Frequently Asked Questions

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What happens when the power goes out?

Grid tied photovoltaic systems are required to turn off during outage for safety reasons. However, there are some grid-tied inverters that can provide power to a dedicated electrical outlet whenever the sun is out, even enough to run a refrigerator. Battery based PV systems can function as emergency backup, and can be completely off grid and sustain electrical loads indefinitely with solar energy.

Can I sell electricity back to the grid?

Yes, Virginia residents are eligible for net-metering under VA § 56-594. Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Excess electricity generates credit that can be used to offset future consumption. Surplus credit can be carried forward for up to one year.

Can I power my entire home or business with solar?

Yes, with enough solar panels, you can completely eliminate your electric bill. However, most systems will require staying connected to the grid. SolarNova provides detailed analysis that predict how much power your system will produce, and how much money you will save. It is possible to completely eliminate the net electric consumption of any building with a large enough solar array.

What are some different types of photovoltaic (PV) systems?

Solar panel systems can be broken down into two main types; grid-tied and battery based. Grid-tied is the most economical type of system in Virginia, and allows for fast simple installation. Once installed, the energy your PV system produces is consumed on site, and any excess is net metered with the utility grid. Battery based systems also allow net metering but provide the additional benefit of supplying backup power in case of an outage, and can also be used for peak load shaving and prioritizing on-site consumption.

Do I ever have to worry about running out of energy?

Grid tied and battery based PV systems work together with the grid to make sure you will always have enough electricity. At night, and during rainy or cloudy weather, energy from the grid supplements your solar production to make sure you always have enough energy available. A properly sized battery based PV system can provide reliable extended power during an outage based on the customer’s particular demands.

What kind of warranty do solar panel systems have?

All of the solar panels we install at SolarNova come with 25 year power output warranties, and require no maintenance. Inverters and other equipment have warranties from 5-25 years depending on the manufacturer. SolarNova offers between one and ten year warranties on all of our installations.