Category Archives: Solar 101

Articles all about solar, from common questions to overviews of different aspects of a solar energy installation.

Onsite vs. remote site survey

The future of solar site surveys: onsite or remote?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

One of the most crucial parts of any solar installation project is the site survey. After your installer makes an initial assessment of your property, they’ll conduct a site survey to obtain detailed information on the condition of your roof, and take measurements to assist the engineers in design. But how exactly do installers get this information? 

In the past, the only option was to climb up on the roof and take measurements by hand. While this is still the most common method, some new remote technologies are beginning to offer compelling advantages that are changing the way site surveys are conducted. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of each of these methods. 

Continue reading
4 kw solar system

How much does a 4,000 Watt (4 kW) solar system cost?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re shopping for a solar energy system, one of your first questions is probably, “how much will it cost?” Prices depend on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in, but reviewing prices for a 4 kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start for many smaller homes. Learn more about how much a 4 kW solar system costs, how much electricity a 4 kW system will produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

Continue reading
solar panel maintenance

Solar panel maintenance

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Worried about solar panels and hail? Fret not! Solar panel systems are incredibly durable and require little to no maintenance over their productive lifetime, which can span 25 years or more. In the event that something does go wrong, your solar PV system components have very long warranties that would cover replacement and repair costs. If you lease your solar panel system, repairs and maintenance are the leasing company’s responsibility, not yours.

Continue reading
rapid shutdown

Rapid shutdown: what you need to know

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’ve just installed a solar panel system or are looking at a picture of one, you may notice a box with an on/off switch that says “rapid shutdown.” But what does rapid shutdown mean, and why is it important for a solar panel system? In this article, we’ll give an overview of rapid shutdown requirements, how they vary by state, and list some popular inverter options that are compliant with rapid shutdown requirements.

Continue reading
large solar array in a field

What is a solar array?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The most important part of a solar panel system is the solar array. It holds all of the panels in your system, which is where sunlight is collected and converted into electricity. Here are some common questions to ask yourself before installing a solar panel system on your home, and to make sure you get the most productive array possible.

Continue reading
solar panel orientation and angle

Solar panel performance: how much does roof orientation and angle matter?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many people are under the misconception that they can’t install solar panels on their roof for a variety of reasons, whether because of the material, their location, shade, or the dimensions of their roof. Truthfully, there are many factors that make a roof more or less suitable, but while some roof qualities make them a total no-no for installations, others have a minimal impact on a solar panel system investment. In this article, we’ll review two roof factors that impact the performance of solar panels: orientation and tilt.

Continue reading

Depth of discharge (DoD): What does it mean for your battery, and why is it important?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batteries are becoming a popular add-on to solar systems thanks to the extra benefits they can offer for solar system buyers. Batteries offer backup power benefits when the grid goes down, increases the usefulness of off-grid systems, and improves solar economics if you have less than ideal net metering policies or time-of-use (TOU) rates.

Continue reading