Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answer to commonly asked questions about Solar
As sunlight hits a solar module, photons excite electrons in a silicon cell as they travel from the top layer of the cell to the bottom layer creating voltage and electric current.
This is known as the Photovoltaic Effect.
The electric current travels through a circuit to an inverter and the inverter converts the electricity from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) so that it may be used in your home. AC is the form of electricity that is supplied by your utility.
Solar is a great fit for nearly all situations.
Tax incentives, financing and loan options plus falling material costs have made today a wonderful time to go solar!
In a short time-span solar electric power has gone from relative obscurity to instantly recognizable, reflected in our culture and way of living. Going green and environmental awareness have become some important topics in our lives and our future.
Whether you’re interested in helping the environment, saving on electricity, or both, you can be confident that any questions and concerns you may have can be addressed with SOLARGRAHAM.
- East arrays capture early morning sun while the array is cool, especially in low desert regions.
- South facing arrays capture the most sunlight throughout the day and are generally the most efficient.
- West facing arrays capture sunlight when electricity costs are at their highest, helping curb electric costs later into the evening.
The layout of your home and available space will require from one to all three rooftop directions being utilized.
In some cases, the best option may be a Ground Mounted Solar Electric System with customizable orientation and tilt. On flat rooftops customizable orientation and tilt will also be employed.
Contact SOLARGRAHAM today for a free site evaluation to determine the best placement of your solar electric system.
With the experience of over 1,000 installed solar electric systems SOLARGRAHAM has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of solar equipment. Through this experience we have narrowed down our preferred equipment list to the brands and equipment we trust and value the most. Equipment that has stood the test of time requiring the least amount of maintenance with the best warranty and value for our customers.
We are proud to work with SolarWorld, Solaria, Panasonic, Enphase, QuickMount and Pro Solar.
Solar electric systems are sized based upon amount of electricity a household uses from their utility provider and is measured in kWh (Kilowatt Hours). A year’s worth of kWh usage data is collected and the solar electric system is designed to offset as close to 100% of the usage as possible. In many cases there is simply not enough room on the roof or ground to offset 100% of the usage. Even in these cases the average price per kWh will be reduced by such a large margin that a solar electric system still makes a great investment.
After installation you will still be connected to the grid. Today’s electric grid is a very stable and reliable source of energy. Being connected to the grid allows you to be part of the NEM (Net Energy Metering) Program.
With NEM, the utility allows you to earn credits while your system is producing more power than you are using, to be used later when your system is not producing at night.
Solar electric systems can also be designed in an off-grid configuration. This requires a battery backup system that will supply power in the absence of the electric grid. These systems are more expensive and require more maintenance but can be installed in areas with no utility or in places where the utility is not reliable.
For questions about battery back up and off-grid solar electric systems feel free to contact SOLARGRAHAM today.
Grid connected solar electric systems require little maintenance. Changes in season and weather effect the output of a solar system, the longer the sun is out the better. Throughout the year dust will accumulate on solar systems and it is recommended that they be washed off from 1 to 3 times per year. This should be done while it is cool outside either in the morning or at night and can provide up to a 5% increase in production compared to when dirty.
SOLARGRAHAM offers one free complimentary cleaning and cleaning packages that can be added to the purchase of a solar electric system.
In California, the California Solar Rights Act and AB 2188 state that homeowner’s association’s (HOA’S), governments, and other organizations cannot prevent you from installing a solar electric system on your property. Each HOA may have requirements as to general placements and allowable colors of conduit runs if it does not significantly affect the output of the solar system.
SOLARGRAHAM has dealt with hundreds of HOA’s over the years and the process usually has just a few simple steps.
- Contact HOA for application
- Provide general description of work to be done including contractor info, site plan, and neighbor signatures of understanding that work is to be done.
- HOA reviews and approves application and work can commence.
It is our goal to provide our clients with the best possible experience going solar. SOLARGRAHAM will walk with our clients from start to finish and beyond. From system design to permitting to installation to final inspection to permission to operate, we will take care of everything and always be available to answer any questions promptly and provide our best. That is our promise to you.
We offer a 20 year parts and labor warranty along with a 25 year solar module and inverter manufacturers’ warranty and 20 years of power generation monitoring. Our work is what makes us who we are, and we are confident in the workmanship and pride that go into every one of our systems.
We are ready and available to help you get started in solar today!
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