Residential Solar Design & Construction
Reduce your family’s greenhouse gas emissions while investing in your own home. Enjoy the freedom of generating your own electricity while reducing your utility bill. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Energy Design’s team has installed over 150 residential solar electric systems. The majority of these installations are net metered, feeding power to the grid and offsetting a portion of the power needs of the home.
Through our years of study, and quite simply, trial and error, we have incorporated racking and mounting methods that set our systems apart from the standard installation. Energy Design utilizes racking components from SnapNrack and Sunpower’s proprietary Invisimount system for the majority of our installations. These include anodized aluminum rails, stainless steel fasteners, 6” standoffs, and grounding/bonding equipment. We also have components specially manufactured in Eugene by Elliot’s Specialty Sheet Metal, including extra long L-feet and all-aluminum flashings that are far superior to the typical rubber Oatey flashings you generally find on rooftops. We build our systems to last 25 years and beyond. Recognizing we are offering a permanent fixture for your roof, we select quality components that will stand the test of time.
This advanced racking equipment, coupled with proper wiring and attention to shading, consistently provides systems that outperform our competitors. The University of Oregon’s Solar Resource Lab, operating for over 25 years here in Eugene, is the main source for modeling data in the Pacific Northwest. The data is used by all utilities in Oregon to estimate annual solar electric system performance. Consistently, Energy Design installed systems perform 10%+ above what the lab has predicted for a given site.
Part of our success is based on the scientific principle called the ‘stack effect’, or more particularly, advection. Roofs get hot in the summer. Really hot! On a 90 degree day, it is not uncommon to get readings of 160 -180 degrees on south facing metal and asphalt shingle roofs. When we install a solar array, that plane of glass and aluminum helps deflect a lot of those sun rays from hitting the roof, helping to keep the building a little cooler. By raising the array off the roof by 8-10 inches, utilizing our custom tall L-feet, we are able to take advantage of the heat difference between the bottom and top of the array to initiate the transfer of heat. A breeze will actually pick up speed as it travels up towards the peak of the house, under the array, helping to cool the roof and the solar modules. Like any electronics, solar modules with their associated wiring perform better and last longer in cooler temperatures. These cooler temperatures mean more Watts, and added longevity.
When approaching a site, we look for these factors during our site assessment:
- What are your current energy needs?
- Where can we help you save money through energy efficiency?
- Is your home/outbuilding up to code?
- Is your electrical system built to code?
- Do you have roof-space with southern exposure and minimal shading impacts?
- Is the roofing material and truss system designed to accommodate the additional weight of the array?
- If not, do you have available land for a ground mounted array?
- Do you wish to build additional outbuildings where solar could be utilized as the roof of the structure (BIPV)?
- What tax credits and utility incentives are available to you for an installation?
- Can you take advantage of these benefits?
- What will the initial cost of the project be?
- How long would it take for the project to pay off?