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Frequently Asked Questions
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United Solar Electric|4501 O'Hara Ave, Brentwood, CA 94513|(925) 679-4665

FAQs

IS SOLAR ENERGY FREE?

Solar energy is not only free but is a renewable energy source. After the installation cost, you will not have to pay another cent for the electricity you use that’s generated by your solar panels.

You will need to do some maintenance on your solar panels here and there or repair them if something happens to them due to external factors. Still, the money you save by installing solar panels outweighs the cost of paying for your electricity.

Solar panels have a long lifespan. Some panels come with a 25-year warranty, although panels can last up to 30 to 40 years on average.

WHAT ARE SOLAR PANELS MADE OF?

Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells. These cells are made of semiconductors that transform sunlight into electricity.

There are two types of solar panels — photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity; and solar thermal panels, which are used to heat water by absorbing the warmth from the sun — the latter can be used to heat homes and pools.

HOW EFFICIENT ARE SOLAR PANELS?

The solar panel industry has come a long way since its inception. Nowadays, the solar cells used in domestic solar panels can convert around 20% of the sunlight they receive into electricity that you can use at home. Of course, there are more efficient solar panels that can reach 40% of solar efficiency — these are usually more for commercial systems.

With more incentives being given to people who install solar panels and the technology advancing due to the high demand, the near future looks bright for solar panels as the prices keep decreasing and their efficiency keeps increasing.

DO YOU NEED DIRECT SUNLIGHT?

Maximum efficiency is reached when the sun hits the solar panels directly, although electricity can still be produced with a cloudy sky and during winter. At night, the solar panels would not generate any electricity, creating the need for a solution to this problem. That’s where batteries shine.

A good solar power system coupled with the right-size batteries can result in never needing to resource other means of electricity.

DO I NEED PERMITS?

You will need a permit from your city as well as the need to follow codes in your HOA or any safety measures that are put in place by your community and city. You can contact us, and we will help you with any permits, how to request them, and make sure that everything is good to go before any installation takes place.

WHAT’S THE REQUIRED MAINTENANCE FOR SOLAR PANELS?

Taking care of solar panels is pretty simple. All you need to do is make sure that the panels are clean so they can absorb as much sunlight as they are supposed to. Placing the panels in the right location and angle can mean that the cleaning and servicing will have to be performed fewer times.

WHAT ARE THE CONS OF SOLAR PANELS?

Solar panels do have a negative aspect to them, although they can all be mitigated with proper planning and location.

Placing the solar panels in a place that receives shade during the day can mean that your solar power system will not generate as much electricity as you had initially planned.

If panels are placed too close to trees or tall vegetation, two negative outcomes may occur: The shade produced by these features can lower your solar efficiency, and the branches can scratch your solar panels, making them less effective.

ASIDE FROM FREE ELECTRICITY, WHAT ELSE CAN THE PANELS PROVIDE?

With the rise in efficiency of commercial and residential solar panels comes increased demand. Having a solar power system installed on your property can instantly increase its value, as potential buyers often consider it an attractive deal when a house has a fully functioning solar power system in place.

We can also add that installing solar panels not only generates jobs for a growing industry but also helps our environment by reducing our carbon footprint — this is invaluable!

For some people, solar panels can be visually appealing since they add a modern touch to the home exterior.

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