Solar Energy FAQs
Q: How durable are solar panels? Will hail damage my panels?
Solar panels are engineered to be highly resistant. Damage from hail and other debris is extremely rare. At a minimum, solar panels are engineered to international standards, which should withstand impact from a one-inch diameter hail stone traveling at 50 mph. Additionally, most panels are installed at an angle, which reduces direct impact and minimizes the risk of damage.
Q: If there is a utility grid outage, will I continue to have energy?
As a safety precaution, inverters and panels automatically power down during a grid outage to protect utility line workers. When power is restored through the gridlines, your solar system will automatically power on. If having access to continuous power during an outage is important, our team can design an inverter system with backup battery capability. There are several ways to accommodate backup depending on electrical loads, whether power is required for longer or shorter times, and battery bank capacity.
Q: Will my property insurance cover my solar installation?
Typically, damage to your solar equipment should be covered by your property insurance policy. However, it’s wise to advise your insurance agent of your solar installation and review your policy’s coverage in case a special endorsement is needed.
Q: In winter months, do I need to remove snow from my solar panels?
There’s no need to remove snow from your solar panels in the winter. When we design your solar installation, we model your solar production based on longitude and latitude, and our annual energy production estimates takes into account loss of production from snow on average annual snow loads for your installation location. Additionally, panels are constructed of dark materials and will usually gather enough sun within a few days to melt the snow, which will easily shed off the slick glass surface.
Q: How does an Ideal Energy solar system increase the value of my property?
Property increases in value with the addition of a solar installation, through avoided electrical costs. The National Appraisal Institute has found that for every $1 saved in annual energy costs, $20 is added to the value of the home.
Q: How do I maintain my solar array?
Solar technology is simple, elegant, and efficient. As a solid-state technology, there are no moving parts and requires very little maintenance. Annual service includes cleaning panels and physically checking connections. Ideal Energy conducts Operations & Maintenance (O&M) services and can remotely monitor your system and perform annual or corrective maintenance as required.
Q: What is the warranty on solar components?
Solar panels carry warranties up to 25 years. Inverters typically carry 10-25 year warranties with options to extend to 25 years. Our financial modeling includes warranties and product lifecycles into your payback analysis. Silicon based solar panels are a tried and true technology and have been shown to perform reliably for 40+ years.
Q: Should I wait for better technology to come out?
No doubt solar technology will continue to improve. However, improvements in engineering and efficiency are minute, and take years to be properly tested before being brought to market. Ideal Energy installs the latest solar technology with a track record of reliability and demonstrated performance. With current pricing on solar components and significant tax incentives slated to end in 2016, there is no better time to invest in solar. Once you start generating your own clean electricity with solar, the saving start immediately. With escalating electrical rates, why not start the savings today?
Q: How long will my Ideal Energy solar installation take?
Once we have the necessary paperwork and permitting construction of a residential or small commercial array can take just a few days to complete. State electrical inspections and each level of utility approval can take up to 45 days. For residential and light commercial installations, we anticipate that the system can be placed in service within two months of completing construction.
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*Estimated 25 year utility savings are above and beyond the installed system cost with incentives, and are based on current utility electrical rates and predicted future utility rates. Production data is based on NREL and PV Watts.