What does it mean to have a solar home, or to “go solar”? Photovoltaic technology adoption is rapidly spreading and becoming more accessible, and more and more homeowners are going solar daily. In this article, we will explore what it means to have a solar home.Continue reading
Author Archives: Luke Richardson
What are solar panels made of and how are they made?
Solar power has entered the mainstream as the world’s cheapest energy source, leaving many people wondering how solar photovoltaic cells can be so efficient and inexpensive while still providing renewable energy. Answering that question means understanding how solar energy works , 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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Solar carports: how do they work and how much do they cost?
A solar carport is a canopy that captures solar energy placed over a parking area. They provide a huge opportunity to use otherwise wasted parking lot space to create renewable energy. While a typical carport or patio cover provides shading and is undoubtedly a value-add for a home or automobile owner, its one-dimensional simplicity is a missed opportunity. If you’re a PV fanatic following emerging technologies in the solar industry, you may have already spotted the solar industry’s solution: solar canopies, also known as solar carports .Continue reading
SREC prices: explaining how to sell your RECs in the U.S.
If you’ve been researching the best solar energy incentives available, you have likely heard something about solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are a tradable commodity that you obtain from owning a solar panel system and producing clean energy. Because of a common state requirement known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), many utilities must generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, typically at least 20 percent. In several states and Washington D.C., the RPS specifies that a certain percentage of the renewable energy produced must come from solar power. States with this type of “solar carve-out” are willing to pay significant amounts of money to take credit for the power generated by solar homeowners.Continue reading
Comparing top solar panel brands: SunPower vs LG, Panasonic and Canadian Solar
When it comes to solar panel manufacturers, there is no shortage of options for homeowners in 2019. Solar panel technology is improving every year, and many solar panel companies offer products that boast both high conversion efficiency numbers as well as impressive long-term warranties. SunPower is the leader with regard to efficiency across the board while LG solar panels are known for top tier design and aesthetic, but companies like Canadian Solar offer much more appealing prices for their solar panels. How do the top PV manufacturers stack up? We’ll help you compare and contrast your options among the industry leaders – SunPower, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, and LG.Continue reading
Solar electricity vs. fossil fuels: how do they compare?
If you’ve been following the ongoing battle between solar energy vs. fossil fuels, it might seem like the predominant resources on which the global economy depends – oil, coal and natural gas – will be completely phased out of existence in the near future. In reality, these resources still power most of the planet, while renewable resources like solar and wind only contribute some two to three percent of global energy capacity. This reality check begs the following question: how does solar really stack up against fossil fuels, and why is there so much excitement about the growth of solar?Continue reading