HERE ARE SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Solar a proven technology?
Yes. Solar technology (including cells, modules, and inverters) are proven technologies – from both, functionality and long-term, low maintenance operation viewpoints. These same technologies allow the operation of satellites and unmanned vehicles on the Moon and Mars.
What are the benefits of going Solar?
A few of the major reasons of going Solar include: Reduced electric bills; Predictable electric bills (important if you are on fixed income); Hedge against future electric rate increases; Helping the environment; Increasing your home value; Investment with a great rate of return; Cooler roofs and attics during summer.
What is the difference between poly and mono crystalline solar panels?
Both types are manufactured from silicon wafers. The difference is that the mono-crystalline cells, which comprise the panel (or module), are made from a wafer consisting of only a single crystal; whereas, the poly-crystalline cell is composed of many mono-crystalline wafer pieces formed into a single cell. Compared to the poly-crystalline cells, mono-crystalline cells are more efficient, are darker or black in color (vs. bluish), have less degradation over time, and cost more. Each type has its pros and cons. For example, if enough roof space is available and high efficiency is not an absolute requirement, then installing more of the cheaper poly-crystalline based panels may be financially be better than installing fewer of the more expensive mono-crystalline panels. Century Solar Systems carries both types and can review the financial and other aspects with you to arrive at an informed decision.
What key data should I have ready for the Consultation or when requesting a quote?
To make the consultation most effective, it is best if you are prepared with: 1) Your goals and requirements, 2) Last 12 months’ electric bills, 3) Your roof condition, 4) How long you plan on living in your home.
What is the process to go Solar?
At a high level, the process to go Solar includes: Requirements > Site Evaluation > System Design > Permitting > Installation > Inspection > NEM Meter Installation > Permission-To-Operate. CSS manages and performs most of these steps.
Which manufacturers’ inverters does Century Solar Systems offer?
Based on our customers’ preference and technical requirements, we offer string inverters, power optimizers, and micro-inverters from Enphase, SMA, SolarEdge, SunPower, and other manufacturers that offer the best efficiency, power capacity, reliability, and warranty.
How much power can a single PV module produce?
The average PV module produces about 280 watts of power, but depending on the type of panel and manufacturer, a single panel is capable of producing up to 400 watts of power.
What grade panels does Century Solar install?
We source and install only brand new, Grade A panels.
What roof mounts and rail solutions does Century Solar install?
Depending on roof type, local code, and customer needs, we offer a variety of best-in-class mounting solutions, including Quick Mount PV, ProSolar TileTrac, Ironridge.
What is evaluated during the Site Evaluation?
The main items noted during the Site Evaluation are: roof direction, condition, shading, obstructions (e.g. vents) and measurements, electric main panel condition, sizing, and open breaker slot availability, and, if an attic run is being considered, attic access and suitability.
How soon after the Site Evaluation will the “results” be provided?
After the Site Evaluation is completed, we will analyze and provide an initial system design within one or two days, including any concerns or recommendations.
Can I cancel the contract after I sign it?
Yes. By law, you have the option to cancel the purchase contract within three (3) business days.
How will I know how may panels I need?
The number of panels required is based on many considerations and will be arrived at during the design phase. Some of these factors include: current usage, requirements, roof space, roof orientation, shading, panel efficiency, panel power, and financing.
How many modules/panels will my system need?
This depends on several factors, such as the percentage of your electric bill you wish to cover, your overall budget, your peak electrical needs, the layout of your home or business, etc. We will discuss your needs during our consultation.
What are the key criteria in the solar system design process?
The key considerations in the designing of a solar system include: geographic location, roof direction, roof pitch, roof space availability, roof type, roof condition, shading, current electric usage, offset amount desired, budget, local codes, HOA codes (if applicable), panel efficiency, panel power rating.
What are the key steps of the installation process?
The key installation steps for a roof installation generally include: Locating rafters, Installing roof mounts, railing, microinverters or power optimizers, panels, junction boxes, wiring and other electrical components.
Does anyone need to be home during the inspection?
Although you are not required to be home for the inspection, since most of the system is external, your presence may be required in case some of work is inside your home, for example, the attic.
What is the city inspection for?
The city will inspect the work to ensure it meets the city’s installation and safety requirements related to solar, roofing, and electrical.
Do I turn on my system after the City inspection?
No. After the City inspection, your electric utility company may/will install a Net Meter and then grant you Permission to Operate (PTO). Only after the PTO is granted, can the Solar system be “turned on” and connected to the Grid.
Why do I need a Main Panel Upgrade?
You may need a main panel upgrade because you either don’t have enough space in your panel for additional breakers or not enough amperage to support the load service.
If I start with a small system, is it easy to expand at a later date?
Yes, PV systems are modular and scale with ease. Provided you have unobstructed views of the southern horizon, you can continue to expand as your to meet your needs.
How soon will I realize a return on my investment, (ROI)?
Residential projects may see a ROI in 6-9 years. Commercial projects may see an ROI in 1-5 years, depending on various factors. Ultimately, your location determines what incentives are available.
Are there federal or state tax incentives?
Yes, both–depending on your location. In fact, these incentives may improve your ROI considerably. (Expires December 2019)
Will inclement weather harm my panels?
No, weather should not be a concern for you. Photovoltaic (PV) panels are made with tempered glass and are rigorously tested to ensure a long life. They are even hail-tested.
How long is the life span of PV modules?
The typical manufacturer’s warranty is 25 years; however, the average PV module could last 30 or more years.
What is the warranty?
Panels generally have a 25-year warranty from the factory. The length of this warranty is longer than most items you could buy for your building. The remainder of your system’s warranty depends on the item. Remember, your entire solar panel system has no moving parts, and this is one of the reasons it lasts so long.
Besides the savings on my utility bill, and the generous tax savings, are there any other financial benefits to installing a solar energy system?
Installing a solar energy system to your property will increase its resale value.