Category Archives: Solar 101

Articles all about solar, from common questions to overviews of different aspects of a solar energy installation.

How much solar power can my roof generate?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you ever wondered how much electricity you could produce from solar? In this article, we’ll walk through how to calculate the amount of solar power you could technically generate on your roof, as well as why our calculations aren’t all that helpful for any single homeowner.

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solar developers

Solar developers: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In 2020, the U.S. installed more solar than ever before – 19.2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity! And impressively, almost 70 percent of those additions came from utility-scale projects. The companies that build these projects aren’t the same type of installers you receive quotes from on EnergySage – while they technically install projects like residential solar companies, we in the industry most often refer to them as solar developers.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick overview of solar developers, the role they play in the solar industry, and highlight some of the top solar developers today.

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solar power pros and cons

The pros and cons of solar power: what are the advantages and disadvantages of going solar?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably already had your share of exposure to solar marketing, whether through spammy ads promising free solar panels or a knock at the door signaling an eager solar salesman ready to convince you why you should go solar. To make the right decision for your home, you need to be able to distinguish between the real pros and cons of solar power and the solar myths that are sometimes communicated in the media. 

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solar panel generating electricity for a home

How do solar panels work? The science behind solar energy production

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the cost of solar energy has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across the U.S. are starting to look at solar as a viable alternative energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?” In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is.

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utility scale solar

An overview of utility-scale solar panel installations

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The largest scale of solar projects is utility-scale solar (also known as solar power plants). Typically sized anywhere from 1 to 5 megawatts (MW), solar power plants can be massive projects, often spanning multiple acres of land. Utility-scale solar projects are usually ground-mounted arrays. Sometimes, these arrays include the use of solar trackers to maximize energy production.

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how do solar cells work

How does a photovoltaic solar cell work?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You’ve probably seen solar panels on rooftops all around your neighborhood, but do you know how they actually work to generate electricity? In this article, we’ll take a look at what a photovoltaic solar cell is – the technology behind a solar panel that makes it possible to create energy from the sun. Specifically, we’ll examine the science of silicon solar cells, the solar cells making up the vast majority of solar panels.

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solar panel size and weight

Solar panel size and weight explained: how big are solar panels?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Solar panel systems are an increasingly common sight on rooftops all across the U.S., but unless you climb up onto a roof, it can be difficult to figure out how big solar panels are and how much they weigh. In this article, we’ll help you understand solar panel size, solar panel weight, and whether your roof can support solar panels. 

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solar distributors

Solar distributors: who are they, and how do they impact your shopping experience

Reading Time: 3 minutes

For most solar consumers, solar distributors are (and will continue to be) a largely hidden part of the value chain: When you receive quotes from local or national installers on EnergySage, you’ll have the opportunity to compare different types of equipment from different manufacturers. But where do the installers themselves — the companies that provide you quotes via EnergySage — get the necessary equipment to complete your solar installation? In many cases, the answer is a solar distributor. 

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rv solar panels

RV solar panels: are they right for you?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Solar panel systems aren’t just for houses or commercial properties – it can be a great resource for on-the-go electricity users as well. In this article, learn about how solar panels for RVs and solar panels for a camper work, if they’re right for you, and what some of the top options available are.

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20 kw solar system

How much does a 20,000 Watt (20 kW) solar system cost?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re shopping for a solar energy system, one of your first questions is probably, “how much will it cost?” Prices depend on the size of your system, the type of equipment you choose, and the state that you live in, but reviewing prices for a 20 kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start for many smaller homes. Learn more about how much a 20 kW solar system costs, how much electricity a 20 kW system will produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

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