Category Archives: Solar Installation

Solar Myth #4 – Busted

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Solar Electric Mounting Structure

Solar Myth #4  Solar panels will cause my roof to leak, deteriorate, or collapse

Fact: Most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather to a mounted railing system. Solar engineers add sealants to fill in any gaps and often the mounts are surrounded by metal coverings that act as an extra barrier from the elements.

Solar Myth #3 – Busted

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Photovoltaic solar panels will produce energy on cloudy days.

 

Solar Myth #3 Solar Doesn’t work when it is cloudy

Photovoltaic solar panels will produce energy on cloudy days. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, consider that solar panels on a rooftop in foggy San Francisco produce nearly the same as the ones in nearby sunny Sacramento. Consider too that Germany (with a climate not that different from Vancouver Canada) leads the world in residential solar right now, and it is generally an overcast climate.

Solar Myth #2 – Busted

Myth #2  Solar doesn’t work in Montana

Fact:  Montana is a great state for Solar.  Solar electric systems have been installed and working in Montana for over thirty-plus years.  Our first company Sunelco helped to make many of these systems possible.  We lived off grid and used the products that we sell every day.  That being said, the true game changer in Montana was net-metering system.  This allows Montanans to harness the sunshine generated on our long solar days in the summer time, feed back into the utility grid and use the power during our shorter winter days.  Solar irradiation levels vary across the United States, but every state receives enough sunlight to make solar a good investment. Solar panels will continue to produce a significant amount of energy even on overcast days. Germany has more solar than any other country in the world (and six times the installed capacity of the U.S.), yet Germany’s solar resource is roughly equivalent to that of Alaska.  Solar can work in almost any climate, as long as panels are properly installed in an un-shaded location. Solar panels work with light, not heat so it doesn’t matter how cold it gets outside. In fact, solar panels perform better in cooler temperatures than very hot temperatures.

 

Solar Myth #1 – Busted

 

Solar Myth#1: Solar panels are too expensive.

Fact: Solar energy pricing is at an all time low according to reports released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Installing a solar electric system on your home increases resale value.  A U.S. Department of Energy study  showed that buyers will pay up to $15,000 more for a home equipped with solar panels. Adding even more saving potential, government tax credits can offset the cost of a solar energy system with a  30 percent federal tax credit (currently through 2019) and in Montana a 500.00 per tax payer tax credit.

Typical Components of a Solar Electric System

The typical components of your solar electric system:

Solar PV Panels — Generate DC electricity

Inverter — Converts the DC to standard AC electricity that is compatible with the electrical grid and capable of powering electrical devices.

Mounting Structure – Roof Mounted: Probably the most common type of mounting system, roof mounting, involves the panels being attached to an existing roof using a racking system.

Utility Meter — Tracks the solar electricity that your system produces and feeds to the utility grid, thereby keeping track of your credit from the utility.