Solar 101

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world now faces.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that “the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. These advantages are global.

How Solar Works
Photons from sunlight excite electrons in a solar cell, causing electrical current to flow. The Inverter then converts electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) or house current. Most systems are interconnected to the grid through your local utility. A revenue grade production meter records everything that your system produces.
With Net Metering, your utility tracks both your electrical usage and the amount that your solar array produces. You only pay the net difference between the two. In a month in which you produce extra, you bank those positive net Kilowatt-hours (KWh) and draw on those for the months in which when you produce less energy than you need. Our engineers design the optimal system to zero out your electric bill.
Basic Solar Components
Solar modules are built to withstand the harshest environments. Since there are no moving parts, they require virtually no maintenance. In most cases, New England rains will keep your modules clean. Our modules are American-made and are backed by a 25 year warranty.
Inverters convert DC current from the solar modules into household quality AC current for the grid. Today’s inverters produce sine waves that match or exceed the quality of the power from the local utility.
When you go solar, you will have two electric meters. One meter will be your original meter showing your consumption from the electric grid. The second meter installed will track the electricity that your solar array generates. With net metering, every kWh that you produce goes towards reducing your electric bill.
Mounting & Racking
Solar modules can be installed using a variety of different racking methods. The most common are roof mount or Top-of-Pole or Multi-Pole ground mount. Solar modules can be attached to almost any kind of roofing material including composite shingle, standing seam metal, corrugated, and EPDM rubberized roofing.
Incentives, Rebates, Grants
More information about energy credits and incentives based on state of residence can be found here.