Microinverters 101: What You Need to Know

What do you envision of when you think of solar energy? Do you picture panels on a roof, a ground mounted system peacefully collecting rays in a grass-covered field or, perhaps, you think of the sun as a whole. Most people picture the typical roof set up, but have you ever thought of what makes those panels work?

Solar panels are built to work with microinverters, and these are a crucial component in your solar panel system.

What Do They Do?

Let’s start with the basics, inverters are responsible for converting direct current energy (DC) generated by your solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, this the same type of energy that powers your home’s appliances. Although there are a few different inverter options for your system, microinverters are among one of the more popular inverter technologies.1 They’re also the only type of inverter used at Momentum Solar.

Instead of having a centralized string inverter for your system, you can choose to get smaller inverters installed, aka microinverters. Most systems using a microinverter solution use one unit for each individual panel.1

“Because each microinverter operates at the panel site independently of the others in the system, microinverters are classified as module-level power electronics (MLPE). MLPEs are the best option for complicated installations or those that experience marginal shading.”1

For example, with a traditional string inverter, panels can only produce energy at the lowest-performing panel in the same string, whereas microinverters produce electricity individually for each panel maximizing performance and energy efficiency.

When to Use Microinverters

There are many reasons a homeowner should consider installing microinverters, but one of the main reasons is individual panel performance monitoring. With this method you can compare how each of your panels is performing on its own instead of evaluating the systems performance as a whole. This could help the homeowner quickly identify any service issues with an individual panel and result in quicker repair time of the equipment.1

Another benefit to using microinverters is because they are a, “good solution for more complicated installations that have panels facing different directions or are tilted at varying angles. If you have some panels facing east and others facing south, using microinverters on each panel will allow them to perform to their maximum ability when sunlight hits them…”1

As you can see, using microinverters for your home system can be beneficial. It allows the homeowner to truly harness the power of the sun and get the most out of their solar panel system. With an easy way to monitor, repair or run performance diagnostics, you can always make sure your system is running optimally.

Microinverters with Momentum Solar

With a dedicated Operations team from certified engineers to permit runners, we make going solar a seamless process for every homeowner. And when it comes time for installation, the microinverter is something you won’t even notice (even though they’re doing most of the heavy lifting).

We mount each microinverter directly behind its corresponding solar panel to convert the DC electricity from each solar panel into usable AC electricity.

After installation, you can count on our exclusive microinverter supplier’s features to keep you up to date on your production. Through Enphase’s MyEnlighten software, you’ll be able to access a complementary monitoring software that you can use to track your solar energy production from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You’ll be able to ensure your system is functioning optimally and view how many kilowatt-hours you are producing every day.

Now your armed with the microinverter knowledge reserved for solar experts and we can help you take your passion for clean, renewable energy one step further. Whether you are looking to save money, help the environment or are looking to achieve an aesthetically pleasing roof, we are here to help. Go solar with Momentum today!

For more information on how Momentum Solar can help you make the transition to price-protected energy, please call 1-888-MOMENTUM.

The Ultimate Guide for Going Solar

Have you been looking to make the switch to a cleaner, renewable and abundant energy source? Every year more and more American homeowners are installing solar panels on their homes and excitedly moving towards a greener lifestyle. For those unfamiliar with solar energy, it is one of the most popular sources of alternative energy and has a more than a few perks that go along with it. Not only is solar energy better for the environment, but the biggest motivator for families making the switch is the savings they experience each month with their utility bills.

You may be asking yourself, “Where do I start?”

At first it can seem like an overwhelming process – fortunately, our team understands all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make switching to solar a seamless process for homeowners.

To put your mind at ease and help you gain a little insight into the steps in going solar, we’ve created this simple solar checklist!

Can You Put Solar Panels on Your Home?

The first thing to consider when looking to go solar is if you can you put solar panels on your home? Believe it or not, not all homes may be ‘roof ready’. Here are a few factors to consider:

     1. Roof Type

     2. Slope of Your Roof

     3. Age of Your Roof

One of the most common things solar installers look for in a roof is how much sun it gets and if there are trees blocking your roof. While this may sound like it’s not a big deal, too much shade from trees will block the sun and your panels will not be able to harness enough energy. Fortunately, Momentum Solar offers tree removal services for those who need it.

Another factor that installers consider is the slope of your roof, “solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slop between 15-40 degrees, but other roofs are still considered.”1 Lastly, consider the age of your roof. Most roofs have a lifespan of 10-25 years and at the end of their term they may need to be replaced or repaired. By knowing the age of your roof and its condition you can determine whether or not you may need to replace it before installing solar panels.1

Understanding your roof’s condition is critical to its upkeep and stability, especially if you are looking to install solar panels on your home. If your roof could use a tune-up or a complete overhaul, our sister company, Momentum Home, offers a wide variety of roofing shingle solutions that provide each homeowner with the best options to design their dream roof. Momentum Home is ready to complete your roof replacement or repair with only the best materials from Owen’s Corning and GAF. When you choose Momentum, you can trust your roof will be built to last.

Contacting the Right Company

Switching to solar can seem like a big step to take, but with the right company it can be an easy, seamless process. When looking for a solar company, our team suggests reading company reviews,

checking their credentials and verifying that they offer free quotes.2 With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, honors from prestigious outlets such as Inc. 500 and Deloitte, as well as free quotes for every homeowner, you can trust Momentum to give you honest answers about the transition to solar energy.

Our team is dedicated to helping the environment by offering affordable renewable energy solutions and white-glove customer service. You can reach us by phone, email or any of our social media outlets, our team is standing by.

What to Expect After Signing

Working with a Momentum Solar means a dedicated representative will guide you through the entire process from solar enrollment through customized design, engineering, permitting, installation and activation of every system to ensure a seamless transition to renewable energy. Every install is customized to ensure each system is capitalizing on peak solar output and providing homeowners with unrivaled aesthetic appeal. Momentum Solar also provides worry-free maintenance and monitoring of each system to ensure that it is always functioning optimally so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the more important things in life!

How Momentum Can Help

Our team is there for you every step of the way to assist with permitting, installation and the activation of every system to ensure a seamless transition to solar power. Momentum Solar is dedicated to providing our customers with first-class service as well as giving homeowners the resources to make the switch to a greener future.

For more information, please give us a call at 1-888-MOMENTUM.

Solar Incentives in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania has a long, proud history of energy production. In the early days, Pennsylvania fueled the northeast with oil and coal mining. In recent years, the state has turned to a more modern approach – solar energy. Each year more and more people in the Keystone State are making the change to a greener lifestyle and reaping the benefits.

You may be wondering how you can make the switch and take part in the incentives Pennsylvania has to offer… all you need to do is keep reading to find out!

The Federal Solar ITC

Getting more for your money with solar is easy with the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.[1] Keep in mind that in Pennsylvania, the ITC applies only to those who have bought their solar system with a solar loan or a cash purchase, and the homeowner must have enough income for the tax credit to be relevant.[2]

To keep it simple, buying your panels with a solar loan or cold hard cash can pay off when tax season comes around. So why not make the switch? Not only will you help the environment but your wallet as well.

Pennsylvania and Net Metering

Net metering could be one of the most important components of going solar as it governs how your residential system interacts with the gird. If you’re new to solar or just starting your journey, “net metering allows you to sell excess solar electricity back to the utility at the same price at which you would buy it. The ability to send electricity back to the grid is key, as it allows homeowners to ‘bank’ their solar energy when production is up and use it when they need it later on.”2

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

A Solar Renewable Energy Certificate, better known as an SREC is a solar incentive that allows homeowners to sell certificates for energy to their utility. What this means is, “a homeowner earns one SREC for every 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) produced by their solar panel system. An SREC can be worth over $300 in certain states.”2

Essentially, you can get paid to go solar. But what does this really equate to for the residents of Pennsylvania? In late 2019, the going rate for these credits was around $24. For example, a 5 kWh system that generated 5 MWh per year could make the homeowner an $120 per year from selling the SREC.2

Switching to solar helps Pennsylvania homeowners truly harness the power of the sun and the many benefits it comes with it. Depending on how you buy your system you have the ITC incentive for both residential and commercial residences but also save money by selling SRECs in the market.

Start Your Journey with Momentum

Now that you are a true Pennsylvanian solar expert, it’s time to make the change towards a greener future. Momentum Solar handles the process from start to finish to ensure you have an effortless transition to solar energy. Our team custom designs, engineers and installs each system – we carefully oversee the installation and activation of every Momentum system in your great state. With an office located right in Lancaster, our team is ready and waiting to help guide you, your family and friends.

For more information on how we can help you make the switch, please give us a call at 1-888-MOMENTUM.

[1] Energy Sage- https://www.energysage.com/solar/cost-benefit/solar-investment-tax-credit/#:~:text=Last%20updated%207%2F15%2F2020,no%20cap%20on%20its%20value.

[2] Energy Sage- https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-rebates-incentives/pa/

How to Go Solar

With climate change becoming more of a wide-spread concern, alternative forms of energy have been increasing in popularity all over the world. Solar panels are one the most well-known forms of clean, renewable energy, and many Americans are happily making the switch.

If you’re looking to transition to energy you can feel proud of, but you’re not exactly sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Thanks to this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to take actionable steps in your switch to clean solar energy!

Is My Roof Ready?

Before considering solar, ask yourself if your home withstand the panels in the first place. Although solar panels are made for all climates, they are not made for all roof types. There are a few roof-related factors to consider when you are looking to install solar panels on your home.

In most cases, “rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If there are trees near your home that create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the most ideal option.”[1] Fortunately, Momentum Solar offers little-to-no cost tree removal services when you decide to go solar. We know how important maintaining nature is to the environmental health and ecosystem, so we’ll only remove the trees necessary and will leave you with as much greenery as possible.

Another bit of information to consider is the slope of your roof. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slop between 15-40 degrees, but other roofs are still completely viable options.

Types of Financing

Now that you know if your home is compatible with solar panels, let’s talk financing. The power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property. A typical PPA can range from 10 to 25 years, and during this time the developer remains responsible for the maintenance and operation of the system for the duration of the agreement.2

If a PPA is not for you, there is the option to take out a loan for your system or pay cash. To get a solar loan you can go through your traditional bank or explore other institutions that offer solar energy loans. Another form of payment for solar panels is cold, hard cash. Although this may not be a typical payment method, it certainly has its perks.

“When you pay cash, you can benefit from the 30% Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit and keep that cash in your pocket instead of handing it over to the bank or a solar power lease company. Paying cash also can provide the shortest solar power pay-back period, generally between 4 and 7 years.”[2]

As you can see, there are various types of financing options available if you are looking to make the switch to solar. Depending on the system and your personal financial situation, this may influence your decision on how you would like to purchase your panels. Luckily enough, there are plenty of options for homeowners to choose from.

What Incentives are Out There?

Going solar not only has its perks for the environment but can also benefit your wallet. Depending on where you live, qualified homeowners can apply for federal and state tax incentives. Solar tax credits are a federal incentive that can give qualified homeowners a 26% credit that can be applied to their annual taxes. Formally known at the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the solar tax credit can be used as a deduction by the homeowners, essentially giving them a 26% discount on their solar system.[3]

If the 26% tax credit isn’t an incentive enough, homeowners can often lower their monthly utility bills. According to HomeSelfe, “Using solar panels instead of relying on a utility company can help you cut your electric bill by up to 50% per month. When your home has solar panels, energy from the sun will be used to power your electricity, except for when the sun is not present, such as during thunderstorms or at night.”[4]

One thing to keep in mind about the ITC tax credit is that it is continuously decreasing each year. The solar ITC schedule shows a slight decrease each year since 2019 starting at 30%, then dropping to 26% in 2020 and then potentially dropping to 22% in 2021. After 2021, the residential credit drops to zero while the commercial credit drops to a permanent 10 percent. This is why so many homeowners are going solar ASAP because the sooner the switch the better the incentives they receive.[5]

The ITC tax credit and the possibility of cutting utility bills in half are great incentives to consider if you are thinking about going solar. To find out more about the ITC tax credit, speak to your financial advisor or connect with a Momentum Solar specialist to see if you qualify for these benefits.

Finding the Right Solar Company

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge on how to go solar and what to look out for, it is time to start your journey. Here at Momentum Solar we are dedicated to the customer experience and confident in our ability to provide affordable energy options to qualified homeowners. We handle the entire process from solar enrollment all the way through installation and activation of every system – and we’ll be there for you every step of the way.

Call 1-(888)-MOMENTUM or visit momentumsolar.com for more information about how you can go solar today!

 

[1] Enery.govhttps://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/homeowner-s-guide-going-solar

[2] Sullivan Solar Power- https://www.sullivansolarpower.com/residential/solar-cash#:~:text=Cash%20Payments&text=When%20you%20pay%20cash%2C%20you,between%204%20and%207%20years.

[3] Solar Reviews- https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/solar-panels-florida-worth-it-expert-savings-guide#:~:text=The%2026%25%20solar%20tax%20credit,discount%20on%20your%20solar%20system.

[4] HomeSelfe- https://www.homeselfe.com/4-ways-solar-panels-help-lower-monthly-bills/#:~:text=Using%20solar%20panels%20instead%20of,during%20thunderstorms%20or%20at%20night.

[5] SEIA- https://www.seia.org/initiatives/solar-investment-tax-credit-itc

Do Solar Panels Increase Your Home’s Value?

Each year, more and more people are making the switch to solar, but why? It may have to do with helping the environment or lowering their utility bills… but oftentimes, homeowners go solar to increase their home’s value.

When installed correctly by the right solar company, panels have an undeniably sleek appearance that can add instant curb appeal. While solar panel systems are clearly aesthetically appealing, let’s get into the nuts and bolts about money.

How much do they increase the value of your home?

Let’s Talk Numbers

On average, solar panels raise a home’s value by 4.1% across the United States. For example, that’s an increase of $9,274 on a $226,000 home according to a study done by Zillow. Not only does installing solar panels on your home increase its value by an average 4.1%, it can essentially pay for itself through federal and state tax credits as well as lower utility bills. It’s easy to see why homeowners are making the switch.[1]

Can I Sell My Home with Solar Panels?

What happens if you install solar panels on your home and you have to move later down the road? Fortunately, studies have shown that homes with solar tend too sell faster and for higher closing prices than comparable homes without solar.[2]

“In a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers found that potential homebuyers were willing to pay more for homes equipped with customer-owned solar. In fact, they discovered that homes with the average PV system in their sample size (3.6 kW) sold for a premium of $15,000 across different states.”2

To put it simply, if you wish to own your solar panels and are looking to sell your home, going solar can help. Not only are you increasing your home’s value, you are helping the entire neighborhood by raising “comp” prices.

What Happens if You Leased Your System?

If you have considered leasing your solar panel system, you may have wondered if this could decrease your home’s value and lessen the possibility of selling your house. There is the worry that potential buyers will be deterred from purchasing a home because they are unwilling or unable to take over the lease of the panels.2

Luckily, many of these concerns have been unfounded.

A recent study in southern California analyzed homes that had been sold with a solar lease or solar power purchase agreement (PPA), “Most participants saw no impact on their home sale value as a result of their lease agreement. Researchers also found that 77 percent of the leases were successfully transferred to the new property owner…”2

Not only is going solar great for the environment, doing so can help the homeowner’s bottom line through utility bills and home value.

Long story short – don’t let a potential future move prevent your solar panel purchase.

Momentum Is Here to Help

Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the nation employing over 2000 people nationwide. Founded in 2009 in a New Jersey warehouse, we quickly expanded due to our unmatched quality and customer service. We’re an owner-operated industry leader that is dedicated to the customer experience as we provide affordable energy options to qualified homeowners.

For more information on how we can help, please call 1-888-MOMENTUM.

[1] CNBC- https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/05/solar-power-can-boost-a-homes-value-in-these-10-states-the-most.html#:~:text=Installing%20solar%20panels%20in%20a,valued%20home%20in%20the%20U.S.

[2] Energy Sage-https://news.energysage.com/selling-a-house-with-solar-panels-lease-or-loan/

Solar Incentives in Florida

Residents of the Sunshine State have the opportunity to use the power of the sun to power their homes. On average, Florida residents see 237 sunny days a year, making it no surprise as to why it is called the Sunshine State. As a quick comparison, the rest of the United States that sees an average of 205 days.[1]

So, how can residents really harness the power of the sun and get the most bang for their buck? Let’s find out!

Federal Tax Credits

One way Florida residents can save a significant amount of money when transitioning to solar energy is through federal and state tax incentives. Solar tax credits are a federal incentive that can give qualified homeowners a 26% credit that can be applied to their annual taxes. Formally known at the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the solar tax credit can be used as a deduction by the homeowners, essentially giving them a 26% discount on their solar system. But what happens if your tax liability is less than the 26% of your solar systems cost? Luckily, this program lets you roll over the remaining balance to the next period for up to ten years.[2]

Rising Electricity Bills

In addition to the annualized benefits of the ITC, Florida homeowners often want to know how much they can save monthly by going solar. One of the ways to calculate the potential savings is by calculating how much you are currently spending on electricity every single month.

For example, “the average annual electricity use required for a U.S. household is 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Multiply that by the national average electricity rate as of April 2020 ($0.1328 per kWh) and you’ll find that the typical American family is spending just over $1,450 a year on electricity alone.” In the state of Florida, the average electricity rate is $0.1278 per kWh.[3]

To break down the above, electricity is measured using kilowatts (kWh), and each kWh costs money. homeowners have the opportunity to calculate their electricity before going solar. This can give you an idea of what you are currently spending versus what you could be savings when you make the switch.

How to Apply for the ITC

Now that you have the ITC and utility knowledge in your back pocket, how do you apply for the 26% solar tax credit? After you purchase your system, you will need to fill out a 5695 tax form. This form is for the residential energy efficient property credit, also known as the nonbusiness energy property credit. If your still unsure about the logistics, one of our dedicated Momentum Solar specialist would be happy to walk you through the basics of solar incentives in Florida.

Working with Momentum Solar means that you can sit back and relax while we take care of the entire process. Our team works tirelessly from start to finish to provide each homeowner with first-class service and best-in-class products. Each home receives custom designed, engineered, installed and activation of every system making the transition to solar effortless. We help thousands of Florida homeowners go solar every year and we can certainly guide you and your families

For more information, please give us a call at 1-888-MOMENTUM.

[1] Only In Your State- https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/florida/best-weather-fl/

[2] Solar Reviews- https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/solar-panels-florida-worth-it-expert-savings-guide#:~:text=The%2026%25%20solar%20tax%20credit,discount%20on%20your%20solar%20system.

[3] Energy Sage- https://news.energysage.com/much-solar-panels-save/

What Is Solar and How Does It Work?

Have you ever driven by a home with solar panels and wondered how they worked? It’s easy to understand that solar panels harness the power from the sun. But how, exactly, do they convert it into a renewable energy source?

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Solar energy is the most abundant and one of the cleanest energy sources known to man, and with solar panels we have the ability to utilize it. The sun can be used to power homes, businesses – even entire towns – while providing light and electricity.1

Fortunately for homeowners looking to go solar, Momentum Solar offers first-class service and top-tier technology to those wanting to make the switch. Our team is committed to helping each homeowner make a seamless transition to clean renewable energy and will handle the process every step of the way.

At the core of our business is a drive to help the environment and help homeowners achieve true freedom from fossil fuels.

WHAT IS SOLAR ENERGY

Solar energy is the most abundant natural energy source we have here on Earth. Finding a sustainable, renewable energy source is an important step towards a clean future. So how do we capture the energy of the sun? Without getting too technical, the sun is made up of tiny particles of sunlight called photons. Every ray of sun that reaches Earth contains fuel and energy for our planet.1

“Solar energy is the ultimate source responsible for all of our weather systems and energy sources on Earth, and enough solar radiation hits the surface of the planet each hour to theoretically fill our global energy needs for nearly an entire year.”[1]

Long story short, the energy that we can generate from the sun is endless.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES

There are three main ways that we can harness the energy of the sun:

  • Solar Heating and Cooling
  • Photovoltaics
  • Concentrating Solar Power

Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) both use heat generated by the sun. SHC systems collect thermal energy to provide hot water and air heating or conditioning, while CSP helps run traditional electricity-generating turbines in the case of power plants. Photovoltaics are used to generate electricity from the sun that can be used to power anything from a small electronic to a home or large commercial business.[2] Momentum Solar provides photovoltaic solar panel systems.2

“A photovoltaic (PV) system is composed of one or more solar panels combined with an inverter and other electrical and mechanical hardware that use energy from the Sun to generate electricity. PV systems can vary greatly in size from small rooftop or portable systems to massive utility-scale generation plants.”[3]

Before switching to solar, there are a few things you should know about the technology behind the clean electricity you’ll be generating. With a PV system, sunlight hits the panels and the photons are converted into energy. The energy is then converted into electricity and is used as needed. Any excess power is then sent back to your bidirectional meter, then back to your utility grid. The excess energy builds a “bank” of credits and your utility company provides you with electricity after the “bank” of credits is used.1

HOW CAN WE HELP?

When you choose to work with Momentum Solar, you can expect nothing but the best. You can trust your system will be custom-designed by certified engineers and installed by professional team members.

We provide worry-free maintenance and monitoring for every system to ensure it’s functioning at the highest level as possible. You’ll quickly see our team is just as dedicated to your project as they are to our mission of giving future generations a greener world.

For more information on how we can help you make the switch, please call 1-888-MOMENTUM.

 

 

[1] Energy Sage- https://news.energysage.com/what-is-solar-energy/

[2] Solar Energy Industries Association- https://www.seia.org/initiatives/about-solar-energy

[3] Energy Education- https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Photovoltaic_system#:~:text=A%20photovoltaic%20(PV)%20system%20is,massive%20utility%2Dscale%20generation%20plants.