Category Archives: Solar Equipment

Forward Labs solar roof: everything you need to know about the Tesla solar roof competitor

forward labs solar roof

Elon Musk put solar roofs on the map with his October 2016 reveal of the Tesla solar roof, but he isn’t the only one focused on this innovative new solar installation format. Forward Labs, a self-funded startup, offers their own solar roof product and they could give Tesla a run for their money. Here are the answers to every question you might have about one of the Tesla solar roof’s top competitors.

Continue reading

Do solar panels work in shade?

shade solar panels

If the sun isn’t shining on your solar panels, they won’t be able to produce energy. When trees or other obstructions are shading solar panels, efficiency losses and reduced power generation may become problematic. In this article we will examine the effects of shade on solar panel production and efficiency.

Continue reading

Can solar panels withstand hail and survive hurricanes?

Like any outdoor equipment, solar panels are subject to the changing weather. Depending upon where you live, your panels may experience heavy rain, high winds, or even hail. In this article we’ll examine how solar panel systems stand up to intense weather conditions, and what government organizations and industry groups are doing to improve their products and protect consumers from weather-related solar panel damage.

Continue reading

Smartflower solar: the complete review

Smartflower solar review

The Smartflower is an all-in-one ground mounted solar system with a tracker that follows the sun. However, it doesn’t look like the solar panels you might be used to. Learn all about the product’s revolutionary technology, how it compares to other solar options, and whether you should consider one for your home in EnergySage’s Smartflower solar review.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.  

Continue reading

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.  

Continue reading

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

Continue reading