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HOW DOES SOLAR WORK?
I hear solar referred to by different names, like Thermal or PV. Is there a difference? What is it?
Solar Electric Systems utilize Photovoltaic (referred to as PV) to convert light into electricity. Solar Thermal systems use the sun’s radiation to create hot water. MN Solar specializes in Solar Electric (PV) design.
WHAT IS THE PAYBACK ON A SOLAR PV SYSTEM?
A typical system payback is between 3 to 12 years with many variables such as utility rebates, depreciation, etc.. Many of our customers are seeing system paybacks less than 7 years. With our current financing program, in many cases, the systems are costing less per month than they would have been paying the utility company.
HOW BIG IS THE SYSTEM?
Systems vary in size, but a common residential array, or series of panels. Systems can range from 5kW to 20kW, all depending on your individual needs.
HOW MUCH POWER CAN I PRODUCE ON MY ROOF?
As a general rule of thumb, a 4 KW system will produce about 5,200 kilowatt hours per year. For a practical example, one 255-Watt panel can produce the power equivalent to that used to run 84 compact fluorescent light bulbs for 1 hour a day. Shading and orientation of the array will affect production. All systems are unique and each area offers a different daily solar energy availability level. Press the question mark for a map of available kWh per day in the USA
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE A GOOD SITE FOR A SOLAR ELECTRIC INSTALLATION?
With panel efficiencies, East, West, or South are all great candidates for solar systems. The single biggest consideration is shading issues. If you're not sure, MN Solar can come out and do a professional shade analysis at no charge.
WHAT ROLE DOES PANEL EFFICIENCY PLAY IN ENERGY PRODUCTION?
Efficiency of panels as a selling point is often misleading, because efficiency plays no role in producing more power. Efficiency only reflects the physical size and price of a module. For example: compare a 200-Watt panel that is 15 percent to a 200-Watt 20% efficient panel both produce 200 watts, but the more efficient module is smaller. If space is not an issue, a less efficient panel array may very well increase your return on investment.
HOW DOES THE ARRAY GET ATTACHED TO THE ROOF?
The system is attached to the roof with industry-approved fasteners for the specific roof type. Each penetration by installers is designed with a minimum of 2 fail-safe measures, eliminating leaks. All parts of the Solar Electric System are UL listed and meet rigorous standards.