Can I use photovoltaics (PV) to power my home?

PV can be used to power your entire home’s electrical systems, including lights, cooling systems and appliances. PV systems today can be blended easily into both traditional and nontraditional homes. The most common practice is to mount modules onto a south-facing roof, or ground mounting.


How much does a solar system cost?

The installed cost of a PV system will depend upon the size of the system (based on your consumption), the roof type, the type of modules and mounting style. Solar systems are half the cost from years ago and there are federal tax credits available to help you reduce the cost of the system.
 

Are there any hidden costs?

Every installation is unique, however, we strive to ensure that everything is transparent and accurate as possible. Just contact us if you have any questions 407-443-4404 or info@solar-ray.net

 

How long does it take to install the average system?

The average domestic system will take one day to install.


How is a solar electric system design, installed and maintained?


To avoid system failure, complications or injury, you will probably want to hire a reputable professional contractor with experience in installing solar systems. PV systems have few moving parts, so they require little maintenance. The components are designed to meet strict dependability and durability standards so they can stand up to the elements. However, they are fairly sophisticated electric systems, so installation usually requires the knowledge and experienced of a licensed equipment contractor.

 
Where can I find a professional who designs, installs and maintains photovoltaic (PV) systems?

We suggest you look into the following websites: National Association of Board Certified Electric Practitioners www.NABCEP.comand www.SolarReviews.com


What happens if things go wrong?


If you have any concerns about your system, or you think it’s not generating what it should, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will send someone out to resolve the issue.

 

Will solar power protect me from power bill increases?

The prices of oil and other non-renewable sources are on the increase. This trend will continue into the future, getting more dramatic as shortages of supply increase. The price of your electricity from solar will never increase as the fuel is free and infinite!
 

Does solar power reduce pollution?

Absolutely. The major contributor to global warming is the emissions of carbon dioxide from power stations.


Understanding Pricing Terms


Each PV module has a specific power rating that identifies how much electricity that module will produce at the point the sun is strongest.The ratings from all of the modules in a system are totaled to get the full power rating for the system. The cost of your complete system – modules, inverter, mounting system, wiring, and installation – is then divided by the total power rating to get the cost per watt of maximum rated power. For example: A 2,000-watt system, that has a total cost of $8,000, is considered to cost $4 per watt.



Frequently Asked Questions:



How do we get electricity from light?

When certain semiconducting materials, such a certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or rejection, of electrons in response to light.



How does it work?

Solar PV generates electricity from light (photons). The more light that shines on them the more energy they produce.



Is Solar Power a good investment?


Yes! Solar is a great and secure investment, better than investing your money in savings accounts or IRA’s. If you are looking for an ethical place to put your money then solar PV will benefit you and the planet.



What does PV Mean?

PV is short for Photovoltaic, pronounced fotovoltaik, which comes from Latin: photo (light) + voltaic. (Producing direct electric current) = producing electricity with light.



How long will a Photovoltaic (PV) systems last?


A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 30 years at 80% of performance. The basic PV module  (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.


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A SOLAR PV SITE EVALUATION


* A full years analysis of your solar exposure from five points of the projected array location using digital imaging from a Solar Pathfinder.

* Identification of significant shading objects with time of day and month they will occur.

* Basic design and price estimate for a recommended system including module size, array configuration, wiring diagram, inverter selection, and balance-of-system component location.

*Spreadsheet of estimated daily AC production using regional solar radiation data from the U.S. Department of Energy and calculations of inherent system power losses.

* Product specifications and warranty information on selected modules and inverter.

* Current information on your utility’s net-metering and interconnection policy.

* Information on applicable building codes, safety regulations, Florida construction contracting law, and recommended best  practices for system installation.

Site Evaluations


Solar-Ray provides one of the most thorough and precise solar site evaluations in the industry. Below is a   description of what you can expect for a nominal charge that will be refunded with a system purchase.  Call today to learn more or schedule an appointment (407) 443-4404, or email  info@solar-ray.net


A SOLAR-RAY PV SITE EVALUATION CONSISTS OF:


* A full year’s analysis of your solar exposure from five points of the projected array location using digital imaging from a Solar Pathfinder.

Identification of significant shading objects with time of day and month they will occur.

Basic design and price estimate for a recommended system including module size, array configuration, wiring plan, inverter selection, and balance-of-system component location.

Spreadsheet of estimated daily AC production using regional solar radiation data from the U.S. Department of Energy and calculations of inherent system power losses.

Product specifications and warranty information on selected modules, inverter, and mounting system.

Current information on your utility’s net-metering and interconnection policy. Information on applicable building codes, safety regulations, Florida consruction contracting law, and recommended best practices for system installation.



Glossary:



60 CELL: 60 cell module.

72 CELL: 72 cell module.

AC POWER ALTERNATING CURRENT: is the rate of flow of energy past a given point of the circuit.

AC POWER: Alternating Current.

CHARGE CONTROLLERS:
charge regulator or battery regulator limits the rate at which electric current is added to or drawn from electric batteries. It prevents overcharging and may protect against overvoltage.

DC POWER DIRECT CURRENT: is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by sources such as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type.

DC POWER: Direct Current.

FSEC: Florida Solar Energy Center.

GRID TIED: also called tied to grid or grid tie system, is a semi-autonomous electrical generation or grid energy storage system which links to the mains to feed excess capacity back to the local mains electrical grid. When insufficient electricity is generated, or the batteries are not fully charged, electricity drawn from the mains grid can make up the shortfall.

INVERTER CHARGERS: is a combination of an inverter, battery charger and transfer switch into one complete system. When AC power is available, the inverter/charger recharges the house batteries. It also allows any surplus AC power to pass through and power downstream AC loads, such as a television set or microwave oven. When AC is disconnected, the unit inverts DC battery power into AC electricity.

INVERTER: A solar inverter changes the electrical current from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

KILOWATT HOURS: (symbol kWh, kW·h, or kW h) is a unit of energy equal to 1,000 watt-hours, or 3.6 megajoules. The kilowatt-hour is commonly used as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

MICRO INVERTER: is a device used in photovoltaics that converts direct current (DC) generated by a single solar module to alternating current (AC).  The output from several microinverters is combined and often fed to the electrical grid.

MODULE: is a packaged, connected assembly of solar cells.

MONO CELL: Solar cells made of monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), also called single-crystalline silicon (single-crystal-Si), are quite easily  recognizable by an external even coloring and uniform look, indicating high-purity silicon.

MPPT: or maximum power point tracker is an electronic DC to DC converter that optimizes the match between the solar array (PV panels), and the battery bank or utility grid. To put it simply, they convert a higher voltage DC output from solar panels (and a few wind generators) down to the lower voltage needed to charge batteries.

NABCEP: North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.

NET METERING: Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output.

NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

PANEL: refers to a photovoltaic module or to a set of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure.

PV: Photovoltaic system, also photovoltaic power system, solar PV system, PV system or casually solar array, is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics. It consists of an arrangement of several components, including solar panels to absorb and directly convert sunlight into electricity.

STAND ALONE POWER SYSTEM (SAPS or SPS), also known as remote area power supply (RAPS), is an off-the-grid electricity system for locations that are not fitted with an electricity distribution system.

SUN HOURS: is a climatological indicator, measuring duration of sunshine in given period for a given location on Earth. It is a general indicator of cloudiness of a location, and thus differs from insolation, which measures the total energy delivered by sunlight over a given period.   

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