How Solar Works
How does solar energy save me money?
Solar power is one of the best investments you can make in today’s market, with rising utility costs and an increased awareness for environmental impact more and more people are turning to solar, but how can solar save me money?
As the sun shines down on the PV panels they create DC (Direct Current) electricity. That DC electricity runs down a wire into an inverter. The inverter is responsible for converting unusable DC power into what we use in our house appliances, AC (alternating current) electricity. You consume what you need and then that AC power leftover is then fed back into the grid through your main distribution panel. You save by not using the power from the grid, instead using what you generate from your system!
Is my home right for solar?
When looking at a location for its solar viability there are several factors that come in to play to determine the best location, size, and equipment of an array. At Ablaze Energy we take care of it for you, simply fill out the form to the right and our team of designers will create a rendering of your home to evaluate its solar potential. Our designers evaluate a number of things involved with designing a proper solar system, including but not limited to; sun exposure, roof type, roof area, existing obstructions (both on and off the roof), roof/ roof support age and condition, and electrical information. All of these factors play a role in what we can provide you when it comes to solar, so call today to see what we can do for you!
Here are some things that you can look at on your own to help determined whether your home is a good candidate for PV solar electricity.
If you live in Colorado or Arizona, you’ll obviously have plenty of sun, but even those who reside in cloudier parts of the country like the Pacific Northwest are also good candidates for solar installations. Even in cloudy conditions, PV panels have the ability to absorb rays and produce energy.
The design of your roof is actually one of the most important solar installation considerations. Your roof has to be mainly shade free, and it needs to face the South, East or West. Residential solar systems do require 300 to 600 feet of roof space, because it takes about 100 square feet to generate each kilowatt of electricity, and you’ll commonly want to produce three to six kilowatts for your home.
Composite roofs are the best, and there should be adequate space so the solar panels are unobstructed by plumbing vents or chimneys. Unfortunately, clay tile, slate roofs, and wood shake are not good candidates for solar installations, however there are products available to accommodate almost any type of installation.
Can trees and solar panels coexist? While there is some disagreement about the detrimental impact the removal of a large shade tree will have upon the general energy efficiency of your home, it is common knowledge that shade and solar do not mix. If you are curious as to whether a tree you have might affect the production of your solar system meet with a solar energy expert and have them do a shade analysis, in many cases a tree will have minimal detriment or simply need to be trimmed.
Roof Condition and Age
Solar panels last for a minimum of 25 years (good ones have a warranty to back this), so if your roof is over 15 years old, you’ll probably want to replace it before the solar installation. It is possible to make roof repairs and actually replace a roof that has existing solar panels, but it’s easier to do the work before the solar system is installed. In many cases it’s ideal to work with your roofing company and solar installer at the same time to streamline the process.
Easy to Figure
With the inception of programs like Google Maps and Google Earth its now easier to tell if your home will be a good candidate for a solar energy system. Google Maps satellite view will show trees and other obstructions, while Google Earth will allow you to determine a property’s square footage available for solar purposes.
If your home passes the tests, you’re ready for a solar installation. Please be aware, however, that there are some excellent alternatives if your roof is not quite right for solar. Many homeowners have had great success with ground mounted systems, especially if they have large yard areas.