A home solar system is made up of components that all work together to convert the power of sunlight into usable energy for your lights, appliances, and devices.
1. Solar panels
Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight to direct current electricity (DC electricity). As long as the sun rays are making contact with your roof, your panels are converting solar radiation into DC electricity. Even when it’s cloudy, you can still expect your panels to produce 10% to 25% of their normal output. But your electricity isn’t ready just yet. You’ll need an inverter to get the kind of power you need to turn the lights on.
The inverter takes the DC electricity produced by your solar panels and turns it into alternating current electricity (AC electricity). It’s typically installed on an exterior wall of your house, or in the garage.
3. Main electric service panel
Solar electricity from your inverter flows to the electrical panel, and then into your home where it powers your lights and appliances. If your panels generate more solar energy than you use, the excess power will flow to the utility grid. Even better? You might even earn energy credits from your local utility for the power you send.
4. Go Solar Hawaii meter
Your Go Solar Hawaii meter monitors your system production and sends the information to us through a wireless signal. Since it tracks your energy production 24/7, it will automatically alert Go Solar Hawaii if it detects problems or irregularities. That way, we can make sure your solar system is in the very best shape without you ever having to lift a finger.
5. Utility meter
When your system produces more than you need, the excess energy is sold back to your utility and credited to your monthly electric bill. When you need more energy than your solar system can produce, your home will automatically pull the energy from your utility. Your utility meter measures how much energy comes from and goes to the grid.
All homeowners associations (HOAs) are different. It’s a good idea to reach out to your HOA to find out about their solar approval process. Let your project coordinator know, and they’ll take care of as much of the paperwork as possible.
Each home is different, and the equipment we install can vary from house to house. In general, here’s what you can expect.
1) Solar panels
Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current electricity (DC).
Your inverter tells energy where to flow and converts it into alternating current electricity (AC), so it can be used in your home.
3) Go Solar Hawaii meter
Solar production is measured and monitored by your Go Solar Hawaii meter so we can make sure your system is producing as much energy as possible.
There are also a few pieces of equipment that you already have at your home that are connected to the solar system.
4) Main electrical panel
Your electrical panel distributes AC electricity to your entire home. You probably know it by its other name, "Fuse Box."
5) Utility meter
When the sun is shining, you may get all of your energy from solar, but due to things like weather, winter, and nighttime, you will still have to buy some energy the old-fashioned way. Your utility meter measures how much energy comes from and goes to the grid.
Once we have finalized your system design and have all of the necessary approvals, it will be time to install the solar panels on your roof.
Our local installation crews are experienced and efficient. A lot of times, they can complete installations in one day. Here's what a typical installation day looks like:
Step 1 - Crew arrival and preparation
First things first. We introduce ourselves and map out where we’ll be working and parking our vehicles.
Step 2 - Review system design and equipment location
Your foreman will review the plans with you and confirm the equipment and where it will go.
Step 3 - System installation
The crew will install the solar panels and wiring on your roof, while the foreman installs your inverter and other electrical equipment.
Step 4 - Crew clean up
We clean up as construction winds down to make sure we leave your property exactly as we found it.
Step 5 - Final walk-through
Once the installation is complete, your foreman will explain how your new home solar system works and how to power it on.
Just like any upgrade, installing a home solar system can increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers. A 2019 study showed that, on average, homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more than homes without solar panels.
Your historical electricity usage allows us to design a custom solar system that is the right size for your home.
Electricity usage varies from person to person and from season to season. That’s why we request a full year of your electricity bills so we can build a system that’s right for you.
Your sales consultant is trained to review a year’s worth of usage data so we can get the full picture. Energy usage can change with the seasons so we look at 12-months of data to best understand your home’s usage patterns and needs.
We customize your home solar system by taking into account your past usage, the available roof space and your design preferences to make sure the system will work for you and your home.
We start with your historical usage and design a solar system that will provide you with the right amount of power based on how much you normally use.
Then we look at your roof via satellite imagery to see how many panels can fit on each roof plane, keeping in mind that south-facing roofs are the best for solar.
We verify our measurements and system design with a site survey, a visit to your home to check the roof and your main electrical panel.
Finally, we reconfirm our final design with you so you know exactly what it will look like and how much electricity you'll receive from solar.
If you want to learn about the efficiency of your panels or review what the equipment will look like for your specific home, talk to your sales consultant.
After you switch to solar, you won’t notice a difference. Your lights, appliances, televisions and everything else that uses electricity will work exactly as they did before.
The one key difference you will notice after switching to solar is how you pay for your power. You will still receive a monthly bill from HECO. If you have a monthly bill with Go Solar Hawaii, you will have two separate bills.
How much energy you end up having to buy from HECO depends on the size of your solar system and how much electricity you're actually using.
Because of weather and seasonal changes, your utility bill will vary from month to month. But you’ll always know exactly what you owe Go Solar Hawaii for the duration of our agreement.
Since Go Solar Hawaii home solar systems are roof-mounted, we do drill holes in the roof to anchor the racking equipment for the panels during installation. All our roof penetrations are made watertight and are guaranteed by a workmanship warranty. We take the health of your roof very seriously, which is one reason why we do a full assessment of its condition at the very start of the process. We only install if we have confidence that your roof will not need to be replaced for the duration of your agreement.
One little known benefit, once the solar panels are on your roof, they can protect the underlying sections from normal weathering and increase its longevity.
From design and installation to a lifetime of service and care, Go Solar Hawaii pairs you with the perfect person to guide you through it.
Your sales consultant will work with our design team to customize your solar system and find the right payment plan for your needs. Then a project coordinator who is well-versed in your area will manage the rest of the process.
After your system is up and running, our customer care team will be your go-to for any questions or concerns you have.
There are a lot of people behind the scenes to make sure your solar panels are producing as much power from the sun as possible — now and in the future.
The process of having the solar system installed on your roof can be relatively quick — many Go Solar Hawaii installations are completed in one day.
Before our crew comes to your house, it takes several weeks to prepare your project so that you have the smoothest installation day possible. Whenever possible, we’ll do the work for you, and we’ll keep you updated along the way. Here’s what we’ll do:
Conduct a site survey to look at your roof, attic and electrical panel
Finalize your custom design
Apply for permits and wait for approval
Collect other necessary approvals and documentation that is specific to your neighborhood (such as HOA approval)
When it comes time to install the system, we’ll let you know how long the construction process will take for your home and what you can do to prepare.
When you turn your solar system on, your home will officially be powered with energy from the sun, produced right on your roof.
You will be able to monitor your solar energy production through an app we'll provide.
For customers with a monthly bill, you will receive your first bill 30 days after you get the green light to turn on the system.
The sun rises every day. That's why solar power is a completely renewable, reliable and clean energy source. It reduces our reliance on dirty sources of power such as oil, coal and natural gas, which produce harmful emissions affecting our health and environment.
In addition, solar panels and home batteries are becoming more affordable, accessible, resilient and efficient. They provide peace of mind and energy security for households when the power goes out or the next storm strikes. With home solar, you get to control your energy future.
A lot of things affect how well-suited your home is for solar, including where your home is, the angle of your roof, how much shade it gets throughout the day, and how old your home is.
Our solar advisors can help you determine if your home is a good fit for solar at the moment. They’ll run a custom analysis of your home and they’ll get a sense for your energy needs.
Every household is different. When determining the number of solar panels your home needs, consider the following questions:
How much power do I need? Check your electric bills to see how many kilowatt hours (kWhs) you use throughout the year. We’ll go over this with you in detail during your free solar consultation to figure out just how much power your panels will need to produce.
How much direct sun hits your roof? Shading, which direction your roof faces, and any aesthetic preferences you have can impact how big your system needs to be.
Our solar energy consultants will figure this all out for you.