Solar Energy

Will solar panels damage our roof?

Potentia Renewables uses ballasted racking systems to support the solar panels on the roof, wherever possible, Ballasted racking does not penetrate roof surfaces, leaving roof integrity fully intact. In some cases, local regulations necessitate the use of alternative solutions. In these situations, Potentia works closely with your roofer to ensure that the roof integrity and warranty is maintained.

Are solar panels heavy?

A solar panel installation adds approximately two to five pounds of load per square foot, on average. Before any installation begins, we always obtain an engineer-stamped structural design to ensure that all solar PV installations can be completed safely and without causing damage.

What happens when I need to replace or repair my roof?

Potentia Renewables works closely with our customers to accommodate any maintenance on the roof. Specific needs of our customers are noted in the lease agreement.

How much rooftop space do I need for a solar PV installation?

A typical solar PV installation requires around 100 square feet per thousand watts of solar PV capacity plus additional space for a safety perimeter and rooftop obstructions. Potentia Renewables targets installations between 100 kW to 500 kW, which requires about 10,000 to 50,000 square feet of suitable rooftop space respectively.

Are all of my rooftops suitable for solar PV installation?

Not all rooftops are suitable. Structural integrity, direct sunlight, square footage and a roof that is in good condition are all basic requirements for a viable solar PV installation. To be most effective, a PV system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most of the day.

What happens after the 20-year lease expires?

There are several options available to the building owners after the initial 20-year roof lease term expires. They could purchase the system, renew the lease or have Potentia Renewables remove the installation.

Does weather impact the solar PV units?

It goes without saying that solar PV works most effectively when it is clear, sunny and cool. Occasional rain impacts the solar panels in a positive way, though, by clearing away dust and dirt that may have accumulated.

What about snow on solar PV units?

Fresh snowfall will generally melt off solar PV panels on its own, if the sun is shining. Should snow need to be manually removed, Potentia Renewables assumes responsibility for this service under our general maintenance obligations.

How often is maintenance required?

We perform standard and preventative maintenance annually.

How long will it take to complete the solar panel installation?

Potentia Renewables crews require two to six weeks to complete a standard solar PV installation.

Aside from revenue, are there any other benefits for the building owner?

Improving the environmental credentials of a building is a smart business decision. Pollution and the environment are major concerns for many Canadians, resulting in demands on building owners to be environmentally responsible. Each new installation also adds clean power to the Ontario grid.

How long do solar PV panels last?

Many solar PV manufacturers guarantee their panels for 20 to 25 years. Potentia Renewables only purchases high quality panels from best-in-class manufacturers who provide minimum 20-year performance guarantees. Actual longevity is hard to predict, but many solar modules far outlast their design lifetime.

How solar Energy Works

Solar power is produced by using solar panels to capture sunlight and convert it into clean electricity. The panels, which are produced from thin wafers of silicon, harness the sun’s energy to generate zero emission electricity. Light energy is converted directly into electricity by transferring photon energy into electrical energy. The conversion takes place within cells of specially fabricated semiconductor crystals.

Here is how the process works:

How solar panels work infographic

The Sun, the power plant in the sky, provides sunlight. Photons streaming to the earth are absorbed by and pass through the material of a solar photovaltic (PV) panel, exciting the electrons in the material of the photovaltic cell.

As these electrons begin to move, they are routed into current, creating electircity. The solar PV panels produce Direct Current (DC) electricity.

The DC electricity is then conducted by the wire directly into in inverter where the current is converted to Alternating Current (AC). The invertor matches the AC current that is coming from the electricity grid and releases the AC electricity on the grid. The Inverter monitors the utility grid so that it can disconnect if a power outage is detected. This ensures no electricity from the inverter will interfere with the equipment or repairs during the power outage.

The grid provides power to businesses and homes in Ontario.

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