Category Archives: Solar Equipment

What are the most efficient solar panels on the market?

For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.

most efficient solar panels on the market energysage

As the race for the most efficient solar panel continues, it’s important to understand how more efficient panels could mean much bigger solar savings for the everyday consumer.

In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.

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Tesla solar roof cost vs. solar panels: worth the premium?

tesla solar roof vs solar panels

Tesla recently announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics.  But the question is ultimately does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is currently “no”. Just as Tesla’s luxury sports cars are out of reach for most drivers today, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for most American homeowners to justify spending their money on.

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Tesla’s solar panel roof: solar glass tiles are the new solar shingles

tesla solar roof shingles

If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent weeks, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. Now the concept of an integrated solar glass shingle – the Tesla solar tile – is on everyone’s mind. 

We had already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: thanks to a surprise appearance of Chairman Elon Musk in SolarCity’s 2nd quarter earnings call that lead to a highly anticipated Tesla solar roofing product launch at the end of October, we’ve now seen the future of PV roofing and the future of Tesla. One thing is certain: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a part of Tesla Motors – or should we say Tesla Energy’s – future.

*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. Timeline information offered on Tesla’s websites suggests that installations will begin in June on the west coast starting in California. Tesla’s roof installations will be administered by SolarCity, it’s newest asset. It is unclear when the roof product will be available nationwide though some estimates suggest it will be mid 2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.  

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When will Tesla’s solar roof be available, and should you wait for it?

should I wait for tesla solar roof

For those asking themselves, “should I wait for the Tesla solar roof?”, you are not alone. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has a well-earned reputation for creating innovative 21st-century products that combine attractive designs with exceptional performance – and generate high levels of consumer interest as a result. The latest Musk technology to make a splash is the Tesla solar roof, which he revealed to great fanfare in October 2016. Here’s everything you should consider before making your decision, including what Tesla roof rivals you should consider.

*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. The pre-order requires a $1,000 deposit that can be paid online with a credit card. Tesla’s roof is now expected to begin installation in June, 2017 in California. The roof will then be slowly rolled out across the country and installations will be administered by SolarCity. Some estimates suggest the roof will not be available nationwide until mid-2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.  

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Hybrid solar systems: which pairing of on and off-grid is right for you?

Grid tied vs. solar battery backup on EnergySage

Solar offers more than just an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. When you install solar panels on your roof, you are a step closer to taking your electricity production and consumption into your own hands. One of the biggest decisions solar shoppers have to make is whether to install a standard grid-tied solar energy system, a solar battery backup, or a hybrid solar system. Here’s everything that you should keep in mind when you’re comparing hybrid solar panel arrays to typical grid-connection or off-grid options

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Comparing Solar Panel Racks: Unirac, IronRidge, Quick Mount PV & Ecofasten Mounting

types of solar panel mounting

Solar panel racks like IronRidge and Unirac PV mounting apparatus are critically important but lesser known components of a solar panel system. When it comes to installing solar on your roof, there’s plenty of information available to help you compare solar panel options and inverter technologies. Some solar installers are even starting to offer different options for solar-plus-storage products that include a home battery. However, not much has been written about the various solar panel rack options available to mount the system on your roof. While these items don’t typically have a significant impact on your solar system’s performance, solar panel mounts are still an important part of the installation process. Read on to learn more about the top solar panel mounts from Unirac, IronRidge, and SnapNrack, as well as specialized products from Quick Mount PV, Ecofasten, and AllEarth Renewables.

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Best solar battery chargers: marine, RV and car battery chargers

solar battery chargers for phones cars and boats

Among today’s many uses for solar energy, one increasingly popular way to harness sunlight is with battery chargers that can power common home products. Outside of rooftop and utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), battery chargers might be the next best use for solar energy in terms of efficiency and practicality. A small panel can easily be placed next to a window to charge a phone, and a portable charger can be an easy way to power your car’s battery through the sunroof. In this article we’ll discuss the many ways a solar battery charger can be useful, including how solar works with cars, boats, RVs and small devices.

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Solar panel kits for sale: how much will they cost and how to compare them

comparing solar panel kits for sale on EnergySage

Most home solar panel systems are installed by a qualified solar installer, but more DIY-minded homeowners are exploring options like solar panels for sale online and solar panel kits available for purchase in hardware stores. If you’re one of the millions of Americans considering solar, you’ve probably come across some of the DIY solar products available – but do you know how to choose the best product out of all the solar panels for sale? Here’s your complete guide to finding the right option for your home.

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Solar Panel Installation Guide: the 5 Step Process

More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar. If you’re in the market for solar, you probably want to know what actually happens during a solar panel installation. There are five big steps that need to happen after you sign your solar contract before the solar panels on your roof can actually power your home, and a lot of it is behind the scenes. To show you what you can expect, we’ve outlined a simple five-step guide for the typical solar installation process.

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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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