What's It All About?
What should I expect when I get started?
When you call CNC Solar, our team will evaluate your solar needs, lead you through the selection process, apply for any required permits, and oversee the professional system installation that will meet local and state building codes and pass necessary inspections. We will thoroughly review the operational processes and make you aware of any maintenance requirements of your system to ensure its longevity. We will explain in detail all the local, state and federal credits accessible to early adopters of these technologies and ensure that you take advantage of all the financial assistance available to you at the time of your system installation. We will process all forms necessary for these grant programs and electrical grid connection applications on your behalf.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a solar electric system depends on the size and type needed. For example, a recent residential installation in Delaware cost approximately $25,000. But, with the federal, state and local credits available at the time, the owner’s total costs were reduced to only $13,000. It generates over 5000 KWh of electricity per year and the owner is expected to recoup that initial investment in just over 7 years.
When would I see a good ROI?
Your return on investment is dependent on many factors such as your location, the size of your system and direction in which your roof faces. CNC Solar will work with you to ensure that you take advantage of all federal, state and local rebates and credits available to you at the time of your installation which will shorten the amount of time before you’ll see 100% in returns. For example, a commercial system installed in Delaware today can recoup its initial investment in just over 3 years. The same system in NJ should recoup its investment in just under 2 years.
What is the ideal location for a solar installation?
Ideally, a property would have south-facing roof or open space for the most effective operations. But, CNC Solar will conduct an on-site inspection for you and design a system that works best based on your unique situation.
How does solar work?
Solar electric or photovoltaic systems sound complicated, in fact they are based on a relatively simple concept. A solar electric or photovoltaic system converts sunlight into DC electric power. An inverter then converts that DC power into standard household AC power distributed through the existing electrical panels in a building. When a system is generating more power than is being used in a building, the utility meter actually spins backward. Thereby reducing your energy bill and even selling back any excess electricity produced by your system.
What is a REC?
Many states have established laws mandating the amount of renewable energy that must be produced there and, in some cases, what percentage of that energy should come from solar electric. With your CNC Solar electric system, every 1000kW that is generated earns a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC). These SRECs are bought annually by local electricity suppliers and large private companies or institutions thereby earning income for you to help finance your system. CNC Solar can make you aware of these credit opportunities and help you take the steps you need to gain your credits today.
How can we get electricity from the sun?
When certain semiconducting materials, such as silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.
How long do photovoltaic (PV) modules last?
A PV system that is designed and installed properly will operate for more than 30 years. Many experts believe the actual number could be much higher, possibly as much as 50 years. Solar modules are extremely durable and lose very little of their energy generating capacity over time. This is one of the reasons that they make sense as a long-term investment.
The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation. Failed connections, insufficient wire size, components not rated for dc application, and so on, are the main culprits of a malfunction.
Does it make sense to install a solar system if we are moving in a couple of years?
It most cases yes. Most real estate experts currently believe that given the concerns about energy costs, a solar system will significantly raise a home's value. The Appraisal Journal, states that the value of your home is increased by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual operating costs resulting from installed energy efficiency measures or energy generation systems.
If there is a power outage, will I still have power from my solar electric system?
Battery back-up systems are required if you want to use electricity during a power outage. CNC Solar does not offer battery back-up systems at this time
When it is cloudy or foggy, will my solar electric system still work?
Yes. The solar electric system will continue to operate under fog or cloud cover but its output will be reduced. The solar electric system’s power output is relative to the “depth” of the cloud cover and how much light is passing through the clouds. We account for these “non-sunny” days in our yearly power output estimates by using empirical weather data collected and recorded by the U.S. Federal Government.
Can you put solar on a flat roof?
Yes. Most commercial solar electric systems are installed on flat roofs. The solar panels are usually mounted on “tilt-racks” which put the panels at the optimum angle.
Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?
Solar panels are very durable and are guaranteed to last at least 25 years. Therefore, you definitely should consider the age of your roof before you install them. If your roof is more than 15 years old you will want to consider replacing your roof before installing a system. However, if your roof is in reasonably good shape go for it. In fact, adding the solar panels will actually reduce the wear and tear on your roof and make it last longer since the solar panels will block ultraviolet rays which can damage roof tiles and will help to keep snow and ice off your roof.
Will a system produce enough energy to cover all my electricity needs?
It is important to understand that a solar electric system does not need to provide all of the electricity you need to be of great value. A small system that displaces an average of one-quarter to one-half of your average demand reduces your electric bill. We are happy to provide you with a system that supplies 100 percent of your energy needs, but cutting your electricity by 40 to 50 percent is typically the most cost-efficient approach for home solar power.
Do I need permission from the utility to connect my solar system to the grid?
Yes. The local utility has rules and procedures that must be followed to connect any generator to the grid safely and legally. These rules are generally based on national standards with which our systems comply. We will handle all the documentation and procedures for you.
Can the modules withstand high winds and hail?
Solar modules are very durable, and constructed with strong aluminum frames and high strength tempered glass. The panels are supported by our specially designed roof mounting systems and have been tested to withstand winds up to 125 mph (200 kmh). Furthermore, our modules can withstand one inch hailstones (about the size of a golf ball) at 50 mph (80.5 kmh).