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Solar Myth #6 – Busted

Solar Myth #6 Solar panels require maintenance

Fact: Solar panels are solid state, have no moving parts, do not require regular maintenance and come with a 25 year warranty. Dust and debris can collect on solar modules, but most panel owners never clean the panels and instead rely on the rain to do the job for them.  Generally when it comes to  snow our recommended action is wait for the sunshine.  In Western Montana, grid-tie, net-metered homes make a majority of their solar power in the summer months.  Winter power generation is a bonus, rather than a necessity.  The days are shorter, the sun is lower and the sky is often overcast.  This does not mean that we don’t generate any power, it just means that we generate significantly less in the months around winter solstice.  Modules are generally set at an angle that enough snow will begin to shed, temperatures permitting.  The cells are of dark colors that promote melting and with enough consecutive sunny days your modules will be generating power once again.

Solar Myth #5 – Busted

Solar Myth #5  When the utility grid goes down I will have back up power.

Fact:  When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the utility wires while workers may be trying to fix the problem. Your inverter (the big box near your meter that converts DC electricity created by the panels into usable AC current) recognizes that the grid is out and shuts your system off.  A possible solution is to add batteries into your solar electric system for short term back up

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 Electric Grid-tie, Battery Based System Hamilton Montana

Electricity from the Sun – Meet ElSBS Solar is a Solar electric systems integrator designing systems for Missoula Montana.electric Car – In Hamilton MT.

This Hamilton Montana system employs a sodium ion, battery bank and 20 SolarWorld solar modules.

The addition of the battery bank not only provides power backup in a power outage, it also allows self-consumption of renewable energy at night.  Net metering (sending power back to the utility grid) is still available, yet much less of a factor.

The photo features a friends Tesla, but we are watching to see when their own electric vehicle shows up.  The system was designed to provide a major portion of this family’s home electric and transportation needs.

Solarize Missoula 2016

Have you seen solar electric systems expanding all over Missoula?  Do you still want to qualify for the 2016 Federal 30% tax credit? Join your neighbors and friends and Solarize Missoula.  Call 406-541-8410.

SolarReviews Top 100 American Residential Solar Contractors of 2016

solar modules, inverters, power systems, renewable, off-grid, grid-interactive, Photovoltaic SBS Solar is thrilled to be a SolarReviews Top 100

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solar modules, inverters, power systems, renewable, off-grid, grid-interactive, Photovoltaic

Congratulations to the SolarReviews Top 100 American Residential Solar Contractors of 2016

For a couple of years now SolarReviews has provided data to the www.solarpowerworldonline.com Top Contractors List and we will continue to do so. However, we thought that because reviews score is only one thing considered in these lists (and that number of installations and employees seems to have a high weighting) some of the small and medium sized installers that were recording much higher levels of customer satisfaction were being overlooked. We congratulate these companies and the contribution they are making to the solar industry. We have created a sub list of each state below the national results on this page. These results are based only on reviews received in the last twelve months whereas our generic solar company reviews pages include all reviews for a company. To view the complete list click here. 

 

Satisfied Customers

Our Goal at SBS Solar is exceptionally satisfied customers.  Thanks for letting us know.

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Satisfied Solar Customer Solar ReviewsSBS installed a 5kw PV system on our house in April 2016. I originally contacted SBS because several friends had used them and all were completely satisfied. When I first contacted SBS by email, Dan returned my email within 24 hours to set up a time to come out to my house. When Dan visited my house he was professional, he listened to all my concerns and answered all my questions, we discussed several different options, and reached a conclusion about why type of system would work best for our location and my needs. Within a day, Dan sent a formal bid for the work, and within a couple more days we had a week scheduled for the work. The work was completed exactly on time and for the agreed upon cost. When Dan and his crew came to my house, Dan introduced me to his crew, who were also incredibly nice and thoughtful and careful in their work. Our system was fairly complex with PV panels on three different roof planes, and Dan and his crew were totally open to discussing with me various options for the installation that would meet their needs for efficiency and my needs for minimizing the visual impact of the panels and the connections among these three roof planes. After the installation, Dan and his wife Becky provided detailed directions and forms to have the system inspected and hooked up with the local utility. We ran into a small glitch with the inverter because I wanted to track the data and the manual that came with the inverter provided directions for directly linking my laptop to the inverter. But when I followed the directions the link didn”t work. I contacted Dan about this problem and he immediately contacted tech support at the inverter company. It turns out the inverter company changed the circuit board so it was no longer possible to link a laptop directly to the inverter and the directions in the manual were incorrect. Dan made sure that I understood what I needed to do to access the data coming from our inverter (we simply access the data directly from the inverter company”s website through our account). In summary SBS was fantastic to work with in every possible way.