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
Maine is the most northeastern state in the continental U.S, and is a bit of an outlier when it comes to solar. However, for those living in there, Maine solar is still a great deal worthy of consideration.
Despite an aggressive renewable portfolio standard on paper, there is almost nothing in the way of incentives for residents outside of the federal tax credit.
Read on to discover how much profit you stand to make with Maine solar, and whether or not it makes sense for you in your current situation!
Residents of Big Sky Country often find themselves looking up at the beautiful night sky, but it turns out that the daytime sky is quite impressive for a different reason! Montana Solar may not be catching a lot of traction yet, but its flexibility in rural areas, coupled with a substantial return on investment, indicates that this form of energy could be an excellent choice for interested residents.
We'll take a look at just how much profit you could make in Montana and discuss all of the ins and outs of purchasing, local policies, and potential incentives. Let's see what we have to work with here!
Texas’ electricity infrastructure is quite an anomaly when compared to most states. Instead of one electricity company both generating the electricity and maintaining the equipment to get it to you (poles, wires, transformers, etc), Texas is a deregulated market.
As such, Texas residents can purchase electricity from any electricity generation company they choose, though one company (Oncor in Dallas) is responsible for maintaining the local electricity grid.
Deregulation was meant to lower electricity prices for customers by introducing competition into an industry that has historically been dominated by quasi-monopolies regulated by the state.
In Dallas, you can choose from dozens of electricity providers. Some provide the cheapest electricity possible, while others are more expensive but offer incentives or bonus programs. Some even sell 100% clean energy (Green Mountain Energy, for example).
All this is great, but what if you want to produce your own electricity by installing solar? In this unique market, what kind of return could you see and how much would it cost? Does Dallas or its utilities offer any special incentives for going solar?
On first glance, solar panels are pretty simple pieces of technology. Sunlight hits them and they produce electricity, then flows out of a wire to whatever you want to power. Done. There’s no motors and no moving parts (electrons are the only moving object in a solar panel). However, when you take a closer look at a solar panel diagram, you’ll see they are actually incredibly complex.
Today, let’s break down what exactly composes a solar panel so that we can learn a little more about this wonder of the modern world.Continue reading
SolarCity and Sunrun are the two biggest residential solar installers in the US. Together, they account for about 40% of the entire solar market, with SolarCity at 30% and Sunrun around 10% (p.12).
If you've thought about installing solar, you're probably familiar with these two companies and you've probably wondered which one's better: SolarCity vs Sunrun.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
Residential solar installations run from a measly 2kW to a monstrous 25kW (or even bigger). Twenty-five kilowatts (kW) is a huge solar installation (at least for residential projects), equal to about 100 solar panels.
Don’t have that much space on your roof? Don’t worry! Most installations, such as the 5kW solar system, are well below that size. Most of us don’t even use enough electricity to warrant an installation that big! In fact, according to the National Renewable Energy Lab (p.5), the average installation is about 5.6kW.
Today, let’s take a peek at a 5kW installation to understand exactly how big that is, how much you can expect to pay for one, and how much you can save by installing a system of this size.Continue reading
Solar installations can be quite expensive, so we all want to find ways to cut costs. Usually this means simply pricing out the job with several installers or choosing mid-priced equipment. For those of us who are more hands-on, this might even mean buying used solar panels.
While used solar panels are certainly cheaper than new models, there are some serious issues to consider before buying them. You need to assess your project and weigh your options carefully before moving forward.Continue reading