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Solar FAQs

Having questions is natural, getting answers is easy!

General FAQs

How can I tell if my home is a good candidate for solar?

The ideal roof for solar is one that faces south and is free of shade from 9AM to 3PM. If your roof is oriented to the east or west, it may also be a suitable candidate for solar depending on the roof angle, shade, and other factors. We provide an initial assessment by viewing your home via satellite imagery and can set up a site visit with you to discuss solar if your home looks like a good candidate.

How big of a solar panel system do I need?

How big of a solar panel system you need depends on how much electricity you use. Two homes that are exactly the same size may use different amounts of electricity and will require different size systems. We analyze your last 12 months of electrical usage and design a system to produce that amount of electricity. However, there are times when a roof is not large enough and a smaller system is designed.

What happens when my power goes out?

When your power from the utility goes out, your solar system will automatically shut down. This is required by utilities for the safety of their workers so that power is not being “backfed” into the grid when they are working on restoring power.

What should I look for when choosing a company to design and install a solar system for my home?

Your solar system is a 30+ year investment, so it is important to choose a company that provides a quality design and installation, and who will also be around to service your system in the years to come. Here are a few questions that homeowners should consider asking potential companies :

  • How many years have they been in business?
  • Do they have installations in your area you can drive by and see how they look? Do they have references you can talk to?
  • Do they use their own employees for installations or do they subcontract the work?
  • Do they guarantee the kilowatt hour production of your system?
  • Do they have NABCEP certified designers/installers? Do they have licensed electricians on staff?
  • What do the panels look like? Do they offer all black panels (black panels and black frame) that are considered by many homeowners to be more attractive than blue panels or black panels with silver frames? Do they offer a panel without the grid lines showing on top of the panels? (There are many types of panels available from different manufacturers, so be sure to find out the exact model being offered.)
  • What does the racking system that mounts the panels to your roof look like? Is it silver (aluminum) or black (anodized aluminum)? If you have black panels, black racking provides a more streamlined look.
  • How do they seal the penetrations into your roof (flashing vs. caulking)? Caulking does not hold upas well as flashing over the 30+ year life of the system.
  • What kind of warranties do they offer?
  • What type of financing do they offer?
  • Does the system include a web-based data monitoring system? Our customers enjoy being able to see how much their system is producing on their blackberry or computer, but these systems are also important to quickly identify if any of your panels are not functioning properly.
Does this region get enough sunlight for solar?

Yes. While there are other parts of the country that have more hours of sunlight, the high power costs as well as strong state incentive programs in New Jersey and Massachusetts make it a better investment here than in some other regions.

What are the environmental benefits of going solar?

Solar power provides a sustainable source of clean energy. By installing a solar system, you will reduce the carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels to produce electricity. In a year, a typical system will reduce CO2 emissions by over 18,000 pounds per year, which is equivalent to reducing driving by over 23,000 miles per year. Click here to read more about this topic on our blog. (https://aquantumsolar.com/environmental-benefits-of-going-solar/)

Financial FAQs

Can I finance the purchase of a solar system for my home?

There’s a 30% federal tax credit that you earn on the purchase of a solar panel system. Apart from this amount, solar energy systems are often financed as part of a home equity loan as the interest on the loan is tax deductible. Some utility companies offer loans for covering the cost of a new solar system. Please check with your utility company if this is an option for you.

Do I have to pay sales tax or property tax on my installation?

In New Jersey, you do not have to pay any sales tax on your solar system, unlike most home improvement projects. By New Jersey law, your solar system is also exempt from property taxes.

What is the ROI on solar panels?

The return on solar panels depends on a number of factors, and we provide a detailed projection of ROI at the proposal stage. The shading on your roof, roof direction, size of your system and the power inverter you choose all play a role in determining the ROI of your system. On average, Aquantum customers recover their solar panel systems in 5-7 years.

What is an SREC? How do SRECs work?
An SREC is a solar renewable energy credit. One SREC is created for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced by a solar generator. A customer with a solar panel system on their roof can use the electricity on-site and then sell the SRECs off to another buyer. Utility companies are the buyers of SRECs, as they each have to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Utilities can either buy SRECs to meet their RPS, or else pay a $550 Alternative Compliance Payment per MWh. Instead, utilities prefer to purchase SRECs at a price lower than $550 to meet their RPS. The average cumulative price of traded SRECs in New Jersey between Aug – Dec ’17 was $209.86

Technical FAQs

What are some of the technical aspects of my solar power system that I should be aware of?

Some technical aspects of the solar installation are often overlooked by customers. Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to ask the following questions :

  • What brand and model number of solar panels and inverters is being offered?
  • Many consider all-black solar panels (including the frame) to be more attractive than all-blue panels or blue panels with silver frames. Another visual factor to consider is the visibility of the internal grid lines. Be sure to inquire towards the appearance of the solar panels you are buying. As there are many types of panels out there from different manufacturers, be sure to find out about the exact model being offered.
  • What does the racking system that mounts the panels to your roof look like? Is it silver (aluminum) or black (anodized aluminum)? If you have black panels, black racking provides a more streamlined look.
  • How do they seal the penetrations into your roof (flashing vs. caulking)? Caulking does not hold up as well as flashing over the 30+ year life of the system.
  • Does the system include a web-based data monitoring system? Our customers enjoy being able to see how much energy their system is producing on their smartphone or computer, but these systems are also important to quickly identify if any of your panels are not functioning properly.
How does solar panel energy work ?

Solar panels harnesses the energy released by the sun into electricity usable by homes or businesses. On coming into contact with the solar panels, photons – tiny particles of energy released by the sun – are converted into DC (direct current) energy and then transformed into AC current via an inverter. The AC current powers the property the system is placed on while the sun is shining, thereby reducing the property’s usage of traditional electricity – resulting in a dramatic offset in the customer’s electric bill, while switching over to a clean and green energy source. Unused electricity generated during the day is sold back to the utility company via a program known as net metering. Net metering is available to grid-tied customers who generate excess, unused electricity through their systems during the daytime. The utilities must buy a certain minimum amount of electricity from renewable sources in order to comply with certain standards. Some solar customers also avail the option of the solar backup battery, and store excess energy for usage in the night time or when there is a power outage.

What is a solar power inverter? What are the different types of inverters in the market?

A solar power inverter is the ͞brain of the solar panel system. It converts energy from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current), making it usable for your home. The traditional inverter is the string inverter, which is a suitable option for south-facing roofs with no shading. However, there are more sophisticated options in the market for homes with more complex layouts, such as microinverters and DC optimizers. Other inverters also come with battery storage functionality, and many of the newer inverters can monitor panel performance and help O+M teams with troubleshooting system problems. Inverters need to be chosen around your needs, and they also need to be checked for compatibility with the brand of panels you’re buying.

Does solar panel efficiency vary?

Yes. Solar panel efficiency is the amount of energy it generated by a solar panel, in comparison to the surface area it occupies. Panel efficiencies typically range from 14% to 21%, although some newer models are capable of even higher efficiency rates than 21%. The rule of thumb for systems is that they should be designed around your needs – factoring in available space and the energy usage. High efficiency panels typically drive up solar panel system cost, but may be a worthwhile investment if you have a limited space available. It’s also important to be aware of the “minimum efficiency” and “maximum efficiency” of panels, both of which are mentioned in the technical specs of the panel. Aquantum Solar offers some of the most advanced high-efficiency panels in the market, contact us for more details.

What are solar backup batteries? Does Aquantum install them?

Typical solar panel systems generate electricity for usage during the day, and rely on buying traditional electricity from the utility company in the evening when the sun does not shine. Unused electricity generated by the system in the daytime is sold to the utility company via a process called net metering. Solar backup batteries present an option to store the unused electricity for usage in the evenings or during contingencies when there is a power outage. If there is surplus energy generated beyond the storage capacity of the battery, it can still be sold to the utility company via net metering. Solar backup batteries are a great solution for clients in remote areas, who are looking to live “off-grid.” More on off-grid living here (lead to blog article when available)

Post-signing FAQs

What kind of warranty comes with the solar panel system?

On average, solar panels come with a 25 year limited warranty. However, our customers are also entitled to a labor warranty from Aquantum Solar, as well as one offered on your inverter. The warranty varies based on the brands purchased, so please contact us if you’d like more information about the warranty on your system.

Is there a warranty on the roof as well?

Our workmanship warranty will cover any damage to the roof caused due to the solar panels installed by Aquantum but not any pre-existing condition of the roof nor any damage caused to the roof for any reason other than the solar panel installation.

After signing, what is the step by step solar panel installation process?

There are a number of steps which take place after the solar installation contract is signed, all of which are executed by us to get your solar panels system up and running as quickly and safely as possible. Apart from the actual solar installation, the steps involved include SREC application, Interconnection application, securing the necessary structural and engineering permits and the permission to operate (PTO) certicate.

How much time will the entire installation process take?

After signing, it will take about 2-3 months to complete your solar installation.

Are solar panels expensive to maintain?

Solar panels are solid state devices and therefore have no moving parts which makes it easier and generally inexpensive and easy to maintain.

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