How long will it take to have my Solar PV system running?
The timeline between executing an installation agreement and having your solar PV system fully commissioned and online with HECO billing can typically range from 2-4 months.
SolarTech Industries provides a complete timeline for you as we guide the process through the design, engineering, permitting, application, installation, and commissioning stages.
How much does a solar system cost?
Depending on the quality of components that are selected you may currently expect to find Solar PV prices fall between $3.75/kWh and $4.50/kWh for completely installed systems.
If/when adding solar battery storage prices will be higher than this rate, depending on how much battery storage you decide to purchase.
Whatʻs the difference between String Inverters and Micro Inverters?
The big difference is that a solar panel installation with micro inverters will have the same number of micro inverters as there are solar panels.
A string inverter functions in a series circuit with there usually being 6-10 individual solar panels in what is known as a “string”, on each inverter. SolarTech
Can I be completely off ʻthe gridʻ when I buy Solar PV?
SolarTech Industries offers the only true ‘grid agnostic’ solar PV solution here in Hawaii with Enphase, Ensemble.
In most cases it is most convenient to retain connectivity with the grid. But with Ensemble, SolarTech can provide you with solar PV and solar powered battery solutions that form their own grid and do not require connectivity with HECO.
If I buy battery storage, will I always have power, even when the grid goes down?
Yes. SolarTech can provide you with ‘whole-home’ or ‘partial-home’ battery back-up storage so that you will always have power, regardless of the status of the grid.
Whatʻs the difference between HECOʻs CGS+ and CSS programs?
The primary difference between CGS+ and CSS is what happens with any unused solar production. With CGS+, you may receive a small credit (currently $0.10/kWh) for power that your solar system produces and that is NOT consumed by your home.
This is sometimes refered to as ‘feedback’ to the grid. With CSS, there is NO ability to ‘feedback’ any power to the grid. We encourage you to read up on the different HECO programs that are available for solar PV here on Oahu.
Will I have to upgrade my HECO meter when I switch to Solar PV?
As part of a thorough evaluation of your home, SolarTech Industries will evaluate your existing meter and electrical service from HECO.
Our electricians are credentialed and experienced in properly sizing the electrical components of each Solar PV system here in Hawaii. Sometimes this will require an upgraded meter and service from HECO, to comply with National Electric Code (NEC) and/or HECO requirements. If it is determined that a meter upgrade is necessary for your Hawaii home, prior to installing your Solar PV, SolarTech Industries will guide you through the steps and procedures and facilitate a turn-key solution by handling the entire process for you.
What factors go into the size of Solar PV system that I need?
The first factor in determining what size of Solar PV system you will need is to consider the historical energy consumption of your household.
This is typically easily found on one of your recent HECO bills. This consumption is expressed on your HECO bill in kWh (Kilowatt Hours) and letʻs us know how many PV panels will be needed to off-set that consumption. The second factor is to consider what Sun Zone your house is in. Each area of the Hawaiian islands has differing degrees of Solar Radiation (typically expressed in calories/cm2/day).
This is often referred to as a ʻsun zoneʻ and had a direct impact on how many kWh that each solar panel will produce each day in that particular zone. In practical terms most of us are quite aware that there are more hours of sunshine each year in Waianae than in Kaneohe.
We take this into account when we calculate the number of solar panels necessary for your home. The third primary factor is the technical specifications of each solar PV panel. Each solar PV panel is manufactured with a specific number of solar cells and an efficiency factor which equates to how many kWhʻs that it can produce each day. A 390w panel, for example will produce a lot more kWhʻs than a 290w panel.
Finally, it is important to install solar PV panels on roofs that receive the maximum hours of sunshine each day. North facing roofs receive far less sun than south facing roofs. The amount of roof space that you have for panels that are facing primarily south will have an impact on the total number of solar panels that will be needed to produce the amount of power that your household has historically consumed.
Iʻm planning to add more AC to my home in the future, how will this impact the size of Solar PV system that I need to buy?
At SolarTech Industries we are happy to work with you to ‘stage’ your deployment of Solar PV. If you decide to currently install a solar PV system that takes care of a percentage of your home’s electrical consumption, we help you strategize the options for deploying more solar PV in the future.
Items to be considered include: What HECO programs are available, size of your HECO meter/service, potential increase in your future energy needs (i.e. adding AC in the future), and propertly locating solar PV panels and electrical components on your home.
Will my Ensemble™ energy management technology system automatically switch to backup during grid outage?
Yes! Ensemble energy management technology is an autonomous system that automatically detects grid outages and transitions your home to backup power.
How big of a system do I need to back up my home?
Please use the Enphase web-based system estimator tool here to get an estimate of the required system size for your home. At SolarTech we will review your energy needs and lifestyle to help determine the best system size for your home.
Depending on the quality of components that are selected you may currently expect to find Solar PV prices fall between $3.75/kWh and $4.50/kWh for completely installed systems. If/when adding solar battery storage prices will be higher than this rate, depending on how much battery storage you decide to purchase.
Will my solar PV system continue to produce power when there is a grid outage?
Absolutely! Thanks to the Encharge™ storage system and Enpower™ smart switch, your solar PV system is capable of generating power and providing backup during grid outages.
Do I need to reduce my energy consumption during a grid outage?
We recommend that you manage your energy consumption during an outage in order to reserve power for the most essential items in your home.
The Enphase Enlighten™ mobile app will provide you with real-time energy availability and consumption monitoring to help you manage your energy usage during an outage. At SolarTech, we will help you with identifying the loads that need to be backed up and configuring the appropriate settings.
Is Ensemble™ energy management technology safe?
Yes! Enphase has designed and developed Ensemble technology to be extremely safe. Batteries used in Encharge™ storage systems are based on LFP chemistry (also known as lithium iron phosphate).
Ensemble technology is an AC-coupled solution, which is inherently safer than high-voltage DC products
Where are Ensemble™ energy management technology system components typically installed?
Components can be installed in your garage, basement or on the outside of your home, depending on various factors. At SolarTech we will work with you to help determine the best location in your home.
Does an Ensemble™ energy management system require any regular maintenance?
Unlike generators that require routine maintenance, Ensemble technology systems do not require regular maintenance.
How long are the warranties for Ensemble™ system components?
The Encharge™ storage system and Enpower™ smart switch are covered with a 10-year limited warranty. IQ™ microinverters are covered by a 25-year limited warranty.
You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that every product is manufactured and protected by a single company, Enphase.