Category Archives: Buyer’s Guide

Articles about solar products and companies to help consumers understand more about solar equipment/companies and best compare their quotes and options.

sunrun solar reviews

Sunrun solar reviews: should you go solar with Sunrun?

Since 2007, Sunrun has been evolving to meet the changing needs of the solar market – they first primarily offered solar leases and power purchase agreements and then expanded to become the largest solar installer in the U.S. Sunrun acquired Vivint Solar in 2020, which helped them reach their current market share of about 13 percent. They have recently begun offering solar-plus-storage to customers in almost all of their operating states, and are likely to expand as demand increases. Needless to say, Sunrun is definitely a name you’ll come across while searching for the best solar option for your home. Let’s take a look at what other consumers like you are saying about the largest solar installer in the United States.

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Tesla Solar Roof cost vs. solar panels

You’ve probably heard of the Tesla Solar Roof before – and you may even be considering it over standard solar panels. The Solar Roof integrates traditional roof shingles with solar panel technology to create a sleek solar system that’s both aesthetically pleasing and a generator of clean energy. But Tesla Solar Roofs come at a premium cost and aren’t the best option for everyone. In this article, we’ll help you decide if a Tesla Solar Roof or solar panels are right for you.

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how many solar panels

How many solar panels do I need for my home?

We estimate that a typical home needs between 17 and 21 solar panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage. To determine how many solar panels you need, you’ll need to know: your annual electricity consumption, the wattage of the solar panels you’re considering, and the estimated production ratio of your solar system. You can calculate the number of solar panels you’ll need by dividing the system size by the production ratio, and again by the panel wattage. 

The actual number of panels you’ll need to install depends on factors including your geographic location, panel efficiency, panel rated power, and your personal energy consumption habits. Importantly, the number of solar panels you need for your home directly impacts the price you pay for solar. While the answer isn’t always simple, we’ve put together some example cases to help you understand, at a high level, how many solar panels you need to install an effective home solar array.

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what are solar panels made of

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.

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flexible solar panels

Flexible solar panels: which ones are best and are they right for you?

Solar panel technology is rapidly advancing every year, and new developments like flexible solar panels are constantly evolving. Compared to traditional solar panels, these panels typically have a lightweight design, often serve as battery chargers for your devices, and can be used independent of the electric grid. If you’re interested in installing flexible solar panels to easily produce solar energy on-the-go, read on to learn what they are, view our flexible solar panel buyer’s guide, and understand how they compare to standard solar systems.

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solar panel efficiency

What are the most efficient solar panels? Top brands in 2023

In the past years, solar technology has been making leaps and bounds towards higher solar cell efficiency, power output, and overall quality. Nowadays, solar panels have conversion efficiencies over 20 percent on average, compared to their previous average of less than 15 percent. They also now mostly come with a warranty of 10-25 years, helping you feel more confident in the longevity of your purchase. It is important to know what determines solar panel efficiency before making a purchase so your investment in solar can generate the most energy and ultimately save the most money on your electric bill.

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energysage marketplace tiers

Why you can trust installers on EnergySage

As solar continues to become more affordable (and more accessible), an increasing number of homeowners are choosing to add solar panels to their roofs. Nowadays, going solar is not unlike many other home improvement projects like replacing your roof, renovating your kitchen, or building a deck. So, what’s the best way to find a company you can trust to install your solar panels? Use a solar installer who’s been pre-vetted by EnergySage!

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solar trackers overview

Solar trackers: everything you need to know

There are many unique ways to design and install a solar energy system for your property in order to power your home with solar power. If you’re considering a ground-mounted solar panel installation, you might be considering a solar tracking system so that your panels follow the sun across the sky. In this article, we’ll explain what a solar tracker is, the different types available, and how to decide if a tracking system is right for you.

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rec solar panels review

REC Solar panels: the complete review

REC Group is Europe’s largest solar panel manufacturer, with offices in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia. The company was founded in Norway in 1996 and manufactures its solar panels in Singapore. REC is known for pioneering half-cut cell technology in 2014, which improved the performance of solar panels by cutting solar cells in half. 

In 2022, REC launched their newest series of solar panels: the Alpha Pure-R. They now offer four series of high power solar modules for residential applications, including Alpha Pure-R, Alpha Pure, N-Peak 2, and Twinpeak 4. REC solar panels are growing increasingly popular – they’re now some of the most quoted and most selected panels on the EnergySage Marketplace.

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