Solar 101

EcoSmart Solar 101 ebook

You may be focused on saving money. Or reducing your carbon footprint. Either way, our whole-house approach to energy efficiency can help you tame your energy bills, enjoy a more comfortable home, and do some good for the planet!

For a deeper understanding of solar, enter your email address below to receive our free Solar 101 ebook!

Solar 101 ebook Cover

Solar Power Systems in a Nutshell

Every day, photons stream from the sun onto your home. Photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar panels convert those photons into electrons of direct current (DC) electricity. The electricity then flows into a microinverter, which converts it to alternating current (AC) — the kind of electricity we use in our homes. This animated video explains how solar cells work, but you don’t need a degree to understand it!

After we install your solar power system, the utility company will replace your traditional meter with a net meter. This meter will constantly track all of the AC electricity flowing from your solar system and automatically divert to the grid any excess solar energy that your home isn’t using. When you consume more electricity than your system is producing (including at night and on cloudy days), it allows you to draw electricity from the grid. Your utility company will bill you for the difference between the energy you feed into the grid and draw from it.

How well do panels perform over time?

EcoSmart installs panels that use the most best combination of innovative and reliable solar technology available. Today’s panels can last more than 30 years and continually produce at high efficiency levels, regardless of the temperature. At the 30-year mark, they will typically produce at more than 91% of their original output performance!

Why do you use microinverters?

Microinverters receive the DC power produced by a solar panel and convert it into alternating current (AC), the form used in your home. EcoSmart installs Enphase microinverters, which offer the most advanced inverter technology on the market. That means you’ll receive higher production per panel, greater reliability, and unmatched intelligence.

  • Higher production: Each panel in your system will have its own microinverter, and the microinverters all operate independently of each other. Traditional single-inverters and string-inverter systems, on the other hand, have a serious shortcoming: One shaded or dirty panel affects the output of the other panels in the circuit. Enphase’s Burst technology lets microinverters produce more at dawn, dusk, and in low-light conditions, for a longer solar day.
  • More reliable: Because they function independently, if one fails, the others won’t go down with it.
  • More cost-effective: In addition to the greater energy savings from higher production, Enphase microinverters come with a 25-year warranty; string inverters need to be replaced at least once in the lifetime of the system.
  • Easy to expand: If you increase your electricity needs in the future (by adding onto your home, installing a pool or hot tub, or similar), we can simply add onto your current system.