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4 Ways We Build Solar Energy Systems to Last

Kyle Ritland

May 2021

Rainbow truckModern solar panels have an operating life measured in decades. The installation quality should be just as durable. This is exactly why we developed our Platinum Install methodology.

Your home’s solar electric system is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in the course of owning your home. And unlike a kitchen addition or a fancy new shower, a solar energy system will start paying for itself from the moment it’s turned on.

Our harsh desert summers can wear down even the sturdiest hardware. Your solar array must be put together to withstand our uniquely harsh climate. Many processes that work okay in California, for example, fall short under Arizona’s summer onslaught.  

Needless to say, not all solar installers are created equal, or interested in ensuring customer satisfaction in 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. Knowing what to ask when interviewing a solar partner is key to ensuring that you’ll pick one who knows the local climate and will be there for the life of your system.

Through the course of more than 8,000 residential installations, as well as many megawatts of commercial solar for clients such as Pepsi, Sub-Zero, and Voya Financial, Sun Valley Solar has developed an installation methodology designed to ensure lasting performance here in the Valley of the Sun. We call this process the Platinum Standard.  

As you dive into your solar research, here are a few items to ask about and how our Platinum Standard methodology approaches each.

 

1. Construction Integrity

The brutal desert sun can do long-term damage to sensitive electronics. Just a few hot summers can deteriorate wiring and connections, resulting in a significant loss in system efficiency and eventual malfunction. Make sure your solar system is designed with the attention to detail necessary to withstand the Arizona heat.

Look for a company that uses durable metal conduits for all wiring. Particularly with electrical wiring running through attics, walls, and outdoors. Heat and harsh sun can cause unprotected wiring to deteriorate rapidly, impacting your system’s performance and efficiency, and puts your home at risk of fire and electrical shorts. While many companies will use lower-cost PVC conduits in attics and walls, the sun and heat will eventually cause PVC to become brittle and crack. At Sun Valley Solar Solutions, we use only durable metal conduits throughout the entirety of your system.

Equally important are the critical connection points within your system. Poorly wired junction boxes are one of the primary failure points on any electrical system, and low-cost standard terminal connectors and junction boxes don’t provide the long-term protection needed for your system. Sun Valley Solar Solutions systems use heavy-duty terminal blocks, tightly bundled wiring, and durable metal ferrules for each wire termination. The result is the kind of long-term durability and dependability you expect from a major investment in your home.

 

2. Roof Integrity

When a roof with solar panels needs repair, the panels typically must be removed at the owner’s expense to provide the necessary access. In addition, drilling holes in a roof to install solar panel racking is not a job for amateurs.

With our infrequent rains and dry climate, far too many homeowners uncover roof leaks months or even years too late. In some instances, a roof’s integrity wasn’t up to par at the time of the solar install or has changed due to weather damage or a pest infestation. A roof should always be thoroughly inspected at the time of installation by an independent roofing contractor, or a solar installer with proven experience with Arizona roofing systems. 

 

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Sun Valley Solar Solutions works hand-in-hand with our sister company, Azul Roofing Solutions to provide a knowledgeable roof assessment prior to panel installation. When it comes to racking attachment and penetration points, we employ the industry’s best and most proven sealing procedure, the 3-Course method. We even go one step further by applying an additional layer of sealant under the baseplate. We use FLASHLOC Technology to protect penetration points with a permanent pressure seal, and foam roof sealing for maximum weatherization. And we back our approach with a ten-year workmanship warranty.

 

3. Aesthetics

A home with solar needs more than just curb appeal. It needs roof appeal as well. Form is as important as function, and your PV system should be designed to look like it belongs with the house. With today’s smooth black panels and matching mounts, your roof can boast a sleek, modern look that will make your house a 

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neighborhood star. We add touches like painting exposed conduit to blend with the house. We take pride in every system we create – not just in its efficiency and performance, but in the way it presents. After all, your PV system is a part of your home and a part of its visual appeal.

 

4. Qualifications, Certifications, and Experience

We’ve saved this one for last, but it should be among your priorities. When evaluating a solar provider, start with a look into their reputation – their history, their experience, and their qualifications. Look for a solid track record and longevity in the industry, certifications they’ve earned from trusted partners, and references from real-life customers just like you.

At Sun Valley Solar Solutions, we bring a wealth of experience and a team of certified experts to every single project. From massive corporate warehouses to the most modest family home, our history of excellence is embedded into every system we install.

With certifications from all major manufacturers and utilities, we can help you plan the best system for your current needs and the future. With awards and recognition from reviewers industry-wide, we’re a name you can trust. And with more than 8,500 residential installations and counting, we’re proud to boast a legacy of happy customers. So, give us a call and let us bring our legendary Platinum Install methodology to your PV system.

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