Frequently Asked Questions
 
 

Electricity generated by solar panels is referred to as PHOTOVOLTAIC energy. This tongue twisting word is often shortened to “PV,” and thus we refer to a solar system that generates electricity as a PV system.

 

 

What is a PV system?
PV technology produces electricity directly from electrons freed by the interaction of sunlight with a solar panel made of semiconductor material. The power provided is direct current (DC) electricity. The basic building block is known as a cell. Many cells put together are known as a module, and many modules assembled together form an array. A PV system will consist of an array of modules generating DC electricity, an inverter, and sometimes battery storage back up with charge controller.
What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?
A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.
How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?
A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic PV module (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.
What is an inverter?
There are two kinds of electricity, DC and AC. Homes that are connected to utility power use AC electricity. Flashlights, small radios and automobiles use DC electricity. In order for you to be able to use solar to operate the appliances in your home, an inverter will convert PV power from DC to AC. Inverters can be further classified as units that use batteries (UPS) and those that use the utility grid as power storage (Grid-tied). Inverters are now required to possess meters that will indicate their performance and some manufacturer's supply remote display units that can be mounted inside the home. It is important to check on your inverter regularly to become acquainted with its operation and performance.
How much electricity will a system produce?
The amount of power produced will depend upon how large the system is. In Jordan the average residential customer purchases 6,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. There is enough sunshine falling upon on the average home to produce this and a system can be designed to offset all electrical needs. The cost to accomplish a 100% system may be prohibitive and sometimes it makes more sense to simply reduce or 'shave' your consumption. Some utilities use tiered rates when they charge for consumption which means that the more energy you use the higher is the cost per kilo-watt-hour. The most economically feasible size is usually between 50% and 75% of your annual household needs.
What is a "grid-tie" PV system?
Today in Jordan you may connect your solar system directly into the wires of your utility. Since the "Net Metering Law" allows you to do this you will actually be spinning your meter backwards when your system is generating more power than you are consuming. When you generate excess electricity (more power than you are using) it will enter the grid and be used by your neighbors. Your meter will tally the excess and give credit your account. After a year the excess credits are eliminated and you balance is adjusted back to zero again. In effect, if there are any unused energy credits at the end of the year, the utility received this solar power for free.
What is Net Metering?
Because of the Net Energy Metering (NEM) law, Jordanians are allowed to "sell" clean solar generated electricity to the utility at the same price at which it was purchased. This is fundamental to the economics of generating your own power and has been instrumental in the development of Distributed Generation (DG) of power. Without Net Metering, the utility would, as it has in the past, sell energy to you at retail but buy any energy from you at wholesale pricing. This is a huge benefit to anybody owning the property now .
How big a solar energy system do I need?
The size of solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity  you use, how, the size of your roof, and how much you're willing to invest. Also, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact a system designer/installer to determine what type of system would suit your needs.
Why should I purchase a PV system?
People decide to buy solar energy systems for a variety of reasons. For example, some individuals buy solar products to preserve the Earth's finite fossil-fuel resources and to reduce air pollution. Others would rather spend their money on an energy-producing improvement to their property than send their money to a utility. Some people like the security of reducing the amount of electricity they buy from their utility, because it makes them less vulnerable to future increases in the price of electricity. If it's designed correctly, a solar system might be able to provide power during a utility power outage, thereby adding power reliability to your home. Finally, some individuals live in areas where the cost of extending power lines to their home is more expensive than buying a solar energy system.
What type of warranty is supplied with the system?

Solar Panels:  25-year warranty to produce 80.7% of rated output (manufacturer)
Inverter: 5-year warranty. Can be extended to 10 years for an additional charge (manufacturer)
Mounting System: 10-year product warranty (manufacturer)
Workmanship: 10 year warranty on workmanship (installer)

What happens on cloudy days?
In a grid connect system, as you are still tied to the mains power supply, any deficit will come from the mains grid.
How much of a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will I achieve?
Using a comparison to a car, the average vehicle in Australia travels 20 000 km per annum, which is equivalent to 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide discharge annually. A 2kw grid connected system will prevent 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide being generated through coal fired power generation - so it's the equivalent of taking a car off the road each year.
Is there any maintenance involved?
With an grid connected system, there is very little maintenance required. Electronic components should be maintenance free. Energy Matters systems come with complete instructions for maintenance.
What happens with grid connect systems during a blackout?
The grid connect inverter will automatically shut itself off within a few milliseconds of a blackout, to avoid the potential of a dangerous "brown-out" in your home and to prevent back feeding into the grid. Therefore even though you have a solar system during a blackout you will not have power available. If you want to keep on having electricity available during a blackout then you would need to have back up batteries installed as well, which will add to the cost of the system.
How much roof space is needed?
1.0 KW system needs approximately 10m2, a 1.5KW system needs approximately 15m2 and so forth.

 

 

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Amman, Jordan



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