Author Archives: Luke Richardson

what are solar panels made of

What are solar panels made of and how are they made?

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 energy work, how solar panels are manufactured and what the parts of a solar panel are. Most 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 parts are required to manufacture a solar panel.

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solar panel installation

How to install solar panels

More than a million homes have already gone solar in the U.S., and many more homeowners are considering installing solar PV systems. If you’re in the market for a clean energy system like solar,, you probably want to know what actually happens during a solar panel installation or even how to install solar panels yourself. There are several main steps that need to happen between deciding to go solar, signing your contract and your home being powered by solar electricity. Most of that is behind the scenes. To show you what you can expect, we’ve outlined a simple guide for how to set up solar panels for your home.

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Ten facts solar

16 facts about solar energy that you didn’t know before

The U.S. solar industry has witnessed remarkable growth in the past decade while the cost of solar has declined by nearly 70 percent. Prices reached an all time low in Q4 of 2020 across all segments of the industry, meaning solar energy has never been more affordable and accessible. Now that solar has entered the mainstream, everyday homeowners are starting to wonder how much solar could save them and how simple making the switch really could be. If you’re starting to think about installing solar panels, it’s helpful to understand the big picture for solar power. In this article, we’ll break down ten solar energy facts that shed some light on key parts of the industry.

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solar panel generating electricity for a home

How do solar panels work? The science of solar energy explained

Solar panels harness the sun’s energy to generate usable electricity. At a high level, solar cells absorb incoming sunlight to generate an electrical current through what’s known as the “photovoltaic effect”. This electrical current is captured by plates and wires and turned into a usable energy current that is sent to your home and appliances. In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce renewable energy for your home.

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solar battery charger

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

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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history of solar energy graphic

What is the history of solar energy and when were solar panels invented?

Though solar energy has found a dynamic and established role in today’s clean energy economy, there’s a long history behind photovoltaics (PV) that brought the concept of solar energy to fruition. With the way the cost of solar has plummeted in the past decade, it’s easy to forget that going solar had a completely different meaning even just 15 years ago. Let’s go back a few centuries to the origins of solar PV and explore the history of solar energy and silicon solar technology.

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how much do solar panels save

How much do solar panels save?

Most solar shoppers can save between $10,000 and $30,000 on electricity over the lifetime of a solar panel system. Solar panels aren’t just good for the environment – you can benefit from serious savings which can vary based on a number of factors including your location, current energy usage trends, and the solar panel system.  Most importantly, solar savings are influenced by the price you pay for electricity.

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solar equipment for a solar panel system

What solar energy equipment do I need to go solar?

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably spent some time researching financing, tax breaks, and solar installers. However, you should also educate yourself about the solar energy equipment your system needs to get up and running. While the components of a PV system are simple, the different product options and brands can make the equipment selection process fairly complex. We’ll break down all things solar power equipment in order to best prepare you to select your hardware.

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key solar panel metrics

How long do solar panels last? Solar panel lifespan explained

The industry standard for a solar panel’s productive lifetime is 25-30 years. However, a solar panel won’t die after 25-30 years, rather, their output will decrease a significant amount below what the manufacturer projected. It’s hard to understand the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect your rooftop panels 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 rates. 

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