Category Archives for "Solar Basics"

The Beginner’s Guide to the Solar Backup Generator

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If you hate being left in the dark, why not consider a Solar Backup Generator?

Even if you have rooftop solar panels, you’ll still draw power from your utility after the sun goes down or on cloudy days. That’s fine under normal conditions, but when there is a power outage, you’ll be left without electricity. The only way to prevent a loss of power is by installing a backup generator.

A solar backup generator is simply a battery or set of batteries that your solar panels charge up when it’s sunny. If the grid goes down or even when it’s dark outside, you can draw power from that bank of batteries.

If you want to learn more about solar backup generators and how to avoid being stuck in the dark, read on.

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What are Common Problems with SolarCity?

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Are There Problems with SolarCity?

SolarCity – more than other solar installer – instills polarized opinions from anyone and everyone who knows a little about the solar industry. Some would put absolute trust in SolarCity (most likely because Mr. Tesla is so heavily involved) while others wouldn’t come close with a 50 foot pole. In fact, some have been saying bailout is a more appropriate label for Tesla’s recent buyout of the still-not-yet-profitable solar installer (though to be fair, unprofitability is common for large national solar companies). With that said, what are the problems with SolarCity?

More on this below.Continue reading

How Do I Evaluate If I Should Go Solar or Not?

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Should I go solar or not?

Why should I go solar? Everyone’s got an opinion. And in the age of information, everyone’s got an opinion online. Which is handy for wasting years of your life. But not so for finding anything resembling the truth.

That’s where we come in.

See, we know a thing or two about solar. And it’s our mission to wade through the flotsam of speculation to find the solar facts, so you don’t have to.

So, sit back, relax and pop a cold one while we answer the topic of the day:

Should I go solar?Continue reading

How Much Energy Does the Sun Produce?

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To answer the question “How much energy does the sun produce?” we turn to scientists for an answer.

If we want to move away from fossil fuels and to more earth-friendly and renewable sources of energy, we must be sure that any alternatives will provide us with enough energy to meet our needs. But how much energy does the sun produce? And is it enough?
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How Big and Expensive Is a 6kW Solar System?

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How big is a 6kW solar system exactly and what does it cost?

Solar installations can be very small such as 2 kW (kilowatt) installations composed of just 8 panels, or they can be large 25 kW systems with over 100 panels! This large playing field for installation size might make a 6kW solar system look fairly small, but in all actuality it’s very close to the size of a vast majority of residential solar installations.

So what do 6kW mean and, just as importantly, how much does it cost? Read on to find out!Continue reading

Why Backyard Solar Panels Are More Expensive

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If your roof is not pitch perfect for solar panels, what do you need to consider regarding backyard solar panels?

Considering installing solar panels and weighing up rooftop versus backyard solar panels?

In this article, we’re going to guide you by the hand through what you need to know, and all the areas where your installer might sneak in a few extra cents.

First, we’ll explain why backyard solar panels are more expensive than rooftop panels, and then we’ll look at additional costs to watch out for when making the solar switch.Continue reading

What are the Benefits of Solar Energy?

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Taking a societal look at the benefits of solar energy.

As you can probably imagine, there are many benefits of solar energy. We’ve written about the benefits and drawbacks of solar before in our October 2016 Solar Energy Pros and Cons – Top 10, but in that article we mostly focused on issues important to homeowners going solar – solar panel efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the high upfront cost of solar panels.

Today, let’s take a step back and look at the benefits of solar energy on a much wider scale. We’ll delve into how solar can benefit a nation or society’s economy while increasing energy independence and financial security.Continue reading

How to Install Solar Panels on a Rooftop

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When anchoring solar panels onto your rooftop, installers have two main objectives.

First is to ensure that all the panels are safely and securely attached to the roof. You don’t want them flying off at the first breeze!

Second, ensure that all connections to the roof are (and remain) leak-free. To this end, rubber gaskets, flashing, and sealant are all used in abundance, along with good engineering practices so the installation affects the roof as little as possible.Continue reading

How Big and Expensive is a 15kW Solar System?

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Find out how much you can save by installing a 15kW solar system

You’ve done some math or maybe you’ve talked to an installer and found that a 15kW solar system installation will cover your electricity needs quite nicely. Great!

But there is one problem. You’re scratching your head, wondering what exactly does 15 kW mean? And even more importantly, how big and expensive is a 15 kW solar system?Continue reading

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