Frequently Asked Questions
How much does solar energy cost?
Costs for solar, is a function of your power objectives: Items to be powered with the solar system; the more your electrical appliances (load) the bigger the capacity and the more the costs. It may look expensive in the short term, but in the long run, say between one to three years the savings by far outweighs the costs – and the benefits still running up to 25 years.
How will solar panels look on my roof?
In a word: fabulous. Our modern, low-profile design and premium front trim integrate elegantly into your roof. It’s a look that never goes out of style. Solar panels add more aesthetic, cooling effects and monetary value to your property.
How does solar power work?
Our panels capture the sun’s energy; channel it through discreetly placed wires to an inverter, where it’s converted to electricity to power your home. When your solar power system produces more power than you need, the excess is stored in the battery bank.
What’s the environmental impact and benefit of solar energy?
It’s big: the average Vanpeux solar power system will offset 178 tons of CO2 over 30 years. That’s like avoiding 390,300 miles driven, planting 10 football fields full of trees or eliminating 174,907 pounds of burned coal.
What if I want to sell my solar home?
We get it. You might not stay in your home for the next 20 years. And that’s okay. If you move, we’ll be there to help transfer your solar power system to your new home. Alternatively, we can assist to transfer your solar power’s contract to the new owners.
Is my home a good candidate for solar power?
Yes, your home is good for solar if it meets two basic conditions: if your roof top has available space for the placement of solar panels and if the available space is not inhibited by overcast from other buildings.
How does solar power work at night or when I’m not home?
The excess of the captured solar is usually stored in batteries and during night hours, power is discharge from the stored batteries.
How long do solar panels last?
Averagely, our solar panels can last up to twenty five years before observation denegation is observed.
What are solar inverters and how do they work?
Solar inverters are hybrid inverter systems that has inbuilt charge controller and is therefore more sensitive than the average normal inverters.
Power Inverter FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Power Inverters
What does a power inverter do, and what can I use one for?
A power inverter changes direct current DC from a battery into conventional alternate current AC that you can use to operate all kinds of devices (electric lights, fans, kitchen appliances, TVs, radios, computers, to name just a few). You just connect the inverter to a battery, and plug your AC devices into the inverter … and you’ve got portable power … whenever and wherever you need it.
The inverter draws its power from a battery bank. The battery will need to be recharged as the power is drawn out of it by the inverter.
What size inverter should I buy?
We carry many different sizes, and several brands of power inverters. See our Inverters Page for specifications on each of our models.
Short Answer: The size you choose depends on the combined load (find the power consumption by referring to the specification plate on the appliance or tool) to be powered. We recommend you buy a larger model than you think you’ll need (at least 50% more than your total load).
Example: You want to power a computer with a 17″ monitor, some lights, and a radio.
|2 – 30 Watt lights:||60 Watts|
|Total load:||250 Watts|
For this application, you would minimally need a 500 W inverter
Do I need Modified Sine Wave, or Pure Sine Wave?
Advantages of Pure Sine Wave inverters over modified sine wave inverters:
- Output voltage wave form is pure sine wave with very low harmonic distortion and clean power like utility-supplied electricity.
- Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
- Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
- Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, and glitches and noise in monitors.
- Reliably powers the following devices that will normally not work with modified sine wave inverters:
- Laser printers, photocopiers, magneto-optical hard drives
- Certain laptop computers (you should check with your manufacturer)
- Some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
- Power tools employing “solid state” power or variable speed control
- Some battery chargers for cordless tools
- Some new furnaces and pellet stoves with microprocessor control
- Digital clocks with radios
- Sewing machines with speed/microprocessor control
- X-10 home automation system
- Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators
What is an over-current protection device? Why do I need one?
Batteries are capable of supplying large amounts of current, and thousands of amperes could be present if a short circuit were to occur. A short circuit can damage your system, cause a fire and be hazardous to your health. Incorporating an overcurrent device is an effective line of defense against a short circuit occurrence. An overcurrent protection device is typically a fuse or circuit breaker that goes inline on the positive cable, between the inverter and battery, to protect your system. A fast acting fuse or circuit breaker will blow within milliseconds under short circuit conditions, preventing any damage or hazards.
It is important to appropriately size your fuse or circuit breaker for both your inverter and cables. An oversized fuse could result in cables exceeding their ampere capability, resulting in the cables becoming red-hot and dangerous. Consult your owners manual for the recommended sized fuse or circuit breaker and cable gauge for a safe installation.
What type of battery should I use (automotive or deep cycle)?
500 Watt and larger Inverters: We recommend you use deep cycle batteries which will give you several hundred complete charge/discharge cycles. If you use the normal vehicle starting batteries they will wear out after about a dozen charge/discharge cycles.