How do photovoltaics work?

Sunlight on photovoltaic (PV) modules/solar panels produces direct current (DC) electricity which is converted to alternating current (AC) by a device called an inverter, which is then wired into your main service panel where it feeds your internal power grid. 

How long will PV modules last?

Generally, 25+ years. These modules also have manufacturer warranties. In 2003, BP Solar published the results of their analysis of warranty claims and reported that of more than two million modules in service over nearly ten years, approximately one-tenth of one percent were reported faulty, noting “this represents one module failure for every 4,200 module-years of operation.” Put another way, if your system has one thousand modules, you may experience the failure of ten modules in 40 years.

How do you determine how large a system I’ll need?

The size of the system is usually directly proportional to the amount of power you use. As part of the proposal process Cherry Street Energy will perform a site assessment and analyze at least twelve months’ worth of utility statements.

What happens on dark/cloudy days?

Unlike the early days of solar power when systems had to be sized for peak loads, a grid-connected PV system seamlessly switches to draw from the utility grid when needed. As such, Cherry Street Energy uses an annual production target, averaging out sunnier days with cloudy days.

How much weight will this put on my roof?

PV systems typically weigh no more than 3-4 lbs/sq ft, and most roofs can accommodate 2-3 times that amount of ‘dead load’ weight and your specific roof load capacity will be taken into account with our proposed design.

What are the maintenance procedures?

Solar PV systems are solid state technology, have no moving parts and require no maintenance

beyond cleaning, which can typically be done with a garden hose. Most systems should be cleaned 2-4 times a year, concentrated in the drier seasons. Inverters are also solid state and require little to no maintenance beyond regularly checking the cooling fan outlets and cleaning when necessary. Mounting hardware is either aluminum or stainless steel and is rust-proof.