How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar City Buying Guide for Naperville, Illinois
Solar power isn’t new but for some property owners, converting to this sun-driven technology can lead to a lot of questions. With this informational buying guide, you’ll find basic information to get you started on the road to better energy efficiency and money-saving opportunities.
Solar Buying Checklist for Naperville
There are 5 basic things you need to know about when switching to solar power.
- Types of solar systems
- Roof compatibility
Types of Solar Systems Available in Naperville
Solar Paneling Systems. You see these on rooftops or even on the ground. The cells in the panels absorb solar rays that in turn power your property. The size of your property will determine the number of panels necessary to adequately power your home or business. The square footage of your property is calculated to arrive at the number needed.
You’ll have a choice among three different solar system types. The first is the Grid-Tie system that powers your home during the day. This is the most common of the three solar electric systems. Whenever necessary, your property can draw electricity from the main electrical grid. This means that your solar system does not have to generate 100 percent of the power to the property. This can happen if your system has not generated enough power during the day due to inclement weather or other issues. Should your system generate excess power, it is routed back to the main grid and sold to the utility company resulting in a credit reflected on your monthly utility bill.
The second type is the Stand Alone or Off-Grid system. With this system, all of the power to your home is generated by the solar panels. Any excess power is routed to a battery backup for your use, as needed. This system is good for remote and rural locations or for property owners who do not want to be dependent on the main grid. This system is generally more expensive that the other two.
The third type is the Grid-Tie and Battery Backup system. This system combines the other two systems into one. The solar array charge the batteries that supply power to a dedicated electric panel. Excess power is routed back to the main grid. Should the grid fail, the system disconnects and the solar panels charge the systems batteries to supply power to an inverter which then powers the dedicated electric panel. This means there will be some power to your home to designated items such as the refrigerator, lighting and stove.
Solar Water Heaters. There are two types, the active and the passive system. The active system uses electric pumps, controllers, and valves to transfer water from collector to tank. The system has either a direct or indirect process. The direct system circulates water through its collectors where it is then heated by solar rays then stored in a tank before making its way to a tankless water heater. This system is used primarily where freezing temperatures are not a problem.
The indirect system uses a special non-freezing liquid, instead of water. The solar energy is used to heat the fluid in the collectors. The non-freezing fluid then goes through the heat exchanger located in the storage tank which heats the water. The fluid is then routed back to the collectors to begin the process when needed. This system is best used where freezing temperatures are frequent.
The passive system does not use any pumps to move the water. This system relies on natural convection. As the water heats, it moves from the collector to the tank.
Roof Compatibility for Solar Installation in Naperville
The roof on your property must be inspected by a qualified inspector to ensure it can withstand the weight of solar panels or water storage tanks.
Naperville Climate and Solar Panels
Climate does become a factor especially for solar water heaters in areas with frequent freezing. The Naperville summer high temperatures is 86 degrees on average with lows in January at 14 degrees. The city does receive 189 days of sunshine, 109 days of rain, and an estimated 33 inches of snow.
City of Naperville Solar Permit
You must apply for a permit with the City of Naperville Development Services department before commencing any solar installation project. The office is located at 400 S. Eagle Street or you may call (630) 420-6070 for information. Please note that an inspection along with an applicable permit is required. In most cases, your contractor will handle the application for the permit and request for an inspection as he will need to provide his license information.
Hiring a Solar Contractor for Naperville Installation
Along with a required permit, you must hire a contractor for any roofing work. The contractor must be certified by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Use the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website to check a roofing contractor’s license.