With electricity prices continuously rising and growing environmental concerns around fossil fuels, more homeowners are investing in solar power systems to harvest clean, renewable energy from the sun. Solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate traditional grid electricity usage, lowering costs and carbon footprint.
Generac is one of the leading brands when it comes to reliable, high-efficiency residential solar systems. In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Generac solar including how their equipment works and the top products they offer. We’ll also discuss key factors to evaluate when choosing the right Generac solar setup for your home. With professional installation and proper maintenance, Generac’s solar systems can help you leverage the power of the sun to save money while going green.
How Do Solar Power Systems Work?
Here is a quick overview of how solar setups like Generac’s harness the sun’s energy and convert it into usable household power:
- Solar panels containing photovoltaic cells mount on rooftops or the ground. The cells convert absorbed sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.
- An inverter takes the DC power from the solar panels and uses semiconductors to convert it into usable 120/240-volt alternating current (AC) electricity.
- The AC power feeds into your home to run appliances, devices, and lighting just like grid electricity.
- Any excess solar energy not used immediately gets fed back into the grid, spinning your electricity meter backwards and offsetting costs.
- Battery storage can store solar energy in chemical form to power the home overnight or during grid outages when solar panels aren’t actively producing.
- The modular setup allows expanding your arrays over time to increase production capacity as needed.
Now that we’ve reviewed how solar power systems work generally, let’s look at Generac’s top solar products.
Top Solar Power Equipment from Generac
Generac offers complete solar systems as well as individual components for residential setups:
Generac PWRcell Solar Panels
- Available in 330W and 360W panel options
- 60-cell monocrystalline silicon construction
- 25+ year expected lifespan
- 10 year product, 25 year performance warranties
These high-efficiency solar panels convert sunlight into usable DC electricity. Their modular design enables expanding system capacity over time.
Generac PWRcell Battery Storage
- Lithium iron phosphate battery chemistry
- 9.8kWh nominal capacity
- Scalable battery capacity
- 10 year warranty
Store unused solar energy in high-quality batteries to power your home when the sun isn’t shining. Capacity is expandable.
Generac PWRview Automatic Transfer Switch
- Whole home or circuit-level control
- Automatic transition from grid to solar/battery
- Rated for 200A service panels
- 10 year standard warranty
This device intelligently controls power distribution, transitioning seamlessly between solar, battery and grid sources.
Generac Stackable Solar Inverter
- Converts DC from panels into 120/240V AC
- 97.7% weighted efficiency rating
- WiFi connectivity for monitoring
- 10 year standard warranty
The inverter is the brains of your solar system – efficiently converting DC into grid-compatible AC electricity. Generac’s inverter includes monitoring capabilities.
This overview covers Generac’s core solar offerings. Next, let’s go through the key criteria to factor when selecting your components.
Choosing the Right Generac Solar System for your Needs
Selecting the properly sized Generac solar setup for your home depends on these key considerations:
Available Installation Area
Factor in placement for adequate solar arrays whether on your roof, ground, or another sun-exposed area. Panels require consistent direct sunlight.
Local Weather and Sunlight Patterns
Consider seasonal sunlight availability and angles when planning system size and panel positioning to maximize production year-round.
Electricity Costs and Savings Goals
Gauge what portion of your electric bill you aim to offset with solar generation. This guides system sizing to align costs with savings.
Current and Future Energy Usage
Audit your existing electric usage and anticipate increased future needs from electric vehicles, new appliances etc. when sizing your system’s production capacity.
Desired Grid Independence
If wanting to detach from the grid entirely, increased battery storage capacity is key for overnight and outage power. Grid-tie only systems offer less autonomy.
Battery Storage Needs
Evaluate your need for power when the sun isn’t actively shining. More battery capacity means extended overnight runtimes and outage resiliency but higher costs.
Electrical Panel and Appliance Voltage
Verify your electrical system is 120/240V compatible with the Generac equipment which produces AC electricity for standard household usage.
Roof Type and Age
For rooftop systems, ensure your roof is suitable for bearing the additional weight load and won’t need replacement before the panels reach their lifespan.
Professional Installation or DIY
While possible for DIY, solar systems perform best when installed properly by qualified professionals. This also ensures you meet electrical codes.
Applicable Tax Credits and Solar Incentives
Take advantage of federal or local solar tax credits and energy efficiency incentives to help offset the system costs.
Expected Lifespan and Warranties
Generac solar panels and equipment come with 10-25 year product and performance warranties, indicating highly durable components engineered for longevity.
System Monitoring Abilities
Generac provides monitoring software for tracking system performance, efficiency, savings over time and more to optimize usage.
Thinking through these key factors will help you select the ideal Generac solar setup tailored for your household’s needs and situation.
Installing and Maintaining Your Generac Solar System
Once you’ve selected your components, proper installation, operation and maintenance ensures optimal solar power performance:
- Carefully plan panel positioning to point southward (in northern hemisphere) at ideal tilt angle for maximum light exposure.
- Leave adequate spacing between panels and roof edges for ventilation, cleaning access and code compliance.
- Securely mount equipment to roof rafters or ground posts using proper lag bolts and anti-corrosive mounts.
- Hire a licensed electrician to connect your system properly and safely to your home’s electrical system.
- Keep the solar array free of overhanging tree branches, debris and snow that could obstruct sunlight access.
- Periodically clean panels gently with a soft brush and water. Avoid abrasive or chemical cleaners.
- Check wiring connections, charge controllers, inverters and batteries routinely for proper operation.
- Take advantage of Generac’s monitoring software to track system performance metrics over time.
Following Generac’s usage guidelines and carrying out preventative maintenance ensures your solar setup operates efficiently for decades to come. Next let’s go over some frequently asked questions about Generac solar products.
FAQs: Your Generac Solar Questions Answered
How much do complete Generac solar systems typically cost?
Complete installed Generac systems for an average home range from $15,000 to $40,000+ depending on size, components, roofing needs, electrical work and other custom factors.
What warranties come with Generac solar equipment?
Generac provides extensive 10-25 year warranties across their solar panels, battery storage systems, inverters and other components, illustrating their products’ durability.
What is the estimated lifespan of these solar power systems?
With proper care and maintenance, Generac’s solar panel systems are engineered to provide 25+ years of reliable service. Other components like inverters and batteries may need replacement every 10-15 years.
What kind of maintenance do Generac solar systems require?
Occasional cleaning of panels, checking connections, tree trimming for sunlight access, and battery replacement after 10+ years of use are the main maintenance needs for optimal performance.
How much roof space do the solar panels require?
A typical 6-10 kW system needs 150-400 square feet of unobstructed south-facing roof space suited for bearing panel loads. Ground mounts require similar overall area.
Can the solar system capacity be expanded after initial installation?
Absolutely. Generac’s modular equipment makes it easy to add panels, batteries and other components incrementally over time to meet changing energy loads.
Does increased battery storage capacity reduce the amount of solar panels needed?
More battery storage allows capturing excess daytime solar energy for overnight use, but does not decrease the panel size needed to generate your overall energy requirements.
What are the pros and cons of ground mount vs rooftop solar arrays?
Ground mounts avoid roof work and offer more positioning flexibility but use valuable yard space. Rooftop systems maximize existing real estate but add complex roof load considerations.
How much electricity can a typical Generac residential system generate?
A moderate home solar setup averages around 8,000 to 12,000 kWh per year, offsetting 50-90% or more of annual household electrical usage.
We hope these solar FAQs help provide further insight into Generac’s solar offerings and how they can transform your home’s energy needs and costs.
Conclusion: Generac Solar Provides Reliable, Renewable Home Power
Generac provides high-caliber solar products that can significantly reduce grid dependence and electricity bills when properly installed and maintained. Their PWRcell solar panels, stackable inverters, battery storage offerings, and PWRview automatic transfer switches give homeowners comprehensive solutions for harnessing the sun’s free, limitless energy. By evaluating factors like your available space, energy usage, budget, and goals for grid autonomy and battery backup power, you can select a Generac solar system tailored to your needs. Combining their reliable equipment with professional installation and periodic preventative maintenance ensures your solar investment pays dividends for decades to come through lower energy costs and a reduced carbon footprint. If you’re looking to power your home with clean, renewable solar energy, Generac has you covered.