Frequently Asked Questions

How does solar power work?
Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels produce electricity from sunlight. PV panels have no moving parts, and use an inverter to change the direct current (DC) power they produce to usable alternating current (AC) power that is practical for modern commercial use.

How long do solar panels last?
Many customers concerns are about “new solar technology”, but actually the technology was developed in the 1950’s, and has been consistently improved upon since then. Initially solar panels were mainly used by NASA, so the fundamentals are strong enough to support satellites and astronauts. Solar panels like the ones that will go on your roof are carefully designed and tested–both in labs and in real life–to withstand rain, snow, hail, wind and of course the sun. The predecessors of modern solar panels made in the 1970’s are still producing power. Today’s panels also benefit from 60+ years of development and improvement!
Bottom line: Most panels are guaranteed to be producing power in 25-years, and most installers will offer a 10-25 year warranty on workmanship and a power production guarantee.

How long do inverters last?
Inverter warranties are 10-25 years, depending on the make and model and technolodgy. However, more and more value-added features are getting built into inverters, so those additional features will likely increase the warranty period.

What is Net Energy Metering (NEM) and how does it work ?
At any time of the day, a customer’s solar system may produce more or less electricity than you need for your business. When the system’s production exceeds the customer demand, the excess energy generation automatically goes through the electric meter into the utility grid, running the meter backwards to credit the customer account. At other times of the day, the customer’s electric demand may be higher than the renewable energy system is producing, and the customer relies on additional power needs from the utility. Switching between solar system’s power and the utility grid power is instantaneous-customers never notice any interruption in the flow of power.

solar-vintageThe History Of Solar Power

I’ll bet when you think of electric solar panels you think that this is a new technology, well it isn’t. Solar panels have been used and developed in the 1700’s in France. They took a while to catch on to the masses and even now they are slow to grasp the general public because of the expense of the equipment and the maintenance.

In 1954 we figured out how to harness energy using silicon-based solar cells in California, the sunniest of all places in the US. Which is the home of electric solar panels; this idea has been discovered and rediscovered many times. The issue is the expense of the equipment, weather and accessibility along with the monopoly of the electric companies.

Electric solar panels have been used in California, Texas and the plains states for many, many important things that have proven they would be great for the economy. So we must convince the Governments on a federal and state level to pass legislation to support solar energy.

When you think about it, solar energy has been used to water crops and feed livestock whereas before, farmers would have enormous energy expenses. This cuts into the daily living of the people who consume the meat and grain products that the farmers sell to the corporations. It is simple, when the overhead is crazy expensive, so is the product that we are purchasing and this is driving the economy into a worse situation, this is why we have to take action.

The Government did pass legislation in 1978 to allow alternative power sourcing companies to interconnect with the existing power companies. Shortly after that in California, the largest producer in electric solar panels in Irvine out of Camarillo CA. was born and still functions today maintaining their reputation.

Shortly after that, the LUZ-SEGS was born in the Mojave Desert. This is the world’s largest thermal energy facility. It looks really neat to visit if you get the chance and you are into alternative sources of energy. It has the power plant in the background with rows and rows of mirrors that reflect the sunlight into the PV cells. The history of this company is interesting; they ran into financial issues and were sold but the new owners picked the business up again shortly thereafter and they are still generating power some 20 years later!

In 1996 the US Government began to run an extension of the ‘Solar one; program to the ‘Solar two’ program which ran until its end some years later. The programmer proved that the system could create, draw and use power even when conditions were cloudy long-term and when there was no sunshine at all.

There are many prototype town that are built solely on solar energy and electric cars along with crops and services which promote self-sufficiency. These prototypes are set to grow in the United States and in spotty parts of the world like Germany and parts of Scandinavia.
Article reprinted from http://www.solarfeeds.com/the-history-of-solar-power/
Original Article on SEPCO