You might be seeing local solar ads offering top quality solar components at a discounted bulk buying price. But does the base price listed on these ads include the benefits of module to module optimization? Generally it does not. You can expect that the advertised “low market rate” might not actually include solar edge optimizers- which are the new industry standard for residential solar PV installs.
So first lets talk about these optimizers. An optimizer is a wallet sized component that is mounted to the underside of each module in a solar array. These optimizers allow each module to operate at their highest potential. And without them, the string of modules will work at the highest rate of the weakest link. Some claim these optimizers are just for conditions where shading may be a factor for a home’s solar energy harvest. And it is true that this situation is where these optimizers are a necessity for having a high production solar array. But, what about the bird poopies that might hit one module in a 30 module array on your roof? What about those couple of leaves blown onto the array from last night’s thunderstorm that are now sticking to another module? Well here is why high end solar energy systems should all contain the installation of optimizers in their scope of work. Sustainable Technology Institute installs optimizers on every residential install we encounter. Numerous scientific studies have determined that systems utilizing optimizers outperform string inverter installs by 10-20%. So just do the math. That is a 10-20% quicker return on investment (ROI). And the optimizers also allow for module-to-module remote monitoring. So you can better understand the performance of your system. String inverters do not allow for this detailed monitoring approach.
We recommend that you don’t jump into into a solar contract without understanding all of the facts. If you’re looking at a solarize program in RVA with a stated “low solarize pricing”, you may want to think again and then contact our team to help you get what is really the best price in the Richmond market.