PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ENERGY F.A.Q'S
Frequently asked solar questions:
Is PV solar a good investment?
Without a doubt yes. Especially with Hawaii's generous solar tax incentives, investing in a PV solar system is a very sound investment. Considering a PV system can last for decades, and most of our customers can pay off their system in 4-7 years, that's years of free electricity. An investment in solar is an investment that last decades.
Can I afford a PV solar System?
Absolutely. At first glance a PV system may seem cost prohibitive, but once federal and state tax incentives are taken into consideration nearly 65% of your system cost can be offset. Additionally, Kama'aina Solar Solutions offers a range of financing options including our zero down, 30% off your electric bill Ali'i Power Plan. Learn more about our PV solar financing options.
Kama'aina Solar Solutions has compiled a list of the 5 most frequently asked questions related to photovoltaic solar installations in Hawaii.
What's the difference between leasing or purchasing a PV solar system?
Whether or not you should buy or purchase your PV solar system will depend on your financial goals and current situation. While a solar lease can be an affordable solution as you put little to zero money down and your monthly utility bill is reduced, you don't own the panels on your roof and are not able to take advantage of state and federal tax rebates.
Purchasing a PV system outright will save you more money in the short and long term as it immediately reduces or eliminates your electric bill, while allowing you to take advantage of state and federal tax rebate incentives.
Read more about about our solar financing options.
Will my PV solar system require batteries?
The short answer is no. In the state of Hawaii, utility providers such as HECO offer net metering, allowing you to connect your photovoltaic solar system to the electric grid. During daylight hours, electricity is generated using the power from your solar panels before any power is drawn from the electrical grid. Excess energy your system creates is fed back into the grid giving you a bill credit. During nighttime hours, your PV system begins to draw energy from the grid and uses your excess credits created during daylight hours.
'Battery Banks' add considerable cost to a solar system, and in warmer, tropical climates such as Hawaii require an air-conditioned room to protect and prolong battery life.
Will my PV solar system still work on rainy or cloudy days?
Absolutely. Similar to the above answer, your PV system is connected the electrical grid and will draw credited power from the electrical grid during rainy or cloudy days. It's important to mention your electrical system will always have power, unless there is a system wide grid shutdown. In the rare instance of a system wide shutdown, your PV solar system is designed to automatically shut down and restart once the grid power system is restored.
What Hawaii tax rebates and incentives are available?
Hawaii homeowners can take advantage of BOTH Federal and Hawaii State tax solar incentives, saving up to 65% on a solar system purchase.
Read more about Hawaii state and Federal Solar rebates.
How long does it normally take to install solar on my home or business?
This depends on a variety of circumstances and can take anywhere from a week to a month from initial contract signing to the final system check and turn on. Your new solar PV system will require a building permit; once the initial contract and deposit has been made and signed, system engineering plans and specs will be submitted to the state office of permit and planning. Once your new systems solar system plans are approved, system installation can begin--this normally takes 2 to 4 days, but can be completed as quickly as a single day. Following final inspection, permitting and system testing, Kamaaina Solar Solutions will be in charge of your system start-up, and to ensure everything is working perfectly.
For more information read our 'Solar Process: What To Expect' section.
Frequently asked technical solar questions:
What exactly is photovoltaic (PV) solar?
Photovoltaic solar cells, also known as PV systems, convert the sun's energy into electricity using solar modules. PV systems are either a grid-tied or off-grid system. Most photovoltaic solar systems are grid-tied and sell excess electricity back to HECO. Off grid systems, which are more common on Big Island, are not connected to HECO.
How do we convert the sun rays into electricity?
As the silicon material of the panels are exposed to sunlight they release electricity in the form of electrons. Sunlight is made up of photons and as the photons strike the panels the absorbed photons are converted into energy in the form of an electron.
What does a photovoltaic system consist of?
Your PV system is comprised of a group of PV panels or modules, and inverter (which converts your electricity from DC to AC), electrical wiring and the mounting hardware that attaches to your roof.
How long will my photovoltaic solar system last for?
A properly maintained, designed and installed PV system can last for more than 30 years. The absolute best way you can extend and maintain the life of your panels is to make sure they are properly installed. That's why it's important to make sure your PV solar installer is experienced and using warrantied panels. Ask us about our 25 year product warranty.