Solar panels suffer from a somewhat ironic problem: You need more sun to generate more power, but the hotter the panels get, the less efficient the panels are. This inefficiency means that the sunniest months of the year might hold the most potential, but might not be the most productive months for your solar system. Solar enthusiasts have been searching for ways to get more power from their system for years, and solar panel cooling is a topic frequently discussed.
So, are you looking for ways to increase your solar panel output? Do you like to tinker and explore DIY projects to wring every ounce of performance from your rig? If so, then read on to explore why it is that solar panels have this problem in the first place, some ways in which technology is evolving to cope with the problem and find methods that many DIYers have used to tackle the problem on their own.
I’m happy to report that yes, you can indeed put solar panels on a flat roof! In fact, if you own a home with a flat roof and you’re considering getting solar power installed, then you’re in an enviable position. Though there are some trade-offs to contend with, in general, having a flat roof gives you a number of advantages over your pitched-roof peers.Continue reading
When you’ve committed to getting a solar panel installation, the very first thing your installer will do is perform a detailed site evaluation. Solar panels are not a one-size-fits-all solution – there are many factors that needs to be taken into account when designing a solar system to make sure it meets your needs. The evaluation is intended to answer these questions:
If you’re looking to dip your toe into solar power, a good place to start is with a 12/24V 400W DIY solar panel kit. In this article we’ll look at five examples, and go over what you need to determine the best solar panel kits for your needs.
For most of us, moving to a new state because solar panels produce more electricity there or they have higher financial incentives for going solar just simply isn’t going to happen. Even if you’re not moving, it’s good to know what other states offer to compare to your own situation, so you can know how your situation compares to others.
Below, we’ve chosen the best states to install solar using a variety of criteria, with an overall winner (and overall loser…) based on numerous criteria at the bottom.Continue reading
Whether you are leasing roof space for solar panels or paying cash outright, the amount of raw roof are you need for your solar installation depends on how much electricity you want to produce and how many solar panels you need. The more electricity you want to produce, the more roof space you’ll need for your installation.
The average solar panel is about 3’x5’, which adds up to an area of 15 square feet total. The average residential solar installation in the US is about 20 solar panels, which at 15 square feet each adds up to 300 square feet for the entire solar array (a fancy word for the group of solar panels). An easier way to think about a solar array’s size is that 4 solar panels (a total of 60 square feet) is about the same dimensions as a single car. So you can think of a 20 solar panel system as equal to about 5 cars lined up on the roof.Continue reading
We Energies is Wisconsin’s largest public utility, and provides electricity and natural gas to 4.4 million customers across four states. In December 2014, they proposed a $4 monthly flat rate increase in addition to a per-kilowatt-hour electricity rate increase for all customers. The fee hike was approved by Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission and was set to take effect in 2016, but the solar industry quickly joined together and filed an appeal to block its implementation.
Well, did you know the energy used in the average house is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car?
That’s right, your home is an energy suck, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five very easy ways to start saving on your home energy bill that go way beyond replacing your light-bulbs with CFLs. (Bonus: many of these are extremely cost-efficient!)
Great question. Before you commit to installing solar you want to know you’re working with a quality company.
Like finding any other product or service it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. But there are also a few important factors that can influence your choice of solar installer, most importantly whether you want to pay cash or lease a system. We’ve written about this before here so you may want to take a look before reading this: The Advantages of Paying Cash for Solar Systems.
If you’re looking at a solar leasing offer you may want to go with a big, national, reputable solar company. On the flip side if you’re paying cash it may make sense to go with a smaller but reputable local installer.Continue reading
Solar energy is reported to be the most abundant energy resource on earth—173,000 terawatts of solar energy is striking the Earth at any given time. As you consider whether solar energy is right for you, explore some of the following considerations.
Solar panels are installed on the roof of a buyer’s home to optimize sun absorption. Some homes are more equipped to facilitate such an installation, others may need to be reconsidered or restructured. Homes with one of the two roof extremes—steep or flat—may be less likely candidates for installation and efficiency. Homes that have large trees nearby, especially those with overhanging and shadow-casting branches, may also present efficiency challenges.