There are three types of solar panels primarily available today: monocrystalline, polycrystalline (also known as multi-crystalline), and thin-film. These solar panels vary in appearance, performance, costs, and how they’re made. Depending on the type of photovoltaic (PV) installation you’re considering, one option may be more suitable than the others. In this article, we break down each type of solar panel by cost, materials, appearance, and efficiency to help you understand which one is best for you.Continue reading
Category Archives: Solar 101
RV solar panels: are they right for you?
Solar panel systems aren’t just for houses or commercial properties – they can be a great resource for on the go electricity users as well, especially compared to older and less efficient sources like propane. In this article, learn about how solar panels for RVs and campers work, if they’re right for you, and what some of the top options available are.Continue reading
How do photovoltaic cells work?
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 photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, or solar cells, which are electronic devices that generate electricity when exposed to photons, or particles of light—this conversion is called the photovoltaic effect. In this article, we’ll explain how PV cells work. Specifically, we’ll examine the science of silicon solar cells, the solar cells making up the vast majority of solar panels.Continue reading
Where does your electricity come from?
The electric grid brings power to every corner of the U.S., but the electricity flowing through the wires doesn’t come from the same sources everywhere. Depending on where you live, the electricity that makes its way to your property comes from different mixes of generating capacity, from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to renewables like hydroelectric power, biomass, solar, and wind power.Continue reading
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels harness the sun’s energy to generate usable electricity. At a high level, solar cells absorb incoming sunlight to generate an electrical current through what’s known as the “photovoltaic effect”. This electrical current is captured by plates and wires and turned into a usable energy current that is sent to your home and appliances. In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce renewable energy for your home.Continue reading
Lower solar panel production? Try a quick cleaning
While a solar energy system is generally a “set it and forget it” system that allows you to passively produce renewable energy for your home, you may need to freshen up your panels occasionally. While it’s not absolutely necessary to clean solar panels, you may be losing out on value and efficiency by not doing so. In this article, we’ll provide answers to some common questions solar panel system owners have about solar panel maintenance and how to perform it safely.Continue reading
Sun Score: what you need to know about your property’s Sun Number
If you’ve shopped for solar before, you may have come across something known as “Sun Number” or sun score. Like EnergySage, Sun Number received funding from the Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative to innovate in the solar energy space. Read on to learn more about how a property’s Sun Number is calculated and what your sun score means for going solar.Continue reading
What is the output of a solar panel?
Most solar panels on the market in 2022 produce between 250 and 400 watts of power. You might come across these solar panel output numbers from your solar installation quote, which will typically include “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.Continue reading
Monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels: which is the best for you?
When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun, but there are some key differences to be aware of.Continue reading
What’s the best direction and angle for my solar panels?
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. There are many factors that make a roof more or less suitable for solar, but while some roof qualities make a rooftop solar system installation difficult, others have a minimal impact on solar energy production.
In this article, we’ll review the two main roof factors that impact the performance of solar panels: direction and angle.Continue reading