Solar 101: FAQs & Solar Basics

Hello. Welcome to Rayah University presents Solar Basics 101.

Image result for classroom

Who should take this course?

Considering solar for your home?Already gone solar and looking for how to explain your decision to others? Trying to convince your significant other to give solar a chance? This course is for you. We’ve compiled the most common solar questions to give homeowners an introduction to how solar works and why you should do it.

Q: How Much of the Power Produced will Belong to My Home?
A:​ 100%, except if….  We install a net meter that keeps track of all the power produced. So whatever you don’t use, you get a credit for. That means you get to utilize 100% of your power; day or night! However, current Net Metering regulations restrict the size of solar system to 10 KW AC Watts. Systems over 10 KW AC do not get full 100% net metering.

Related image

Q: Will My Solar Panels Keep Producing Electricity During a Power Outage?
A:​ No. The solar electricity is wired separately into your electrical panel, and for safety reasons, is designed to automatically disconnect in the event of a power outage. When grid power is restored, the system will automatically reconnect and synchronize to the grid and your solar electricity will come back on. However, we can walk you through some solar battery options that make it possible to use your solar when the lights go out!

Q: Will Solar Work on Cloudy, Rainy or Snowy Days?
A:​ Yes. The same way you can get a sunburn on a hazy day, solar panels produce electricity on cloudy, rainy and snowy days. Solar panels will produce electricity with a couple of inches of snow on the panels. Sweet!

Image result for hot day

Q:​ Do Solar Panels Work Best on Hot Days?
A:​ No. In fact, solar panels work best in cooler environments. This is because solar electricity is produced from the light, not heat. Extreme heat or humidity causes the solar panels to lose efficiency. This is one of the reasons Massachusetts is an ideal place for solar.

Q: Will the Solar Panels Produce More or Less Power Depending on the Season?
A: Solar works how you would expect, with more production in the Spring, Summer and Fall months and less in the winter.  

Image result for house in woods

Q:​ I have Some Shade – Will Solar Still Work or be Worth It?
A:​ Generally, yes. Solar panels will work with some shading, although it takes a proper solar site evaluation to determine your roof’s actual solar efficiency.  

Q: How is the Annual Production of a Solar System Determined?
A:​ We use special solar diagnostic tools such as high resolution imagery with laser LIDAR. With LIDAR we know the exact dimensions of your roof, its height, distance from trees or other obstacles, and how those obstacles will cast shadows as the sun travels through the sky 365 days a year.

In instances where LIDAR is not available, we use a tool called a Solmetric Suneye. This is a digital camera with a compass, level and GPS built into it. This is ​not​ a time­lapse, but rather, a camera with a panoramic lens that tracks the sun’s path through the sky every minute of every day of the year. These photos are aggregated and plugged into a database that includes over a hundred years of weather patterns, including rainy and cloudy days and several weeks of snow every winter.  

Q:​ How Does Solar Interact with the Grid?
A:​ A Net Meter is installed on every solar facility, eliminating the need for batteries. A net meter is identical to a regular meter, except it spins both forwards and backwards.  This means that any power produced, that is not used, will go through the net meter, spinning it backwards into the utility grid,­ giving a credit to the facility. Essentially, it’s like a solar electric bank account. This credit will appear as a cash credit on your utility bill and roll over day-­to­-day, month­-to-­month and year-­to-­year.  

Image result for bank check

Q: Will My Utility Company Cut Me a Check for Excess Net Metering Credits?
A: ​No. This is a common misconception, but your utility company will not cut you a check. If however, at the end of the month they owe you money (via Net Metering), that money will appear as a cash credit and be applied toward future bills. It’s kind of like a department store credit. However, with the new SMART program your utility will cut you a check for the amount of power you produce, but this is wholly separate from net metering.

Q: Can I install panels on the ground?
A:​ Ground mounted installations provide greater solar flexibility for your site. Because the ground mount is located closer to the ground, you usually need more set back from trees than a roof mounted installation.  Also, we need to keep in mind conservation or wetland restrictions.

Bookmark and Share
  • Comments Off on Solar 101: FAQs & Solar Basics

No comments so far.

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.