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How much roof space is needed for a solar electric system?

Depending on which solar module is used, each DC (namplate) kilowatt of PV will require roughly 85 square feet of roof space. So, a 4kW solar system will require roughly 340 square feet (4 x 85 = 340 square feet).

What kind of maintenance does a solar system require?

Washing the solar array with water a few times a year is a good idea but not strictly critical. Most good solar designers have factored the effect of seasonal dust on your projected system output over time. Occasional visual inspection of the array is wise in order to identify any serious soiling of the array such as significant bird droppings or other types of opaque soiling. Checking the integrity of mechanical and electrical connections, checking the electrical characteristics of the system and logging data are other good annual maintenance practices.

What does a typical solar module warranty cover?

Solar Modules are typically warranted to produce up to 80% of their original capacity up to 25 years. Different manufactures warrant the production degradation on different schedules. When comparing solar module warranties, read the warranties to determine which has the better coverage.

How long will a solar system last?

The main component of a solar system, the solar modules, are typically warranted for 25 years but have a design life of over 40. There are modules still operating today that were manufactured in the 1970's. The inverters are typically warranted for 10 years. It is not certain how long they may last beyond their warranty period. A conservative set of assumptions when considering the long term financial performance of your system is to figure the performance at 30 years with the replacement of the inverters at year 15.

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