Staying ahead of the curve: Solar PV Systems

Staying with our tradition of keeping MR Cool ahead of the competition when it comes to new energy efficient technologies, we've added Solar PV Systems to the list of services that we're equipped to provide. We're rapidly growing into a one-stop-shop for all the Energy Efficient improvements you might ever want to apply to your home.

Since we're already equipped with a substantial HVAC background, transitioning into Solar PV Systems was an easy one to make. With our enhanced buying power, we're able to purchase materials at a discounted price and pass those savings directly to you, the homeowner. We're able to install solar systems into new and old homes alike, and do so with the same quality that we've provided to the Fresno area for 40 years now.

We're confident that we can provide you the same electrical savings as a stand-alone Solar Company for a lower price, and offer several additional benefits. We're able to reduce your home's cooling and heating loads first, by installing new high efficiency HVAC equipment and by adding insulation to your attic.

When compared to the cost of Solar PV arrays, these are inexpensive means of reducing your electric usage, and when combined with a new Solar PV Array, can dramatically affect your electric bills far into the future. Add the new 10 Year Parts warranty that comes standard with the purchase and installation of any new HVAC system today, and optionally a 10 Year Labor warranty to cover the labor to replace any parts failures in the future, and you could be looking at a home that is far more comfortable and far less expensive month to month.

With the various incentives out there from the utilities in the way of direct rebates and the Federal Tax Incentives (currently 30% of cost to homeowner with no limit), today makes good sense. Take into account the upcoming rate increases by your local electric provider and you can see why there is likely never going to be a better time to start planning for the future.

Why MR Cool for Solar and not a Solar-only Contractor?

As we've already said, based on the Solar market today and our purchasing power, we find that we are able to match the size and price of a Solar PV System from the Solar-only Contractor and also provide other substantial improvements to your home's Energy Envelope.

What does Donald P Dick do differently when installing Solar to stand out from the rest?

MR Cool installs Solar PV Systems using only micro-inverters. This installation practice has several direct and indirect advantages. While they do cost a little bit more than installing traditional wall-mounted large stock inverters, we feel the benefits dramatically outweigh the additional cost. We also use high quality alluminum mounting hardware which allows for fewer penetrations thru your roof, which leads to less potential for water leaks.

What is a Micro-Inverter and how is it different than a traditional inverter?

A Micro-inverter is essentially the same as a traditional inverter, except that instead of inverting current from entire strings of panels, the micro-inverter is designed to invert current from only a single panel. This makes for a safer installation process, since the installing contractor isn't on the roof handling potentially deadly voltages when installing the panels and connecting the electrical service.

Check out the Enlighten Monitoring System

In addition to the indirect benefits like installer safety, there are direct benefits that directly affect you, the homeowner. Since a micro-inverter makes each Solar PV Panel a stand-alone power plant, if a shadow from a lightpole, powerpole, or even a tree should cover a panel rendering it unable to produce electricity, the other unshaded panels still produce electricity to their maximum potential. Micro-inverters also allow you to place your panels in different locations on your roof, even facing different directions.

This is contrary to the design and function of a large wall-hung inverter. A large wall-hung inverter requires that all panels be identical in production as well as installed on the same roof pitch and facing the same direction. Another problem that arises with a large stock inverter is that the panels on the roof are installed in "strings". If you had a string of 12 panels connected together and one of those panels would be shaded, it is likely that the entire string of 12 panels would be unable to produce electricity until the panel was no longer shaded. Strings of panels are not capable of overcoming shading problems without the addition of other expensive bolt-on equipment to handle the voltage drops that occur.

The same functions that provide the flexibility around potential shading issues also provide an unmatched level of solar performance monitoring. Enphase's Enlighten reporting system is the only solar monitoring application out there that offers panel-by-panel performance monitoring. See one of our solar installations on the Enlighten Monitoring System to see the level of reporting available to each homeowner. Never before has a Solar PV System owner had this level of information available to him or her.

With all the facts in hand, MR Cool made a decision that in the best interest of our customer, we will install micro-inverter arrays. You have no control over powerpoles, lightpoles, and even your neighbors's trees, so control what you can - go with a system that is flexible. Micro-inverters are even flexible in that if you decided next year that you wanted more solar production, you could simply add more PV panels to increase your production to offset electric bills.

And for those new construction homes looking to add solar, keep in mind: just because there isn't a tree there today, that doesn't guarantee that ten years from now, there won't be! Since the solar panels have a 25 year guarantee regarding their production, you would have to accurately predict at least the next 25 years of potential shading!

View our Solar Installations Portfolio to see the latest Solar PV Installations