Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies convert the sun’s radiation to an electrical current that can be used to power a home or business. For customers that are connected to the electrical grid, these systems will push excess power onto the grid for which the owner receives a credit.

For homes without grid power or those looking to have a more secure power supply, PV systems are connected to batteries that store excess electricity. The electricity generated by a PV system can power lighting, household appliances, mini-split heat pumps, electric vehicles, and countless other electrical consumers.

Roof Mounted

PV systems are commonly roof-mounted due to economics. Using a roof eliminates the expense of building a dedicated foundation for the solar array. It also elevates the modules, which is often of benefit if there are trees in the vicinity that might shade the array over time.

When installing a system on a client’s roof, we pay attention to the critical details of attaching to the building structure and seal all roof penetrations in accordance with industry best practices. On shingle roofs, this means the use of mechanical roof flashings for each screw that goes through the roof.

Grid-tied PV

Grid-tied solar electric systems utilize PV modules and inverters to deliver clean electricity. These systems first provide electricity to the electrical loads in the home or business. If the system generates more electricity than is being consumed, the excess is delivered to the grid. The utility measures the amount of electricity that the PV system delivers to the grid and provides a credit to the owner’s utility bill. In Maine, we have 12 months to use this excess electricity. Owners are not compensated for any surplus electricity that is generated during the 12-month cycle.

Grid-tied PV systems avoid the need for batteries, which create additional expense and maintenance. The tradeoff with a grid-tied system is that there is no stored energy in the home – at night, on a cloudy day, or during times of high use, electricity is purchased from the grid.

Battery storage can be incorporated with a grid-tied system to provide electricity when there is a power outage or to best utilize time-of-use electricity rates.

It is possible to install a system that offsets all of your electricity consumption through the net metering arrangement described above. Since these systems are modular, a smaller system can be installed based upon your budget or site limitations.

Ground Mounted

PV arrays may also use a fixed ground-mounted foundation oriented towards south and at an angle that maximizes the systems performance. While this increases cost, it may be preferable in locations where the roof is not an appropriate mounting location.

This approach eliminates any concerns related to the lifespan of the roofing and allows the system to be scaled to the size of the electrical demand. Ground-mounted systems are an ideal solution for community solar projects, which require large scale arrays.

Pole Mounted

Ground-mounted arrays can also be installed on a pole. This is a common approach for small systems used in grid-tied or off-grid systems. For larger pole-mounted systems, we can utilize a multi-pole mount. Each pole mount requires a concrete foundation that acts as ballast for the array.

Dual-Axis Tracking

For applications where the monthly electrical demand averages 1000 kilowatt-hours, a pole-mounted tracker is a cost-effective solution. Trackers allow the array to follow the sun’s path across the sky to maximize system performance. Because these systems seek to maximize electrical generation in the morning and the afternoon by staying normal to the sun, shading on the horizons should be minimal for optimal performance.

Off-grid PV

Off-grid PV systems utilize batteries to store electricity when there is sufficient solar radiation to satisfy the electrical demands in the home. The systems, also known as “standalone” systems, range from small systems for running emergency signs and lighting to systems that satisfy the full demands of a home or business. These systems are typically utilized in places where access to the grid is impractical or expensive. These systems are commonly used for seasonal cabins and homes located away from existing electrical infrastructure.

Some off-grid systems are supplemented by a generator that provides consistent power even when there is limited access to the sun. The demand for a generator depends upon the storage capacity of the battery bank, the electricity demand, and the ability for the PV modules to recharge the battery bank.

Due to the need for electrical reliability, the design process for off-grid system is very detailed and requires an accurate assessment of the electrical use at the site.

We provide the design and installation of certain off-grid PV systems and generators. Typically, our off-grid clientele are those who are looking for whole-house systems or larger camp systems. Due to the economics of designing and installing small off-grid systems, it is often difficult for us to attend to the design and installation of systems of one or two solar modules. If you are looking for guidance on a system to satisfy small electrical loads, we are willing to connect you with good resources for doing so successfully.

Sample some of our solar photovoltaic (PV) projects:

Monitoring

We offer system monitoring standard with every system we sell. If you have an Internet connection, our systems can provide remote monitoring that shows how much energy is being produced by the system and will send alerts to us if there are any issues that arise with the system. This provides accountability and quick response to any service issues that might arise.

Schedule Your Solar Consultation Today!

(207) 659-1054





  • Vaughan has professionally bridged the gap between being a contractor and being an advocate for Maine homeowners in their mission to save energy. He is not a ‘one size fits all’ in terms of efficiency and many times he has recommended our services over his own when looking at the types of challenges homeowners face when decreasing their carbon footprint.

    Bo Jespersen
    Owner / The Breathable Home
  • Working with the Insource Renewables team was for me not only a satisfying experience but also encouraging about the renewable energy industry itself. These people were well-informed and articulate in their advice and planning on my project.

    They brought the fruits of both long experience with solar design and deep conviction about the importance of renewable energy in today’s world. In follow-up, they have been generous and good-natured in answering questions.

    Phoebe Phelps
    Orland, Maine
  • We contracted Insource Renewables to install a solar heater for our swimming pool and a cluster of home energy improvements. We were very pleased with the expertise, integrity, and work ethic of Vaughan Woodruff and his fine team.

    We were consistently informed of and/or consulted on scheduled activities and events throughout. At every juncture, Vaughan and his team were obviously guided by the principle of doing what is right for the customer.

    We have recommended to our friends and continue to unreservedly recommend Insource Renewables for any energy-related projects.

    Michael Leblanc & Rosalie Williams
    Pittsfield, Maine
  • We are very happy with our new solar panels from Insource Renewables. It’s great that, now, our house is a power generation factory! Vaughan and the rest of the team are excellent, knowledgeable, friendly, proactive. Within 2 days of the start of the project, our meter was running backwards! It’s satisfying to make a small but real change in the severe climate issues that our planet is facing. I’m also really thankful that Vaughan connected us with the Greater Bangor Solarize program, which saved us over $2,000 on our installation! Vaughan provided us with many different options and answered so many questions that we had, until we found the solar project that was right for our family.

    Julie Gosse
    Orono, Maine
  • We discovered Insource Renewables (and Backyard Buildings in Unity) this Spring and were immediately taken with the concept of the “solar shed.” We knew we needed to build or buy a shed for some extra outdoor storage, and I’d always wanted to go solar at our house, so this made perfect sense!

    Matt, Vaughan, and the whole team at Insource were excellent to work with, answered all our questions, and made sure everything came together on this project. We are excited to be building out the inside of our shed while knowing we are making power every day just by having this system in our back yard.

    Great job all!

    Bruce Fitzgerald
    South China, Maine
  • When our heat pump had electrical issues, there are a couple of ways that this event could have gone. Insource could have blamed the manufacturer, basically come back and continued to tweak the unit, or – worse yet – not been terribly responsive overall. I can’t tell you how good and stress free it has felt to know that you guys have put the customer first and have done your absolute best in the matter.
    We are very grateful.
    Steve Podgajny
    Brunswick, Maine