FAQ

General FAQ

 

What is the Warranty on the Solar Power System?

Solar panels have a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years.  SolarEdge optimizers also have a 25 year warranty and the SolarEdge inverter has a 12 year warranty, extendable to 25 years.  Micro-inverter warranties vary, depending on manufacturer.  Suncatcher Solar has a 5 year installation warranty and provides free installation of warranty replacements.

What is the expected lifetime?

The expected lifetime is 35 or more years.  Solar panels already exist that have been producing for longer.

If I have to replace my roofing, what would you recommend?

Metal roofing or asphalt shingles with a 35-year warranty both have a long lifetime.  A light color will keep the house cooler in the summer and light colored shingles also last longer.

Will solar panels be damaged by hail?

Solar panels are mounted in aluminum frames with tempered glass faces.  They are very robust and would only be damaged by extremely severe hail storms,  See a hail test in this Tips article:  Solar Panels and Hail.  In this case, the panels should be covered by your home insurance policy.  Contact your insurance provider for details.

What happens in winter?

Solar energy varies throughout the year.  Typically, the average roof angle combined with the short days of winter makes production low in the winter but optimal during the summer. Snow cover typically slides off or melts off once the sun shines again.  Net metering takes advantage of the high summer production to offset the much lower production in the winter.

 

Grid-Tied Systems

 

What does the Rebate include?

The rebate applies to the equipment, installation and design costs for a solar power system that   is connected to the electrical utility company.  The rebate, to a maximum of $20,000, is  available for customers of SaskPower, Saskatoon Light and Power and the City of Swift Current.

What happens during a power outage?

During a power outage, your solar power system will not continue to produce. Your system must shut down automatically so that the problems with the electrical utility system can be safely repaired.  When utility power is restored, your solar system will automatically restart and again produce power for your home.

What are the options for backup power?

If you have critical loads or frequent power outages, battery backup can be added to your grid-tied system or you can use a backup generator.  Costs vary depending on how much backup you want.

How do I read the bilateral meter?

Solar Saskatchewan Meter - received from customer

rEC – Received from you and credited to your account

When your solar power system starts producing, a bilateral meter will be installed to replace your regular meter.  This will record the excess power you feed back so that your account can be credited.  Reading the bilateral meter can be confusing.

The bilateral meter has 3 rotating displays.  Display 1 is a series of ‘8′s.  Display 2 is ‘dEL’ followed by the number of kWh that SaskPower has delivered to you.  Display 3 is ‘rEC’ and the number of kWh that SaskPower has received from you for your excess solar production.  This number will be credited on your utility bill at the current rate.

Get a Quote for a Grid-tied Solar Power System:

Call toll free: 1-877-441-2355 or email

Keeping Pests and Debris away from your Solar Panels

A Problem with Pests

As it turns out, pigeons and squirrels love to nest under roof-mounted solar arrays. Squirrels, in particular, can do serious damage to the wires hooking up your inverters to your solar panels. These damaged wires then become a fire hazard. The detritus from nests (as well as dried leaves that can accumulate under panels) can cause damage to your roof and lead to roof rot. Beyond all the mess and the hazards, there is the issue of noise that pigeons cause. All that to say, unprotected arrays can cause you serious problems and headaches.

Prevention

Because of the fire hazard caused by damaged wires of string inverters*, it is now code that all systems using string inverters must have some kind of protection around the panels to keep pests out. For our solution to this problem, we use a beautifully designed aluminum trim created by SolaTrim.  SolaTrim has several advantages over a simple wire mesh. It is a strong product made of lightweight aluminum with an aviation grade adhesive tape that seals it thoroughly to your solar panels. It is extreme temperature tested and comes with a 25 year warranty. We like that it is designed to be a permanent solution that will last the lifetime of the panels. We also chose this solution because we wanted to use a trim that didn’t detract from the beauty of your home. SolaTrim adds curb appeal to your house by providing a clean and elegant finish to the array.

Suncatcher Solar System on Triangular Roof

Roof-mounted solar Array with SolaTrim around the panels to keep out debris and pests.

*Systems using either SolarEdge or Micro Inverters are designed to shut down automatically if there is damage to the wires. For this reason they don’t present a fire hazard, and installers are not required by code to install any sort of mesh protection. However, we always install trim, regardless of the type of inverter, to avoid the noise and protect your system and your roof.