Frequently Asked Questions
We get it. Everyone's seen those images of panels on a roof of a nice house; well manicured lawn in front and the sun shining beautifully over the whole setting.
But how does it actually work?
Question: Does my house need to be wired in a special way for a solar system?
For starters, it does need to be wired, but in the same way as you would for grid power. Your electrician (did we mention we also have highly qualified, licensed electricians? Just covering all our bases.) will wire your home as normal, and then we can come and install the solar system.
Do I just need solar panels?
If only it worked like that, we'd probably all have solar power by now. The panels are just one part of the system. The main components are the solar panels, charge controller, inverter and batteries. Smaller applications consist of MC4 Connectors, Splitters, Brackets for the panels and more.
How can I get a quotation for a solar system for my home or business?
What we offer at Trifactor are customizable and all-in-one systems.
Our all-in-one systems are these wonderful units that contain the inverter, charge controller and battery rolled into one package (literally: it has wheels), and the panel separate.
Our customizable systems are just that. Fully adaptable to your needs and budget. That's why we don't have prices for them on the website. We send you a load detail sheet to be filled out that gives us information we need to be able to size and price a system for you.
What information is needed? Our load detail sheet asks you to fill in the types of appliances (e.g. fridge, TV, lights, fans), the run time of the appliances (e.g. you may want to binge Netflix until 5am or have a commercial use for a water pump), and the number of hours of battery back-up you would prefer.
Given that information, in general, prices can range from $10,000 to over $100,000 for systems.
Why is it so expensive?
Honestly, we've asked ourselves that question as well. Unfortunately, until certain policy changes are made, we cannot have grid tied systems, which means you have to be fully off grid.
For you, this means battery back-up for nighttime and rainy days, rather than being able to switch to electrical power when you need to.
It sucks, and we've been asking for this to be changed. Never fear though, as the cost of solar is decreasing, and electricity prices are on the rise, so it's a safe bet to choose us for reliable power.
What's the maintenance on a solar system?
Your panels generally go on your roof. Know what else likes to land on your roof? Birds, leaves, dust and other little particles that tend to get things dirty.
When you step outside, just visually check the panels for that build up, as they will need cleaning up.
With the inverter, there is an in-built fan, so you'll just have to make sure there's not a dust build up. Simply clean the fan.
We supply gel type batteries (lithium soon to come), which are similar in look to a car battery. These need to be serviced every three months.
For a small fee, we can service your entire system quarterly.
How do your solar water heaters work?
Our solar water heaters are high pressure systems. These beauties are generally mounted on your roof. Once your house has been plumbed for hot and cold water, we can install the heaters.
The water heater consists of the tank, and vacuum tubes.
The vacuum tubes are highly solar absorbing units that will convert the solar radiation into heat. This heat quickly spreads to the tank through the heat pipe inserted in the vacuum tubes, and the tank water temperature is gradually increased.
The units are highly efficient, and can store hot water for up to three days without sunlight.
What size of solar water heater is right for me?
The solar water heaters run efficiently based on the number of persons in the household.
Our 100L Solar Water Heater can be used for households of 1-3 persons.
Our 150L Solar Water Heater can be used for households of 4-7 persons.
Our 200L Solar Water Heater can be used for households of 5-10 persons.
Of course, your discretion is also needed. If you're anything like some of our personnel who can stay in the shower for ages using up all the hot water, maybe go for the slightly larger water heater.
What's the maintenance on the solar water heaters?
Similar to the panels on your solar system, you'd want to wipe the vacuum tubes to ensure there's not a buildup of dust and other unmentionables (we see you birds).