Here’s some of the more common questions about solar panel installations. If you don’t seen your question answered here, feel free to drop us a line with your inquiry and we’ll do our best to get back with you as soon as possible!
For every installation, there are unique issues and situations to handle. From building codes and the building design itself to securing a convenient time to actually perform the work, there’s no ‘single answer’, but generally, you can expect between 3-6 months from the first phone meeting to the final switchover. The actual construction time may vary as will the planning and setup phase. For commercial installations, we do our best to work with you so that we don’t interfere with your daily operations. If there should be any kind of perceived possibility of inconvenience, we will schedule with you far ahead of time so that you have ample time to plan around it. We do strive to make the construction and installation process as smooth for you as possible.
Short answer, yes. While California does experience over 260 days per year on average of sunlight (and solar panels do work under cloud cover), the purpose of solar panels isn’t to be completely self-sufficient but to generate clean electricity free from pollution. Since everyone’s energy use is different, there’s not any guarantee you will always be able to produce enough power to always run your building. Having energy storage on premises, too, isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be able to operate either. It’s actually much more efficient to use net metering and sell unused power generated back to a central utility company to redistribute. Not to mention, having battery power storage at your site presents extra issues of possible safety; without proper maintenance, a local battery farm can pose a fire threat. It’s best to leave the excess energy to be handled by a professional utility company.
An installation will come with one of two options for monitoring the health of your panel setup; remote or local. With remote monitoring, we will monitor the efficiency of your installation and if we notice any underperforming panels, we will contact you about maintenance. If you choose to monitor it locally, we will set you up with software which you can use your computer or phone to monitor the efficiency yourself and if you have any concerns about performance, you can contact us about corrective procedures. Our installations do come with maintenance service and warranty to make such situations as painless as possible.
Our team actually will evaluate your roof situation before installing and may even recommend corrective actions to ensure your roof is in top shape before installation. While a good installation doesn’t lead to roof leaks, sometimes issues may arise where your roof may develop a leak due to weathering or even animals making use of your house for their own needs. Regardless, it will depend on the specific nature of the leak that needs repair as to what your course of action would be. A roofer will determine what the cause is and if any panels need to be removed in order to access the point of repair, then you would call us to handle temporary removal of the panels blocking repair, then have the roofer or carpenter make repairs then restore the panels. It’s extremely rare to require this level of maintenance, however, since the health of your roof is often reinforced prior to installing the panels.
Typically, if the blackout happens during the day, and your power consumption permits, you likely won’t experience any severe effects, but you may, in order to have enough amperage, need to shut down high power devices like your central air system. Depending on the nature of the blackout, you might also be in a situation where you are not powering your house, but will still be generating electricity which will be net-metered and reflect on your monthly bill. Brownouts likely won’t affect you as much, if at all. It really depends on the nature and reason for the blackout occurring as to how it affects you. Each situation is different.