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Featured question
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Solar Basics
 
2 answers

Are solar electric systems good for the environment?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Solar Basics category
TopicSolar Basics
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

Answers

Answer: 
Yes. Energy created by solar panels produces no pollutants. And by offsetting peak electricity demand, solar systems reduce the need for pollution-producing power plants.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Answer: 
And to add, solar panels generate more energy than they use, overall, and have been doing so since at least 2010.

"Energy Balance of the Global Photovoltaic (PV) Industry - Is the PV Industry a Net Electricity Producer?"
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es3038824
Category: Ask and Answer
October 1, 2013
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Solar Status: Interested in Solar
Gender: Female
Age: 25 - 34
San Francisco, CA, USA
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Featured question
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Solar Basics
 
2 answers

What does solar panel efficiency mean?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Solar Basics category
TopicSolar Basics
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

Answers

Answer: 
Solar panel efficiency refers to the percentage of sunlight that is converted into electricity when it hits a panel.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Answer: 
Standard Test Conditions (STC) are "optimal" power levels of bright sunlight, defined as 1000 Watts per square meter. If a panel is rated 21.5% efficient, it can be expected to produce DC power of 215 Watts per square meter of panel surface under these "optimal" conditions, resulting in AC energy of slightly less than 0.215 kWh per square meter each hour.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 21, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Customer
Loyal SunPower customer for: 1-3 years
Gender: Male
Age: 55 - 64
SunPower system: Yes
Centennial, CO, USA
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Featured question
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Buying Considerations
 
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If I sell my home, how will solar impact the sale price?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Buying Considerations category
TopicBuying Considerations
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
Solar boosts home sale price. Research by the U.S. Dept. of Energy found that installing solar on your home increases its value by an average of $17,000. Read more about the DOE's findings: http://bit.ly/13k5N6u
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Answer: 
I think that a caveat is required to any statement that suggests that a working PV solar system will significantly increase home value. The study quoted here is from California, where people tend to be much more environmentally aware than in many other parts of the country. It is probably valid _for_ _that_ _area_. I live in Chicagoland, and have discussed this question at length with local realtors and others. Their feeling is that while solar panels are likely now to be seen as an enhancement to a property (which wouldn't necessarily have been true 10 years ago), this is still not likely to be reflected in a substantially higher selling price than a comparable property without them. There are lots of reasons for going solar - I am very happy with my SunPower installation - but you should _not_ assume that you will necessarily get the cost back if you sell your property within the first few years after installing solar panels.
Category: Ask and Answer
January 11, 2014
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Solar Status: SunPower Customer
Loyal SunPower customer for: 1-3 years
Gender: Male
Age: 55 - 64
SunPower system: No
Chicago, IL, USA
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Featured question
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Solar Basics
 
1 answer

How does a solar system work?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Solar Basics category
TopicSolar Basics
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
When sunlight hits solar panels, the system converts the power of the sun into electricity. The electricity then travels from your system (as DC power) to the inverter where it's converted into household electricity (AC power). If the system generates more than a home uses, it's sent back to the grid and the homeowner may receive credit from the utility for the electricity they use at night. See solar in action: http://bit.ly/12DgZIu.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Featured question
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Buying Considerations
 
1 answer

Can I afford to go solar?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Buying Considerations category
TopicBuying Considerations
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
There is a wide range of financing options that allow you to go solar for little to no up-front cost. Check out more information on three common methods for going solar—cash purchase, lease, and loan: http://bit.ly/ZKqa5Z

We encourage you to talk to a SunPower dealer about the best option for your needs.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Featured question
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Solar Basics
 
1 answer

What is a kilowatt-hour (kWh)?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Solar Basics category
TopicSolar Basics
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
A kilowatt-hour is a unit of measurement for electricity—it is the amount of power (kilowatts) used over a period of time (hours). For example, a 100-watt light bulb that is illuminated for one hour uses 100 watt-hours of electricity, or 0.1 kilowatt hours (kWh). If it is illuminated for 30 minutes, the bulb will consume 0.05 kWh of electricity, or half as much.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Featured question
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Solar Basics
 
1 answer

Will my solar system work on cloudy days?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Solar Basics category
TopicSolar Basics
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
Yes. However, all solar systems produce less electricity on cloudy days depending on the density of cloud cover.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Featured question
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Buying Considerations
 
1 answer

How much will a SunPower system for my home cost?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Buying Considerations category
TopicBuying Considerations
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

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Answer: 
There are many factors that will determine the cost of your system, such as your electricity usage and how much you want to offset, the location of your home, the shape and height of your roof, and accessibility to rebates and incentives in your area. Estimate your savings and sign up for a custom quote here: http://bit.ly/16hkQhQ
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Featured question
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Performance and Maintenance
 
1 answer

What kind of warranty does SunPower offer?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
TopicPerformance & Care
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

Answers

Answer: 
SunPower’s warranty is the first of its kind and the best in the industry. It offers the best Combined Power and Product Warranty and SunPower's warranty guarantees the most power.* http://bit.ly/19tIJpB

*Of the top 20 manufacturers. SunPower Warranty Review, Feb 2013.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Has staff answer
Buying Considerations
 
4 answers

Can I increase the size of my system in the future?

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Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
 in Buying Considerations category
TopicBuying Considerations
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Category: Ask and Answer
July 23, 2013
Customer avatar
by
Anonymous
Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA

Answers

Answer: 
Most systems can be expanded with the addition of more solar panels. However, it may not be possible to increase the size of a leased system. Discuss whether your system is eligible for expansion with your solar installer.
Category: Ask and Answer
August 1, 2013
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Solar Status: SunPower Staff
Bay Area, CA
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Answer: 
You will also need to consider spare capacity of the existing inverter and in all likelihood you will need a second or replacement larger inverter. Here in the UK you will undoubtedly need to apply to the network operators ( the guys that operate the cables) to increase the size of system. Above 16A ~4kw additional regulations come into force.
Category: Ask and Answer
January 9, 2014
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Solar Status: SunPower Dealer
UK
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Answer: 
Depending on panel orientation, often the inverter is the limiting factor for max power. This is usually based on peak sun at noon with south facing panels. However, if you have panels oriented a different direction (such as east west), you can add more in the other cardinal direction so that it gives you more hours of power per day, but limit peak output to what can be handled by your inverter.
Category: Ask and Answer
January 22, 2014
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Solar Status: Interested in Solar
Florida, USA
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Answer: 
Your SunPower system was appropriately sized, and the panels and inverter were chosen to match closely, so increasing the size of your existing system is not typically a good idea.

However, you might be able to add another grid-tied system, if cumulative size does not exceed the limits imposed by your utility company, and if you still have room for additional panels.

A separate, completely off-grid system with battery storage and generator backup could provide reliable power, although it would be fairly expensive and ineligible for rebates.

You might also consider purchasing or leasing additional solar electric production by participating in a community solar garden. Nearly anyone with an electric bill can participate at some level. Credit for production from your adopted panels appears on the bill, and it is portable when you move.
Category: Ask and Answer
March 4, 2014
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Solar Status: SunPower Customer
Loyal SunPower customer for: 1-3 years
Gender: Male
Age: 55 - 64
SunPower system: Yes
Centennial, CO, USA
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