Flatiron Solar, Solar System Design, Installation, Maintenance in Boulder, Coloraod

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Flatiron Solar Services:

Financing Affordable Solar


Leasing makes it easy with little or no money out of pocket. Just agree to lower your electric bill every month. Leasing arranges for a permanent discount on your electric bill for 25 years with little commitment. Easily end the lease at any time when you may be selling and moving away.


Investing in a solar electric or solar hot water system is smart. In less than ten years, the system will have paid for itself and then realize 15+ years of free electricity. The return on your investment is the highest with purchasing, better than most investment options in today’s market, usually greater than 5%. The risk is minimized by a couple of things; one being the system is insured for life through your home owners insurance policy, and the manufacturers warranty is a power production warranty for 25 years. The solar panels last more than 30 years producing less power every year by about 1%. Another factor is whether or not electric rates will increase; they have and will. And, your demand for electricity is constant, we all have to have it, why rent your electricity every month when you can buy. Invest the money up front to fix your cost of electricity for 25+ years.

New Construction and Refinancing

One of the easiest ways to finance your solar system is to include the cost into your mortgage. It lumps together your electric bill and mortgage into one payment. The length of the loan is nearly equal to the life of the solar system.


Home equity line of credit, loans from a bank or credit union.

ClimateSmart or EnergySmart

Boulder County is pioneering the way for financing in the way of loans to homeowners wanting to increase their energy efficiency and save money. Coming soon, both programs are expected to be announced, hopefully, in 2012.

Concept, Design and Installation

Let Flatiron Solar guide you in your decision of what type of solar system and how big of a solar system is best. We’ll consider your homes energy profile and suggest the best financial, economic, and natural solution. A Flatiron Solar representative will visit your home to measure your roof, assess the shading if any, and talk with you about rebates and tax credits.

The different types of solar systems produce electricity or heat. Choosing one or both for your home depends on two things, available sunny roof space to put the solar panels, the amount of electricity or gas used currently, and the price of those utilities. See How Much Does Solar Cost for sizing and cost.

There are several design options for a solar system. The first choice is hot water or electricity. One part of your decision is your personal choice for your own reasons. Maybe you think photovoltaic (electric) system is cool. You may want a solar electric system or you like the idea of making electricity from silicone or you like somebody else paying for half the system for you,

Some other reasons are explained in the benefits.

Types of Solar Systems

  • Solar Electric Grid Tied
  • Solar Electric Grid Tied with Battery Backup
  • No Solar Electric System with Battery Backup
  • Solar Electric Grid Independent (off-grid with batteries)
  • Solar Hot Water for Domestic Hot Water (DHW)
  • Solar Hot Water for Space Heating
  • Solar Hot Air System
Layout and Concept Drawing

Solar System Layout and Concept DrawingThe layout may be very important to the look and aesthetic appeal to your homes architecture. Typically a solar system is easily seen on your roof and you may want to know what it’s going to look like before purchasing. Flatiron Solar will create for you a concept drawing showing your home with a solar system. This will give you an idea of how much space the solar panels take up, how the conduit is routed from the roof to the area where your utility meter is located, and what components, disconnects and inverters, look like. These edited pictures will also be used as a pictorial guide describing each part and how to turn on/off the system so anybody can be comfortable operating their new solar system.


Installation is the labor of any solar system. How do you get the panels on the roof is sometimes a ladder and muscle, a lift, or a crane. All the details come together at this point to ensure a quality installation which is designed to last 50 years or more. Flatiron Solar always uses roof jacks or flashing for (picture) every anchoring foot or piping penetration. This ensures the solar system lasts at least for 30+
years. Every design detail is followed per the approved permit package and the manufacturer’s instructions and directions. All components are engineered to withstand the forces of nature such as hail, wind, and snow. After installation Flatiron Solar inspects everything and tests the production of the system.

Solar Panel Roof InstallatioinSolar Panel Installation, Boulder COSolar Sytem Installation

Permit Package Preparation

Flatiron Solar is familiar with many of the cities and counties permit requirements from installing systems throughout the Denver/Boulder metro area. We usually pass the first inspection because our trained and experienced employees and our master electrician is experienced and knowledgeable and up to date with the latest National Electrical Code (NEC). Everybody at Flatiron Solar has over five years experience designing installing and servicing solar systems. There won’t be a “new guy, learning on the job” on your home or business. The permit package, a concise and thorough assembly of documents, can be the key to an expedient and approved installation which meets and surpasses code requirements. This may be the technical part a homeowner do it yourself (DIY) may want Flatiron Solar to help with. Flatiron Solar maintains a friendly and open relationship with each and every inspector. The inspections are an important milestone of each project, not only for understanding the background of each safety aspect of the electrical code but also to demonstrate progress and completion of the steps to completing your project.

Electrical Diagram or One Line Diagram

Electrical Diagram Creation for you Solar SystemThe electrical diagram is called the one line diagram because the wiring is depicted in the diagram a one single line representing three or four or six wires in reality. This simplifies and clarifies the connections and routing of wires on a drawing which would otherwise be cumbersome to look at and understand. Filled with electrical calculations and the design of the system, it is closely looked at and approved by the inspector or Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

Verifying Solar Electric Production
Verifying Production of Electricity

Upon completion of every installation, a production verification letter is sent to each client. This letter answers the question, “How do I know the solar system is working?” This is determined by measuring the energy hitting the solar panels and seeing how much energy is being produced by the inverter, energy in versus energy out. Some energy is lost because of the conversion from DC to AC or solar panel electricity to home electricity...

Concept Drawing and Layout

Part of the design process is choosing the right panel, both for looks and function. A concept drawing will show your roof and home and then solar panels will be added to give you an idea of how they will look and where they will be installed. For some clients, this is the most important aspect as home pride if very important to maintain, it sometimes makes you happy driving up to your home and admiring the view. Associated with the looks, the number of panels possible can be determined by using a drawing or cad program. Some panels are inches longer or narrower allowing for one more column or row to get to that 100% elimination of your utility bill.


Repair and Maintenance

Maintenance of a Solar Hot Water System

Maintenance will keep your system harvesting the greatest amount of energy from the sun for many years. Often Flatiron Solar is servicing system from the late 70’s and early 80’s, the Jimmy Carter era of 60% tax breaks. These systems are 30 years old and still working. As with any mechanical system, periodic maintenance prevents damage to the system or the mechanical room. A solar system has water storage the same at a hot water heater which needs periodic replacement. Additionally the fluid transferring heat in the solar panels is typically antifreeze (propylene glycol), water, oil, or silicone, which periodically needs replacing, similar to an automobile’s antifreeze. Flatiron Solar will test the level of freeze protection and replace it if necessary. A visual inspection of the solar panels is critical to watch for leaks due to the hot and cold temperature cycles a panel will endure. Sometimes a joint where the constant expansion and contraction of the copper creates a hairline crack which will leak and reduce the performance of the system or cause the system to stop working. You’ve invested in a system and it’s worth protecting that investment to fulfill the expectation of years of reducing your energy costs in your home.

Solar System MaintenanceSolar System Maintenance
Maintenance of a Solar Electric System

Maintenance is minimal and can be performed by the homeowner. A visual inspection every so often to ensure the system is clean and working. Flatiron Solar will perform a more technical and thorough inspection:

  • Perform a production verification test, record results
  • Getting on the roof to inspect closely
  • Cleaning soil buildup
  • Cleaning any debris collecting under the array
  • Removal of energy robbing snow on the panels
  • Inspection for pests such as squirrels or birds
  • Battery testing, maintenance, water top off
  • Diagnostic and service for any failures
Power Monitoring

The monitoring of the performance of your solar system is my favorite and the most fun for the homeowner. Well, maybe second to getting your electric bill and seeing that the utility company owes you money. This is the modern equivalent of watching your meter spin backwards if you’ve heard that expression before. The amount of energy being harvested from the sun can be watched at any time from anyplace there is access to the internet. Monitoring is included with every system Flatiron Solar installs. It is the dashboard or the part where the client can interact with the solar system. It also, has a side benefit of showing you how much electricity you’re using, turn on the microwave and see a spike on the graph in your usage. Monitoring is accomplished by installing current sensors in your main breaker panel. Look online to see how much electricity you generated today, or how much power you’re using when nobody’s home.

Additional Services

Pest Control

Yes, solar does have pest control. The solar array on your roof is attractive to animals. Flatiron Solar installs screening for every client to prevent animals from building nests under your array. It can become expensive if a squirrel chews through the wires, or a nest gets to be a fire hazard with all the dry sticks and leaves, or the fecal matter creates an unsanitary situation. Flatiron Solar will repair any damage, remove and clean any built up debris, and install screening to prevent further issues with nature.

Solar System Pest Control by Flatiron SolarSolar System Animal Control by Flatiron Solar

Solar Hot Water System Removal

When a system is determined to no longer be of any use to a home’s energy system, Flatiron Solar will remove the solar panels from the roof and remove the (heavy) storage tank and controls from the mechanical room. The piping protruding through the roof will be capped. The hole sealed and roofed to maintain the integrity of the roof against leaks. The piping entering and leaving the mechanical room would be capped to prevent any remaining fluid or condensation to drip out. The storage tank can be cumbersome and all materials are recycled and disposed of properly. These systems are sometimes called “orphan systems” and need a new home.

Solar Panel Glass Replacement

Solar Panel Glass ReplacementLet Flatiron Solar replace the glass in your solar hot water panel. With our inventory of replacement glass and available personnel,
often we can replace it within 24 hours of calling us. Your system will be like new in no time. Flatiron Solar will perform a free inspection
to ensure the system is working properly.

Remove and Reinstall

When a homeowner is in need of a new roof, Flatiron Solar will work with all involved, roofing companies, insurance companies, and homeowners to ensure a smooth and prompt project. Often Flatiron Solar employees will be on the roof with the roofers working together with all involved, roofing companies, insurance companies, and homeowners to ensure a smooth and prompt project. Often Flatiron
Solar employees will be on the roof with the roofers working together to keep the project on time. The Flatiron Solar advantage is the roofing companies warranty is preserved, the roofers do all the roofing, flashing around the feet supporting the solar system. Flatiron Solar places the feet between “tear off” of the old shingles and installation of the new shingles. Then Flatiron Solar re-installs the solar system, re-commissions and tests for proper operation. Flatiron Solar reshaped the layout of a system when the homeowner mentioned the original shape wasn’t to her liking. We offered some options and agreed to which design was best. The system was on a triangular area of the roof and instead of the stair step edges, Flatiron Solar reduced the number of steps on one side to give a smoother edge to the array. Now the appearance of the solar array is more pleasing when walking up to the front door of the home.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Clients can utilize any number of Flatiron Solar services from system design, drawing an electrical diagram, layout of the array, to teaching the client how to install their own system. Save thousands of dollars by doing the labor yourself.

Do It Yourself Solar System InstallationInstalling your own solar energy stystem


General Contracting, Construction and Demolition

Flatiron Solar provides services supporting, pun intended, solar systems to simplify the number of contractors a homeowner coordinates with. A deck or roof which needs reconstructing, a foundation or concrete pad needs replacing, or excavating and landscaping is all within Flatiron Solar resources.


General Contracting Services: Before redesign after redesign


Boulder Demolishion & Redesign ServicesConstruction Services, Boulder, CO

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