FAQ - Solar:
What are the considerations for locating my solar panels?
- Current and future shading on your panels from chimneys, trees and other buildings, as well as being able to get the proper orientation of your panels toward the sun.
What if I sell my property?
- Recent studies in both Colorado and California, conclude that solar panel systems add value to your home.
Who is responsible for maintenance, repairs and warranty?
- One of the greatest advantages of solar power is that there is very minimal maintenance. With no moving parts, typical maintenance consists of spraying the panels down with a hose to remove any dirt. Most reputable companies will want to handle all repairs to ensure consistency and quality of the systems. Warranty items are also the responsibility of the original installer in partnership with the equipment manufacturer.
Are we too far North to generate meaningful solar power?
- Ontario has enough annual solar radiation to be considered an excellent site for solar. In fact there are several large scale solar farms here in Ontario.
Is my roof strong enough to support a PV system?
- Before installing a rooftop solar system you will need engineering approval, stating that your roof is strong enough to support the added load. This engineering approval will be required to apply for a (mandatory) building permit. A roof inspection will also be required to determine if the shingles or roof covering need to be replaced.
How well do Solar Modules work in inclement weather?
- On a cloudy day solar modules produce less electricity than on a sunny day. Under a light overcast, modules produce about half as much electricity as under full sun. If modules become covered with snow they will stop producing power but generally the snow melts quickly as soon as the sun strikes the modules. If you brush the snow off they will start producing electricity immediately.
Are PV solar electric systems safe?
- Yes. Solar cells are mostly silicon, the primary component of sand. There is no exhaust and no toxic materials to leak out of the system. The electricity coming through the inverter is just like the electricity coming from household wall sockets; you should use the same care you would with utility power. All components are approved for utility interconnection and are installed according to standard construction practices.
How does shade affect the performance of a PV Solar system?
- One of the leading causes of power loss in a solar PV system is when part of a panel or array becomes shaded. Normally the panels are connected in strings so the output of that particular string of panels will only be as great as the lowest performing panel. Therefore a solar installation should be designed in such a way that none of the panels are even partially shaded at any point of the year.
Do Solar panels have to face south?
- Panels facing south at the correct tilt angle will provide the maximum output. However, solar panels can face anywhere between East and West and still perform quite well. A properly conducted site assessment can estimate output for any orientation or tilt angle.
How long will a solar panel system last?
- Solar panels have been known to last 40 years and longer. Typical solar panel guarantees are from 5 to 7 years on materials and workmanship (under normal use and service conditions), with power output warranties of 80% at 25 years. Solar panels are designed to withstand golf ball sized hail and the mounting systems are engineered to withstand the most severe wind and weather conditions.
What are the maintenance costs of a PV solar system?
- For a fixed/stationary (non tracker) ground or roof mounted system, there is literally no maintenance required. Some consideration may be given to periodic inspections of the panels to remove bird droppings and dirt accumulations etc.