Frequently Ask Questions

Solar Panel Installation FAQs

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How many components are there in a solar power system?

When installing any kind of solar PV system you will have multiple components: solar panels, inverter, cables, energy meter, combiner box, protection devices and you also will have the option to add smart monitoring devices and a battery bank.

How many components are there in a solar power system?

Solar power basically works by transforming the available solar radiation into DC electricity. This is done instantly at the atomic level inside the modules.

This electricity output goes through the PVwires, passing through the current and surge protection devices located in the combiner box, and reaches the power inverter which transforms DC into AC electricity (usually consumed at home).

The AC electricity transformed by the inverter is later used to supply power to the electrical loads of the house and if there is instantaneously more solar power than consumption, then the excess solar energy goes back to the grid.

How does solar work?

There are mainly 3 types.

The first and most common is the grid-tied system under which all the components except for the battery exist.

Then, there is also the off-grid system type which consists typically of getting disconnected from the grid and using a solar panel system as the only source of power for your appliances.

Finally, the grid-tied with battery backup option combines these two types into a single system that reduces your consumption from the grid, but that also allows you to save excess solar energy in a  battery device for later use at night.

If the sky is cloudy will my panels stop producing power?

No. They will only reduce energy yields, but using the diffused irradiance, they will still be able to generate power for you.

In case of power outage will my solar PV system still power my house?

This depends on the type of PV system that you have installed at home. If it is a grid-tied system (no battery), then in the event of a blackout, your inverter will get disconnected from the grid and will not inject power to your house.

However, if you have installed a grid-tied with battery backup system, you must make sure that the battery scheme that you are purchasing offers the backup capability and not only self-consumption optimization

Can I live entirely off-grid using solar power?

Yes. However, it is not common to install an off-grid solar power system for a household due to cost reasons.

Living entirely off-grid usually serves other applications such as camping trailers, RVs and mountain cabins where the access to electricity from the grid is limited and where the electrical loads are not that big.

Will my solar panel system require maintenance?

Yes. You will need to clean your solar panels every now and then as the mud, dust or even bird drops can fall on the surface of the modules and reduce their performance. You can also contact Solar Company Name to assist you with this duty.

Where can I install the solar panels?

There are mainly two types of mounting options for solar power systems.

The first one of them is mounting the PV system on the roof. This is the usual option as most customers rather use the available space located on the roof for this purpose.

However, it is not always feasible since a structural engineer must certify the condition of your roof and estimate if the roof is actually able to withstand the weight of your panels plus the additional load caused by wind and snow.

When factors like this affect your decision, you can always go for a ground-mounting PV system installation type. These simply consists of designating a space in the backyard for the solar panels and installing them over a racking system.  Keep in mind that this option generally involves digging on the ground to install piling structures that will keep the modules fixed to the ground at all times.

What is the best position to install solar panels?

Solar panels across the US need to face South for maximum energy yield production. Therefore, when sizing the PV array, the solar designer will try to install the modules in the roof side that faces as close to the South as possible.

Another option is also to install East-West configurations which will allow you to obtain a smoother solar curve production that has a better match with your consumption.

Is Texas a good place for solar panels?

Definitely. Combining an excellent solar resource, large population demands, financial incentives and wide space available, Texas was made to harvest energy from the Sun.

How long will my solar power system last?

Solar panels are designed to last at least for 25 years. However, operation times are estimated to reach over 30 years.

What will happen with my solar panels once they reach the end of their lifetime?

Currently, the first solar panels that have reached their end-of lifetime are starting to appear in the market, especially in Europe.

The solar industry points out that recycling companies will start appearing and will collect your panels to take them to facilities where glass, aluminum, and other materials can be recycled to manufacture more solar panels.

What is the difference between performance warranty and product warranty in solar panels?

Performance warranty is referred to the manufacturer’s estimations on performance across the years. Basically, it provides the estimated power output reduction that the solar panel will have by the end of its life.

Meanwhile, the product warranty of the solar panel is actually the warranty time that you have available to claim any malfunction with your solar module. Typically ranges between 5 to 15 years depending on the brand.

What solar power system size should I have?

The size of your solar power system will mainly depend on the electricity consumption established in your energy bill. Using this as a reference, the solar designer from Sunstra will size the system accordingly to location, nearby objects that can cause shades, electricity demands, and products available.