Frequently asked questions about our solar system.
a 50 to 75% reduction in cost sounds almost too good to be true, how can you achieve this?
We’re happy to do a detailed cost analysis for you, but here’s a very simple simulation to give you an idea. First of all, this simulation only applies for people who are either building a new house, or thinking about replacing their roof.
As an example for our simulation we’ll take the state of Iowa, where people can theoretically get both a 26% federal tax credit and a 15% state tax credit on their solar energy installation, and the state of California, where only the federal 26% applies. Obviously there may be other state incentives that will bring the cost down even more, but for now we’ll keep it simple.
Count the cost of what you will pay anyway for your new roof. For easy calculation, say that this will cost $10,000.
Now count the cost of a typical 5 KW traditional solar installation. Say that this will cost $15,000, wich means your net cost is between $8,850 for Iowa (41% total tax credit) and $11,100 for California (26% tax credit).
Now say that our roof + solar installation will cost $15,000 for the part of the roof where we install solar panels, and another $3000 for the rest of the roof. (wherever we have irregular roof shapes, or areas where it’s not beneficial to place solar panels (North facing roof, for example), we place panels that look exactly the same, but don’t have solar cells in them.
For Iowa, your net cost will now be $8,850 after subsidies for the solar part + $3,000 for the rest of the roof = 11,850. But you would have paid $10,000 for your roof anyway, so your net cost for your solar installation is really only 1,850, which would represent an 80% saving.
For California, your total cost will be $14,100, minus $10,000 you would have paid for your roof anyway, so a net cost of $4,100 for your solar energy, representing a 63% saving.
Obviously, this is just a simulation, and the real number will depend on the actual cost of your roof, the actual cost of traditional solar panels, and the actual state subsidies that will be available to you. It could be higher, or lower, but we can reasonably conclude that the savings will be substantial.
Would you agree that that’s not bad for a roof that also looks much more beautiful than a roof with traditional solar panels?
Do our solar panels have the same efficiency guarantee that other manufacturers guarantee.
Yes, we use exactly the same solar cells as any other manufacturer, and can as such give the same guarantees.
How can we be sure the roof is waterproof?
The first task of a roof is to keep the rain out. We have a double layer of protection to accomplish this task.
First of all, our panels are designed in such a way that they create a 100% overlap. The panels overlap in the horizontal direction, and the strips cover the junction of the panels in the vertical direction.
The strips themselves are designed so that the part where they are screwed unto the boards is completely covered from the rain as well, on top wherever we screw them to the roof, we place a self sealing rubber adhesive around the area where we screw, so that water cannot penetrate the roof where any screws penetrate (compare that with a regular shingle roof, where you have thousands of nails penetrating the plywood to keep the shingles in place)
But even if some water would still come through we cover the roof frame with a protective felt, underneath the boards, to prevent the roof substrate from getting wet. At the bottom there will be an opening, so that any water that comes in can just flow out.
This is how we can offer a better waterproof guarantee than any other roofer can offer.
How will we connect the electrical wiring of the panels? What if we need to service a panel?
We place additional strips of wood on top of the felt to support the substrate solar panels, this leaves a gap in between the felt and the roof substrate, where we place all our wiring to connect the panels.
This also allows us to service the panels very easily. Wherever we need to service them, we simply unscrew the panels from the roof structure, and screw them back on afterwards.
I’ve heard that solar panels that are integrated in the roof have poor ventilation, and will heat up too quickly, making them less efficient?
This is correct, and is one of the reason why most projects to integrate solar cells into roof tiles have failed.
Solar panels lose up to 20% of their efficiency when they heat up too much, which will happen on any typical summer day unless they are ventilated.
What is unique about our system is that the gap between the roof felt and our panels will automatically draw air once the roof starts heating up (hot air rises, and will exit the top of the roof through a special ventilation channel, drawing cool air from the bottom of the roof, creating a natural ventilation system).
What if our solar panels are covered in snow in winter?
Here we can also offer a solution that no other solar panel installer can offer.
Snow can often cover rooftop solar panels for weeks, resulting in zero solar energy right when you need it most to heat up your house.
We can install a special system that heats up air, and blows this warm air through the ventilation channel, underneath the solar panels until the snow is melted. This will take a bit of energy, (although not much because the space between the panels and the waterproof felt is only 1″ wide) but will save much more energy in the long run.
What about hail, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes or other extreme weather events.
Here’s another advantage of our system compared to traditional roofing. Rather than protecting solar panels with glass, as is traditionally done to give the panels strength, the structural strength from the panels will come from the board underneath it, which is much stronger than glass and cannot break. So hail will not damage our panels.
Fires will damage the panels, but the 100% fireproof boards underneath will at the very least protect the rest of your house, so that at least through the roof, the chances of your house catching fire will be significantly reduced (if you want a fully fireproof house, check out our video on our construction technology on our homepage).
As for hurricanes or tornadoes, it obviously all depends on the windspeed, but we work with screws rather than the nails traditional roofers use, our roofs are far more resistant for comparable windspeed.