Category Archives: Solar Equipment

What is the power output of a solar panel?

power output of a solar panel

Power output or wattage is an important factor to consider when comparing solar panel options. You may hear your solar installer say, “it’s a 255 Watt panel” or “the panel I am recommending is a 300 wattage.” Or, when you are reading a quote from a solar installer, you might see numbers like 245W, 300W, or 345W next to the name of the panel. They are all referring to a solar panel’s wattage, capacity and power output. So, what is the typical output of solar panels?

This piece will explain how solar panel ratings work so you can better compare your solar options. All solar panels are rated by the amount of DC (direct current) power they produce under standard test conditions. Solar panel power output is expressed in units of watts (W), and represents the panel’s theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. Most solar panels on the market today have power output ratings ranging from 200 to 350 watts, with higher power ratings generally viewed as being more favorable than lower power ratings. Pricing in solar is typically measured in dollars per watt ($/w), and the wattage of your solar panels plays a significant part in the overall cost of your solar system.

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Panasonic solar panels: the complete review

Panasonic solar panels review

Panasonic is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and an increasingly popular choice for U.S. homeowners installing solar. Whether you’re trying to decide between SunPower vs. Panasonic solar panels or simply evaluating your solar PV options, thoroughly reviewing the product options available to you is the best way to be confident in your solar investment. EnergySage’s Panasonic reviews take a look at the technical specifications of Panasonic solar panels to evaluate how they compare to other manufacturers on the market.

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Solar Panels and Electric Cars: Can I Use Solar as an EV charger?

solar panel charging electric car battery on EnergySage

Solar panels and electric cars are a match made in heaven ­– when you install a solar energy system on your home, you can use it to both power your home and charge your electric car for emissions-free transportation. The cost of solar is falling rapidly, and companies from Tesla to Nissan are manufacturing electric cars for your daily use. Now, the ability to install a solar PV system large enough to power both your home and your car is an option within reach. But even with incentives and rebates available for both technologies, most homeowners still can’t afford to install solar and buy an electric car at the same time. Luckily, it’s easy to install a solar energy system today that takes your future electricity consumption into account, if you take a few additional factors into consideration.

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How long do solar panels last?

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners considering a solar panel installation is, “how long will my solar panels last?” It’s hard to make sense of the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect that small power plant on your roof to produce ample energy. Your solar panels will be able to offset your electricity use for decades, but it is also important to understand industry projections and degradation rate. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about solar panel lifespan.  Continue reading

Thin film solar panels: Do they make sense for residential?

thin film solar panels graphic

In a world where new solar panels and breakthroughs in solar technology are emerging almost every month, homeowners have a lot of panel options to choose from in 2017. Among the many innovations in the panel manufacturing space, none may be more appealing and visually exciting than thin film (TF) solar panels. In this article we’ll dig into what makes thin film stand out from standard silicon photovoltaic (PV) panels and offer some insight on when thin film solar is an ideal option for homeowners and the residential market.

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Solar panels for boats: why PV battery chargers make sense

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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New solar panels: what’s coming to market in 2017?

03-new-solar-panels

In today’s fast expanding solar industry, there are already hundreds of different panel models and designs available to the modern day solar shopper. A growing number of premium technology brands (think Panasonic and LG) are entering the residential solar market, leaving homeowners across the country wondering: what’s next? What new technologies can we expect for solar panels in 2017? In this article we will discuss all of the new developments with photovoltaic (PV) panels, including new  aesthetics like clear solar panels, bi-facial (double-sided) panels, efficiency improvements and solar inverter integration.

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Grid-Tied Solar vs. Solar Battery Backup: Which 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 fully off-grid solar energy system. Here’s everything that you should keep in mind when you’re deciding between grid-tied solar vs. an off-grid solar battery backup system.

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Suniva Solar Panels: The Complete Review

Suniva solar panels review

Suniva is one of the top solar manufacturers available on the market today in the United States. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and manufactures its products in the U.S. from 80 percent American-made materials – one of the highest percentages in the world for solar equipment. For many homeowners, Suniva solar panels fit squarely into the “sweet spot” between quality and affordability. The company is also frequently used in installations for national solar leasing companies like SolarCity. EnergySage’s Suniva solar panels review breaks down all of the details to show how Suniva compares to other solar panel brands on the market. 

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Comparing Solar Panel Mounts: Unirac, IronRidge, AllEarth Renewables, SnapNrack, Quick Mount PV & Ecofasten

types of solar panel mounting

Solar panel mounts like AllEarth Renewables, IronRidge and Unirac 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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