Solar Installation Process
Just as an apple is different from an orange the solar installation process for commercial solar projects requires more heavy lifting than a residential system. Depending on the type of transaction being cash or financing, our team begins the initial project design following an onsite property survey, which is needed to generate engineering plan-sets.
Once all items are completed, the Bliss Solar team simultaneously submits your project to the local department of buildings for permitting and the utility company for interconnection. In some cases, commercial projects may require a utility capacity study to ensure the grid can maintain the system size for the specific location.
When all documents are approved by the respective agencies, the Bliss Solar team would then place material orders and schedules an installation date.
The typical process time for unencumbered commercial projects typically takes 3 to 6 months contingent on system size. Because size dictates, commercial systems may even go out as long as 1 year.
With respect to residential projects located within the 5 boroughs of New York City these are usually completed within 2 to 3 months from start to finish. Other areas such as Long Island, NY, Westchester and upstate may take a bit longer to process.
The fundamental importance of solar installation process hinges on proper analysis of customer energy usage as demonstrated in utility bills, which may include (DR) rates and Demand Response information.
The Demand Response Program is used by some energy planners and operators as a resource option for balancing supply and demand to the grid during peak periods in response to time based rates and other forms of incentives.
This kind of program could help customers offset higher energy fees by providing the option to cut back on air conditioning and water heaters for example during critical periods in exchange for financial incentives and lower utility bills.
Design & Installation
The design process begins with a preliminary layout based on HD satellite imagery in correlation with software like Aurora or Helioscope. Our team conducts a site survey to obtain necessary measurements for your photovoltaic system and sometimes uses drone media to document existing obstructions, structural and electrical framework of the property.
Utility Verses Solar
Electric utility companies are investor-owned entities with a mandate to maximize profits in the present and increase revenue potential in the future.
Most of the power procured by the utility is from coal, oil, or natural gas sources which are finite and with increasing demand from society experience volatile and perpetual price increases.
Solar photovoltaic power is an abundant energy source from sunlight with long term power producing capability.
Installing solar on a commercial building or home provides energy cost stability and predictability while providing long term independence from external energy market price volatility.
Over a 30-year period customers may save $50,000 to $80,000 or more depending on the system type, size, geographic location and square footage.
Solar PV Panels
Solar panels function by absorbing the sun’s power with photovoltaic cells, producing direct current (DC) energy, which converts into usable alternating current (AC) energy with the aid of an inverter.
The AC power releases through the electrical panel and is distributed to the solar PV equipment.
There are a few dynamics that effect photovoltaic solar panels and should be considered when making a purchase:
- Shading – Solar panels are only effective when absorbing direct sunlight. In order to take advantage of the substantial benefits your roof must have an unobstructed exposure to the sun. This simply means little to surrounding trees or other buildings to create shading resulting in or eliminating the production of energy.
- Seasonality – Weather is a great influence in the generation of solar production. By example, the month of July has more heat than the month of January. It’s also known scientifically that snow can help mirror the sun’s light creating better photovoltaic performance. Even more interesting, cold weather is conducive to the operation of solar panels because the material functions more effectively.
- Direction and Tilt – Solar panels act differently when they are tilted toward the sun. The azimuth of your roof is likened to a compass where a southern facing direction will most definitely be your best situation. Panel placement and position will determine the most promising outcome.
We suggest visiting the following link for a great introduction to solar panels by the government office of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Battery Storage - How it works
Solar batteries are used to store energy produced from your solar panels to be used at a later period. The system monitors the sun’s production to properly balance the necessary output during peak hours or when you need it most.
This means the system is charging your batteries during the day while the sun is out and storing excess solar production in the batteries. The energy is then released when required to power your electricity needs in the evening or in the event of an outage.