How much space does the system need?

A typical system requires about five square feet for each dollar of your
electric bill. This is similar to one square foot of roof space for each ten
Watts of installed solar energy. Check out our Pictures Tab to see what
systems of various sizes look like on actual roofs.

Do the solar panels need to be mounted on my roof?

Panels are often mounted on the roof, but can also be mounted on the
ground. Ground mounts are great if the house itsel
f is shaded, or if
dormers or other obstructions limit available space on the roof.

Do the panels need to face south?

South is best, but panels installed facing south-east or south-west still
generate a very high percentage of possible power.

Are the panels fragile?

No. While the panels are made of tempered glass, they are quite strong.
They pass hail tests and are regularly installed in Arctic conditions.

How much solar electric power do I need to power my home?

To participate in the NJ rebate program, there are 3 limitations that must be
adhered to:

1)  10 KW or less for residential systems
2)  Limited to no greater than the expected annual electrical usage of your
house.  For example, if your electrical usage for the last 12 months was
8000 kWhs,  you would be limited to a
bout a  7.5 kW system.  
3)  Limited to the amount of roof space that can support a solar install --
for example, if 1) and 2) above potentially allow us to place a 10kW system
on your house, depending on the size and shape of your roof, we may be
physically limited to installing a 7kW system on your roof due to space

How much power does the system produce?

Systems come in all sizes, and production is dependant on a variety of
factors that is specific you your house and your location as well as the
engineering techniques used to design and install your system.  A
good rule
of thumb estimate is that for each kW of installed solar energy, you will
produce about 1200 kWh of electricity annually.

How long will the system last?

A Properly installed Photo-Voltaic System is estimated to last in excess of
30 years.
The solar panels generally used in our installations have a 25-year
manufacturer's power warranty .  This is
one of the longest warranties in
the industry.  Our Recommended i
nverters have warranties up to 10 years.  

What happens when the utility has a power outage?

For safety reasons, grid tied Photo-Voltaic (PV) systems are required to
turn off when there is a power outage.  This is so that no energy is being
sent to the grid while people are working on the electrical outage.  Some
systems have battery back-ups and can have grid bypass switches to
bypass this problem.  This is a rare installation in NJ due to the cost/benefit

Do I need batteries with the system?

Batteries are only required if you want backup power when the utility is out
of service. Without batteries, the system has no way to store power, and
for safety reasons cannot produce power without the utility in operation.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the regulatory ability to get credit for the clean electricity
you generate with solar energy.   In NJ you can bank all of the electricity
that you create, and if the amount you generate exceeds the amount used,  
you will receive credit for these stored kWhs annually.

How does the solar power get stored?

In a clean power, non-battery system, power is not stored. It is either used
immediately in the house or sent backwards through the meter, creating a
credit. If storage is needed, large batteries and other equipment are added
to the system.

What happens if the panels get covered by snow?

Solar electric panels need sunshine to generate power. While some sun does
make it through several inches of snow, little electricity is generated when
the panels are covered with anything. S
ince the installation has southern
exposure, snow generally melts off of the panels quite quickly
. Our annual
estimates take general snow coverage into account.

Do I need to install a new roof before the solar panels are installed?

Solar panels will last many years (over 25). Because of this, we want the
roof to be in decent condition, as it does not make sense to remove and
reinstall the panels after only a few years when replacing a roof.  However,
after the panels are in place, they will greatly reduce the wear on the roof by
blocking ultraviolet rays, keeping most snow and ice off the roof, and
keeping anything from hitting the roof. Most installations do not require a
new roof prior to PV installation,  but some do.

What happens if the panels are shaded?

PV panels should be installed in areas where they get significant shade-free
sun every day. Even small amounts of shade can significantly reduce the
output. Our designs and installations also seek to minimize the impact of
any shade issues through selection of the proper equipment and good
In order to install solar in some locations, tree pruning and/or
removal may be required.  We will point out these issues during our free
solar evaluation of the home.  We also have agreements with some tree
services to provide discounted tree pruning or removal to our customers.

Do I need to clean the panels periodically?

Most of our customers do not clean their panels. In most areas of the
country, there is sufficient rain to clean the panels. However, if you are in a
dusty area (near a busy dirt road, heavilly urban area, etc.) you may see a
performance gain from cleaning the panels p
eriodically. If necessary, a hose
stream is usually sufficient for cleaning.
 Do not walk on or over the panels
to clean them. Do not use metal, hard or abrasive methods for cleaning. Do
not spray water on the panels when they are very hot.

Are there financial incentives for buying solar electricity?

Yes...there are tremendous incentives!  Please follow our links to learn more
about SREC's, rebates and tax benefits as well.

If I sell my property, what effect does a solar system have on the
sale price?

Energy conservation and renewable clean energy generation adds value to a
home. Surveys have shown that for every $1,000.00 of energy
/income per year, up to $20,000.00 is added to a home's value.
Solar energy can be one of the best home improvement investments you

How long does it take to install a PV system?

Typical residential systems take from 1 - 3 weeks to install. Systems
mounted on the ground and systems with batteries are more complex, and
may take longer. Most of this time is spent outside your house, so there is
little disturbance to you. Commercial systems take several weeks to m
month to install, depending upon size and type of installation.
One thing to note is that the rebate process in NJ can be lengthy.  After you
complete the application it may be m
any months before we can begin your

Schedule a
free presentation
delivered by our solar
experts today!
We'll explain why going
green is the best
investment you can
make--for our planet
 your wallet.

Solar Engineering of
Saving  Green
Making Green

(206) 338-3770