Category Archives: Solar 101

How Many Sunlight Hours Do I Need? Calculating Peak Sun Hours

how many sunlight hours do solar panels need

When weighing the decision of whether or not going solar makes sense for your roof or location, one of the first questions you may ask is “how many sunlight hours do I need for solar to be worth it?” The reason this question is important is because there is a significant range across the country for average peak sun hours. In this article, we’ll explain which states offer the best sun hour value and how much sunlight intensity in your state should impact your decision to go solar.

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Is Solar Energy Worth it in New York in 2017?

new york solar energy graphic

There’s no question that New York state is headed in the right direction. Find out why now is such an exciting time for sunshine in the big apple.

Are you considering a solar energy system for your home or business in New York, but want to know more about the costs and benefits before making a decision? In this article we look at the reasons why going solar is a good idea in New York, and also examine the various incentives and financing options that may be available to you if you are a New York resident.

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Why are solar panels so expensive? Understanding the cost of a solar panel system

The Cost of a Solar Panel System

While the most expensive part of going solar is paying for the equipment, it still only represents 25 percent of the overall expense. Soft costs, or the outlays that installers spend just trying to find you and appeal to you, also contribute a significant percentage. Here’s a breakdown so that you can understand the cost of a solar panel system, plus tips on how you can save money!

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What to Know About a Solar Panel Warranty

What is a solar panel warranty?

A solar panel has two warranties: a performance and equipment guarantee. A solar panel’s performance warranty will typically guarantee 90% production at 10 years and 80% at 25 years. An equipment warranty will typically guarantee 10-12 years without failing. SunPower offers the best warranties.

A solar panel’s product warranty insurance covers the integrity of the panel itself, and protects you against problems such as manufacturing defects, environmental issues, premature wear and tear etc. As with most warranties, a longer period is generally more advantageous to you, if you own your solar panel system. When evaluating a solar panel warranty and its manufacturer, the two most important factors on which you should focus are:

1. Product (or materials) warranty, and
2. The performance warranty
We’ll address both of these in this article as we break down our process for finding the best solar warranties offered by manufacturers.

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Solar Power as a Retirement Investment Strategy

solar as a retirement investment strategy

Solar power is a smart retirement investment strategy for many homeowners.

Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available. By viewing a home solar panel system as an investment opportunity, homeowners can reduce or even eliminate their electricity bills, freeing up more than $1,000 in cash each year. With the increased availability of $0-down solar loans, homeowners that lack the cash required for an upfront purchase can still take advantage of solar as a retirement investment strategy.

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What is an SREC? Net metering credits explained

what is an srec graphic People often think SRECs and net-metering are the same thing, but really, the comparison is like apples to oranges. It’s true that they are both important to getting the best financial results from your solar PV system, but SRECs and solar net-metering actually have very different, distinct functions.

SRECs are a way to put cash in your pockets while net-metering is an efficient way to manage the finances related to your utility bill. Both can have positive financial effects and understanding the difference between the two can help you, as the owner of a solar PV system, to maximize the benefits of both. Here’s how it all works: Continue reading

How do solar panels work at night and on cloudy days?

How do solar panels work at night?

If you’ve been wondering “do solar panels work at night?”, you’re certainly not alone. If you choose to rely on solar panels for your home electricity use, it’s important to understand how solar panels can be a reliable source of power during night time when there is no available sunlight.

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Alternatives to solar panels for home: solar sheds and other solar covers

rooftop solar alternatives

Homeowners across the United States are reducing their electricity costs and their carbon footprints by installing solar. For many solar shoppers, rooftop systems are the best home solar option. However, not every home has a roof that’s suitable for solar. Certain roof types, like slate and cedar tiles, are too fragile for solar panels. If trees shade your roof, you’ll have less-than-ideal solar electricity production, and some homeowners’ associations and historical associations have rules that restrict solar panel installations.

Luckily, there are a variety of alternative solar options for every situation. Whatever the reason is that you can’t install rooftop solar, there’s a solution available that can suit your needs.

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Key metrics for comparing solar panels: PTC solar, STC rating and temperature coefficient

So you’ve made the decision to go solar. Well done! If designed right, a solar power system is a great, long-term investment with both financial and environmental benefits.

Choosing the right solar panels is one of the most important steps in designing your solar power system. There are hundreds of options, and while all panels are designed for one purpose – to convert sunlight directly into electricity, not all panels are created equal. Different solar cell technologies and the quality of manufacturing can impact the performance of ysolar panel quality and performance energysageour panels. For these reasons, comparing solar panels and finding the right one to meet your specific system needs can sometimes be a complicated task; but, it doesn’t need to be.

In this article we’ll explain important metrics like PTC power rating, STC, degradation rate, efficiency and temperature coefficient.
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Low cost solar panels for your home: how expensive is solar in 2017?

residential solar panels for home use

The past decade has engendered the era of solar panels for home use. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, necessitated by emissions reduction targets in a time of global climate change. Amidst this period of energy reform, solar panels for home are taking off at a remarkable rate. It’s time to give residential solar the credit it deserves. Learn everything there is to know about the booming residential solar industry in our list of home solar FAQs. Continue reading