Frequently asked questions

General solar FAQ

  1. Solar panels collect the Sun’s energy.
  2. The energy captured by the solar panels is converted into usable energy for your home or business.
  3. The now usable energy available can be consumed by electronics and appliances such as your computer, TV, and smartphone.
  4. An additional benefit to having available solar energy at your home is that it can provide clean, carbon free energy for your transportation.
  5. Additional energy that is not used by your electronics, appliances, or electric vehicle are exported to the local electrical grid and generates additional income.

 

 

To complete our free solar assessment, you will need to provide our sales team with information and photos of the following:

  1. A copy of your most recent energy bill. This will allow us to model your energy consumption in order to design an optimal solar system and provide accurate pricing.
  2. Pictures of your electrical infrastructure and roof. This will allow us to determine if your new solar system can be easily integrated with your home’s existing electrical infrastructure and roof.
  3. Confirmation of your address. This allows us to use Google imaging combined with our in-house software to remotely design your system while taking into consideration available roof space, potential shading structures, and optimal tilt.

The assessment process also allows us to address any questions or apprehensions about solar that you may have. We want to make sure you understand everything before you make a decision.

The team at Zeno will analyze your locationelectricity usageand sustainability goals to determine your suitability for solar. You can ask us questions you may have about solar, incentives, installation, and anything else you can think of.

Once approved, we will handle obtaining Electrical Permits and fill out your Incentive and MicroGeneration Applications for you. We will develop a schedule that works for you and make sure you are satisfied with every aspect of the process. We may need you to sign a couple forms depending on your utility provider.

You may be required to either sign a Fortis Consent Form or EPCOR Consent Form, depending on your utility provider.

Our qualified team of professional electricians will install your system, ensuring quality work throughout. We will connect the new solar panels to your existing electrical system and have your meter replaced by the local wire line owner so that you can connect and sell to the grid.

After installation, our experienced team will review the solar system with you and explain how everything works, including incentives and micro-generation. We will answer any additional questions, ensure you are satisfied with the work, and have a comfortable understanding of your system.

There are several aspects of a solar installation that resist and combat the accumulation of snow:

  • Almost all residential installations have panels installed at an angle. This allows gravity to do some of the work, letting the snow simply slide off.
  • The Tier 1 panels we use are manufactured with coatings that prevent the accumulation of snow
  • Heat produced by the panels can help the snow melt.
  • Sunlight can penetrate up to 2 inches of snow, so your panels can still be producing when covered. Once the snow cover gets thicker, the added weight will likely help it fall of as well.

Of course, there may be some instances when snow accumulates, at which point the panel won’t produce energy, but this doesn’t mean your system is useless. A study conducted at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) showed that over an entire year, the accumulation of snow at most affected yearly produced by about 5%, assuming no snow removal at all. It is important to think of your yearly usage and production as opposed to just the snow-filled days.

Solar panels are tougher than your roof! They are designed to withstand snow, rain, wind, hail, and everything else nature may throw their way. We have seen cases where perfectly intact solar panels have had to be removed so that homeowners could replace their hail-damaged roof. Our Tier 1 panels are built to withstand golfball sized hail travelling at 100mph, and we only use panels with a Class 4 hail rating, the highest you can have. The panels are also warrantied at 25 years in addition to our 5-year installation warranty, in case a replacement is ever needed. Check out the video below showing Tier 1 panels standing up to hail.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. By integrating solar modules into your home insurance for only $10 – $20 per year, depending on your provider, you can stay protected in the rare chance that hail becomes a problem.

Fortunately, warm weather has little to do with a location’s solar potential. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, receiving more than 300 days per year of sunshine. The snow we get in Canada also acts as a reflective surface, which increases our solar potential. Another additional bonus is our cold weather! Solar panels produce more energy when they are cold since their conductivity increases. Calgary has a solar potential of about 1292, which is higher than both Rio de Janeiro and Rome!

Service FAQ

Firstly, provide us with the email of the new occupant, so that we can send them an invite to the monitoring portal and the turn-over package which has all the information on their system including warranties, manuals, and microgeneration information.

Secondly, direct them to our website FAQ for instructions on how to connect the solar system to their new Wi-Fi.

If you want your system uninstalled, and re-installed at your new address, please reach out to us for a quote. Given that solar adds to property value, we recommend you make some extra money on the sale of your current home with solar, and put it towards the cost of solar in your new home!

 

Please refer to our troubleshooting page to see if any of the scenarios describe apply to you. Please also check if you system is covered with snow. If not, please reach out to us at service@livezeno.com and someone will assist with your request. Please allow for 24- 48 hours for your inquiry to be addressed.

We offer rodent protection which can be installed around the perimeter of your solar array to prevent birds and other rodents from getting underneath. The cost of this depends on the size of your system. If your roof is covered in bird droppings and residue, the cost for rodent guard installation may increase. Please reach out to us for a quote at info@livezeno.com.

The size of your system is in Direct Current (DC) power, which is not usable in the home. The inverter converts this to Alternating Current (AC) power to be used in the home. The size of the inverter represents the AC system size. There are several reasons to oversize the system for the inverter. A couple include accounting for DC to AC power losses, and ensuring you are getting the most out of your inverter during low sunlight periods. Please check out THIS LINK for more detailed information.

 

For safety reasons, the solar system will shut down during a power outage in case service workers are repairing the power infrastructure. If you are interested in battery solutions, please reach out to us at info@livezeno.com.

Depending on your type of system, we offer either a Sense or SolarEdge monitoring unit that can accomplish this. The equipment and installation can cost anywhere from $750 – $1,000 plus GST depending on your electrical infrastructure. Please reach out to us for an exact quote at info@livezeno.com.

Please reach out to us at info@livezeno.com and a sales representative will get in touch.

We do not. Canadian Tire or Woody’s RVs may have a solution.

If this has only occurred for one month, it may likely be the case that your energy retailer has missed a meter reading and you will be credited on your next billing cycle. It is recommended that you call them to check regardless. If you have not seen any credits since the installation of your system, please reach out to your energy retailer to confirm you are registered as a microgenerator. This is automatically triggered during the installation process, but a confirmation call won’t hurt. Your microgeneration approval letter will also have been sent to you in your turnover package. It may also be the case that in that specific month, you consumed all the power produced by your solar system in the home, and none was exported.

Please check to see if your system was designed to produce more power than you consume in the summer months (ideally May to September). Also check your bills in these months to confirm you have been exporting power and are getting microgeneration credits. If these are confirmed, then go to the Spot Power or Park Power  website to sign up and get all the information you need.

Spot Power: https://www.spotpower.net/zenorenewables.html

Park Power (Edmonton Clients only): https://secure.parkpower.ca/zenorenewables.html

APSystems User FAQ

Please check out the APS FAQ for Homeowners as this will be able to answer most of your questions and help with service related issues. If you can’t find your answer here, check out the other common questions on the Zeno Service Page or contact us at service@livezeno.com.

To adjust your time zone, please follow the below steps:
  1. Download the【EMA MANAGER】app
  2. Re-energize the ECU, it will produce a hotspot in 30 mins, then let your phone connect to this hotspot
  3. The hotspot username is the ECU number 216xxxxxxxxx, the default password is 88888888
  4. Once your phone connects to the hotspot login to EMA MANAGER.
  5. Go to【SETTING-Date,Time】reset or synchronize the time.

APSystems EMA APP can be found in the app store for both Apple and Android users.
You may also go to the EMA online portal here.

Your login information which was created upon completion of your installation is identical for both APSystems EMA App and the EMA online portal.

For a lost password, please visit the EMA online portal here and click the “Lost your password?” link. You will need to know your username.

By default, your username will be your first and last name with a space. If this does not work, please email us at service@livezeno.com for assistance.

The error message on your app may show the below:Your ECU monitoring unit disconnected from the internet. If you have it connected with an Ethernet cable, unplug the Ethernet and power to the ECU. Then go to your router and disconnect power for 30 seconds. Plug it in, but wait until it’s fully functional to plug in the Ethernet and then the power.

If you have the ECU monitoring unit setup on WiFi, then you will need to download the EMA Manager. From here, press the AP button on the side of the ECU, you will click on the ECU APP (you do not need to sign in), and it will take you to your network settings. You will select the ECU WiFi, password is the number 8, 8 times (88888888) to connect to your ECU. Go to Workspace, WLAN, and connect it to your own WiFi.

Follow the initial prompts of the APSystems video here to download the ECUAPP app, WLAN (WIFI) setup details for your ECU are explained at 2:45 in the video.

If the problem persists, unplug your ECU and move it to a new location closer to your modem, such as your office. Your ECU also has the option to be hard wired (will give you the best connectivity) if the connectivity problem persists.

 

This is normal winter performance. Depending on the location of your modules, snow can build up heavier on modules which are near a roof valley and take longer to clear than the modules on the top and sides of your roof.

If you are sure that your system is free of snow and you still are not seeing any production, please email us at services@zenoenergy.com and we will look into it further.

Fill out the  warranty transfer document here and email it to APSystems support in your region (see your regional APSystems website for local contact info) and one their support agents will set up EMA access for the new homeowner. If you do not know the new homeowner’s information, fill out your information in the form and provide it to the new owners for them to complete and submit to APSystems.

NC means “Not Communicating”. Rest assured, your modules are still producing power, but the micro-inverter has lost its connection to your ECU (Energy Communication Unit). This does happen from time to time, and will often correct itself after 24-48 hours.

If the issue persists for longer than 48 hours, please email us at service@livezeno.com and we will investigate it further.

APSystems app will sometimes go down for unexpected maintenance, this is normal and is usually resolved within a few hours.

Please check out the APSystems YouTube channel here.

Huawei User FAQ

FusionSolar app can be found in the app store for Apple users. FusionHome can be found in the app store for Android users. Both apps are similar in layout and functionality and require the user to be within range of the inverter.

For remote monitoring, please download the My Locus Energy App or visit the Locus monitoring website here and input the login information you were given upon completion of your system and follow the prompts for homeowners.

Huawei inverters can be connected using either the FusionHome (android) or the FusionSolar app (apple), both apps are similar and WIFI can be reconnected by following this video here.

This is normal winter performance. Depending on the location of your modules, snow can build up heavier on modules which are near a roof valley and take longer to clear than the modules on the top and sides of your roof.

If you are sure that your system is free of snow and you still are not seeing any production, please email us at service@livezeno.com and we will look into it further.

Your inverter will have 2 solid red lights and has gone into protection mode. Please email us at service@livezeno.com, if possible, please include a screenshot of your app showing the error and we will assist you further.

SolarEdge User FAQ

An inverter reset can be done if you are seeing a red light or green blinking light which means that the inverter is either in a fault or not producing power for some reason. Follow the below steps:

  1. Disconnect the inverter DC power by flipping the toggle switch on the middle left side of your inverter from the “I” position to the “0” position.
  2. Turn off the AC solar breaker. This is the solar breaker in your electrical panel which is labelled and marked with a warning sticker.
  3. Wait 45-60 seconds.
  4. Turn on the AC solar breaker.
  5. Turn the toggle switch back to the “I” position and wait 60 seconds for the inverter to come back online.

If the problem persists, please reach out to us at sevice@livezeno.com and we can investigate the issue further.

 

 

The MySolarEdge app can be found in the app store for both Apple and Android users. Use the user profile that was created upon completion of your installation to login.

Check out this video to learn how your app works.

You can also monitor your system online or on your desktop here. 

Your inverter is hard wired into the D-Link Wi-Fi extender we provided, which is wirelessly connected to your router.

To re-connect your system to the internet, please follow the D Link re-Connection Guide

Solid Green – System is producing
Flashing Green – Connected, but not producing. (Ex. Will happen when modules are snow covered or at night when there is no sun)
Blue – System is communicating with the monitoring platform.
Red – System fault, please email us at service@livezeno.com for assistance.

This is normal winter performance. Depending on the location of your modules, snow can build up heavier on modules which are near a roof valley and take longer to clear than the modules on the top and sides of your roof. If you are sure that your system is free of snow and you still are not seeing any production, please email us at service@livezeno.com and we will investigate it further.

If you purchased a home with a solar system and need monitoring access, please send a proof of purchase that shows the sale has been completed to support@solaredge.com. Make sure to include all your applicable information including your name, email, address, and SolarEdge inverter serial number. If you are selling a home and want to transfer access to the new owner, please contact support@solaredge.com with the new owner’s name, email address, and address of the home so we can complete a transfer.

Please check out the SolarEdgePV YouTube channel here.

EV myths

While EVs are currently priced more than their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) counterparts, time and technology have made EVs more affordable to own compared to when they were first introduced. Canada also offers incentives to make EVs more affordable for Canadians through the Zero-Emission Vehicles Program

EVs come out on top despite the hefty upfront cost. EVs require less maintenance and automobile part replacement than ICE vehicles. As a result, EV running costs are much lower than its ICE counterparts. The price of electricity is also significantly lower than the price of gasoline. Therefore, with each kilometer driven, the cost of EVs makes it more affordable than owning ICE vehicles. And with the option of having your own EV charging station right at home – you may never have to visit a gas station ever again.

This is both true and false. If a municipal or provincial electricity grid is predominantly powered by fossil fuels, then your EV will be using “dirty” electricity. However, three points must be considered:

  1. EVs replace the inefficient miniature combustion that occurs in ICE vehicles. Having more efficient vehicles on the roads contributes to reducing the overall global emissions.
  2. While different municipalities and provinces have different electricity generation makeup, it is important to note that renewable energy accounts as the largest energy electricity generator in Canada (Government of Canada, 2018). Therefore, this statement application varies depending on which province one is charging their EV from. Even so, provinces such as Alberta (where fossil fuels produce 90% of its electricity generation) is pushing to make its electrical grid 30% renewable by 2030 (Stephenson, 2019).
  3. Today, many EV owners implement solar energy solutions into their homes or businesses to take energy directly from the sun. Setting up an EV charging station right at home or at the business site while pairing it up with solar technology ensures that the energy used for the EV is as green and renewable as possible.

From production, to charging, to driving, EVs have proven to be significantly better for the environment than ICE vehicles.

When lithium-ion is harvested for EV batteries, its emissions contribute to the overall pollution in the environment. However, most of the battery material can be recycled and the battery can be reused. When an EV battery can no longer deliver enough power for its EV, it can be repurposed for both residential and commercial electrical storage in conjunction with a solar photovoltaic system.

Battery production and technology are accelerating every day. With companies like Tesla and Samsung consistently innovating and taking advantage of economies of scale, batteries are becoming cheaper and much longer lasting. 

ICE vehicles will not have the same battery life as EVs. As long as EV owners maintain and care for their EVs, the battery life and the overall vehicle will require less maintenance in the long-run.

Battery storage FAQ

Without a battery back-up system, you will not be able to power your home with solar during an outage. While the grid shutting down is rare, batteries are a great way to keep you and your family energy secure during times of uncertainty.

While owning a battery back-up system is not mandatory, there are many factors that determine whether you need extra batteries for your solar pv system. These include your unique energy needs and the devices you want to back up in the event of an emergency. Our knowledgeable Sustainability Specialists can walk you through your options and help you determine if a battery storage solution is right for you. Contact us at info@livezeno.com for a quote.

At Zeno, we secure only the best products for your system. One Tesla Powerwall Battery Storage back-up system can cost anywhere between $16,000 to $20,000, including installation. Please reach out to one of our Sustainability Specialists for more accurate pricing.

No. Car batteries are not compatible with solar PV systems.

Only some battery types are compatible with solar PV systems.

Yes, you can.

We are happy to include a solar battery back-up system to your custom quote. Please be sure to let one of our Sustainability Specialists know for it to be included in the quote.

When you own a solar panel system, the grid acts as your battery. Excess energy produced by your solar panel system gets sold back to the grid.

This depends on the size of your battery back-up system and the loads you need powered during a blackout. Our knowledgeable Sustainability Specialists can walk you through your options and help you determine if a battery storage solution is right for you.