What happens when the earth rocks? In California, earthquakes are a reality of life; faultlines run throughout the state from the northern San Andreas fault in San Francisco thru the San Fernando Valley and link up with the very complex systems around the San Jacinto fault and others in the Orange, Riverside and San Diego areas. Scientists are discovering more faultlines every day. Only recently there was a 4.5 centered in Riverside County and were felt as far away as Fallbrook. It is here in the Golden State that rooftop installations are more prevalent than anywhere in the country. And Fallbrook is among the top ten cities where solar is a growing trend. Earthquake Damage to Solar Installations Solar is relatively new and over the past ten years has been growing. But there is little data on the actual damage done to solar panels in an earthquake. Panels are commonly tested for their strength and durability and built to withstand harsh weather and extreme winds, hail, and snow. The Roof Is the Main Thing The first consideration is the weight of the panels on the roof. The panels are lightweight, but the roof must be inspected and depending on the age of the roof, repaired or replaced. At Semper Solaris, we are experts at roof construction repair and design. You need a reliable contractor to inspect the roof for the feasibility of installing solar thoroughly. Will the glass break? Solar panels are constructed with tempered glass built to take sizeable hits, so the risk of damage is relatively low, like the windshield of a car. What about panels falling off the roof? With the proper mounting of the panels on a sturdy roof, the risk of them sliding off the roof is low given how light they are. Solar mounts are attached to hold the panels in place. But the brackets and mounting of the system must be robust to be able to withstand movement either from wind or seismic activity. Semper Solaris uses the very best solar roof mount system from Ironridge.com. They build the most robust rooftop solar mounts on the market. They have been tested and proven in extreme environments. Are there building codes for Solar systems? Guidelines for earthquake safety in the California Building codes have been in place since the 1980 ’s, but the specifications were not initially intended to include solar panels. The California building code has added guidelines for solar panels but specifying only wind and weather conditions. But that is rapidly changing. The Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), has done studies and testing specifically for Solar panels on roofs and has published standards for seismic activity which are being adopted by manufacturers and installers. Things to consider The risks to solar panels during an earthquake are relatively low, and stricter standards are being implemented to make it even better. Wind is the main issue that is of concern especially in hurricane country, and the wind load has a lot of resistance to what an earthquake can do. The panels are light and made of durable tempered glass. So, the condition of your roof is the primary concern in the decision to install Solar panels. Contact Semper Solaris, experts in roofing, to inspect your roof and make sure it is ready for your new solar installation.
ROOFTOPS OR SOLAR FARMS? Participating in the Future of Renewable Energy Solar power is on the rise and is fast becoming a mainstream energy alternative for homes, businesses, and public places. With lower costs and due to innovative and efficient designs, more people are getting on board as the price tag on solar installations is falling, becoming an opportunity for consumers and businesses to cash in. In Riverside County, UC Riverside has installed over 9,000 panels in a solar farm that will produce enough power for nearly 1,000 homes each year. Homeowners from nearby cities like Murietta are joining in the trend with rooftop solar installations. Murietta is among the towns that enjoy the lowest prices ever for rooftop solar installations. ACCESS TO SOLAR ENERGY Consumers are taking advantage of the benefits of solar energy through government incentives and tax credits for homes and businesses. Rooftop solar and solar farms provide a choice to consumers whether to install solar panels on their roofs or rely on solar farms to reduce their carbon footprint and save money. UP ON THE ROOF Photovoltaic panels made from silicon use the sun directly to generate power. These photovoltaic panels, installed on rooftops, collect and generate electricity for the home or business. Net Metering connects to the solar panel system and measures the power generated by the solar panels and your power usage. The surplus power goes back to the utility grid and is credited to your overall energy consumption. It is feasible to pay for all or most of your electricity with solar panels. FRESH FROM THE FARM A solar farm has many panels arranged in arrays over a large area of land that receives a lot of sunlight. Solar farms benefit the community by directly supplying the grid with cheap, clean energy. Some are owned and operated by a third party that sells the power to the power grid directly. Farms in the form of Community Solar allow consumers to benefit from Net Metering through the lease or purchase of one or more solar panels tied to their utility account. GIVE ME LAND LOTS OF LAND Solar farms are expanding in record numbers across large areas taking up a substantial amount of usable land. And while they provide much-needed alternative energy, there are concerns about the reduction of available land for agriculture and development. Future regulation may have an impact on the profitability of large solar farms. YOU CAN GO SOLAR IN MURRIETA Whether you choose a residential solar installation in Murrieta; invest in energy produced by a solar farm; want to save money or promote clean energy, there is more than one way to go solar. Here are some points to consider: Rooftop Solar Promotes energy independence Increases the value of your home Low utility cost Low maintenance Potential for expansion Solar Farm Reduces carbon footprint Lowers utility cost No Cost No maintenance Preserves Home Aesthetics Contact us to schedule an evaluation of your Murrieta home. With Semper Solaris, you can help shape the future of renewable energy.