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Frequently Asked Questions

Please see answer to frequently asked questions below. If you have further questions, please Contact Us

General questions about RaVolt Off-Grid Solar Power System

Is this a backup system?

No, RaVolt is an always-on, whole house power plant. Unlike typical rooftop solar panels, RaVolt gives you total, true independence from the utility power grid. We cover your power needs with triple redundant power sources, whether or not you have a utility connection.

Can a microgrid really power my whole house with all of my appliances?

Yes. After you design your system, we will scale the RaVolt Home Microgrid to handle your home’s needs. More efficient homes may use a smaller system, while things like pools, EV chargers, and very large heating and cooling units can increase the size of your setup. Our team has installed hundreds of thousands of solar panels, and we will help you plan a Microgrid that’s right for your needs.

Do I need a utility connection?

No, a typical RaVolt is completely grid independent using solar, batteries, and a backup generator. If your home is easily connected to a local utility grid, their power can often be used cost effectively as a backup, or you may choose to use a gas or propane generator for backup. In some areas, you may be able to sell excess power back to the utility company, but monthly utility fees and restrictions would apply.

Is solar power environmentally friendly?

Absolutely. When you switch to solar, you are helping make your world a little cleaner.

  • Reduces your carbon footprint. Solar panels recover carbon lost in their manufacturing within 2 years of operation, and are warranted to generate energy for 25 years or more. Traditional power plants burn fossil fuels like coal or natural gas to make electricity, releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Nuclear power has inherent dangers, and radioactive waste is stored onsite at the plants until a storage solution can be found for it – plus new nuclear plants generate power at more than 4 times the cost of solar.
  • Saves water. Most other methods of generating power use huge amounts of water for cooling.
  • Power without pollution. There’s no runoff into streams or toxic fumes going into the air, and no drilling, fracking or refining.
  • Recyclable – Our modules, racking and batteries can all be recycled, with over 90% of materials recoverable.
How will I know how my system is performing?

You will have access to an online monitoring application that provides you with the current status of your system.

Will my RaVolt Home Off-Grid Solar Power System make power on a cloudy day?

Our ultra-efficient solar panels will continue to produce electricity even in bad weather, however output will drop. RaVolt’s large battery storage capacity means that you will still be able to power your home without switching to a backup power source.

What are the advantages of a ground mount system?

Compared to typical roof-mounted solar panels, our ground mount systems are:

  • Safer and more efficient.
  • Not limited by the size, positioning, roof tilt, or design of your home.
  • Never going to cause roof leaks, or impact the structure of your home, or add weight and wear to your roof.
  • Easier to install and maintain without even entering the home.
What happens at night?

Your RaVolt Off-Grid Solar System battery provides all the power you need until morning. In rare instances when the battery is not able to fully power your home all night, the RaVolt system will automatically switch to your backup source.

Couldn’t I just get a bunch of powerwalls?

Our solution is a whole home and off-grid capable microgrid. Tesla Powerwall is designed as a backup power storage battery. Compared to Tesla’s Powerwall, our home microgrid offers you…

  • An off-grid primary source of power for the entire home, every day. Powerwall is designed to provide backup power.
  • Higher starting power to run major loads like air conditioners.
  • Better efficiency and throughput. The Tesla is an AC coupled solution, so power is lost converting solar from DC to AC, where the powerwall converts the AC back to DC to store energy in the battery. Our system is DC coupled so solar can charge the DC batteries directly. The Tesla powerwall loses about 6% of the solar energy generated when compared to a DC coupled system like ours. 
  • Maximum safety and stability with our lithium iron phosphate battery, fully enclosed and installed away from the house. The Tesla NMC Lithium battery chemistry is less stable, and warranted for less than half the amount of stored energy – and that's before the 6% conversion losses.
  • “Dark start” capability allows you to recover your power in the extremely rare case of a failure of the backup power source.
  • Support for generators. Tesla has limited support for backup generators.
How many hours of direct sunlight does the array need?

The more hours of sunlight your system gets, the more power it will produce. Modern solar panels are very efficient at collecting light, however the array does need to be in a location that has at least a few hours of completely unshaded sunlight every day. We can help you assess the suitability of your site. 

Can I use RaVolt for my business?

The RaVolt Off-Grid Solar System is designed for the specific needs of homeowners, however we have deployed hundreds of solar arrays and energy storage projects for businesses. To learn more about our commercial solutions, please contact us or visit our industrial and utility scale partner, United Renewable Energy, LLC.

Financial questions

Will I save money with a home microgrid?

This will depend on the price of energy in your area, your usage of energy, and the time you use energy, which can all vary over time. In most areas, a RaVolt system will help you lock in a steady rate that’s comparable to what you would pay per month on an electric bill. With RaVolt you get whole-home redundant power, clean energy, and control of your power.

Do I pay more when I use more electricity?

No, when you purchase RaVolt there are no more electricity bills from your primary power source. The power it makes is all yours! Your backup power costs can vary monthly, depending on your use of backup power. Our RaVolt app will help you minimize the use of backup power, giving timely notifications and adjusting settings to minimize costs.

What happens if I sell my house and/or move?

RaVolt Off-Grid Home Solar Power Systems are designed to be easy to relocate, so you have several options when you move:

  1. Let us know, and we’ll arrange to have the RaVolt system move with you to your new home.
  2. Or, you can sell it with your house and transfer equipment to the new homeowners.
If I make excess power can I sell it back to the power company?

Yes, RaVolt supports this capability if your power company purchases residential excess power and your local laws allow it. We can help you set this up. Utility service charges and restrictions will apply.



Installation and setup

Do I need to do the installation or hire a contractor?

No, we handle the delivery and set up of every RaVolt Off-Grid Home Solar Power System using licensed and approved installation partners. Your system typically takes 1-2 days for our team to assemble on site. The process is very simple for homeowners. Unlike most solar setups or battery backups systems, RaVolt installation does not require access to your roof or garage. Most of the time, we can install RaVolt without going inside your home.

How does this system wire into my home? Will I need to add or upgrade any part of my house?

In most cases, connecting a turn-key RaVolt Off-Grid Home Solar Power System is no different from connecting to utility power. The process is very simple and does not require major upgrades. In our design process, we may determine some load control is required, which is relatively low in cost and can be installed at the same time as system installation. If you are building a new home or are already planning on upgrading any part of your home, please let us know as this will allow us to customize your system perfectly.

How does installation work – do you need a wide gate? Will you tear up my yard getting access to the location?

We designed RaVolt to be modular, so we can install on most rural and many suburban properties, and we can usually get to the site and complete the installation without causing damage to your yard.

How are the panels mounted on the ground?

In most cases, we mount the panels onto racking – metal frames -  that are secured to the ground using ground anchors, helical piers, posts, or other methods depending on your property. We will specify the best method in the design process.

Will the power cables from the panels to the house be buried? Is that a live wire that could harm my pets?

When we install the cables, we will install them per the National Electric Code to prevent any injuries. There will be one main cable buried underground (or in rare cases run above ground on poles) from the RaVolt system to the point of interconnection to the house.



Maintenance

What happens if the system fails? Will my power shut off?

Stability is one of the main advantages of a RaVolt Off-Grid Home Solar Power System. If something does cause a failure, RaVolt will self heal — the system will automatically switch to backup power and our technicians will be notified. Our patented design also allows for you to take control and manually switch to backup power, in the unlikely event of a failure. RaVolt also provides ongoing support and maintenance on your product, and can quickly respond to any outage situation.

Can I check on my system when I’m not home?

Homeowners can use the RaVolt web application to monitor their system’s status and performance. The RaVolt web application will help you minimize the use of backup power, giving timely notifications and allowing you to adjust operating modes to minimize costs.

How easy will it be to mow or weed eat around the solar panels?

RaVolt’s solar panels will be mounted on a durable metal frame at least 18 inches off the ground, so mowing and weed eating are no problem. Some homeowners decided to use landscape fabric, gravel, or matting on the ground so that no plant growth occurs under and around the system, although this is not required.

Do they need to be cleaned? Cleared of snow?

Your RaVolt home microgrid is designed to be simple and maintenance-free for homeowners. Dust, pollen, dirt, rain, and snow will usually clear by themselves, and we will inspect the system annually to ensure there’s no buildup. To improve performance, small dirt spots can be cleaned with car type windshield squeegee, but this is typically not needed. Snow typically self clears, but can be removed with a soft broom. Once a few panels are cleared on each rack, current can flow and help melt snow and ice on the other panels. The panels should NEVER be pressure washed, or sprayed with chemicals or cleaning detergents.

What other maintenance do I have to do?

Taking care of solar panels is very easy! Please be sure not to hang clothes, tire swings, or any other objects from the system — other than that, the system should be fine. RaVolt provides annual maintenance agreements on our products, which cover most issues that may be encountered. In very dusty areas, we may recommend more frequent cleaning of outside filters on the RaVolt unit.



What if I have a problem? Can you help me remotely or does someone have to come to my house?

We have a 24/7 monitoring system that can detect any potential problems, usually before you would even notice. If you give us permission, we can also make minor adjustments and maintenance updates remotely. If there ever happens to be something that requires a RaVolt technician to go to your house, we will notify you prior to sending them to you. In the very unlikely event of an emergency issue, you always have the option of throwing our patent pending bypass switch yourself and running off backup power until we arrive.