Solar power frequently asked questions.
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Solar FAQ.

How does a residential solar electric system work?

The solar cells in the modules convert the sun’s energy into a DC electrical current. This DC current
flows into an inverter which changes the DC electricity to AC electricity in order to run household
appliances. The AC electricity flows into your electrical service panel to supply power to your home. If
your solar system produces more electricity than you use, the excess electricity is re-routed to your
utility line and, in states with net metering laws, is sold to the utility. The utility provides power at night
and during the day when your electrical demand exceeds what your solar system produces. During a
power outage, your solar system automatically shuts down unless the system includes battery backup.

Will my solar electric system work at night and on cloudy days?

Your solar electric system will not work at night because solar modules need sunlight to produce
power. Solar modules will still produce power on a cloudy day although they will probably only
produce about half as much as under full sun.

Will my residential solar system make hot water?

Solar modules convert sunlight into electricity to operate appliances, lights and other devices and
will not heat water although it can offset the power used by an electric water heater. Event Horizon Solar does sell solar thermal panels or systems used for water heating.

Can my solar electric system generate heat for my home?

Event Horizon solar power systems are only designed to provide electricity to run your lights, appliances and
other electric devices in your home and will not convert the sun's light into heat. However, a grid tie solar
electric system can help offset the cost of running electric heaters such as the Edenpure heater.

How do I know if my home is suitable for a solar electric system?

Solar electric systems are a viable power solution for most homes. Event Horizon Solar systems are engineered for
roof or ground installations in almost any location of the United States where direct sunlight is
available. You'll need an unobstructed area of about 120 square feet for a small system, and up to 1,000
square feet for a large system. The site must be free from shading because of the wiring design of a
solar module. If any portion of the solar panel is shaded, the entire module power output is lowered. A
south-facing roof area is ideal, but a west- or east-facing roof can still produce approximately 90
percent of the power of a south-facing roof.

Where are solar electric modules installed?

Solar electric modules can be ground mounted or roof mounted. Roofs can be asphalt shingled or steel.
If your roof shingles will need replacement in a few years, it would be wise to replace them before the
system is installed.

Can I install the solar system myself?

In some cases yes. If you have previous home wiring experience and are very mechanically inclined, you could
install the system yourself with our help. If not, then the solar electric system must be installed by a qualified
electrical contractor or solar installer.

How much will a solar system cost?

Currently(2015), the installed cost for a solar electric system averages between $3.00 and $4.00 per
watt. However, many states or utilities offer solar rebate and tax credit programs which may lower your
cost by up to 50%, saving you thousands of dollars. Visit
www.dsireusa.org for information about your
State's solar incentives and Federal tax credits that can help reduce the cost of your solar system. Solar
Panels today (2015) are 1/3 the cost they were a few years ago so even if your state does not have good
incentives, a solar array is still a very good investment and outperforms most stocks for return.

I'm planning on building a new house, when is the best time to install a system on my roof?

Before laying the roof, you can install flash mounting brackets that provide the highest level of
protection from leakage.

What size solar system do I need to produce enough electricity to run my house?

The solar system size depends on your average electrical usage, climate, roof angle and many other
factors. As a rough guide, multiply your average daily electrical demand in kilowatt-hours by 0.25. The
result is the approximate size of solar array, in kilowatts, needed to meet your electrical demand. We
recommend using the Event Horizon Solar Design Guide to more accurately determine your electrical needs
and the size of your solar system.

Will a solar electric system produce enough energy to cover all my electricity needs?

The amount of power produced by a solar system varies depending on the size of the system, your
geographic location and climate and whether the solar system has battery backup. You certainly can
buy a solar electric system large enough to cover all of your electrical needs. However, a solar electric
system does not need to provide all of the electricity you require to be of value. A system displacing an
average of one-quarter to one-half of your average demand reduces your electric bill. With battery
backup, a solar system can deliver uninterrupted power to critical loads during utility outages for days
or weeks. Reducing your electricity by 40 to 50 percent is typically the most cost-efficient approach for
home solar power.

How long will my residential solar power system last?

Most solar modules show little degradation over many years of operation and carry a 25 year
manufacturer’s warranty. They typically have a 50+ year life expectancy. This makes solar power a
highly reliable source of power. Batteries in a backup system may need replacement in 10 years. We have some battery systems that are much older

What maintenance does the solar system require?

We recommend that your installer perform a system check once a year, just to make sure everything is
performing as it should. The modules usually don't require any more maintenance then hosing them off
two or three times a year if needed.

Do I need a building permit?

In most areas a permit is required. Your qualified solar installer will know how to obtain the necessary
permits from your local government.

Do I need approval from my homeowners’ association?

If you belong to a homeowners’ association, consult your covenants for details. Many states prohibit
homeowners’ associations from restricting solar devices.

Do I need permission from the local utility to connect my solar system to the grid?

The local utility has rules and procedures that must be followed to connect any generator to the grid
safely and legally. Event Horizon Solar will help you with the documentation and procedures if needed.

Can I be totally independent from the utility?

Our grid-tied solar electric systems are designed to interconnect with existing utility service. Off-grid solar
electric systems can allow you to produce all of your own power but must be custom designed by a qualified
solar power engineer.

Does Event Horizon Solar offer installation in Michigan?

Event Horizon Solar And Wind Inc. offers solar installation in much of lower Michigan including Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and  Kalamazoo. We can work with your electrician in other areas

 

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