How many solar panels will my home need?

Every household is going to be different depending on a number of factors. That’s why our solar project specialists are here to help you sort through all the technical stuff. So instead of wracking your brain over “how many solar panels will I need?” or “what kind of inverter do I buy?” Prepare yourself by asking these questions instead.

How much power do I need? 

Check your electric bills to see how many kilowatts you use on an average day. A typical system generates 7 kilowatts per day but your home may need more or less. We’ll go over this with you in more detail during your free solar consultation to figure out just how much power a solar system will need to produce in order to power your home.

What’s your climate like?

The number of panels you will need depends on how much solar radiation reaches the ground where you are. Do you get a lot of cloudy weather in your neighborhood forecast? Believe it or not, solar can work well even if it’s overcast.

How does shade effect a solar system performance?

It’s important to minimize shading because solar panels operate at optimal output when their entire surface is fully exposed to direct sunlight. The system will still produce energy if it is shaded but its output will lessen.
Nation Sun will evaluate your particular situation and provide solar options for you.

How much direct sun hits your roof? 

In general, you’ll need 100 square feet of south-facing roof space for every kilowatt of power. Clouds? No problem, the sun can handle it. Actually, it’s shadows from chimneys, trees, or taller buildings that are a bigger obstacle for the sun’s rays. All of these factors are factored in to your final design.

How much maintenance is required for solar panels?

Not much! Remember solar panels need the sun to work. The more sunlight that hits your panels, the more power they’ll produce. But since they are angled toward the sun — this positioning unfortunately allows more dirt, pollen, leaves, birds droppings, and dust to collect on top of them. Even a small amount of grime has the capacity to reduce their energy production. That’s why it’s important to conduct periodic maintenance checks & visual inspections of your system.

Do you live in a rainy climate?

 In many scenarios, rain will wash off the debris your solar panels collect, especially when installed at a steeper tilt. Yet, if your panels happen to gather an unusually thick coating of filth, or if you’re a desert inhabitant with layers of sand and grit covering your outdoor material possessions — you can easily rinse your panels without leaving the ground with water from your garden hose. Just direct your hose spray up to your panels and shower them off, this will imitate the cleansing action of natural rainfall.

What happens if I move?

Nation Sun has a team of real estate professionals standing by to help you sell your solar home and transfer your contract to the new owners. Nation Sun makes it easy to transfer your solar lease or purchase agreement and pass along those ridiculously low energy bills to the new owners. Our Service Transfer Specialists handle everything from educating realtors and potential buyers to working with escrow officers, title agents, home inspectors, and anyone else who might need to know about your system or solar lease agreement.

How much will I save with a solar system?

Due to rising utility costs, most homes are saving 25% to 30% off their utility bill. Your current monthly energy use and the size of your system will determine your actual savings amount. And with little or no startup costs, systems can start paying for themselves immediately. Savings will vary based on several factors, including system size, performance, your household's average energy usage as well as any applicable solar credits, tax incentives, and current solar energy buyback (net metering) rates offered by your utility company. A detailed calculation of your potential return on investment (ROI) will be provided by Nation Sun during your solar consultation. 

What is a solar lease or PPA?

With a solar lease or PPA you aren’t renting the solar panels. You are simply buying your electricity directly from the panels on your roof. Instead of buying your electricity from your local utility company that has rising rates and fees, you are able to lock in a surprising low solar rate that is typically going to be 25% to 30% lower than your utility. Nation Sun and our partners cover the cost of everything from paperwork, design, engineering, permitting, installation and maintenance.

How does a home solar system work?

A photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system is composed of solar panels, racking for mounting the panels on the roof, electrical wiring, and an inverter. From sunrise to sunset, the solar panels generate direct current electricity (DC) which is sent to the inverter. The inverter converts the DC into alternating current (AC), the type of electricity required for household use.

How long will a solar system last?

Our systems are designed to have a useful life of 35+ years or more.

What exactly is Time of Use?

“TOU” is short for Time of Use electricity rates. These rates are set by your local utility and they vary by time of day: more expensive during periods of peak demand and less expensive during low demand periods. For instance, TOU rates would be higher during hot summer afternoons or nights when people tend to use their A/C more. Conversely, TOU rates would be lower during low demand periods like the hours during your workday when you’re not home.

What happens at a solar installation?

You don’t have to lift a finger because we take care of everything from scheduling to submitting permits, to working with the city, and securing those beautiful panels to your roof. Naturally you’ll have questions, and we’ll be right there with you answering them every step of the way.

Here’s what you can expect:

      Site Assessment
A technician will visit you in your home to confirm your system design, verify measurements, and adjust for shade and obstructions on your roof.
Timing: 1-2 weeks
   
   Design Approval
Following site evaluation, our solar design experts will make any necessary adjustments to your original home solar system design. If there are any major changes you will be notified for approval.
Timing: 1-3 weeks
   
   Permitting
Once your final design blueprints are done, we’ll submit your design to the city for permitting. The timing now depends on how quickly local government works and can take up to eight weeks.
Timing: 2-8 weeks
   
   Solar Installation
After your permit is granted, we’ll get to work placing new panels on your roof! One of our local certified partners will be performing your solar installation. We only partner with the very best installers in your area, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll have the highest quality solar installation available.
Timing: 1-3 days
   
   City/County Inspections
When construction is finished, the city or county will do a final inspection before your system can be connected to the grid.
Timing: 1-4 weeks
   
   Utility Interconnection
We’ll submit your documents to the utility company and they’ll install a net meter allowing you to track how much solar electricity you produce and use. Timing: 3-6 weeks
   
   Power Up and Start Saving
When the utility company grants Permission to Operate, that means you’re free to flip the switch and start generating clean, affordable, money-saving energy right from your roof. Congratulations, you are now running on the sun and saving money! 
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