Category Archives: Solar 101

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

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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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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power output of a solar panel

How much energy does a solar panel actually produce? Electricity output explained

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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 has a wattage of 300.” 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.

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4 kw solar system

How much does a 4,000 Watt (4 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 4 kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start for many smaller homes. Learn more about how much a 4 kW solar system costs, how much electricity a 4 kW system will produce, and the smartest way to shop for solar.

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solar panels for home

Residential solar panels: what to know about solar panels for your home

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The past decade has engendered the era of solar panels for home use. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, necessitated by emissions reduction targets in a time of global climate change. Amidst this period of energy reform, rooftop solar panel systems for houses are taking off at a remarkable rate. It’s time to give residential solar the credit it deserves. Learn everything there is to know about the booming residential solar industry in our list of home solar FAQs.

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DIY solar panels

DIY solar panels: the pros and cons

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Solar is a trendy thing in 2020 and many adventurous homeowners are beginning to wonder about “DIY solar panels” – the concept of building a solar panel system by yourself. Of course, there’s a lot involved in a solar installation and there’s a right and a wrong scenario for do-it-yourself solar projects.

Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 26 percent or more, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY. Below, we break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do it yourself solar energy before making a decision as well as the DIY solar process.

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solar energy facts

8 solar energy facts

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The U.S. solar industry has witnessed remarkable growth in the past decade while the cost of solar has declined by nearly 70 percent.  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 eight solar energy facts that may surprise you.

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solar panels and wind

Solar panels and wind: are your panels made to last?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Weather events like hurricanes are accompanied by wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour, and tornadoes can bring even higher speeds that threaten to damage rooftop and ground-mounted solar energy systems. If you live in a windy area of the country, it is especially important to know how your solar energy system will hold up during a storm.

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solar panel orientation and angle

Solar panel performance: how much does roof orientation and angle matter?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many people are under the misconception that they can’t install solar panels on their roof for a variety of reasons, whether because of the material, their location, shade, or the dimensions of their roof. Truthfully, there are many factors that make a roof more or less suitable, but while some roof qualities make them a total no-no for installations, others have a minimal impact on a solar panel system investment. In this article, we’ll review two roof factors that impact the performance of solar panels: orientation and tilt.

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