FAQ – Solar Questions

The most common questions we receive at HESOLAR:

Will solar power save me money?

Solar panels cost reached an all time low in 2012 and have stayed constant since then. Solar power is a reliable and maintenance free energy investment that is expected to last 30 years. Utility power increases on average 2 to 4% a year and could increase greatly as Electric Vehicles become more common. If you could go back 15 years and buy all your vehicles gas for the next 20 years at $1.50 p/gallon would you do it? This is similar to investing in solar with utility power continuously increasing with population growth.

What is photovoltaic or “PV”?

What do we mean by photovoltaic? The word itself helps to explain how photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric technologies work. Photovoltaic panels can literally be translated as light-electricity. Photovoltaic materials convert light energy to electricity.

How can we get electricity from the sun?

When certain semi conducting materials (i.e. Silicon) are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity. We have a section on our site that explains how solar energy works.

Will my solar power my house during an outage?

It Depends: No for Solar Systems without Energy Storage. These systems are required to shut off during power outages to protect lineman. Yes for Solar with Energy Storage. These systems can completely isolate the system from the grid but cost much more than grid tied systems.

What is the difference between a grid tied system and an off grid system?

Off Grid solar systems require power conditioning equipment and energy storage. Grid tied systems have fewer components and have much faster return on investments.

What Roof Types work with Solar?

We can install Solar Panels on every roof style common in Central Texas. We use attachment material that is engineered for particular roof types, including: Asphalt Shingles, Metal Standing Seam, Metal Corrugated, Spanish Tile, Modified Bitumen, TPO and more.

What are the components of a photovoltaic solar installation system?

A Solar Power system is made up of different components.

  • PV modules, which are commonly called Solar panels, generate Electricity.
  • Solar Inverter convert the solar electricity into the Alternating Current (AC) Electricity commonly found in Homes.
  • Electric Wiring
  • Switchgear for Overcurrent Protection, Disconnecting Means, and Serviceability.
  • Solar Racking which is the term used for the flashing rails and hardware used fro mounting solar equipment.
  • (Optional)Batteries for providing electricity when the solar panels are not generating electricity (night)
  • (Optional)Power Conditioning equipment for converting the energy from batteries to AC.

How long do solar panel (PV) installations last?

A well designed and installed PV solar panel system, which is serviced and well maintained, will operate for more than 25 years. The basic PV module (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly. Experience has shown that most solar system problems occur because of poor installation.

Can Solar Panels survive a Hail Storm?

Solar Panels are built with a robust glass layer above the solar cells. These panels are designed to tolerate hail storms. We at HESOLAR have never lost a solar panel from a hail storm… and it hails a lot in Our service area (Central Texas, Austin to San Marcos). We have heard of isolated incidents where the hail was softball size and was able to break the solar panels top layer. This is why we strongly recommend adding your solar power system to your home insurance policy!

Is it possible to finance a new solar panel system?

You have many options, including Home Improvement and FHA loans. More information is available on our solar financing page.



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