Solar Panel Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a lot to consider when making the switch to cleaner, renewable energy, and Solera is here to help. Below is a list of some of the most common questions we get about going solar, along with our technician’s detailed answers.
How long do solar panels last?
Solar panel technology has come a long way. Most panels can last for 40-50 years if properly maintained.
How will I know how well the solar panels are performing?
Solera Energy monitors solar panel production and efficiency at least monthly. We’ll give you access to our software so that you can personally monitor your system’s performance in real-time.
How much will solar energy from a solar facility vary year over year?
Weather can be difficult to predict over the short term, but things tend to shake out in the wash annually. Most estimate that power production won’t vary much more than 5% on an annual basis.
Will my solar panels work if it is cloudy or foggy?
Yes. All solar panels need is some level of ambient light to work. Solar projects will produce power at a slightly reduced rate (10%-25% less) in inclement weather.
Can hail damage or break my solar panels?
Yes, but this is very rare. To give you an idea of just how rare – the hail would have to be the size of golf balls. Solera solar panels are specially designed to withstand even the most extreme weather.
Will snow stop my solar panels from working?
Solar panels are tilted, meaning in most cases the snow will slide off on its own after a storm. However, if it’s a heavy storm, you may need to clean your solar panels off to allow the sun to enter the grid. Cleaning is easy, and a Solera Energy technician will walk you through the process.
Is the Solera solar system covered by any warranties?
Yes, the two key parts of the system, the panels, and inverters are covered by the manufacturer’s warranties. We’ll walk you through all your coverage before installing your system.
Should I make sure my solar system is insured?
Yes. This is a newer technology and a very valuable asset. We highly recommend contacting your insurance provider to make sure your coverage is in step with your property improvements.
How is power measured?
Solar power is measured using two main units – kilowatts or megawatts. A 1 MW power plant produces 1,000 kilowatts of power while operating at full capacity. When someone says “1 MW,” they usually mean the number of kilowatts or megawatts being transferred to the grid. This power “stream” will fluctuate occasionally, even under perfect conditions.
What is the difference between kilowatts (kW) and megawatts (MW)?
A kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts. A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts. Therefore, a megawatt is equal to 1,000,000 watts.
How many homes can be powered by a megawatt of energy?
One megawatt of energy can support about 164 homes on average, according to national data.
What exactly is a degradation rate?
Much like cars, solar panels slowly lose their efficiency over time. The degradation rate is the calculated rate of this loss. The rate is around .5% per year, and most panels are still producing at 80% capacity 25 years after installation. (Name a car that can do that!)
What are the financial benefits of going solar?
Switching to solar energy not only saves money on your current energy bills, it protects you against rising electricity costs later on. The amount of savings depends on your region’s utility rates, but all signs point to solar as a smart energy investment.
How does solar energy help the environment?
Going solar means you’re contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which have been associated with the negative effects of climate change. Solar energy also produces fewer air pollutants that can harm human respiratory health.
Is solar energy expensive? Can I afford it?
If you’re paying for electricity right now, you can likely afford to make the switch to solar energy. Solera Energy will go over financing options with you and be transparent with pricing every step of the way.
How do solar panels impact my property values?
Studies show that homes with solar energy go for more compared to homes without it. The return on investment can be even higher than a kitchen renovation!
Will solar panels work on my roof?
Roofs that face south, get sun all day and are big enough to fit at least one solar panel are ideal for installation. However, there are lots of ways we Solera Energy can make solar panels work for you, even if this doesn’t sound like your roof.
Don’t see your question?
Call us at (855) 650-7404 or contact us online today. One of our technicians will be happy to assist you.