There are a multitude of solar products on the market. Futhermore, there are a variety of solar system types, each with its own set of benefits and challenges.
At Lighthousesolar, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible solar solutions every time. We recognize that each job is unique and after an extensive consideration of your physical constraints and energy needs, we create a custom solar design that will best suit you. We use the most efficient solar panels and hardware for every installation so we can design a system that performs optimally even during the most extreme conditions and our design engineers and project managers stay in tune with the best products for each application.
Solar Panels & Applications
Framed & Frameless Solar Panels
Every solar system starts with the same thing: solar panels. The two types of solar panels we offer are framed and frameless solar modules.
Framed Solar ModulesWith the explosion of solar's popularity and adoption since the early 2000's, the number of solar module manufacturing companies has become too many to count. Framed modules are the most common and the design of this style of module has not changed since its conception in the 1970's. Framed modules have been used primarily for roof mounted and ground mounted applications. They are also occassionally fitted to be used for solar canopies and solar awnings. Traditional framed modules utilize 3.4mm glass and depend upon the frame to add rigidity and strength to the module. Framed modules are typically capable of slightly higher power production and are available in higher wattages due to the thinner glass. These modules are more industrial in appearance and most will feature a 1-2" frame.
Frameless Solar Modules
Frameless solar modules have revolutionized the way solar is perceived and have quickly become the most popular module among our customers. The frameless panels we use provide beautiful aesthetics and a contemporary look to any building. They appear to be a sheet of glass floating inches above a roof. This design provides an aesthetically pleasing look with an architecturally sensitive design.
However, frameless modules are far more than just aesthetically pleasing. The modules we use have passed an unprecedented Class 4 hail testing (2" hail at 75mph,) making them the most durable and impact resistant module in the solar industry. Additionally, the framesless modules have been designed to make installation a quick process.
Solar Canopies & Solar Awnings
We professionally design, build, and install both residential and commmercial solar canopies and solar awnings.
The latest rage in solar power are aesthetic solar arrays that enhance the appearance of a home or business while producing clean energy. A stylish solar awning adds to a building's value and aesthetics while creating clean energy and a pleasant atmosphere. Solar canopies and solar awnings have quickly become an immensely popular option for many homes and businesses. They are the perfect solution for structures that lack the optimal roof type or for people that would prefer an architecturally integrated design for their solar electric system. These types of solar overhead applications provide a unique shade structure that can be integrated as carports, patios, decks, gazebos, pool/hot tub awnings, entryways, windows, and much more.
LighthouseSolar has raised the bar in solar canopy and solar awning offerings. We provide beautifully aesthetic and architecturally integrated designs for both homes and businesses. We prefer to use frameless solar modules that come with a clear backsheet that allows ambient sunlight to pass through creating a unique looking shade structure. These innovative panels allow 12% of the sunlight to pass through the panel, which a mottled shade pattern similar to sunlight passing through the leaves of a tree. Additionally, we design the entire system to work specifically for your aesthetic and energy needs.
Many businesses and municipalities are learning that solar power can enhance the atmosphere of an area while simultaneously producing clean energy. A modern solar awning compliments a wide range of structures, including parking lots, entryways, buildings, bus stops, outdoor eating areas, and more.
We professionally design, build, and install both residential and commmercial solar carports.
Carports have recently become more popular for residential and commercial customers. Carports are ideal when there may not be enough land for a ground mount and if the roof is not an option for solar.
Pre-Engineered Solar Carports
We offer preengineered, fully configurable overhead carport solar solution. They are beautiful products that provide an attractive solution for homeowners. Like the solar canopies and awnings, they can use a clear back sheet module that allows ambient sunlight to pass through, so the panels provide cooling shade while keeping an open feel that allows light to filter through. These modules are weather resistent and are an excellent solution for keeping your vehicle clean and dry.
Custom Solar Carports
We design custom solar carports. Our group of solar designers and authorized installers are highly experienced with creating and installing custom designed structures. If we don't have a product that perfectly fits what you envisioned for your solar carport, we can create something that will meet, if not exceed, your expectations.
Commercial Solar Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations
Car dealerships and automobile-based businesses are learning that solar power can enhance the atmosphere of an area while simultaneously producing clean energy. Electric Vehicles are a powerful innovation, but only achieve their maximum potential when they are charged with clean energy.
Solar carports have become a popular choice for solar for many companies either in combination with a roof system or solo. Solar carports can provide cooling shade during the hot sunny days and shelter during a storm, which will benefit both you and your customers. Easily visible, a solar carport can be a stunning advertisement of a company's objectives to go green and are an excellent return on their investment.
Benefits of solar carports combined with a EV charging station:
- Contemporary Appeal
- Clean Electricity Production
- EV Charging Benefit for Customers
- Custom Applications
- Increased Site Value
- Efficient Use of Commercial Space
Residential Solar Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations
Maximize your solar carport with an electric vehicle charging station.
Adding a charging station to your solar carport will give your electric vehicles a clean, unlimited, local energy source that will function safely and silently for decades. Drivers who work within their car's electric range - and install their EV Charging Station where the cars will be parked while the sun is shining - will be able to commute without burning fossil fuels or grid electricity.
Solar energy systems can be applied to your property in a number of ways. At Lighthousesolar, we strive to make sure that our application is the most suitable for your individual needs. Each property is different. Often there are challenges relating to roof conditions, spatial limitations, and the layout of the structure on the property. Our solar technicians work with you to find the solution that best suits your needs.
A solar array is only as strong as its foundations ... or in this case: racking.
A solar array is only as strong as its foundations ... or in this case 'racking'. Racking is the foundation that a solar array sits on. From pitched roof mount, flat roof mount, ground mount, to overhead application, solar racking comes in many shapes and forms. With our experience in this industry, we are able to select the best solution to meet your solar needs, ensuring that your system will have a strong foundation that lasts a lifetime.
Roof Mounted Solar Panels
Roof mounts are typically the most popular and most affordable application for solar energy. If your roof is shade-free for most of the day and faces South, East, or West (in some cases), you can probably have your system directly on your roof. For individuals who don't have the space on their roof, or have roofs that are North-facing, shaded, or in poor condition, there are a number of other options that you can explore.
At Lighthousesolar, we specialize in installing systems on multiple types of roof surfaces including:
- Flat Membrane Roofs
- Standing-Seam Metal Soofs
- Pro-Panel Metal Roofs
- Corrugated Metal Roofs
- Tile Roofs
- Asphalt Shingled Roofs
Ground Mounted Solar Panels
For many properties, ground mounted solar panels may be a great option. In commercial and residential applications, ground-mount PV systems provide the flexibility to install arrays in open spaces when available roof area is limited, obstructed, or nonexistent. Ground-mount PV systems can range in size from a few kilowatts to multimegawatts and can be adapted to a variety of site conditions. They often allow for optimized designs, such as specifying the array's optimal pitch and orientation to maximize kilowatt-hour production. Over the years, racking systems have evolved from off-the-shelf metal framing channels adapted and assembled in the field to engineered solutions, many of which do not require field modifications such as cutting, drilling, and welding.
Additionally, ground-mount racking systems can offer different foundations and installation approaches for addressing uneven terrain and various soil types and conditions. Where excavation is limited due to land use (such as installations on landfills) or areas where subterranean obstacles like underground utilities or shallow bedrock, foundations that do not require penetration may be necessary. Where excavation and digging are possible, installers can use concrete footings, driven piles, micropiles, and helical screws to secure and support arrays. Depending on the racking system design and soil type, the plan may require either a single row or double rows of vertical support posts and associated anchorage points. Likewise, installation tolerances for the vertical support members differ among product offerings and are important to consider for complex or uneven sites where it may not be possible to install every post perfectly.
Fortunately for you, we are experts and professionals. We will appropriately evaluate your property and guide you through the process.
Ground Mounted Solar Panels Require More Space
Benefit: A major benefit of the ground mount, pending space requirements, is that you can have it tilted and facing the sun at an optimal angle increasing your power production.
Challenge: One challenge of a ground mount is finding an unshaded plot of land large enough for the structure. Ground mounts are typically slightly more expensive due to the cost of installing the mounting hardware.
Overhead Applications: Canopy, Awnings, and Carports
As previously mentioned in the "Solar Panels & Applications" section, overhead applications of solar usually require a custom designed and fabricated structure. Solar canopies and carports are free standing structures. Similar to ground mount systems, they require a foundation. A solar awning is a structure that is attached to part of the building.
Unlike other solar systems, overhead applications play a dual role: shade and power generation. In addition, if aesthetics are a focus, then the system can be customized to blend into the building's architecture to give the building a renewable appearence.
The beauty of our overhead solar solutions have inspired home and business owners alike to apply solar in overhead applications.
Types of Electric Systems
There are three primary types of solar energy systems; grid-tied, grid-tied with battery backup, and off-grid with battery. Each solar electric system type has it's own unique set up benefits and limitations. We briefly list some of the differences below. To find out more information about which electric system best fits your needs, call us today.
Grid-tied means that your system is connected to the grid (or your utility provider). Grid-tied systems are by far the most cost-effective solution since there is no need for energy storage.
Grid-tied systems are typically net-metered. A net meter is a device that measures the difference in energy between what your system produces and what you consume. When your solar system produces more energy than you are using, your meter will spin backward and you will actually be sending usable energy back into the grid.
Grid-Tied Systems are:
- The most common type of solar electric system
- Constantly monitoring power usage with a net-meter
- Set up to send power out to the grid as well as take power from the grid
- Ideal for residential and commercial applications
Grid-Tied with Battery Backup
Grid-tied battery backup systems are connected to the power grid (or your utility provider) but provide greater energy independence because you have back-up in the event utility power goes down. Grid-tied systems with battery backup are typically more expensive because of the addition of a battery bank. When your solar system produces more energy than you are using, your battery will fill and store the excess power.
An additional benefit of being connected to the grid with a battery back-up is that if you lose grid power and are not able to harness solar energy (e.g. in a severe thunderstorm,) you will still have power until your storage is used.
Grid-Tied Systems with Battery Backups are:
- Similar to having a generator attached to your solar array
- Able to sustain your household for a period of time without drawing energy from the grid
- Operational if the grid goes down
- Typically more costly due to the additional hardware
Off-Grid with Battery
Off-grid systems do not connect to the utility grid at all. These systems are completely stand alone and rely on battery storage and potentially back-up generators.
Off-grid systems are typically more expensive, but in some cases can be cheaper than running grid power out to remote areas.
Off-Grid Systems are:
- Ideal for those who do not have access to a utility provider
- Carefully configured to provide the power you need from batteries
- More expensive for the installation, but may be less expensive than connecting to a grid
- Ideal for remote locations
To learn more about our data monitoring system, go to our Lightgauge Data Monitoring page.
We Are Solar Experts: Call LighthouseSolar For Beautiful & Dependable Solutions