Category Archives: Solar 101

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

Installing a solar array: everything you need to know

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The most important part of a solar panel system is the solar array itself. It holds all of the panels in your system, which is where sunlight is collected and converted into electricity. Here are some common questions to ask yourself before installing a solar panel system on your home, and to make sure you get the most productive array possible.

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How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Actually Produce? Electricity Output Explained

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power output of a solar panel

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.

How much energy can a solar panel produce?

Available sunlight will vary depending on where you live but for the sake of an example, if you are getting 5 hours of direct sunlight in a sunny state like California you can calculate it this way: 5 hours x 290 watts (a wattage of a premium solar panel) = 1,450 watts or roughly 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kwh). Thus each solar panel in your system would produce a little over 500-550 kWh of energy per year.

All solar panels are rated by the amount of DC (direct current) power they produce under standard test conditions. Solar panel power output is expressed in units of watts (W), and represents the panel’s theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. Most home solar panels on the market today have power output ratings ranging from 250 to 400 watts, with higher power ratings generally considered preferable to lower power ratings. Pricing in solar is typically measured in dollars per watt ($/W), and the total wattage of your solar panels plays a significant part in the overall cost of your solar system.
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Low cost solar panels for your home: how expensive is solar electricity in 2018?

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solar panels for homes

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, 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. Continue reading

Do you have a solar ready home?

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Many homeowners are considering putting panels on their homes, and for good reasons: when you generate your own solar electricity you can drastically reduce your monthly bills, increase your property value, and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Solar is more accessible than ever, especially as the cost of solar has decreased and solar technology has become more efficient.

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The Pros and Cons of DIY Solar in 2018

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DIY solar panels graphic energysage

Solar is a trendy thing in 2018 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 30 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.

The 5 step process to DIY solar panels

  1. Design and size your system based on energy needs
  2. Purchase your solar equipment (solar panels, inverters, racking)
  3. Install the racking or mounts for the panels
  4. Connect the solar panels to your racking equipment
  5. Install a solar inverter

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How do solar panels work at night and on cloudy days?

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How do solar panels work at night?

If you’ve been wondering “do solar panels work at night?”, you’re certainly not alone. If you choose to rely on solar panels for your home electricity use, it’s important to understand how solar panels can be a reliable source of power during night time when there is no available sunlight.

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Solar energy information: what to know before buying solar panels

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solar information guide EnergySage

When it comes to big ticket purchases, a solar panel installation is one of the most complex. The benefits of solar energy are fairly simple: you’ll significantly reduce your energy expenses while also upgrading from fossil fuels to a clean renewable solution. However, it’s important to maximize your potential savings and system output with solar. In order to do so, there’s a vast amount of information that you need to understand. This article will give you a holistic view on all the solar panel information you should get before signing the dotted line with a solar contractor.

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What is solar energy and how do solar panels work?

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how solar panels work

Solar energy is gaining momentum around the world as more and more countries have begun transitioning to solar as a primal energy source. 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 in 2018.

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