The decision to go solar is an important one, and we want you to feel confident when you say “yes” to solar energy. To help you through this process we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, below.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is, quite simply, the radiant energy created by the light from the sun. This energy can be converted into solar power through the use of photovoltaic (PV), or solar, panels. Solar energy is an infinitely renewable resource quickly gaining popularity as it is a clean and dependable alternative to more traditional energy sources.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels are electrical devices made up of a series of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert the energy of light directly into electricity. Each photovoltaic cell is composed of silicon, phosphorus and boron, and is treated so that it generates a flow of electricity whenever it is exposed to sunlight. This electricity is passed through a circuit hooked up to the solar panel and is converted into an alternating current that can be used to power the appliances in your home.
Are solar panels right for my home?
Solar panels are ideal for homes in sunny regions, but even a cloudy area can yield substantial solar energy. It is important, however, that your roof is not overly shaded as too much shade significantly reduces the amount of solar energy your system can produce.
Do I need a specific type of roof for solar panels?
No – solar systems can be adapted to accommodate almost any type of roof (barring slate and clay tile roofs) and they can be installed on both large and small scales, so limited roof size is rarely an issue. A solar system can last up to 25 years so it is important that your roof is in good shape prior to the installation, but once the panels are installed they can help to extend the life of your roof by shielding it from the natural elements that typically cause a roof to deteriorate.
How is my solar energy stored?
Throughout the day your solar system generates energy that you use to run the appliances in your home. If you produce more power than you need you are able to sell it back to the grid – using your credit during the times you require additional energy. You can expect to generate excess power in the summer when there is more sunlight which could potentially offset the power you use from the grid in the winter.
Are solar panels a good investment?
Yes – although solar panels initially require a substantial financial commitment, as soon as you begin to generate your own solar power your utility bills will drop significantly, and you can expect these savings to continue for years to come! The amount you save depends on the size of your solar system, but typically one can expect to recoup their investment within 5 – 10 years.
Why is it important to get multiple bids?
Solar panels are an important purchase. We want you to be able to make an informed decision by comparing costs and information from a number of different installers so that you can find the system that works best for you!
Do you have any questions we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments section below.
Gridbid.com is the world’s first online auction for rooftop solar where building owners post their roof information and solar installers submit competing offers to complete their solar system. Gridbid’s goal is to help building owners get their best deal on solar and solar installers find new customers.