It is best to call one of our representatives and let them calculate an appropriate system size that will meet your needs. But in a nutshell we will need to know your average monthly or daily electrical usage in kilowatt hours or Kwh, you can obtain this information by calling your utility company and ask them for this data. Be sure to determine whether the number that they are providing you with is kilowatt hours per day or kilowatt hours per month..
Although the following method is not as accurate as calling your utility company, you can approximate this number if you have a few copies of your electric bill. What you will need is a copy of your bill which represents your average Winter usage lets say January as well as your average Summer usage, lets say July. For example if your Winter monthly usage is typically 600 Kwh and your Summer usage is typically 1000 Kwh then your average monthly Kwh would be up to 800 Kwh.
Next we will need to determine your average daily usage. This is simply done by taking the average monthly Kwh number and divide it by 30 days. In the above example 800 Kwh per month divided by 30 days equals 26.67 Kwh per day. This is how much power your system will need to produce per day in order to up to eliminate you electric bill.
Next we must take the daily Kwh number and divide it by the average number hours of full sunlight that is available to you on a daily basis. In California that number is up to 5 hours. There is obviously more sunlight available during an average day especially in California, but what we're concerned with here is FULL sunlight. So in our above example 26.67 Kwh or 26,670 watt hours, ( Remember Kilo means One Thousand ) divided by 5 hours equals 5.33 Kwh or 5,334 Watt hours.
Finally we will need to factor in the size of the solar module that we are using and we'll know how many modules we'll need to up to eliminate the above mentioned electric bill. A typical sized module used in this type of system has a PTC adjusted rating of 103.9 watts. So we would take the 5,334 Watt hours mentioned in the above calculation and divide that number by 103.9 watts per module and we get 51.338 modules. There is no such thing as a .338 module so we will need to round up to 52 modules.
The above example would apply if you wanted to eliminate your bill, cut it in half or eliminate what ever increment you wanted from your bill. Simply take the number of modules that you would need to up to eliminate your bill and multiply that number by .75 to up to reduce your bill by three quarters, .50 to up to reduce it by half or .25 to up to reduce it by one quarter.
Submitting your application to the state involves a simple one-page application. The majority of which will be filled out in by one of our representatives. All you will need to do is fill in your name and address, write in the most recent 12 months of electricity usage, and sign the application. That's it !
Next fax or mail the application along with a copy of your current electric bill as well as a copy and of the quote that we will provide you with to the state. Within a week or two you'll receive a confirmation letter advising you that the rebate funds that you have requested are being held in your name. Once the installation has been completed, you will then be required to send your reservation letter back to the state with signatures from the your local electrical inspector indicating that your installation was completed to code as well as a signature from your utility company indicating that you have obtained with a connection agreement. up to 30 days after receiving these documents, the state will mail you a check for the rebate amount.
The State's rebate is not a tax credit. You will actually receive a check from the State of California which will be mailed to your home or business and will be made out in your name.
The roof of the structure that you plan to install the solar modules on should ideally be pointed due South. This way the solar modules will collect energy from the Sun as it arcs across the sky from East to West. If you do not have an ideal angle, it is possible to compensate somewhat by adjusting the angle of the mounting brackets. It is also possible to mount the modules on poles or on the ground. We can recommend several expert installers that can assist you with this decision.
The choice of whether or not to use batteries is a personal one and there are tradeoffs involved . Both battery-less and battery backed up solar electric systems will perform grid intertie, meaning that they both will sell the surplus power that you produce back to your utility company, although there are efficiency differences when comparing both systems. It is mainly during a utility power failure that the difference becomes obvious. With a battery-less system, should there be a power failure, the system is designed to automatically shut down. You will not have electricity available to your home until the utility company has restored their power. The reason for this is a matter of safety. If the power has failed and the utility company has sent a lineman up a pole to implement repairs, the last thing you want to do is feed power down the line when the lineman thinks that the power has been cut. This is why the system has been designed to make it impossible to operate the power conversion unit when there has been a power failure.
The battery backed up system utilizes a completely different design. Like the battery-less power conversion unit as long as the utility company's system is operating normally, your solar system will continue to feed power through you meter providing you with a reduction in your electric bill. In the event of a power failure the battery backed up system will also stop feeding power to the utility company for the same reasons mentioned above, the difference is that during a power failure the battery backed up system will divert power only to your home. Depending on the size of the battery pack that you choose you can supply your home with power for several hours or even days. When the power company restores power your system will automatically begin selling power back to the grid. Note : Because batteries are involved in a backup type system, the overall power production efficiency of a battery backed up system may be less than that of an equally sized battery-less system.
The decision to choose a battery-less or battery backed up system mainly boils down to, do you or do not want back up power during a power failure ?
Your system's solar modules come with a 25 year manufacturer's warranty, the electronics come with a 5 year warranty ! When was the last time that you bought anything that came with a 25 year warranty ! That's the great thing about solar modules, there are no moving parts to breakdown or wear out and they're virtually maintenance free, in fact the only moving part in the entire system is a small cooling fan in the power conditioning unit. As long as you don't physically break a solar module, it should continue to produce power for 40 to 50 years!