We are among the Best Solar Installers in Bakersfield, CA. We follow a comprehensive 360 degree installation process starting from requirements assessment till post installation performance monitoring, and provide periodic maintenance services.
We take care of critical things that other providers miss.
Bakersfield Premier Solar has a methodical installation process that takes due care of all aspects right from understanding your energy requirements and budget to assessing your roof condition till the post-installation performance assessment to ensure your system functions at its peak. We also provide maintenance services after your system has been installed.
There are 3 broad classifications of Photovoltaic(PV) power generation systems for homes – grid-tied systems, grid-tied with battery backup systems(hybrid), and off-grid systems.
At Bakersfield Premier Solar, we work with all these types of systems in Bakersfield and in the greater Kern County region.
A Grid-tied system is configured to work in conjunction with your power company by using an inverter to distribute electricity. It fulfills your power requirements first before delivering the excess available power, if any, to your utility grid. Since the grid sort of acts as the backup by taking up your excess energy produced, there is no battery backup, so this is the least expensive photovoltaic system.
If your electric meter spins backward(normally it spins forward without a PV system), it means solar power is being fed into your grid and you are producing more energy than you are consuming. This is where ‘net metering’ comes into play. We will see this in detail in the next section.
When your home or enterprise generates more energy than it requires, you earn credits toward your monthly bill. The objective is to generate adequate power so your credits cover the maximum possible extent of your monthly bill. These systems are ideal for most situations because they are highly affordable in terms of investment and ROI.
A Grid-Tied system with Battery Backup(hybrid) is connected to your utility company and is meant to supply power at night or on days with poor weather so users don’t need to draw power from the grid. These systems are invariably more expensive since they need more equipment that isn’t fully utilized unless the grid goes down. They are not typically designed to power your entire residence from battery capacity. They can only support a few gadgets like a fridge, phones, or your internet. Tesla powerwall is a battery storage system that can be used as both partial and full backup solutions. Tesla powerwall is an extremely popular home battery system because it has a battery capacity of 14 Kilowatts which is about half the average daily power consumption for homes in the US.
The main advantage of a hybrid power system is that it can always supply power even at night or during inclement weather, or when there are blackouts.
Off-grid systems are systems that can work completely independently of the utility company. These systems are neither preferred nor quite realistic when you have access to the grid. They are more complex with much more equipment to be maintained and replaced more frequently. The upside of this system is that you don’t need to pay a monthly utility bill since you are completely off the grid. On the flip side,these systems are much more expensive than Grid-Tied and Grid-Tied with Battery Backup system types and most likely require a larger up-front investment.
When investing in solar energy, net metering is something you can’t prevent. Your actual power consumption could be more or less than your production. Your electrical meter will spin backward if you are using less electrical power, but forward if it is utilized more.
You and your electrical provider will have to sign a net metering contract. If you reside in an area that produces energy from solar or wind, then this is a possibility. You need to also have it installed on your property and connected to the power grid.
This requires a meter that can move in either direction. While many meters can move in both directions, suppliers will need to purchase a couple of meters. If you sign a time-of-use billing arrangement, nevertheless you will need to buy it.
Net metering contracts permit you to use electricity that you have actually generated first, prior to using the electric power you receive. The meter shows the net which is the difference between the total energy produced and total energy consumed.
Net metering allows you to conserve electrical power when you are absent and use it when you return home. You can take advantage of net metering by developing electrical power during peak times and using it when it is not.
You only pay for the electrical energy you consume. If your consumption is below that baseline, you pay less and you will be charged more for any excess.
You will be charged monthly due to the fact that you have participated in an arrangement. It will reveal the power generated as well as the real usage. You will receive a bill for each of the 12 previous months on the anniversary. It is possible to request this monthly. You will not receive any payment for excess electrical power generation in one year, although some do.
You can use solar energy by calling your electric supplier to inquire if net metering is readily available. After the documentation is finished, they will not require that you pay any additional meters apart from the bi-directional meter. They cannot conduct any tests or impose any requirements if it meets existing national standards for grid-interconnected systems. Lastly, you don’t have to buy additional insurance or buy power from any of their affiliates.
When you choose sun’s energy, net metering is a policy and a reward as you decrease the power consumption from your energy company which decreases the carbon emissions.
Rooftop Solar Installation
Installing Solar on the rooftop is the most ideal option for most homes as it’s cheaper to install and it doesn’t take up valuable real estate. If your home gets abundant sunlight and trees don’t shade your roof, rooftop solar will invariably work. If you can pay with cash, you’re in a much better position to see long-lasting solar ROI for your home.
On-Roof Solar Panel Installations
On-roof Photovoltaic(PV) systems attach themselves to the roof either with or without a railing system. On-roof installations using a railing are the most common PV systems installed in homes currently. Railed installs use either stainless steel or galvanized brackets, which are attached to the roof battens or rafters, and an aluminum mounting rail system that’s specifically designed to fit the PV panels. Clamps then fix the panels to the railing system.
Before installing a rooftop PV system, you’ll need to confirm that your roof is in good condition so it can bear the weight of the solar panels and mounting equipment. Three roof types that consistently support on-roof PV panel installations are asphalt shingles(which are the most common for home solar installs), metal roofs, and tile roofs.
At Bakersfield Premier Solar, we check your roof condition during the initial assessment phase to ensure it’s fit for on-roof installation.
Ground Mounted Solar
A ground-mounted system uses frames on the ground to install the PV panels and doesn’t need a roof. This system can be aligned for optimum orientation and tilt angle. It’s ideal for larger systems or homes with limited space. On average, ground mounts are installed at a height of three feet from the ground level. Since ground mounts require strong cement-based foundations inside trenches, installations can be more complex and more expensive.
Pole Mounted Panels
Though pole-mounted panels are similar to ground-mounted systems, they serve a slightly different purpose. They are typically not used for residential purposes. These mounts can tilt which makes it possible to adjust them for optimal sun exposure all through the year. A single-pole can support multiple panels.
We serve all areas in the larger Kern County.
PV panels consist of varying numbers of photovoltaic cells that convert light into electricity. The cells have a voltage equal to 0.5 volts and are connected in series within strings. Two or three of these strings are joined in parallel to form a photovoltaic (PV) module, the so-called solar panel. Solar cells are mainly made from a semi-conductive substance called silicon.
Types of PV Panels
In Bakersfield, solar panels are available in three different types varying in appearance, performance, cost, and manufacturing methods:
1. Monocrystalline 2. Polycrystalline and 3. Thin-film
Monocrystalline cells consist of a single crystal of silicon. These cells look black due to the interaction between light and pure silicon wafer; their back sheet comes in silver, black, or white, while the metal frames may come in black or silver. They are the most efficient (17-23%) and most expensive solar panels on the market. In higher temperatures, these panels perform more efficiently when compared to other types.
On the left, you can see a representation of solar panels and cells.
Polycrystalline cells are composed of particles of silicon crystals that are melted, mixed, and cut into wafers. Contrary to the pure, black crystals of mono cells, the poly ones appear blue as a result of the reflection of the light by silicon fragments. They may be framed in silver with their back sheet white or silver. Poly panels are less expensive and less efficient than the mono type.
Mono and poly panels are usually made of 60, 72, or 96 cells. They are also covered with glass and framed with a metallic structure. The thickness of the metallic frame is an important factor when it comes to panel installation and lifespan. Thicker frames are more durable.
Well-known for their good appearance, flexibility, and light weight, thin-film panels provide the lowest efficiency among others. These panels are made from a variety of materials, the most common type is cadmium telluride (CdTe). Others are made of amorphous silicon. Since this technology is thinner than a conventional silicon wafer, a thin film of cells is deposited onto a plastic layer to create a flexible solar panel. Due to their lighter weight, they are mounting-friendly and can be mounted in smaller places. Additionally, they need less mounting hardware, and consequently, incur fewer mounting costs.
The flexible panels are particularly great for mobile use, such as RVs, boats, and vans where a flat surface might not be available to mount conventional panels.
Simply put, the conversion efficiency of a panel is described as the portion (percentage) of absorbed sunlight converted to usable electricity. Generally speaking, solar panels are low-efficient devices because a great portion of the absorbed energy is converted to heat instead of electricity.
Monocrystalline panels provide the highest efficiency (20% and higher) while the polycrystalline type varies between 15 to 18%.
Because mono type is available in higher wattages (300 watts and higher), it can generate a considerably higher amount of power when compared to poly type.
The thin-film panel efficiency is variable and typically significantly less than the former types (around 11%). Additionally, they are not necessarily manufactured in nominal 60, 72, and 96 cells.
To select the right type for your setup, you should consider the available space and budget:
If you go with poly, your cost per panel will be lower, but you will need more panels or larger panels; therefore, more space may be needed.
If you select mono, you will pay slightly more upfront; however, you will need less space and generate more power.
Sunpower (highly efficient and warranted products), Renogy, and HQST are among the most popular solar panels for off-grid purposes.