Solar Electric System Design
Designing a new solar installation requires analysis and planning. We will need to size your solar power system, select solar equipment and assist you in selecting a payment option.
At Alpenglow Solar our system design starts with talking with a solar specialist to determine your solar electric needs by evaluating your power bills. We also measure the potential space that is available for solar panels. The goal is to find out what would work best for each of our clients, depending on their energy needs & desires, in conjunction with the amount of site space there is to work with & budget in mind. Designing a solar power system can be easy in some instances, at times challenging in cases involving limited space. Older structural concerns or shading issues from trees, hillsides, structures, can also be issues to resolve. Alpenglow is the team to solve those challenges during this process.
Sizing Your Solar Power System
The first step in sizing your system is determining how much power you use in a given year. How much do you pay? At Alpenglow Solar we can analyze your power bill and help you make these important decisions. We also examine your available space and orientation to the sun, what type of equipment, and size of solar system to install.
Selecting Solar System Equipment
The selection of solar equipment for your project is determined in part by how much solar access your location has and budgetary concerns. Solar panels are the most visible aspect of your system and come in a variety of styles. When selecting a panel type its is important to consider wattage production, where it’s manufactured and its warranty. In addition to solar panels, power inverters are a key component to your system’s production. Power coming from your solar panels is DC power. Inverters convert DC power to AC power. Each inverter unit handles a defined number of solar panels/wattage. Part of the solar system design process is determining how many panels are required to offset all or most of your electrical consumption and what type of inverter best suits your needs. Placement and location of the solar array is determined by solar exposure and aesthetic design preference.
We specialize in designing & installing emergency backup power systems for those times when you lose utility power. It’s a great way to backup your critical needs.
Solar Energy System Permits
Prior to installation of your solar system, we will obtain a permit from city or county entities. We do all the paperwork so you don’t have to!
At Alpenglow Solar we start by submitting a permit package to the appropriate municipality. This consists of site plans, required electrical diagrams, structural engineering reports, and system specification sheets. Depending on the size of the solar system, permits can typically be obtained within a week. Permit costs vary based on municipality, but are rolled into the system price.
Alpenglow Solar will work with your electric provider to obtain net meter approval for your system. Provider approval is required to connect your system to the electric grid, a practice known as net metering.
Solar Panel Manufacturers
Solar Panel Racking
The racking system is what affixes your solar panels to the surface they are to be mounted on. Easy installation saves time and money and a quality solar panel racking system means years of trouble free use. We feature the following solar panel racking system companies.
Solar Inverter Manufacturers
Solar power inverters take the DC power generated by your solar panels and convert it into AC power that can be used by your home or business. Selecting the right solar power inverter for your installation is key to getting the best return from your solar power system.
Solar Panel Cleaning & Maintenance
One of the wonderful things about solar energy is there are no moving parts and require very little maintenance.
In most cases you will want to monitor the system to confirm that it is producing the amount of kilowatt hours it should be based on it’s size and design. Some clients choose to clean their solar panels to increase production.
Green and Clean
Pollen, bird droppings, dirt and dust can build up on solar panels over time. Studies have found that solar production decreases 10% to 15% when panels are dirty. Conversely, output increases immediately after they are cleaned. We put our clients safety as a top priority & do not recommend cleaning your solar panels for that reason. However, if you choose to clean them, it is best to clean your solar panels twice a year, once in the spring after the rainy season and once more in the fall before winter sets in.
It is important to note that you should only clean solar panels when they are cool (typically in the morning) to avoid shattering the glass.
How to Clean Your Solar Panels
You can hose off your solar panels and use a soft brush to carefully dislodge the dirt that has collected on your panels. Never spray cold water on hot glass or apply cleaning agents to your panels. Always check with the manufacturer to verify the best way to clean your solar panels. Often people living in areas with hard water will use softened water to clean their system. Remember to treat your panels gently.
Monitoring Solar Panel Operation
We monitor your energy output levels in order to identify and address any malfunctions. We log the power output on your solar inverter’s display on a monthly basis. The first year of measured production gives a baseline to measure future years energy production. With this data we can then check to see if the solar panels are functioning at full efficiency by spot checking throughout the year. Solar panels produce varying amounts of power during the year based on the season so keeping a baseline measurement helps identify any inconsistencies that might arise. Please contact us at anytime after your install, and we’ll keep you up to date with your solar energy monitoring.