How Does a Solar System Work?
To understand the why and how of a solar system, we need to backtrack to the days of high school science class and review photovoltaics. Photovoltaics is the method of converting solar energy into direct electricity by using semiconducting materials. A photovoltaic system uses solar panels composed of solar cells to supply usable, renewable solar energy. Jayson Moser, our vice president of design and procurement, says, “The sun is the most dependable source of energy, and it’s our job to supply the technology for our clients to utilize the resource.”
Step 1: Design
We specialize in designing custom solutions that fit the challenge of each client‘s property. After a careful site survey, our team goes into planning mode. Our design takes into consideration environmental conditions, existing infrastructure and locations, as well as space and labor installation requirements.
Step 2: System Spec
As module prices vary and the solar market has evolved, our JKB Energy design team has progressively changed our strategy to make sure the customer always has access to the best system on the market. We aim to anticipate technology and market changes, and then innovate and tailor our products to allow for maximum client savings over the long term.
The most frequently installed, cost-effective and best-valued system is the Terra Fixed Ground Mount system design. The Terra design is a one of a kind, proprietary in-house designed system that is built to be the most flexibility and scalable in the industry. The Terra allows customers to creatively accommodate various space constraints and to strategically build in phases.
Roof-mounted system structures rely on a different subset of requirements. These requirements include structural review and a custom-tailored unique design analysis. Every system comes backed with a ten-year system warranty, in addition to a manufacturer provided warranty on system components.
Thanks to careful preliminary design analysis, our process remains cost effective and our design team provides the best installation plans for our construction crews. Building with long-lasting material cuts down on future maintenance, which in turn saves time and money. Our construction crews operate with smart labor management practices to keep our hours — and our clients’ expenses — to a minimum, while keeping productivity high.
Step 3: Electronic Performance Software
Our smart software allows us to remotely monitor the status of all installed systems, manage system production and voltage range. 24/7 auto-alerts notify our team about system glitches or abnormalities, directly from the onsite communications hub.
Additionally, customers receive access to our troubleshooting reporting tool to personally manage their system productivity by computer, tablet, or smartphone. The reporting tool provides the customer and our customer service team with the tools to compare the production curves and cross-reference charges. “When it comes to customer monitoring, our goal is always to go the extra mile,” says Chad Cummings, marketing manager.
Step 4: Annual Maintenance Check-up and Warranties
As with any piece of equipment, preventative maintenance is critical for long-term health and system productivity. That’s why we insist on providing an annual complimentary on-site system check-up. The check-up includes a detailed review of inverters, panel strings, environmental changes such as grass or tree growth, and a software check.
Director of Business Development Rich Borba adds, “It’s our job to get out ahead of the issues, and our software allows us to test the system remotely. Our annual maintenance check is free to our clients and considered part of our standard customer service.”
How Has the Drought Affected the Solar Industry?
During these drought years, we often receive questions about how the sunny weather will impact a client’s solar performance. While additional storage gained during the drought is no substitute for water, it can help to offset additional cost incurred by increased pump usage. Solar can be the silver lining, allowing growers to take advantage of more sun hours and a one-to-one offset.
Is this amount of energy output typical or should I expect this year after year? The answer is no. Solar output is dependent on weather and will fluctuate accordingly. While all integrators might not take this approach, we rely on thirty-year aggregative weather data to deliver realistic energy averages for the next 25 years. It’s highly recommended that customers do their due diligence regarding energy production estimates. To learn more, check out PV Watts, an online tool created and maintained by the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL). NREL is the federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.