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You’ve got questions on solar energy, we’ve got answers

Are these panels right for you and your business?

Following is a list of the most frequently asked questions on solar energy:

 Q What’s the difference between solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal?

A PV is the technical term for converting sunlight directly into DC electricity. Typically people refer to PV as solar electricity. This is not to be confused with solar thermal which is a separate and distinct technology which turns the sun’s energy into heat energy. This is most commonly used as a hot-water-based system to supplement your home or business hot water heating needs.

Q How much maintenance is required for solar systems?

A Very little maintenance is required for solar PV. Occasional visual checks and monitoring the output of the system are typically all that is required. Solar thermal also requires little maintenance; visual checks every couple of years and checking the fluid in the closed loop heat exchanger triannually.

Q Do I need a new roof to have solar panels installed?

A If you are concerned about roof replacement in the next five to 10 years, you should consider having a new roof installed prior to installation. Two things to consider; the roof under the panels can last twice as long because the sun, which degrades your roof, is hitting the panels, not the roof surface, and you only need to reroof the southern roof where the panels are to be placed.

Q How long does a typical PV system last?

A Most professionally-installed systems will last 30 to 40 years. Most solar modules are warrantied to last 25 years at 80 percent of their original power production.

Q How long does a typical Thermal system last?

A Most professionally installed systems will last 30 years or more. Most solar thermal collectors are warranted to last 10 years at nearly 100 percent of their original production.

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