Solar Works

Solar & Home Construction Info

Services

Solar Works offers a full range of engineering, contracting, and training services. We provide state-of-the-art technical and economic analysis of energy efficiency and renewable energy options to a wide variety of clients, such as:
solar electric systemIndustry and Government: Solar Works assists industry and government agencies in developing programs to promote renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. We conduct technical training programs, identify cost-effective applications, assists in developing proposals, and oversee the installation of systems.

Architects and Building Owners: Solar Works provides design and engineering services for both renewable and conventional energy systems in buildings. Solar Works maintains a complete inventory of solar thermal and photovoltaic products and has fully trained and licensed installation crews. In addition to solar engineering, sales, and installation, Solar Works also specializes in the design of high-efficiency lighting and heating systems.

Development Agencies and Foreign Governments: Solar Works assists foreign aid organizations in developing effective programs to meet the needs of their host countries. We offer technical training programs for engineers, planners, and technicians from developing countries. We assist Private Volunteer Organizations in identifying renewable energy systems which enhance their program goals. Solar Works also assists foreign governments in the production, marketing, and distribution of renewable energy products.

Equipment Manufacturers: Solar Works’s engineers are available to specify a power system and assist in incorporating it into a product. As an established distributor of solar and high-efficiency equipment for both Canadian and U.S. manufacturers, Solar Works carries a broad selection of product lines to assist in this process.

Corporate Experience:

Since 1980, Solar Works has installed several hundred renewable energy systems. These include residential and commercial solar hot water systems, solar air heating systems for residential and commercial buildings, and photovoltaic applications ranging from household power to village water pumping.

Solar Works has also conducted training programs for state agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Peace Corps, and foreign governments.

Solar Works’ State Offices and Associate Offices:

Solar Works believes that the most effective way to assist customers is to have a local presence. With that in mind, Solar Works maintains State Sales Offices in New Jersey and New York. Each office is responsible for conducting site visits, installing and servicing systems, and directing a sales and marketing effort.

In addition, each State Office plays an active role in helping to shape state and local policies and regulations concerning such issues as net metering, utility interconnection, and tax credits by working with Public Utility Commissions, environmental groups, and electric providers. Given the size of certain states, several satellite offices have been established so that we can quickly respond to customer needs.

Our corporate headquarters provides technical and marketing support. In addition, a network of subcontractor and sales “partners” across the United States work with Solar Works in exclusive relationships to provide additional installation and marketing support.

We are also a solar products retail store. The store offers a wide range of solar-powered items, including: garden lights, fountain pumps, radios, overhead fans, along with DC fluorescent lighting and battery chargers. We also also offer a selection of branded pre-engineered and fully warranted solar electric and solar hot water systems for both grid-tied and remote applications.

Wherever you live in New Jersey or New York, there’s likely to be a Solar Works office close by!

Solar Works, Inc. offers a range of pre-engineered residential solar electric PV systems. Each of these utility-interconnected PV systems includes UL-listed and National Electric Code approved modules, inverters, and other components to ensure safety and reliability. Our most common solar electric systems make use of top-of-the line PV modules from AstroPower, Bpsolar, ASE Americas, and Kyocera. These modules carry warranties ranging from 20 to 25 years.

For Building Integrated systems, we rely on state-of-the-art products from Atlantis Energy, Unisolar, and Powerlight.

Solar Works provides complete turn-key systems design, installation, and financing services. Our PV systems can just as easily be integrated into a new structure, as they can be added to an existing home. In either case, our job is to make using the sun to produce pollution-free electricity simple and straightforward. Our Sales Managers, Engineers, and Field Directors will support you at every step in the process; from helping you decide which system best meets your needs to assisting you apply for state financial incentives.

What Are Photovoltaics?

solar energyThe term photovoltaic (PV) means to convert light directly into electricity though a photochemical reaction involving silicon, a semiconductor material ideal for this task due to its light sensitive properties. Photovoltaics are made of silicon, plus boron and phosphorous. In the presence of sunlight, an electric current is produced from the release of electrons contained in these three materials’ atoms. PV modules involve no moving parts and produce no pollution.

SunChoice™

swlogosmallastropowerlogoThe SunChoice™ Program is a partnership between AstroPower Inc., the country’s leading independent solar module manufacturer, and several renewable energy firms across the country. Solar Works Inc., a leading system design and installation company, is partnering with AstroPower to bring affordable solar electric systems to homeowners, businesses, and non-profit organizations throughout the Northeast. Imagine how good it would feel to turn on a light or run your refrigerator using electricity you generate right on the roof of your home. Imagine being completely self-reliant for your home electrical needs. With the latest advances in photovoltaic (PV) technology and generous state incentives, there has never been a better time to create your own electricity!

The SunChoice program offers two types of high quality solar electric (photovoltaic or PV) power systems for your home or business. The SunLine™ system is referred to as a standard utility line-tied system, while the SunUPS™ is a utility line-tied system that includes emergency power (battery backup) capabilities. Each system has unique features and benefits. (If you need power for a home or building in a remote location, and thus not connected to the utility grid, we can easily design an Off-Grid System to meet that need).

Be Your Own Power Company

There are several reasons you should consider installing a residential solar power system today.

Power SecuritySolar energy systems with battery backup provide reliable power security for homes in the event of an electric power outage. Keep your lights, heat, water, and refrigerator running when storms hit or the utility grid falters.

AffordabilityState incentives, including tax credits, rebates, and net metering allowances, have significantly lowered the cost of solar electricity systems. These incentives are reducing the cost of solar electric systems by 5% to 50% depending on which state you live in.

Stabilizing Energy Costs: With rising energy prices, solar electric systems offer a great insurance policy against energy inflation. While coal, gas, and nuclear energy costs will increase in years to come, your solar electric system continue to produce clean energy at stable prices. And there’s no fuel cost once the system is installed!

Environmental Responsibility: An investment in clean, renewable power is a responsible and practical investment for you and your community. Electric power generation, including that produced by houses, is the single largest source of air pollution in the U.S. Solar electric systems produce no greenhouse gas emissions.

Which Solar Electric System is Best for You?

  • renewable resourcesThere are several key factors that must be considered when making this decision.
  • Your current electrical consumption—what % of your electric bill would you like the system to provide?
  • Whether you want battery backup or not—are you concerned with power outages?
  • Your interest in being able to sell or “net meter” excess electricity back to your utility.
  • How much non-shaded roof or ground area is available?
  • Where does it make the most sense to locate the system?
  • The amount you would like to invest in solar energy?

Solar Works staff members are available to help you answer these questions and choose the right system.

The first step in this process is to fill out a Customer Information Form. Your information will be reviewed and a Solar Works representative will contact you to discuss the type of system that best meets your needs.

SunLine™ 

sunlinegc1000SunLine™ systems are straight grid-tie photovoltaic systems without battery backup. These systems are simple, reliable, and produce the most kilowatt-hours (kWh) per dollar invested. SunLine™, as well as SunUPS™ systems produce direct current electricity whenever they are exposed to sunlight. This solar electricity is fed into an electronic power conditioner (called an inverter) where it is converted from DC to AC (alternating current), which is the same form of electricity provided by your electric utility. The output of the system is distributed directly to your main electric circuit breaker panel for use by your home or business.

Because the system consists entirely of PV modules connected to an inverter, there is no need to make room for special equipment in the house and there is no maintenance associated with the system. These systems can only operate in conjunction with the utility—when the grid goes down, they automatically shut off. Once utility power is restored, the inverter comes back on line and your PV array begins to generate electricity again.

SunLine™ solar electric power systems are designed primarily to offset a portion (or even all) of your home or business’s daily electric needs with clean, pollution-free solar energy. The size of the PV array determines how much solar electricity is available, on a daily basis, to offset the amount of power you normally purchase from the utility. When the electricity being produced by the SunLine™ system is greater than the amount required by your lights and appliances, the excess power will be distributed back to the utility. When this happens, your electric meter will spin backwards. This is usually the case during mid-day when the sun is shining and you are not home to use much electricity. Depending on the rules in your state, you will receive either full retail credit or a partial credit for this excess solar electricity on your electric bill. The greater the size of your PV array, the more electricity you’ll be able to sell back to the utility and thus, incur greater savings on your utility bill.

SunUPS™

A SunUPS™ solar electric system, operates like a utility-interconnected SunLine™ system, but also as an emergency power supply in the event of a utility outage. The SunUPS™ system enables you to power a select number of emergency or “critical load” electrical circuits in the event of a utility power outage. These circuits are chosen by you and are physically relocated into a separate sub-panel (secondary circuit breaker panel) during the installation. When a power outage occurs, these circuits automatically remain powered by energy produced by the PV panels and stored in a modest sized battery bank. The batteries can be sized to run these loads for a few hours or several days.

Typical 120 volt “critical load” electrical circuits include: lights in critical areas, well pumps for water, furnaces, computers, security systems, radios, phone systems, and even refrigerators. The solar electricity from a SunUPS™ PV array is fed into a special utility connected, bi-modal electronic power conditioner (also called an inverter).

upspowercenterDuring a utility power outage, this inverter can produce utility-quality power directly from the battery bank. In addition to feeding excess solar electricity back to the utility, the PV array can be used to recharge the battery bank during utility outages, thus extending the batteries’ capacity to provide emergency power. When the utility outage ends, the system switches back to selling power to the utility and the batteries are quickly brought back to a full state of charge, in preparation for the next utility outage. The batteries are sealed, housed in an attractive cabinet, and require no maintenance.

When the battery bank is fully charged, excess electricity is fed back first to the house to power appliances and then into the utility grid if the house cannot use all the power being produced.

Where Are the System Components Located?

  • Both systems require the PV array be mounted on a roof surface that faces within 40 degrees of south. Ground mounting is also available.
  • The inverter(s) for a SunLine™ system can be mounted indoors or outdoors, preferably as close to the electric meter as possible.
  • The batteries for a SunUPS™ system are enclosed in an aluminum, fire retardant cabinet, and located in a basement, utility room, or garage. Ideally, the inverter and batteries are located close to one another.
  • A digital monitor, noting the number of kilowatts being produced, is included with each system.

Solar Works’ Services 

To make it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of a solar electric system, Solar Works offers you complete turnkey system installation. Our services include:

  • solar panel installationSystem selection. One of Solar Works’ Sales Engineers will speak with contact you directly to help you decide which system best satisfies your needs. Once you’ve completed a Customer Information Form, we’ll prepare and forward to you a preliminary estimate of the type and cost of the recommended PV system. To better understand how different sized SunLine™ or SunUPS™ systems can meet your energy objectives, it is necessary to know your average monthly kWh (kilowatt-hour) usage for the past 12 months. If you do not have your historical kWh usage, you can call your electric utility and they will provide it for you.
  • Site evaluation. After preparation of the estimate, a Solar Works’ Sales Manager can visit your home and assess the specific requirements and cost of installing a system on your home or business. We’ll check to make sure the roof is not shaded, that it’s structurally sound and has a good southern exposure. We’ll also identify where the PV modules and inverter will be located.
  • System design. Solar Works’ professional staff of engineers will work through all the details necessary to ensure the system is properly designed to meet your needs. This includes making sure the PV system is adequately sized to meet your needs.
  • Installation coordination. A Solar Works’ Field Manager will coordinate the installation of your SunChoice™ system. Our team of experienced installers includes a local licensed master electrician, prequalified by Solar Works. Depending on the type and size of the system, installation typically tales three to four days.
  • System acceptance testing and commissioning. A Solar Works’ project engineer will personally test your system and complete all required start up procedures so that the system can be commissioned.
  • Utility interconnection. All of our systems are designed to meet the requirements of both your local utility and the National Electric Code (NEC). Solar Works will manage all details to ensure that your SunChoice™ system passes a local building/electrical inspection and is properly registered and approved by the utility. With that process completed, you’ll be able to begin to “net meter.”
  • Full customer training. For Solar Works, an educated customer is the best customer. A Field Manager will provide you with a customized user’s manual describing the nuts and bolts of how your PV system works. We’ll walk you through a detailed training session on all features of your system, including a review of how the systems start-up and how to read your data monitor, perform emergency shut down procedures, and undertake routine maintenance for battery backup systems.
  • Performance warranty. Solar Works, Inc. warranties each system to operate as specified and to be free of defects for a period of one year from the date of commissioning at no additional charge. In addition, manufacturers warranties covering PV modules (20 years) and inverter (2 to 5 years) apply to each system. In the event of equipment failure that is still under manufacturer’s warranty, after the initial one-year service period, Solar Works will repair the system charging only for labor.

Environmental Benefits:

Our solar systems will reduce your household’s contribution to global warming. Over a 30-year period a SunUPS™ or SunLine™ 24 system will eliminate:

  • 70 tons of Greenhouse Gases (CO2 )
  • 810 lbs. of Acid Rain (SOx)
  • 210 lbs. of Smog (NOx)

To put these numbers in perspective, this is the amount of pollution a typical car produces when driven 167,000 miles!

happy homeowners with solar panel installation

System Options

SunUPS™ (SU) and SunLine™ (SL) systems come in ten sizes complete with AstroPower 100-watt PV modules, mounting hardware, and a power conversion center. The SunUPS™ system includes a maintenance-free battery bank.

SU-8 SU-16 SU-32 SL-8 SL-16 SL-32
kWh/year Savings  955 1,910 3,820 1,050 2,115 4,225
System Cost (estimate) $17,110 $22,440 $33,100 $10,800 $17,720 $29,480
State Incentives Call Call Call Call Call Call
30-year CO2 Reduction (lbs)  42,500 84,500 169,000 47,000 94,000 188,000
Roof Area Required 10 x 9 20 x 9 20 x 18 10 x 9 20 x 9 20 x 18

Notes: 

  1. Calculated based on average 30-year weather data, Trenton, NJ. Savings will vary depending on location.
  2. Typical installed cost in Northeast including interconnection and permits. Costs may vary and change without notice.
  3. State incentives available in  NY and NJ.
  4. Standard roof flush mount layout. Other configurations are available.
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