 am to 3 pm. Also, recent advances in inverter technologies significantly reduce the impact of shading, making possible cost effective installations that were ruled out 5-10 years ago.
  5. How are roof penetrations made and are they waterproofed? Rack mounting systems for sloped roofs do require roof penetration to substructure members and are doubly waterproofed with self sealing compounds and metal flashing over that. Some flat roof racking systems can be installed without roof penetration.
  6. Can my roof handle the additional weight of a solar installation? The solar panel racking system is designed to spread out the additional load uniformly which makes additional structural support unnecessary for most applications.
  7. How long do solar panels last? Do they degrade over time? Solar panels are silicon cells encased in tempered glass with plastic backing and are extremely durable. The industry standard panel output warranty is 25 years and panel manufacturers typically warrant panel output at 85% or greater at 25 years.
  8. Should I consider repairing or replacing my roof prior to a solar installation? If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, or you are not sure of its age, ask for a roof inspection as part of your solar site evaluation. If your roof is only partly through its useful life, you may want to consider replacing only the roof area under the solar panels.
  9. Will I still be connected to my utility company? Unless you already plan to be totally off the grid, the answer is yes.  Being connected to the grid is essentially like being connected to a big battery.  The current mandate for “net metering” makes it a requirement for the utility company to allow you to feed unused electricity that you generate back onto the grid.  Your meter will essentially run backwards while this occurs.  Then when your usage exceeds your production (like at night) you use electricity from the grid the same way you do now.  The net effect is that you get “retail price” credit for the electricity you “store” out on the grid when not using it.
  10. Is regular maintenance of the system required? No,  other than the occasional cleaning, especially in chronically dusty areas that have little rainfall for long periods.  It is estimated that dirty panels might show a power generation drop of a few percent.
  11. Are solar system installations regulated by my homeowners association or condo association? The California Solar Rights Act of 1978 states that “Any covenant, restriction, or condition … that effectively prohibits or restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system is void and unenforceable.” However, you would be well advised to check with your HOA prior to installation.
  12. I have a TILE roof. Is it possible to install PV Solar Panels on a tile roof? Absolutely. There are well designed racking systems available that work well on tile roofs.

Smarter Energy, from Day One.