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Adding a Solar Electric/Photovoltaic System (PV) to your home or business is an exciting and practical way to:Contact us for Solar Assessment CLICK HERE
The Solar Specialist is a division of Mechanical Energy Systems offering expert quality design and installation on solar electric systems for your home or business. Take a peek at some of latest solar technology we've installed. Our team of solar specialists provide Solar Consultations to give you their expert advice on how to size a Solar Electric System to best suit your lifestyle. And for the handy solar enthusiast we also carry do-it-yourself kits for Solar Pool Heating, Solar Attic Fans and Solatube tubular skylights. With over 30 years of experience in solar you can count on The Solar Specialist to help you plug into the sun and save!
How can a Solar Electric System be a great investment?learn more
We are living in uncertain times; banks are cash heavy and unwilling to lend money. Even qualified home buyers have difficulty getting mortgage loans. If the banks are not lending, they are not collecting interest on loans, and their foreclosure portfolios continue to grow. The question then becomes, if the banks have no faith in the market, where does the average investor look to grow their finances and generate a return on investment (ROI)?1. Residential Solar installations comprise a small, but quickly growing market. Initially, city assessors had no data to prove that adding solar to a home would improve, or downgrade property value. New documentation supporting the "added value" of a Solar System on residential properties can be found here. The updated research contains proven real estate tracking documentation that indicates homes with Solar Systems increased in value by 16%. The city of Ann Arbor also has determined that Solar improves residential property values.
2. In Michigan, utility companies are required to match your energy generation with grid parity. They will credit you for every kWh you generate, and subtract the amount from your energy consumption calculation. If you use less energy on a given day than what you produce, you would net neutral, or better. To determine how much power you use per month, look at the number of kW's being billed, and not your daily usage. This number is usually in the hundreds, not in tens, per month.
3. SREC's (Solar Renewable Energy Credits). Did you know that by generating energy from a renewable resource, such as solar, and feeding it into the grid, you are producing a tradable commodity? Many states are purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from Michigan producers in order to meet renewable energy portfolio goals. You have complete control over when, and at what price you sell your energy.
How Do Solar Panels Work?learn more
Solar Electric Systems, utilizing silicon based photovoltaic (PV) panels, convert sunlight directly into electricity. As light photons strike the silicon cells in a PV panel, electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, producing direct current (DC). This energy is sent to an inverter used to transform DC power into home, business, and grid usable AC (alternating current) power.
There are two types of systems. A single string system means panels are connected to each other and act as one, using a separate single inverter to change DC to AC (pluggable and grid-tied power). A micro-inverter system has a small inverter attached to each panel that makes each panel and cell alive and independent of the others and converts DC to AC immediately.
The micro-inverter system has the benefit of increasing each panel performance by 5% - 25% because every cell is live and independent from each other. Any shading from a chimney, trees or passing clouds affects only the cell shaded and the rest of the system generates power unaffected by shade issues around the array. Single string systems will shut down performance once a certain percentage of shading has reached even though many of the panels are in direct sunlight.
We prefer micro-inverters system because it is a better fit with the Michigan climate and a more flexible system.
Do we have enough sun in Michigan to produce electricity?learn more
Absolutely! Michigan receives over 2000 peak sun-hours per year, on average. You can expect between 1400 and 1800 kWh per year from each kW of PV installed in Michigan. Some of our installations in southeastern Michigan are getting utility bills in March 2011 of minus $50.00. The Solar Specialist* Installers are manufacturer trained and certified. Our managers are also certified solar installation trainers, highly qualified, with 26 years in business. What is involved when buying a solar electric system?
Does Solar work in Michigan?learn more
Even in snow falls of ten inches, common in Michigan, light rays are still penetrating the solar panels. The micro-inverters enable the solar panels to utilize these low light levels and create enough heat from the panels to melt the snow while still generating electricity. A single string system would be inoperable longer because it takes higher levels of direct sunlight to kick in until the sun melted the snow.
Don't forget, solar panels are more efficient at cooler temperatures. Depending on the pitch of your panels February and March are often extremely productive for solar generation.
Panel efficiencies can range from 8% to almost 20% and are improving quickly. The higher the efficiency the fewer square feet are required to create maximum power generation. There are many brands and quality panels manufactured here in the US that are competitively priced. The Solar Specialist uses NAFTA and US manufactured products as much as possible.
For the best performance, Solar Panels should be installed on the south/south west side of a roof or property. Grid-Tied Systems offer the best combination of efficiency and low maintenance. Battery storage can be added to a system, but requires additional components.
What is involved when buying a Solar Electric System?learn more
*To install solar hot water systems as a DIY kit is possible but often will void the manufacturers’ warranty.
**Solar electric (PV) systems require input from multiple professionals, electricians, engineers and designers plus many components are warrantied only for installations by certified manufacturer approved installers.
Specializing in Solar
products made in the U.S.A