In the last several months, we have had increased interest from those wanting to manage their solar installations. Some of those who have contacted SolarTown are handy around the house and fashion themselves as DIY solar installer. Some are simply taking an active role in managing their solar installations. They are not the type to get on a roof, but they are ready to hire a roofer and electrician. And then there are plumbers or electricians who are making the transition to the solar installation business and need our assistance.
All of these folks are people who now make up the SolarTown community. They are interested in working with SolarTown to choose solar energy systems. If you fall within one of these categories, we can help you, too. We have a lot of online resources to assist you. We also have technical customer assistance to guide you through the process of installing your own solar energy system. In this blog entry, we want to demystify the process of how SolarTown can help you succeed with your solar energy project.
At Solartown, we know that our success depends on yours. Whether you’re looking to buy your home solar panels and hire a contractor, or to roll up your sleeves and get on the roof, our mission is to help you make the most of home renewable energy. Let’s take a look at how SolarTown can help you plan your solar installation.
Surf Our SolarTown Learning Center
We have compiled a lot of great resources in our Learning Center for those who want to learn more about solar energy products. These resources can help you with anything from learning the solar lingo to knowing how to choose a solar module. Our goal is to simplify the world of solar energy and help you make the most informed decision possible–as well as to learn some interesting things along the way. Go to the Learning Center and click on “Solar Panels” in the right hand column and the materials relating to your home solar panel project will appear. As you get started, you have to read some of our introductory materials. Here is a short list of must-reads:
- The best candidates for home solar panel projects.
- The major components of a solar energy system.
- Incentives for DIY solar installers.
Ask an Expert at SolarTown
After you’ve cruised our Learning Center, you may have some specific questions or you might be ready to start designing. Search our Ask an Expert pages to see if someone has already asked the same question or had a similar issue. If not, send us your question and we will respond promptly. We will post our answer from one of our solar experts on the site for you and other members of our community.
Let’s Talk Solar Energy Systems
Every solar energy project is unique because of layout, roofing, shading and other issues. Electricity rates and weather conditions may also affect your selection of home solar panels. There are always new challenges but by sticking to some basic principles, we can help you can make some good decisions. Remember, SolarTown isn’t going to design or install your array for you – we’re here to help you pick the right products for your solar energy project.
Whenever you want to talk with a technical representative, you should Contact Us and you will have a chance to talk with our solar sales representative. During the initial contact, we will flush out some details about your solar energy system:
- Overall project feasibility. What are you trying to do? Do you want to use your solar energy system to supplement your utility supplied energy, offset it completely, or is this an off-grid system?
- Energy Analysis. Do you know how much power you use and how much power you’d like to produce?
- Site Selection. Do you know where you want to install the solar energy system?
- System Installation. Do you want to do this yourself or do you want to work with a general contractor, local electrician and roofer?
During this discussion, we will try to guide you through the major considerations so that you can make an educated purchase. At SolarTown, we want to stand out by helping you figure out what you need. Our goal is to empower your choices by teaching you about your options. After this conversation, you will have to start making some important decisions about your solar energy system.
Big Decisions to Make for Your Solar Energy System
The next stage in our discussions is for you to start making some important choices about your solar energy system. This is the critical stage where we can help you make the best selection for your circumstances. There are many components to your solar energy system with a bunch of features, but you need to know which ones are right for you.
We are trying to help you make sound choices because you are going to have to live with your solar array for many years to come. Once we have a good understanding of what you’re looking for, and you’re comfortable with the direction the project is going in, then we’ll start to discuss specifics and we’ll work with you to choose the best parts for your project. At this point, we’ll be discussing some major decisions that you will need to make about your system:
- More Site Information. We will help you determine how many panels are appropriate for your installation. How many panels will fit in the space available?
- Quality/Cost Tradeoff on Solar Panels. There is generally a strong relationship between efficiency of the solar modules and how much output you can expect. We’ll discuss with you what your budget is and what are you trying to achieve with your solar energy system. We can suggest discount solar panels if you are price sensitive and we can suggest higher efficiency panels if output is your most important selection criterion.
- Solar Inverters. We will discuss with you the differences between micro and string solar inverters, the nerve center for your solar energy system. What features do you require for your solar inverter? Inverters have many different features and the performance of your array hinges on the inverter you choose.
- Solar Racking. We will discuss with you solar panel racks. Rack systems continue to change much as roof rack systems do for automobiles. Critical to any of them is a secure mount – whether in the ground or on the roof the base of your rack needs to be firmly connected to the underlying structure.
- System Layout. We will outline various options you may have for the layout of your system.
- Monitoring System. We will also talk with you about a monitoring system for your system. A good monitoring system is essential for understanding how your system is performing and for trouble-shooting an array if any problems occur.
Recommended Solar Energy System
After our consultations, we’ll have enough information to recommend a system for you – complete with the home solar panels, solar racking, and solar inverter that we’ve worked with you to choose. If you are a homeowner, we will discuss how you can take advantage of our Solar Loan Program.
Once you have a solid design, the solar installation process is straightforward – and even if you’re not used to poking around in your breaker box, we can help simplify your project and minimize your use of an electrician’s time. Now, we know that questions can arise during the installation work, which is why our support isn’t over once we sell you the system. Each array is different, and we will continue to answer questions from our customers after they have purchased their systems. We’re always glad to help – and remember, you can do it!
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