Installing solar panels vertically, typically on the outside wall of a building, can be an option when roof-top space isn’t available. However, higher installation costs coupled with lower production likely means vertical solar panels will remain a niche market in the solar industry. We’ll explain all that below, and let you know when going vertical might be a viable option.Continue reading
With so many manufacturers to choose from, it can be daunting to find the solar panels that perfectly fit your needs. How do you know which are the best solar panels for home use? They’re the ones that best balance efficiency, reputation, and cost. Let’s run through all the factors to consider when choosing the right panels for your home.Continue reading
Can you use solar panels to run air conditioner units? In a word, yes. If your home is connected to the grid and your solar installation is net metered, it is possible to use solar energy to cool your house. Many homes already do this!
Let’s take a look at AC energy requirements and typical solar production to see if solar panels can really run air conditioners in each setup.Continue reading
Solar inverter efficiency determines how well an inverter converts the DC electricity created by solar panels to AC electricity that can be used in our homes and by the grid. Inverters are an integral part of any solar installation. Without them, our installations would actually be useless, since we couldn’t use the electricity they produced.
No inverter is 100% efficient, as there will always be at least some loss of energy during the conversion process. However, inverters today enjoy very high efficiency, converting between 95% to 98% of all the DC electricity generated into AC, with manufacturers always reaching for that next step in performance.
Is solar inverter efficiency really that important? Is it worth spending a couple extra bucks for the most efficient solar inverter you can find? Let’s take a look at inverter efficiency to answer these questions and more!Continue reading
Off the top of my head, I can easily think of a couple of solar providers near me. If you’ve been jumped by Sunrun while shopping at Costco or talked at by SolarCity as you’ve browsed through Home Depot, you might think that they’re all that’s out there.
However, you couldn’t be further from the truth! While these 2 companies may be the biggest residential solar providers, there are thousands of solar companies across the US. Most of these are small, local companies, but other national or regional installers are out there too.Continue reading
Let’s be blunt: a 100-watt solar panel is actually pretty small. You’re not going to power your whole home with a 100 watt panel. For reference, solar panels for rooftop installations typically fall around 260 to 300 watts – that’s 3 times as big as a little 100 watt panel. Solar panels for utility-scale installations or large businesses are even bigger!
So just how big is a 100-watt panel, and what can you do with it? Let’s take a look.Continue reading
You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about solar installation costs and how they’re constantly falling, but maybe you’re left wondering how you can tell if you’re getting a good deal. For your panels specifically, how do you know if you’re getting a great bargain? Today, we’re going to find out how much the average panel costs, to help you better understand the entire costs involved in going solar!Continue reading
You want your solar panels to deliver the maximum amount of energy possible, right? But did you know how your solar panels are connected within the electrical wiring of your house makes a difference in how well they work? Connecting your solar panel in series vs parallel affects current flow and is dictated by your installation’s setup.
Warning: Science below! While we’re not going to get too deep into the details, the difference between connecting solar panels in series vs in parallel is an intermediate level solar discussion. If you’re looking for something a bit more on the beginner level, check out our articles How Do Solar Panels Work? and Everything You Need to Know About Solar Inverter Types.
OK, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we’re ready!
A 4kW installation covers about half of an average home’s electricity use, but what does 4kW really mean? Below, we look at what a 4kW solar system actually is, how much space a 4kW installation takes up on your roof, and how much it costs to install.Continue reading
Scientists love it. The media love it. Salesmen love it. With all the love going around, one might end up thinking… oh, I dunno, that solar panel efficiency is the be all and end all of everything.