List of questions
This section covers the most common questions people have about residential and commercial solar power systems.
- Does solar energy work in areas of the US that have lots of cloudy days?
- Will my solar panel still work when it snow?
- During a power outage will my solar electric system still produce power?
- How many solar electric panels are needed to cover all the power needs for my house or apartment?
- We are moving is a couple of years, does it make sense to install a solar system?
- How long do the solar modules last?
- Will my solar system still work when it is cloudy or foggy?
- Can solar panels fit on a flat roof?
- Are solar panels too heavy for my roof?
- Are solar panels durable enough to withstand hailstorms?
- How long does it take to install a solar electric system?
- What, if any, disadvantages are they for using solar energy?
- Do I need to put in a new roof before installing the solar panel?
- Do the panels need to be cleaned periodically?
- Why are photovoltaics (PV) so highly recommended?
Frequently asked questions
Does solar energy work in areas of the US that have lots of cloudy days?
Even though people may not realize it, there is plenty of sunlight in the Northeast for homeowners to take advantage of solar energy. There are no bad solar sites. Germany, the solar energy leader, receives less sunlight than rainiest areas of the US.
Will my solar panel still work when it snow?
Yes. The solar panels will absorb the sunlight through a thin layer of snow. If you have had a heavy snow fall you can use a squeegee to remove the surface layer of snow.
During a power outage will my solar electric system still produce power?
That depends on whether the system is grid tied or off grid using batteries. A grid tied system will lose power unless it switches to a generator for backup. If you are using a system with batteries then you won't lose power.
How many solar electric panels are needed to cover all the power needs for my house or apartment?
A number of factors would have to be considered to determine the amount of solar panels needed. First, how much energy you use. Second, are you trying to supplement your energy supply with a grid system or trying to cover all your energy needs with an off the grid system. Another factor to consider is the amount of roof space available for placing the solar panels. Fourteen panels would probably provide 40% to 50% of your energy needs. A large roof area can hold about 24, 125 watt solar panels and cover 75% to 100% of your energy needs. The energy output is somewhat lower for roofs that do not face south or that are partially shaded. A reputable solar installer can determine what fits best for you home energy needs.Read more