Residential Solar Power - How it works

Converting to solar is easy when you have the right team of professionals to guide you.

HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?

SITE ANALYSIS

Once you have contacted us about your interest in going solar, we will perform some basic research about your building and location. Using satellite data, we will estimate  the amount and direction of sun exposure your building receives at various times of the year, and an approximation of your roof area. We’ll also ask you to provide us with your power bill. This data will help us determine the optimum location for your solar panels to achieve the highest efficiency.

On our first site visit, we will conduct an in-depth engineering analysis to verify the existing structure can support the additional weight of the solar equipment. We will also conduct a detailed analysis of the business's historical electrical usage to identify how the operation uses electricity and closely examine the utility rate schedule to predict how it will be affected by the new solar system.

We will confirm the size and orientation of your roof, locate your electric meter and other equipment, and identify trees and other obstructions that will affect the efficiency of the proposed system.

THE PROPOSAL

After we’ve designed a system for your site and energy needs, we'll prepare a detailed proposal that will include:

Description of the components in the system

  • Installed cost including tax rebates and savings
  • An explanation of how the system works
  • Warranties and equipment life
  • A visualization of the solar panels on your roof
  • A detailed description of the scope of work and timetable for the project
  • Expected annual energy production and costs savings
  • Projected return on your investment
  • Technical literature about the equipment

GETTING STARTED

Once we’ve agreed to the terms and signed the contract, Altenergy will obtain all the necessary permits, schedule inspections and produce all the necessary paperwork for net metering approval with your power company.

We will also help you acquire tax credits, incentives, renewable energy credits and low-interest loans that will lower your initial investment

THE INSTALLATION

Our technicians will mount and secure the rooftop equipment, seal all roof penetrations, install the inverter(s) and connect the entire system to your meter and electrical system. We comply with the National Electric Code and all building codes from federal, state and local governments. Through internet monitoring, we will perform weekly system checks and let you know if there are any problems.

PRIOR TO STARTUP

At the completion of each installation, Altenergy prepares a commissioning report to demonstrate system functionality by following the procedure outlined below. Expected values for system parameters are established based on manufacturer specifications and calculated adjustments for the environmental conditions that exist at the time of data collection. 

Altenergy's commissioning team uses the industry-standard Seaward PV150 Solar Installation Test Kit which has the capability of simultaneously measuring ambient temperature, cell temperature, solar irradiance, voltage and current. By comparing actual system values to expected values, it can be determined that the system is functioning properly and as designed.

Altenergy is happy to commission the system in cooperation with a third-party professional and the customer to ensure a fully-objective functional test has been performed.

COMMISSIONING TESTING AND REPORT

Pre-Testing Check

  1. The system has been installed in a workmanlike manner, and wire management techniques are proper and neat
  2. All connections are secured properly (electrical & mechanical)
  3. All disconnects are open, and LOTO procedures are in place
  4. Torque specifications are met at all equipment terminals
  5. All labels and placards have been applied to equipment, conduit, etc.
  6. Equipment calibrations and settings are programmed properly for interconnect requirements and system parameters

Pre-Startup Testing

  1. Continuity testing for grounding/bonding 
  2. Polarity testing at combiners 
  3. DC Voltage and current testing 
  4. Insulation resistance (baseline results to be compared to measurements over time to assess degradation) 

​Startup Procedure

  1. Install overcurrent devices
  2. Close ac/dc disconnects 
  3. Turn on inverter 
  4. Performance verification 

System Functional Testing

  1. Verify disconnects 
  2. Verify that inverter disconnects output upon loss of grid voltage 
  3. Verify that inverter automatically reconnects output upon voltage restoration from grid 
  4. Verify voltage drop between all relevant points in the system 

BRINGING THE SYSTEM ONLINE

Altenergy will start the system, confirm that it is operating properly and monitor the system through the internet. Weekly remote system checks will be performed to ensure your equipment is operating correctly and efficiently.