Considering solar power?  This following is provide to help answer some of the common questions we get. If you still have questions or want an estimate on installing solar, please call us at 724-427-6900.


Whether off-grid...where you create all of the electricity you use...or grid-attached...which allows you to reduce or eliminate your monthly electric bill while remaining connected to the public power systems may include the following components:

  Solar panels are made up of solar cells which capture rays from the sun and convert them into Direct Current (DC) electrical power.  The selection of panels is important because you want to ensure they are built to last, are backed by a company which will support them (if ever needed), and produce the most power at an effective cost.  

Tamarack TP/04 Universal Top of Pole MountRacking System...the racking system secures the solar panels onto a pole, roof or on the ground.  The racking system can vary based on the location of the solar array (group of panels).  Some racking and mounting systems can allow the panels to follow the path of the sun to get the optimal exposure, although the majority of installation hold the solar panels in a fixed position.

SMA Sunny Boy 7.7 208-240 Single Phase String inverter takes the Direct Current (DC) and transforms it into Alternating Current (AC) which is what is used by most modern electronic devices (laptops, TVs, coffee makers, etc.).  The inverter needs to be sized appropriately for the amount of DC power produced and the amount of AC power needed. 

Square D, Switch Fusible HD 600V 60A 3P NEMA3RDisconnects...usually DC and AC power disconnects are installed to allow maintainers, first responders and owners to shut off power.  Note: All systems we install meet various safety and compliance codes. This means that any grid-tied system is "grid aware" and shuts down automatically if the grid is down.  This prevents technicians from injury when repairing down power lines. 


Midnite Solar MNPV16-250 Sting Combiner, (300V Breakers), 240A/300VDC

Combiners...In the case of larger systems, combiners are used to group together "strings" of connected solar panels.  Some equipment (e.g. disconnects, inverters and battery charge controllers) has the function of a combiner built in.  Let us help you determine the best and most efficient and cost effective components for your PV system.

Ritar RA12-245D AGM Deep Cycle BatteryBatteries....If you want to access the power created by solar panels at night, then you will need some batteries to store electricty and release it when needed.  The type of battery will determine how and where they need to be stored.  The batteries need to be sized for the expected power consumption before being recharged.  We can help determine the number of batteries needed based on their capacity and depth of discharge rating. 

Magnum Energy PT-100, MPPT Charge ControllerCharge Controller...If batteries are included in your solar system, then you will need a battery charger control to prevent overcharging the batteries.  Sometimes other components (e.g. inverters) incorporate the charge controller function.  Again, let us help you size the charge controller to match the batteries and power output of the solar panels. 


The price of the system will vary based on the size, complexity and location.  The good news is that the price of many of the components has dropped significantly from even four or five years ago...and they continue to decline.  The addition of batteries adds flexibility but also increases the cost. A typical grid-tied system (without batteries) can cost in the range from $12,000 to $17,000 (or higher).  Let us give you a free estimate.


Homeowners can still take advantage of a Federal 30% Tax credit.  We constantly watch for ways to help make solar installations cheaper for owners.  Part of our process includes a more in-depth conversation about loans, grants and incentives available.

We often recommend SolarWorld panels in our solutions, so check out some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their website:  

FAQs from Solar World: