Here we answer the main questions that we’ve gotten from our customers in western New York about solar over the years. If you have other questions that we don’t cover below, please contact us by filling out our quick and easy contact form or calling us at (716) 727-9717.
Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource able to generate electricity quietly, clean, and consistently.
A solar panel is made up of photovoltaic (or PV) cells. When sunlight hits your solar panels, the PV cells produce direct current (or DC) electricity. An inverter then takes the DC current and converts it into usable AC current that you find in your home.
Take a look at the position of your home on your lot & look at your roof. Then ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is there a good southern exposure? Or does your roof east and west?
2. Is the exposure free of trees or other buildings that could shade the panels or drop debris on them?
3. What is the pitch of the roof? (In case you decide on a roof application.)
Although a southern exposure is the simplest and most effective orientation, your home may still work for with an east/west exposure. Call Freedom Solar to discuss all the possible options for your solar project.
Solar panels require very little maintenance and are long-lived. Occasionally, you may have to wipe off snow or leaves for maximum production, but solar panels will continue to work from 25 to 50 years!
Normally, it is suggested that the roof is less than 15 years old for a new solar array. The reason is solar systems can last 25 years or longer, so it is important to take into consideration the condition of your roof. If your roof needs to be replaced or repaired we can do that as part of the project.
It is possible to do a roof replacement or repairs once you have installed solar but it can be quite time-consuming. In most cases, the panels would need to be moved or removed causing a partial re-installation of the panels and a loss of energy generation during that time. For those reasons, those in need of a new roof are recommended to get it done before or as part of the solar install.
Solar arrays can increase the lifespan of a roof as they are blocking the sun!
For safety reasons, grid-tied solar PV arrays cannot produce power during an outage. If the system continued to feed electricity into the powerline, the utility response workers would be at risk.
If backup power is of interest to you, we can design and install a system provides automatic power to your home or business even when the grid is down.
No! Because they have no moving parts, solar panels make no noise.
Roof arrays are only one type of solar system. Ground-mounted or pole mounted systems are common alternatives to roof-mounted systems.
Ground mounted systems can be aligned with the sun for maximum production and since they are at ground level, they can be easily brushed free of snow.
We are in WNY, after all.
Solar panels make power even on cloudy days. Whatever power you use beyond what your panels produce will be pulled directly from the grid.
The electricity produced by a solar array is converted into the same 120/240 volt power that is supplied by your utility company.
It's the same, but it's clean, cheap, renewable, and "locally sourced."
Renewable energy sources like solar reduce the need for older, polluting methods of electricity production. Over a 30-year span, the environmental equivalent benefits for an average solar photovoltaic system are:
The offset of 100,000 lbs. of CO2 that would otherwise be produced by coal
CO2 produced by driving your car 100,000 miles
1.6 tanker trucks of gasoline not burned
3,030 trees planted
22 cars taken off the road for a year
0.6 railcars of coal not burned