FAQ

You can go up to 100% solar. The total energy you can produce may only be limited by the available space to install panels, as well as the amount you are willing to invest in going solar.

There is currently a 30% federal tax credit that is applicable towards the total installed cost of a solar pv system. This tax credit is available for individuals as well as businesses in the US. You can check for more rebates available at state and county levels here: http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-rebates-and-incentives/

As of January 1, 2009 the federal tax credit for solar electric installation amounts to 30% of the installed cost of your solar electric system and has no cap on the amount of the credit. This credit is applied by either you or your accountant filing the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit.

Photovoltaic solar electric systems are essentially maintenance free. However, depending on the environment around your home, it may be necessary to clean them off like a window. We typically recommend cleaning them off once each year. If your application is in an area subject to excessive leaves, pollen or other environmental debris it may be better to clean them off a little more frequently to maintain maximum efficiency.

Yes, panels can be installed on almost any type of roof. From shingles to metal roofs, and even flat top commercial buildings. When ordering be sure to specify your roof type, as mounting systems for shingle roofs is our default.

Once the sun’s rays are converted to electricity, that electricity is sent to a piece of equipment called an inverter. The inverter basically changes the DC (direct current) voltage produced by the photovoltaic panels into AC (alternating current) voltage. The inverter channels this AC voltage into your existing electrical system for distribution throughout your home or office.

A string inverter is a single large central inverter that all of your solar panels feed their power into, while microinverters are mini inverters that are placed on the back of each individual solar panel.

String inverters are best suited for installations where panels are installed perfectly on a single plane and not shaded during any part of the day.However, if shading occurs on any of the panels in a string inverter setup, the potential power production of all the panels in the string is limited to that of the lowest producing shaded panel.

Microinverters are slightly more expensive, but are better suited for installations where one or more panels may be shaded, or where panels are installed on multiple planes and/or facing different directions. Microinverters allow each panel to operate independently of each other, allowing each panel to reach its maximum power production potential.

The best type of inverter for your application can depend on a variety of factors such as available space and shading. A DIY Solar design consultant can help you find the inverter solution that works best for your property.

If you were to hire a solar installer most often payback periods could range from 10-20 years. When you go solar through DIY Solar Supply your payback period should be around 4-6 years. However, this is dependent on a variety of factors and could be more or less depending on where you live, how much sun your panels get, as well as any other rebate programs that may be available in addition to the 30% federal tax credit.

Here is a solar savings calculator provided by the US Department of Energy - http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

There are many financial benefits to going solar. First you are able to lock in what you pay for power for years to come, utility rates may continue to increase but energy from the sun will always be free.

Secondly there is a 30% federal tax credit available which can significantly reduce the cost of your installation. For example say you spend $10,000 on a solar power system, this means that 30% of this total cost or $3,000 is refundable to you in the form of a tax credit. Addition tax credits and rebates may also be available to offset the cost of going solar, depending on where you live.

Lastly, when you go solar through DIY Solar Supply you are able to cut out expensive installation costs  which often make up 50%-75% of the cost in a quote for a solar installation. Going solar through DIY can greatly reduce your payback period and add thousands of dollars of extra value over the life of your system.

 

Because solar power systems have no moving parts and require little to no maintenance many solar power systems may last up to 30 Years. However most panels come with a 20 year manufacturer warranty

Installation Steps

  1. Obtain a permit from your municipality (permitting service available)
  2. Submit application for your solar system to connect with your electric utility
  3. Review instructions and safety procedures
  4. Plan your system layout (design service available)
  5. Mark the rafters location on your roof with chalk.  Six feet between mounting feet
  6. Install the mounting feet with flashings provided, attach rails to mounting feet
  7. Run the AC Trunk cable along the rail and clip to the rail
  8. Install an AC Trunk cable terminator at end of the cable
  9. Install the micro-inverters to the rail using the provided mounting bolts and grounding washers and plug into the AC trunk cable.
  10. Bring a panel onto the roof, plug the DC connections into the micro-inverter and bolt down with end and mid clamps. Repeat this step for all panels.
  11. Run the AC trunk cable into the junction box and secure the junction box to the rails or roof
  12. Run an approved 20A 4-wire AC circuit from the junction box to the AC disconnect
  13. Run  wire from the AC disconnect switch to your home electrical panel using appropriate circuit breaker.

 

NOTE- Unless you have experience as an electrician it is recommended that you hire a licensed electrician for steps 11-13

Our kits contain all of the solar equipment needed to make the switch other than wire and/or conduit. This is because each installation will require different lenghts of wire, and possibly conduit dependant on your array setup. Also 10awg or 12awg wire is something you can easily source from Home Depot or Lowes for under $50