faq1How does solar power work?
The two most commonly used types of solar energy technology in the Midwest are photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar thermal collectors.  PV panels contain a semiconductor material (typically silicon-based) which converts sunlight into direct-current (DC) electricity.  An on-site inverter converts the DC power to 120-volt AC power, which can then be connected to a home or building’s power supply or directly to the electricity grid.  Solar thermal collectors absorb the sun’s thermal energy and use it to heat water or other fluids, which can be used for hot water or circulated through a home or building for space heating.

How do solar panels generate electricity?
Solar panels absorb energy from the sun by way of a semiconductor (typically silicon) and generate a direct current electrical source. An inverter is used to convert the source to an alternating current source.

How can I use solar panels to power my house at night?
Battery storage may be ideal for some small scale PV systems. However, this method requires additional maintenance, and can be very costly.
Most customers remain connected to the grid for access to continuous, reliable electricity at all times.

Is maintenance required for PV systems?
Yes minimal maintenance is required. Panels should be cleaned  of debris, and anything that can block the sun to ensure maximum output. Some components may need regular inspection by a professional.

Can cloudy days affect solar panels?
Yes clouds can diffuse and or block sun light. This in turn will restrict the amount of sunlight absorbed by the solar panels and can reduce the energy output by 40–90%.

How long will my system last?
If properly installed, it should last 30-40 years. Systems that were installed in the 1970’s are still fully operational today. Technology has evolved so the systems from the 1970’s may not be as efficient as today’s technology.

What is a kilowatt hour?
This is what you pay for when you buy energy from the local utility company. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit for measuring energy. It is, as its name suggests, one kilowatt of power used over a period of one hour.

What are the environmental benefits?
Solar energy creates electricity and heat and avoids pollution from conventional coal plants and nuclear plants.  Using national average emission factors, every megawatt-hour of electricity generated through a solar PV panel avoids more than 1,300 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than 5 lbs of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and almost 2 lbs of nitrogen oxide (NOx), and it also avoids producing radioactive nuclear wastes.

What regular maintenance do I need to do?
With systems that we recommend, very little. PV systems are inherently very low-maintenance, requiring the system owner only to wash the solar modules down with water when they get dirty so light can get through.

For more information, Please contact us…