Solar energy: you asked, we answered

As more homeowners and businesses invest in solar energy common interest continues to rise.  However, even with the rise in popularity there is still much confusion about the perks of getting your energy from solar panels.  But, have no fear.  We have the answers to some of the most common questions our customers ask. Take a moment to educate yourself before investing in solar panels.  Will solar panels really reduce my energy costs? Yes. A solar panel system should provide at least some savings on your energy bill. Most solar systems come with a performance guarantee, Sullivan Solar Power will even write you a check if their panels don’t perform up to standard. The amount of savings on your energy bill will depend on several factors such as the size of your system and your energy use. Just like with grid electricity, It’s important to be mindful about how much energy you are consuming How long do solar panels last? Depending on the quality of the panels themselves, you can expect a set of solar panels to last anywhere between 25 and 40 years, maybe even longer. Even more impressive, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that most solar panels operate at more than 90 percent of their original capacity after 20 years of use. And since most solar panels come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty, even if something does go wrong the warranty usually covers it. Will they break? Even though it is rare, some solar systems do experience a major malfunction. A report released by a University of Texas research center found that out of 255 systems that were inspected over a four year period, only two had a major system failure. The inverted was the problem in both cases, the part responsible for converting solar energy into electricity. A new converter will cost around $3,000 to replace if it isn’t covered by your warranty. The report also found minor problems, costing less than $25 to fix, in 54 homes. Will I know when something is wrong? You might not realize an issue in your solar power system right away. That’s why it is essential to regularly check your power output. A decrease in power supply is usually the first sign of a problem. Luckily, solar panel companies have made it easier than ever to check on your system with web-based updates and apps you can download that will alert you if their is a decrease in production. Do solar panels crack over time? The short answer to this question is, no. You might assume that the constant exposure to the heat of the sun and other elements would cause solar panels to crack or deteriorate. But most panels are made with tempered glass and built to withstand an extended period of time, even in the harshest of elements. Can solar panels start a fire? It is unlikely that the solar panels themselves would be the direct cause of a fire, according to the National Fire Protection Research Foundation. However, a solar power system might create difficulties for firefighters when responding to fires. James Edmonds, a retired Colorado firefighter, explains that the first thing firefighters do when they arrive at a fire is cut the power source to the building and cut a hole in the roof. A solar panel system complicates both of these goals. But with solar panels becoming more popular than ever, new codes that require more open space on solar paneled roofs.

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