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Brian Broe asked:

Jul 25, 2018

In addition to the other advice already provided, know that a Solar Assessment will be necessary. The system has a method of showing what shadowning of the panels happens during ALL times of the year, during ALL hours of daylight. That is how your Solar company will be able to tell you how much they will produce, the payback ROI, etc. They will probably be able to tell you visually which location to consider, and then do the assessment for what ever location is most favorable on your property. They should also be able to tell you that if you cut down certain trees, how it will improve your solar capabilities. Hope that helps!

This unique array below had to also take into account how the multiple rooflines shadowed the panels at certain times of day and certain times of year.

Brian Broe asked:

Jul 25, 2018
Jul 25, 2018

Hi Brian, 

Yes in those cases a ground mounted solar array may be your best option. You can site the solar in a more ideal location for sun access. There is typically some added cost involved in a ground mount vs. a roof mount. 

Nov 15, 2016

Solar shingles are expensive and unproven.  I recommend Sun Power photo voltaic solar.  An average home is $20,000 to $30,000 and the return on investment is 4 to 6 years on a 25 plus year system.

Nov 15, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Let's hear it for Elon Musk and his efforts to move the solar industry forward!  Solar shingles have lots of potential. Hopefully, Tesla and Solar City will get it right.  We used solar shingles about 15 years ago when installing a new roof and encountered some issues: 1) They were expensive! I would recommend getting a quote for both traditional PV panels versus the shingles and see what pencils out. The cost of PV has come down significantly in the last couple of years. Once you get the quote, be sure and compare the cost/efficiency/performance ratios of the two systems. 2) Maintenance can be an issue. There are more electrical connections with a roof shingle system vs a traditional PV system. More things to create potential problems. The shingles are typically installed in "strings" - where mulitple shingles work together in units.  If one shingle has a problem, the entire string "goes down". Check to see how Solar City addressses this issue: can you easily identify where the bad shingle is and be able to replace it easily?  Otherwise the efficiency of your system is compromised significantly.  Another maintenance issue is keeping all the shingles clean.  There is more work to wash down an entire roof periodically to remove dirt buildup than there is for a traditional PV system. 3) Availability: Is Tesla/Solar City providing the units in Atlanta?  It may take them some time to gear up their distribution and train people to install them properly.  Both important things to consider.

All that being said, it certainly makes sense to have your roof generate power for you!  Regardless of whether you go the traditional PV system or shingles route.  Best of luck!

Feb 18, 2014
Nov 11, 2016
Hi Charles. Allen Construction has a two part answer to your question: 1) In terms of energy efficiency, you will get the best protection from solar heat gain by putting a shade on the outside of the glass. If it has to be on the inside, there are specific treatments called solar shades or sun shades that are specifically designed to block heat and glare. They also can have varying degrees of visibility as well. 2) As far as shades the will offer you both privacy and visibility, top down / bottom up shades provide a good level of control so you can constantly adjust between proper shading and still letting ambient light through. There are pleated (e.g., honeycomb shades by Hunter Douglas) that are also energy efficient. Roman shades with lining can also be drawn up to expose the view. HOpe that helps!
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John Ford asked:

Feb 18, 2014

Robert Shaw of Solare Energy PRO answered:

Jan 20, 2015

John,

There are options available to go solar and be completely independent of you local utility provider. However, this type of set-up (solar+storage) is much more costly than the traditional "grid-tied" system mentioned by Mr. Cook. There are significant developments in the works for the energy storage industry and speculation suggests that batteries will become more reasonably priced in the next 3-5 years or so.

Until then, many folks are opting to install a grid-tied solar panel system, which can often offset 100% of your utility bill (minus a nominal monthly interconnection fee of $5 or so). In some cases, fully offsetting your electric bill isn't possible because of shading or roof complexity. When battery storage becomes more affordable, you can add storage and truly become energy independent!

John Ford asked:

Feb 17, 2014
Jun 3, 2014

John Ford, There are an abundance of energy efficiency upgrades you can do to your 2-story home. A question to your question - do you have a small or a larger budget? Small budget - 2 options: Attic Insulation or A Foil Energy Barrier, one example is Green Energy Barrier. Blown-In Attic Insulation is inexpensive and can help with an additional R-value of 18-60 in your attic. A Foil Energy Barrier - can be placed along the rafters or floor boards and is a foil used by NASA that greatly assists with energy efficiency. Larger budget - 3 solid options: Solar panels, Replacement Windows with Krypton gas, or Insulated Siding, an insulation with a system R-value of a 4.2 that contours to your siding panel. Best, Ken 

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014

Robert Shaw of Solare Energy PRO answered:

Apr 28, 2014

With current financing options that are available, the best return-on-investment is to go solar!  It may seem expensive to install a solar panel system, but with current financing options such as $0/down home-equity loans, you'll see immediate cash flow savings!

Solare Energy has been serving San Diego for 25 years and provides our customers with a free energy audit and rate analysis before designing a solar panel system for their homes.  This allows us to accurately size the system to your energy consumption needs and get you the best value for your investment.

Learn more at www.SolareEnergy.com or call 858-547-4300 for San Diego area solar installations.

Rob Shaw
Marketing Manager
Solare Energy, Inc.
San Diego, CA

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