How it Works

how-solar-works-compressed

  1. Solar panels collect the Sun’s energy.
  2. The energy captured by the solar panels is converted into usable energy for your home or business.
  3. The now usable energy available can be consumed by electronics and appliances such as your computer, TV, and smartphone.
  4. An additional benefit to having available solar energy at your home is that it can provide clean, carbon free energy for your transportation.
  5. Additional energy that is not used by your electronics, appliances, or electric vehicle are exported to the local electrical grid and generates additional income.

The Process

To complete our free solar assessment, we only need three things!

  1. A copy of your most recent energy bill. This will allow us to model your energy consumption in order to design an optimal solar system and provide accurate pricing.
  2. A picture of your electric panel. This will allow us to determine if your new solar system can be easily integrated with your home’s existing electrical infrastructure.
  3. Confirmation of your address. This allows us to use Google imaging combined with our in-house software to remotely design your system while taking into consideration available roof space, potential shading structures, and optimal tilt.

The assessment process also allows us to address any questions or apprehensions about solar that you may have. We want to make sure you understand everything before you make a decision.

  • The team at Virtuoso Energy will analyze your location, electricity usage, and sustainability goals to determine your suitability for solar. You can ask us questions you may have about solar, incentives, installation, and anything else you can think of.
  • Once approved, we will handle obtaining Electrical Permits and fill out your Incentive and MicroGeneration Applications for you. We will develop a schedule that works for you and make sure you are satisfied with every aspect of the process.
  • Our qualified team of professional electricians will install your system, ensuring quality work throughout. We will connect the new solar panels to your existing electrical system and have your meter replaced by the local wire line owner so that you can connect and sell to the grid.
  • After installation, our experienced team will review the solar system with you and explain how everything works, including incentives and micro-generation. We will answer any additional questions, ensure you are satisfied with the work, and have a comfortable understanding of your system.

Common Concerns

There are several aspects of a solar installation that resist and combat the accumulation of snow:

  • Almost all residential installations have panels installed at an angle. This allows gravity to do some of the work, letting the snow simply slide off.
  • The Tier 1 panels we use are manufactured with coatings that prevent the accumulation of snow
  • Heat produced by the panels can help the snow melt.
  • Sunlight can penetrate up to 2 inches of snow, so your panels can still be producing when covered. Once the snow cover gets thicker, the added weight will likely help it fall of as well.

Of course, there may be some instances when snow accumulates, at which point the panel won’t produce energy, but this doesn’t mean your system is useless. A study conducted at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) showed that over an entire year, the accumulation of snow at most affected yearly produced by about 5%, assuming no snow removal at all. It is important to think of your yearly usage and production as opposed to just the snow-filled days.

 

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Solar panels are tougher than your roof! They are designed to withstand snow, rain, wind, hail, and everything else nature may throw their way. We have seen cases where perfectly intact solar panels have had to be removed so that homeowners could replace their hail-damaged roof. Our Tier 1 panels are built to withstand golfball sized hail travelling at 100mph, and we only use panels with a Class 4 hail rating, the highest you can have. The panels are also warrantied at 25 years in addition to our 5-year installation warranty, in case a replacement is ever needed. Check out the video below showing Tier 1 panels standing up to hail.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. By integrating solar modules into your home insurance for only $10-$20 per year, depending on your provider, you can stay protected in the rare chance that hail becomes a problem.

Fortunately, warm weather has little to do with a location’s solar potential. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, receiving more than 300 days per year of sunshine. The snow we get in Canada also acts as a reflective surface, which increases our solar potential. Another additional bonus is our cold weather! Solar panels produce more energy when they are cold since their conductivity increases. Check out this map below showing the solar potential in Western Canada. Calgary has a solar potential of about 1292, which is higher than both Rio de Janeiro and Rome!

solar-in-canada