Category Archives: Solar Equipment

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 – Elon Musk announced Tesla will begin taking orders for a prospective waiting list for the solar roof in April. Tesla’s roof is now expected to reach consumer’s homes before the end of 2017.  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 is yet to release any pricing information for their roof or standard panel offerings. 

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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.

*Update – Elon Musk announced Tesla will begin taking orders for a tentative waiting list for the solar roof in April. Tesla’s roof is now expected to reach consumer’s homes before the end of 2017.  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 is yet to release any pricing information for their roof or standard panel offerings. 

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Best solar inverters review: SolarEdge vs. Enphase vs. SMA vs. Tigo

best solar inverters enphase vs solaredge vs sma

If you want to maximize your solar energy system’s production, finding the best solar inverter is as important as the solar panels you choose. For an “uncomplicated” roof – one that faces south and has no gables, chimneys, or other obstructions that can cast a shadow – the best solar inverter for you may be a standard string inverter. However, more than half of new residential solar installations are using module-level power electronics (MLPEs) like power optimizers and microinverters to maximize electricity production.

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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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How do inverters work? Comparing solar inverter technologies

how inverters work

Solar panels aren’t the only component that you should be thinking about when you evaluate your solar system equipment. Inverters play an equally important role in a solar energy system: they convert the electricity your solar panels create into a form that can be used by the appliances, lighting, and other electronics that are in your home. Once you understand how inverters work, and the different types of inverters available for solar, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace can help you compare solar quotes with different inverter types.

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How to build your own solar panel system

build your own solar panels EnergySage

When you install solar panels, your home produces its own clean, zero-emissions electricity. If you’re DIY-minded, you can build your own solar power system. In some cases, you can even build your own solar panels, although the amount that you can effectively DIY home solar depends on how much you want to power.

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SunPower Solar Panels: The Complete Review

SunPower solar panels review 

SunPower solar panels are one of the most frequently requested solar panel brands on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, and for good reason. Their panels are some of the most efficient products on the market today, and they offer an industry-leading warranty. EnergySage’s SunPower reviews take a look at the technical specifications of SunPower solar panels as compared to other manufacturers to answer the question, once and for all, of whether SunPower is actually the best solar panel brand on the market.

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How do solar batteries compare? Tesla Powerwall vs. Sonnen batterie vs. Aquion vs. LG Chem RESU

compare solar battery companies Tesla Sonnen LG Aquion

Home energy storage is a relatively new technology that’s steadily gained interest over the past few years, and it’s hard to know where to start when comparing all your options. Solar batteries make it possible for homeowners and businesses to store their excess solar energy instead of sending it back to the grid, so that when the power goes out or electricity rates spike they can keep the lights on. If you want to install a solar battery at your home, you have a few different choices currently available to you. Compare the Tesla Powerwall vs. Sonnen eco vs. LG Chem vs. Aquion Aspen in terms of capacity, warranty, and price.

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Solar canopy installations: bring shade and clean energy to your parking lot

solar parking canopies EnergySage

The financial and environmental benefits of solar are greater than ever, and companies looking to benefit can now install a solar canopy over their parking lots to share in the savings. Businesses across the country are building solar parking lots that provide shade for cars while simultaneously generating renewable energy – and they’re saving thousands of dollars on electricity bills in the process.

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What are solar panels made of? List of solar PV materials

what are solar panels made of

Solar has entered the mainstream as the world’s cheapest energy source, leaving many people wondering how solar PV can be so efficient and inexpensive while still providing “green” energy. Answering that question means understanding how solar panels work and what exactly they’re made of. Most solar panels available on the market are made of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film (“amorphous”) silicon. In this article, we’ll explain the different ways solar cells are made and what materials are required to manufacturer a solar panel.

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