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Planning & Budgeting for Solar Power

Planning and Budgeting is important aspect of acquiring a solar power system. The cost of a solar power system will vary depending many factors including: How big is the structure? How energy efficient is the structure? What is the average electric bill? What is the orientation of the structure? North, East, South, West? How much roof area or ground space is available? What is the latitude? What are the critical loads? What are the potential energy demands? How much of the total energy required is expected to be provided by the solar power system? What unique site issues apply? (Roof area limitations, shading, soiling, snow & ice, etc.) What are the potential energy demands? How much of the total energy required is expected to be provided by the solar power system? What unique site issues apply? (Roof area limitations, shading, soiling, snow & ice, etc.) As a solar power consumer it is important to ask these questions, the questions above will give you a better idea of what to ask when meeting with a clean energy installer. It is always recommended that you prepare for a meeting before you call a solar power installer and answering the questions above will help you establish your goals and help an installer figure out your...

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Solar Panel Warranties

Why do solar panels manufacturing companies offer a warranty period of at least 25 years? The average solar panel has a life expectancy up to 30-40 years. Since there are no moving parts with a solar energy system, nothing wears down. Therefore as long as the panels are cleaned at least every 6 months, the performance of your system should exceed your expectations. Cleaning a ground mount system is much easier since the panels are easily accessible. A garden hose with a bucket of water and soap is all that is needed when cleaning a solar panel system. Cleaning panels becomes a more difficult chore with a roof mount system because working on top of a roof becomes dangerous and typically a consumer must hire a service provider or window washing company to get up there and clean the panels. When making a decision for going solar, maintenance is an important factor in selecting between a ground or roof mount...

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Solar Panels & Golf Ball Sized Hail

A consumer called me thinking about going solar, but he had a major concern, Hail. How do solar panels hold up to Hail? Well it depends. Depending on the brand of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (aka Solar Panels that produce electricity) some panels are hail-resistant solar panels. In general if hail is a problem in your geographic area ask the installer if the panels have a certificate that they passed hail tests. I found out through a close source, that SunPower (a manufacturer of solar panels) shoots golf balls at their panels to stimulate a hail storm. If the solar panels is not hail rated and is damaged during a hail storm, depending on your insurance coverage, there is a possibility the panels may be covered. (You have to check with your insurance company and read your policy to make sure the panels are covered) There have been cases where homeowners insurance has covered damaged solar panels which were not hail resistant. Most solar panels are coated with tempered glass protecting the silicon and will take quite a beating; it’s always great to bring up this question to the installer when making a purchasing...

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