A Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system turns sunlight energy into direct electric energy. Electrons freed by the interaction of sunlight with semiconductor materials in the PV cells are captured in a direct electric current. That electric charge is converted to an alternating current (the current used in your home or business) by an inverter, either attached to each PV module or at the end of a series of modules.
The solar panels that are mounted on your building or roof are comprised of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight to electricity. Solar panels allow particles of light called photons to knock electrons free from atoms, which in turn generates a direct current (“DC” power) of electricity. These currents flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter, which converts the DC power into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power can then be used to power your home.
Most homes in the United States choose to stay on the grid, meaning you will continue to get power at night from a local utility company. But with solar energy as your primary source of electricity during the day, you can reduce or completely eliminate your power bills! You can also benefit from significant rebate incentives by keeping your solar energy system tied to a utility grid. See a short two-minute video created by the U.S. Department of Energy.

PV stands for photovoltaics, which can literally be translated as light-electricity. This term has two parts: the first derived from the Greek word for light (photo) and the second in homage to the electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta (volt). You can learn more about PV on U.S. Department of Energy’s Photovoltaic Technology Basics website.

The solar photovoltaic panels must have a reasonable amount of non-shaded, unobstructed space, either for a roof, ground or pole mounted system, during the key sun hours of the day. A southern exposure is ideal, but east- and west-facing roofs can capture over 80% of the power of a south-facing roof.

The amount generated will depend on the size of the system you install, orientation of the system and shading. Typically, a solar energy system using 100 square feet of solar panels will generate 1,000 -1,440 kWh per year.

Grid connected solar energy systems will immediately shut down to protect your electric provider’s linemen.

Yes, though if you start with some battery backup, it is easier to add more than starting with none. If you start without a backup battery, it will be rather expensive to add batteries, due to the high cost of adding a different type of inverter.

HB-362 passed in the 82nd Legislative session, limits HOAs and POAs from restricting solar devices outright. The following is a synopsis from the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.
POAs and HOAs cannot withhold approval for the installation of a solar device on a roof or in a yard or patio as long as the installation
•Is installed no higher than the roofline
•Conforms to the slope of the roof and has a top edge that runs parallel to the roofline
•Has solar panel frames that are silver, bronze, or black color tones (commonly available colors in the marketplace)
•Is no taller than the fence line if installed in a yard or patio as ground or pole mounted

If your utility offer net-metering you can purchase back the surplus energy that your system is generating during day time usually on slightly inflated price with respect to price you are selling it to utility. Moreover, if you have batteries you can store that surplus energy at night times.

All the energy produced by your solar system flows to your house if all the energy being produced is needed. But sometimes only some of the energy is needed (you are at work, the AC, washer, dryer, etc.) and the excess electricity from the solar array will flow to the electric provider. This is a simplified version of the fluctuating path of the energy produced.

Solar energy system modules typically carry 20–30-year warranties. The racking system and inverters should also carry warranties. Be advised that for warranties to apply, these components must be installed to manufacturers’ specifications. Make sure that your installer provides a warranty on installation services. We at Nu Solar Power offer at least 25 years warranty on everything.

The cost of a solar installation depends on multiple factors: 1) how you plan to finance the installation—cash, loan, or lease; 2) how much electricity you use; 3) the size of the installation; and 4) what incentives are available to you. In recent years, the cost of solar power has dropped significantly (73% since 2006!), largely due to federal and state incentives. That being said, solar installations can involve a sizable upfront financial commitment. On average, the cost of solar installations ranges from $15k to $29k for a system sized between 4kW and 8kW (the average size of a residential solar system in the US is 5 kW). This will include the cost of all components – solar panels, panel mounts, inverter – and labor associated with installation. Typical payback periods, or the amount of time required to recover your cash outlay, range from 4 to 10 years.
Get bids from at least three installers. The most recent authoritative report on prices stated that the median cost of installed systems in Texas in 2014 was $3.40 per installed watt, before any available incentives or tax credits. Anecdotal data from 2015 indicate the cost has continued to come down. Federal tax credits of 26% (based on costs net of local and state incentives) are available through 2021. Please check our famous Ultimate Solar Calculator to pretty much have an accurate pricing of your Solar Photovoltaic System.

A common reason to install solar is to reduce your electricity bill. As with up-front costs, how much you save each month will depend on how much electricity you use and the size of your installation. Still, most can expect to see a significant decrease in your electricity bill. Homeowners and businesses across the company can save as much as $40,000 at least over their solar panels’ lifespan.

Solar photovoltaic panels require little maintenance, no need to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they’ll remain clear of shade and debris. Thus, you’ll have to wipe them off if too many leaves fall on them. Solar hot water collection arrays don’t need much attention, either. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the tubes.

Since 2010, the North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG) has organized the annual DFW Solar Tour, held in early October, to showcase both large and small solar installations located across the DFW region. While most locations are not open to the public the rest of the year, you can find a list of participating locations – with brief descriptions and pictures — from previous years here. Consider also reaching out to NTREG directly because many of their members are also solar owners and/or installers. Moreover, Team Nu Solar Power can also help manage any such arrangement.

There are two main things to consider when preparing your home for solar:
1) the condition of your roof, and
2) the energy efficiency of your home.
First, before installing solar panels, you will want to ensure that your roof is in good condition and have it inspected by a professional roof contractor. Roof contractors will consider the roof age, roofing materials, ventilation and whether there are visible signs of damage. Most reputable roofing contractors provide free estimates, so this should not incur an additional cost. Second, you can maximize the benefits of solar by making your home as energy efficient as possible. For instance, you can weatherize your home and replace old inefficient appliances with Energy Star models.

Yes, the same as the structure or any other asset you may secure under a loan.

The first steps to take are to educate yourself on the basics of solar energy systems and costs and to determine whether solar is workable for your home or business. Just contact one of our energy consultants for no obligation energy assessment and Quote.

Almost all panels are guaranteed for 25 or 30 years, and experience has shown they will last longer than that. Most solar panels used in home solar arrays come with a warranty for some 25 or 30 years, which means that the solar panels are guaranteed for decades, unlike many of the other goods we buy. And again, unlike many other consumer goods, they don’t ‘give up the ghost’ at the end of their warranty period and need to be replaced, but continue to still produce clean electricity, although at a slightly less efficiency each year. In fact, some decidedly old-school solar cells have been producing electricity daily for about 40 years or so, and are expected to continue to power homes and businesses for decades more.

According to a study undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) a few years ago, which looked at the ‘photovoltaic degradation’ rates of some 2000 solar installations, the average solar panel loses about half of a percentage point (0.5%) of efficiency per year, which means that a panel at the end of its 25-year warranty period should still be operating at about 88% of its original capacity. However, not every panel will see degradation rates as high as 0.5%, as shown by this 30+ year old solar panel, which outperforms its original specs, even after decades in the sun.

This decades-long life of solar panels makes the economics of going solar even better, as most systems will pay for themselves within the first ten years, and yet still produce many more years of clean electricity for their owners, so asking “How long do solar panels last?” might be the wrong question. Perhaps a far better question might be “What are the estimated maintenance or replacement costs for a solar energy system?”, because while the solar panels themselves probably won’t need replacing anytime soon, the inverter (which converts the DC from the panels into AC for feeding into the home’s outlets and the grid) may need to be. The average inverter warranty ranges from 10 to 15 years, and unlike solar panels, will not just slowly get more inefficient, but will instead just quit working. However, while that’s usually the case with a central inverter (which handles the output of all the panels), a newer type, the so-called ‘micro-inverters’, are installed or included with each solar panel, and are said to have a much longer lifespan (up to 25 years), and could last for decades as well.

When was the last time you updated your current electricity source? Probably never. Solar panels have a lifespan of over 30 years with the correct maintenance and servicing approach. And no, a newer model won’t replace the functionality of the system you buy this year. While marketing and media would have you believe that there will always be a newer system around the corner, no emerging technology can make your solar energy system obsolete.

You will have to determine how much energy you use and how much of an investment you want to make. Look at your electric bill and determine how many kilowatt hours you use over a year’s time and on average for a month. Most homeowners and businesses install a system on the roof with adequate sun exposure that produces between 10%-40% of their needs. In some circumstances, a system may be installed also on the ground or on a pole mount. Any installation of solar should be preceded by energy efficient upgrades to the building or if new construction, built to promote energy savings. Energy not used is energy you need not buy, either in electricity from the grid or from a solar panel.

Your inverter display will show you how much power is produced at any given time. Solar energy systems with micro-inverters, an increasingly popular alternative, allow you to see how your system is performing on a module-by-module basis.

Systems must pass a standard set of tests and are built to withstand winds up to 125 mph and 1-inch sized hail. To meet these standards, the racking system and solar panels must be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications. Racking systems but be bolted to rafters, not decking. Solar panels are incredibly resistant to hail damage. While hail could, and has, damaged solar panels, it’s extremely rare for it to happen. We have over 64,000 solar panels deployed across all our installations today, and less than 100 have been damaged by hail. When it occurs, hail damage to your solar panels is covered under the claim you will already be filing for your damaged roof.
As always, check with your insurance provider before signing anything. While it’s rare that a home owner’s policy to go up when solar is added, every provider is different. The best time to contact your insurance company is when you have a bid and know how much the system costs.

It is a common misconception that solar panels can only be mounted on the roof. At Nu Solar Power, we can help you determine if your roof is optimal for solar installation, or if ground mounting might be more beneficial to your long-term solar goals.

It will typically take two to three days for a professional installation on a residential property. For commercial installations, consult your solar installer.

If your solar energy system is grid tied to your electric provider and it produces more power at any given moment than the property consumes, the extra power will flow to the electric provider. Over a month in which a solar energy system sends more power into the electric grid than the homes take from the grid, the difference or net, will result in a credit determined by the electric provider. Net metering “credits” can be as little as the base rate the utility pays for wholesale power or as generous as the retail rate you pay as a customer. Currently, not all electric providers offer net metering. Contact your electric provider to determine if this is available.

The most up to date information on federal, state and local incentives is found at Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Federal: Homeowners are eligible for a 26% tax credit on the final cost of a solar energy system, after any state or local incentives.
Local: Homeowners should check with their electric provider to see if incentives are available.
Incentives for businesses: Businesses also have federal tax credits and may have incentives available from their electric provider. The state allows a corporation or other entity subject the state franchise tax to deduct the cost of a solar energy device from the franchise tax. Entities are permitted to deduct 10% of the amortized cost of the system from their apportioned margin. Again, we recommend you look at Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

The size you choose is a tradeoff between the amount of money you wish to invest and the amount of electricity you want to produce. Look at past electric bills, consider the energy efficiency of your property and whether upgrades are needed to cut usage first. Remember you may not cover all your energy needs with a solar energy system. The only other condition in deciding proper system size is the amount of suitable space available on your roof. To be suitable, a roof must have unobstructed, non-shaded area, either flat or a sloped, at an orientation other than north. You need roughly 120 square feet of roof space for each kW that you wish to produce.

Numerous options exist on how to finance a solar system. To know more on how affordable Solar Photovoltaic (Pv) System is Click Here.

You will not be taxed on your solar energy system if the energy produced is used for your property. Know more about Solar Tax exemptions.

The decision to lease vs. purchase depends on your finances and your long-term goals—whether you are primarily motivated to maximize financial benefits or to reduce your emissions. According to Energy Sage, the main practical difference between leasing and buying is ownership. If you buy a solar panel system, you own the system either outright (if purchasing with cash) or after repaying your solar loan. If you lease the system or sign a power purchase agreement (PPA), a third party owns the solar panel system. This distinction impacts the cost, maintenance, terms, financial offsets, and savings/returns on the investment of your solar panel system.
In addition, not all companies offer solar leases and/or PPAs—confirm that your chosen provider offers the financing option that you want. Learn more about the pros and cons of buying and leasing on our Payment Options page. You can also use the Nu Solar Power’s Ultimate Solar Calculator to compare buying vs. leasing.

A common misconception about Solar Photovoltaic (Pv) is that they can cause too much glare, posing a nuisance to neighbors or a safety risk to pilots. In truth, solar PV systems rely on solar absorption rather than reflection—PV panels must absorb solar radiation to convert to electricity. Moreover, PV panels are covered with an anti-reflective coating to prevent the possibility of dangerous glare. Questions about glare from PV have been studied in depth by the Federal Aviation Administration and by Sandia National Laboratories. You can check out Sandia National Laboratory’s Glare analysis tools and this fact sheet for more information.

Yes, in most cases it can. It is considered tangible property, along with the structure.

More than 25 years of studies and research have proven homes with solar panels generally sell from 4% to 50% faster and for a premium of $2 to $4 per installed watt than non-solar homes. The value of the solar panels is based in part on their original price and the amount of energy produced annually. This has a net effect of reducing the electrical utility bill year-round, which in turn adds value to a home – same as if the improvements were in energy efficiency aspects. In rare instances, the solar panels were a “neutral,” not aiding nor hindering the sale. In none of the thousands of sales were owned solar panels a negative. The same cannot be said of leased solar panels. In those cases, leased or third-party-owned systems on a residence where the homeowner has a contract (often long-term), buyers were wary and often walked away.

More than 25 years of studies and research have proven homes with solar panels generally sell from 4% to 50% faster and for a premium of $2 to $4 per installed watt than non-solar homes. The value of the solar panels is based in part on their original price and the amount of energy produced annually. This has a net effect of reducing the electrical utility bill year-round, which in turn adds value to a home – same as if the improvements were in energy efficiency aspects. In rare instances, the solar panels were a “neutral,” not aiding nor hindering the sale. In none of the thousands of sales were owned solar panels a negative. The same cannot be said of leased solar panels. In those cases, leased or third-party-owned systems on a residence where the homeowner has a contract (often long-term), buyers were wary and often walked away.