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10 Things to Know About Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar panel systems, solar energy systems, or solar power systems – convert sunlight into electricity. You can use the electricity generated by your solar PV system to power your home, your business or even your car.

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1. Solar-generated energy will save you money regardless of budget

If you can afford to pay your electricity bill every month, then you can afford to install a solar panel system.  You can finance your system with a loan or $0-down solar lease and realize savings on Day 1 of activation.

2. Solar energy systems area great investment

Return on your investment in a solar energy system has the potential to exceed earnings compared with traditional investments.  It is common for consumers to achieve full payback within 6-8 years after installation; thereafter, all savings are net profit.  Now is the right time to make the investment since solar technology will continue improving incrementally each year with the financial incentives and rebates ultimately decreasing as solar energy becomes more popular.

3. Solar energy systems are not a new invention

Solar technology was discovered in 1954 by Bell Labs. As of 2016, 1 million solar energy systems have been installed on US homes and businesses.  Total US installations are expected to reach 2 million by the end of 2018.

4. Solar energy systems are highly durable

Solar panels are made of tempered glass and can withstand hail, snow, rain, and high winds.  They also protect the roof from normal wear and tear.

5. Solar power systems can produce electricity for 25+ years

Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25-year power production warranty.  Manufacturers guarantee that their solar panels will continue to generate electricity at a certain capacity for the duration of the warranty.

6. Solar energy systems require little-to-no maintenance

Solar panel systems are incredibly durable and do not need to be washed or cleaned routinely unless you live in a very dusty environment.

7. Solar panels are being installed coast-to-coast in the US

Solar panels are being installed coast-to-coast and in areas that experience drastic changes in temperature, eg, two of the most thriving markets are Massachusetts and New Jersey.  Important factors when considering solar energy system options include: (a) your electricity rate; and (b) available rebates and/or incentives.

8. Solar energy systems tied to the electric grid do not require batteries for power storage

Typical residential/commercial solar energy systems are 'grid-tied', ie, they are connected to the electric grid.  When your solar energy system produces more energy than you are using, then excess electricity may be 'exported' to your utility company resulting in a credit - this is called Net Metering.   'Off-grid' solar energy systems, not tied to the electric grid, are available and required the use of batteries to store power generated by panels.

9. Solar power systems can significantly reduce most or eliminate your electricity bill

Depending on the your electricity rate, the area available for panels, and your budget for the project, the power your panels produce can significantly reduce or altogether eliminate your monthly electricity bill.

10. Solar energy systems may be installed on a roof, the ground, or carport

Solar panel installation is extremely versatile. Panels can installed practically anywhere that receives direct sunshine. Many creative innovations for solar panel placement have allowed consumers to benefit by capturing sunlight using various structures.

How Solar Energy Works