Solar Direct Review

Large Scale Business Solar Project Management

Solar Direct are project managers at heart. They thrive on large scale solar projects to sink their teeth into, with initial inspections, recovery options for poorly implemented previous installations and custom designed solar systems. They partner with industry leading panel manufacturers to help you get the exact system and efficiency you’re looking for, and sell components in kits and individually, so you can scale up as you need.

Best For:
Large Corporations and Government

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Solar Direct Highlights

  • From residential projects to government installations

  • Wide range of solar products

  • Pre and post engineering inspections

Pros

  • Recovery of performance plans

  • Pre-engineering consultation available

  • Contractor and labor warranty

  • Buy components separately

  • Custom designed solutions

Cons

  • Residential only available in south east area

  • Best for large scale

  • No 24/7 customer support

Expert’s Score Breakdown

Overall rating: 4

  1. Equipment: 4

  2. Installation & Monitoring: 4

  3. Efficiency: 4

  4. Cost & Savings: 4

  5. Customer Support: 3.5

Equipment

Solar Direct sells everything solar you can imagine, from pool heaters and wind power to good old fashioned solar panels. With Solar Direct you can choose whether to buy a solar panel kit which contains everything you need to get started, or to buy components as you need them. The PV (photovoltaic) systems come with solar panels, inverter, charger and batteries. The batteries store excess electricity so that you are never without power, even at night or in the shade. Because the systems Solar Direct offers are modular, you can add onto your system as needed which makes it more cost-effective.

Types of panels

Solar Direct sells grid tie systems, which means you can take advantage of Net Metering. Simply put, this is the ability to sell unused electricity back to the energy company, virtually eliminating your utility bill. This type won’t need a battery. You can choose a system with a battery backup however. Solar Direct also sells off-grid standalone systems which work independently of the electric grid. Of course, the build-your-own option is also available, which means you can start with a small PV system and work upwards as you need to full energy independence.

The kinds of panels you can buy with Solar Direct vary, as they work with major industry leaders Solar World, Hyundai, Solartech, BP and others.

Installation & Monitoring

Project management here is done on a large scale. While the company can handle residential installations in their sleep, they really come into their own for large commercial or government energy systems. They help with every step of the way, from an initial evaluation of your site and project, obtaining certification such as LEED, consultation with designers to ensure you are keeping your operating costs below the competition, and post-installation monitoring once the project is complete.

Solar Direct provides maintenance which is preventative, keeping your systems protected from harsh weather or damage even before problems can come to the fore. If they do need any repair or replacement this is all done quickly and under the warranty. You can choose annual inspections, adjustments and troubleshooting options at any time.

Efficiency

Partnering with so many industry leading providers of solar panels, you can expect your choice of efficiency. Industry standard is around 15%, with the most efficient panels on the market today reaching anywhere up to 22.5%. This will vary depending on the weather and temperature in your location, the size of your panel space, sloping of the roof, amount of shade and other factors. Installation experts can do a thorough review and let you know what their expectations will be for your efficiency levels.

One great extra feature of Solar Direct is the post-installation check-ups of systems which other partners have installed. Solar Direct engineers will come and assess your efficiency, look at your system and create a recovery plan to make the most out of your poorly performing energy system and improve its solar efficiency.

Cost & Savings

Solar Direct doesn’t have a cost calculator on its website, and invites you to get in touch for a quote. Its engineers like to make an accurate cost/savings assessment and will come to your home or business to create a custom-design and financial plan for your energy system. Examples on the website of previous installations range from around $20,000-$40,000 for residential.

Tax savings

Federal tax credits can save you up to 30% on the price of buying a system, as well as the possibility of being eligible for schemes such as PACE, the Property Assessed Clean Energy financing. GreenSky is a credit technology platform which allows you to pay in small manageable monthly payments rather than in a large upfront cost. Customer services are friendly and knowledgeable on all your payment options and can talk through the best choice for you.

Customer Support

Solar Direct is part of a large group of companies who all pride themselves in excellent customer service. They have various ways to reach out. If you live locally, you can make an appointment to talk to a staff member about your solar energy, they prefer you to not just walk in without calling first. There are a number of telephone numbers and fax numbers on the website, as well as dedicated email addresses for sales, admin, technical support and website enquiries. The phone support is 9-5 EST, which supports the idea that Solar Direct is aimed at businesses and government rather than residential homes. The resources offered on the website for self-help are extensive. You can take a look at the project portfolio gallery, read customer testimonials, look at information on rebates and incentives as well as financing and look through a PDF of the product catalog to get more in-depth information on what’s on offer. Tutorials, videos, and archives are all available to browse.

Conclusion

Solar Direct is the best choice for large scale organisations and government solar installations. It offers a wide range of solar products including industry leading solar panels which high efficiency, and is unbeatable for engineering and monitoring extras both pre and post installation.

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