Solar Energy FAQ's
Off-grid systems are storing their energy in batteries to supply essential loads. Here is it critical that the power system is properly sized to provide an adequate amount of power throughout the year - sizing calculations are based on the expected power usage of the load, ie. camp, cottage, lighting system etc.
In Québec a kilowatt of installed PV array will produce 1000-1300 kilowatt hours of electricity. By comparison, a typical family in Canada is using 10,000 kilowatt hours per year. For the typical family, 1 kW will produce 10% of their power usage.
The following installation cost guidelines include labour, all hardware, permits and equipment required to connect your roof mounted PV system to the grid for a Net metering program:
2.5 KW (10 solar panels) @ 10 500 $
5 KW (20 solar panels) @ 15 000 $
10 KW (40 solar panels) @ 26 000 $
The cost per watt drops as the system size increases because the same infrastructure costs (labor, connection equipment, inverter etc) apply to even the smallest systems. PV systems are generally more cost effective with larger arrays.
That depends on your system. Most grid-tied systems have no batteries included and will not provide power when the grid is de-energized. This comes from a Hydro Québec requirement that independent power producers be unable to send dangerous voltage out onto the grid which could be a hazard to line workers.For those concerned about blackouts, a grid tied system can be designed to include batteries, example: Tesla Power Wall, and transfer switching to isolate the home from the grid and draw power temporarily from the battery bank. A battery bank will add about 20-30% to the cost of the system.
Standard PV panels intended for grid-tied applications is 250 watts. These panels are approximately 3' x 5' in size and weigh approximately 42lb each.
10 panels = 150 square feet
20 panels = 300 square feet
40 panels = 600 square feet
of roof space for flush mounted systems (not tilted up off surface).
Photovoltaic panels are sensitive to orientation and site conditions. The optimum compass orientation (called azimuth) is true South, with SE to SW being perfectly acceptable - moving East or West drops power production further (by roughly 20%).
The best tilt angle for the solar panels is approximately 30 degrees for all year production. Shadows greater than 1-2 inches are of concern. Shadows at a site can be managed with string layout design or a micro-inverter or maximizer strategy that isolates the shading effect.
A small off grid cottage type system operating at low voltage can be self-installed with appropriate electrical skills, caution and preparation.
To have your system connected to Hydro Québec’s electrical grid, Master electrician is necessary.
Please consider this:
No workmanship warranty will be issued. (We provide 2 years)
In case of failure of any components you will have to contact directly manufacturer.
No liability insurance (contractor`s side) will be protecting your house.
You will need to apply for all necessary permits on your own. (We apply for all the permits on your behalf). Only qualified personnel should connect a high voltage PV system to the grid.
According to the US National Bureau of Economic Research 2011 study, installing a solar panel increases your property’s value by about 3.5%. Prospective buyers will jump at the chance to buy a house that comes with smaller power bills than others living on the grid. Solar panels aren’t just an investment for yourself, but your house, office or business and the environment.
Please read this great article in Forbes How Much Do Solar Panels Boost Home Sale Prices?
Every Solar Power System includes 3 main elements:
1. Solar panels
2. The racking / mounting of the solar panels to the roof.
3. The inverter.
Optional battery bank for off grid installations.The solar panels will take in the suns energy and transform it to DC power where it is then transferred to the inverter. The inverter will then convert the energy from d/c to a/c. "
The two main types of solar energy power systems are:
1. Grid connect (tied)
2. Off grid (stand alone / remote power).
A grid connect installation ensures you have the electricity you need, whenever you need it - automatically and regardless of weather conditions.
With a grid connect system your property is still connected to the electricity grid for periods such as night-time when solar electricity production is not possible.
More in depth info can be found by clicking here.
An off grid solar power system is completely separated from the grid and is more expensive as it uses a battery bank for storing electricity generated by solar panels.
Off grid installations are most common in rural and outback areas where the main hydro grid isn't available, or super expensive to connect to. In this situation an off grid system can be an ideal solution, saving you possibly tens of thousands of dollars.
More in depth info can be found by clicking here.
- It’s good for the environment. Unlike conventional power, solar produces no harmful emissions that hurt the environment.
- It’s a solid home investment. Many home improvements that you will make, will not add the same value that you put into them. Solar energy will save you money each month. In addition, the investment that you made in solar, will add its exact property value to the home.
- Solar Energy systems are durable. Because of the way they are built they have no moving parts, solar modules are extremely reliable, with an expected life span of several decades. They are self-cleaning and require little in the way of maintenance.
- Solar could help you afford home improvement you’ve been wanting. Lots of people design a swimming pool or hot tub with their solar system in mind. On average a swimming pool adds $200 to your monthly energy bill. Your solar system could be designed with that extra usage in mind.
- Solar has a fixed energy cost. Hydro Quebec often raise energy costs, but your cost for a solar system would be the same monthly until paid off.
- Being ahead of the curve. The future of energy is in renewable and clean energy. By converting to solar energy now, you’d be a step ahead.
- Solar Energy is cool! Let’s face it, what’s cooler than the sun powering your home?
- Either way, you can’t keep the money. Whether you’re spending money to make an investment in solar energy, or giving that money to Hydro Quebec, this money is still being spent. Deciding to go solar is very much similar to deciding to purchase a home. You can invest in yourself and take control of your energy costs, or pay your utility provider for rented energy monthly.
- Solar power systems are collectively saving Canadian households around a million dollars a day on their electricity bills.
- Too far from the grid. Beside from giving you the opportunity to generate your own electricity, a rooftop solar array addresses issues relating to the expense and inefficiency of distributing power over long distances.
The timing has never been better for you to invest in solar