Tag Archives for " solar technology "

First Solar: Reviews of their Business and Products

first solar reviews

Who is First Solar, and what makes them different?

Let’s take a look at First Solar reviews of their products, what the solar industry thinks of the company, and compare them to a handful of other manufacturers.

First Solar is a solar panel manufacturer and installer focused on large, utility-scale solar power plants. They own and control each step of the manufacturing and installation process: panel production, sales, installation, monitoring, and recycling of the solar panels once they’ve met the end of their useful life.

While they don’t work in the residential sector and so their name might not be familiar to you, they’ve left a huge imprint on the solar industry. They’ve installed over 17 gigawatts of solar worldwide – enough to power almost 300,000 average sized homes and in 2016, they were the 6th biggest solar panel manufacturer in the world. However, their products are quite different than the others on that list!

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The Best Indoor Solar Lights

indoor solar lights

A great step toward going solar without committing to a solar installation.

If you’re thinking of going solar, powering small household items — particularly your lights — can be a great first step. Lights are an indispensable tool we use daily, and can easily be powered by the sun. You don’t even need to hire a company to install panels on your roof to do it!

Today, we’ll figure out what exactly are indoor solar lights, their pros and cons, and then offer you a range of bestsellers to get you started.

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SolarEdge vs Enphase Energy: The Battle Continues

solaredge vs enphase

Which inverter wins the battle of module-level optimization?

With the inverter such a cornerstone component of your solar installation, it pays to take some time to find the best option for you. SolarEdge and Enphase both manufacture premium module-level inverters. But between SolarEdge vs Enphase, which one is better? Let’s walk through what makes each product unique and list their pros and cons to help you decide.Continue reading

The World’s Biggest Solar Panel Manufacturers of 2017

solar-panel-manufacturers

Looking at this year’s 10 biggest manufacturers of solar panels

Over the last ten years, the solar industry has grown at an almost unbelievable pace. From 2005 to 2016, total solar panel production increased from a paltry 1.4 gigawatts to 70 GW – an increase of 4,900%! (See NREL report below for stats.) Today, let’s take a look at the companies that make this happen – the world’s ten biggest solar panel manufacturers.

In 2016, these companies produced about half of that 70 GW total, with each shipping between 2.2 and 5 GW of solar panels. That’s enough solar for each company to power between 385,000 and 1 million average-sized rooftop installations!

For the most part, all the manufacturers produce ‘standard’ solar panels for both residential and commercial installations (panels for commercial systems are larger), though some also offer special products like frameless panels, panels with premium components, batteries, and mounting systems as well.

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Solar Lanterns: Everything You Need To Know

solar lanterns

Whether you’re in your yard or exploring the outdoors at night, light your way using the sun!

We know that we can harness energy from the sun to power our homes. But what about using solar power in other environments? As solar energy becomes a more widely used resource, its uses have expanded. I’ve seen solar-powered water heaters and even solar powered street lights! Today we are going to look at the ease and convenience of solar powered lights, specifically solar lanterns.

Solar lanterns are an economical, convenient way to brighten an area, whether you are camping in the wilderness or just going out in the backyard. We’ll go over some pros and cons, and recommend a few quality solar lanterns for your outdoor needs.

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Taking a Closer Look at a Solar Panel Diagram

solar panel diagram

We break down a solar panel to find out what’s inside

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

What New Solar Technology Developments Will We See in 2018?

new-solar-technology

We delve into six new solar technologies set to take off

The solar industry is young and enthusiastic. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of companies and universities actively researching, developing, and testing new solar technology and new products every day. Some are tweaking our existing silicon solar panels to make them more attractive or more efficient. Others are devising entirely new ways to produce electricity with sunlight.

When you think about it, all this innovation makes sense. We often naturally group the solar industry with companies that provide electricity (i.e. utilities) but really solar is a technology, not a service. Instead, we should be boxing solar companies together with other technology companies, like Apple, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. (Actually, LG and Panasonic make solar panels!)

And, as with any company in the technology industry, solar manufacturers and researchers are always trying to create the next great product that is cheaper, more beautiful, easier to install, or produces more energy.Continue reading

How Much Do Solar Windows Cost? Are They Worth It?

solar-windows-cost

Can solar windows be a viable alternative to solar panels?

You might have heard talk that solar windows are going to be the next big thing in solar. I mean, how cool would it be to look out your window and know that they’re producing electricity while you do it? While there are one or two companies actually manufacturing solar windows, many questions remain: are they really a viable option? Can you install them on your home? How much do solar windows cost?

If you’re ready to hop on this bandwagon, don’t jump quite yet. Currently, solar windows are still in the nascent stages. Only a handful of companies are actually manufacturing them and, while they are certainly super-cool, they’re still miles away from being commercially viable.Continue reading

Air Pollution: The Impact of Fossil Fuels vs Solar

air-pollution

Solar does contribute to air pollution, but its emission-free electricity production negates the manufacturing process

Pollution has been around in one shape or another for as long as humans have been walking upright and building fires. Although those early campfires were unlikely to cause any real air pollution or lasting threat to the health of the planet, things have only gotten worse.

If we take a look back through history, people have long recognized air pollution as a serious threat that can shorten the lives of people around the world because they are breathing in harmful chemicals and particulates.

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Why You Won’t See the New Prius Solar Roof in the US

prius solar roof

Your questions answered about the Prius Prime’s solar roof

Earlier this year, Panasonic (the same company that manufactures Tesla’s latest low-profile, roof-mounted solar panels) made a pretty exciting announcement. The company developed a new type of PV module specifically meant for the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota debuted the new car at the New York Auto Show in March 2017. That’s right – there is now a Prius solar roof option for this popular vehicle.

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