Solar isn’t just for rooftops – you can use portable solar products like solar generators as a backup power source if the grid goes down, or as a source of electricity for your campsite, RV, or boat. But what is a solar generator exactly? And how does it compare with typical fossil-fuel-powered generators? In this article, we’ll break down the key things you need to know about solar generators so you can decide if they’re right for you!Continue reading
Tag Archives: solar batteries
Going off-grid with solar: what does it mean and how much will it cost? (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of a two-part series that explores the economics of going completely off-grid with solar. Part 1 focuses on what it actually means to go “off-grid” and how to start thinking about calculating the costs for cutting the cord with your utility. Part 2 discusses two real-world examples of sizing an off-grid solar energy system, along with the feasibility of going through with an off-grid solution. Check out Part 1 here.Continue reading
A buyer’s guide to solar charge controllers
If you’re considering installing an off-grid solar project with a battery attached, you’ll want to look into a solar charge controller for your system. Charge controllers act as a gateway to your battery, and ensure that you don’t overcharge and damage your energy storage system. In this article, we’ll cover what a solar charge controller is and compare the two major types—pulse width modulation (PWM) and maximum power point tracking (MPPT).Continue reading
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
An overview of Lumin’s energy management system
When thinking about installing a solar or a solar-plus-storage system at your home or business, there’s one piece of information that is of the utmost importance: how much electricity do you use, and which of your home appliances use that electricity. That’s exactly where Lumin can help: the three-year-old, Charlottesville, Virginia-based company is joining the relatively nascent field of creating smart circuits, allowing you to dynamically choose or automate what to power with your solar and storage, which is especially useful in the event of an outage.Continue reading
Best solar battery chargers: marine, RV and car battery chargers
Among today’s many uses for solar energy, one increasingly popular way to harness sunlight is with battery chargers that can power common home products. Outside of rooftop and utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), battery chargers might be the next best use for solar energy in terms of efficiency and practicality. A small panel can easily be placed next to a window to charge a phone, and a portable charger can be an easy way to power your car’s battery through the sunroof. In this article, we’ll discuss the many ways a solar battery charger can be useful, including how solar works with cars, boats, RVs and small devices.Continue reading
Lead acid vs lithium-ion battery comparison
If you’re considering home energy storage, there are several types of batteries to choose from. In this article, we’ll compare two of the most common battery options paired with solar installations: lithium-ion and lead acid. Other than the different materials that compose each type of battery, their main difference comes in terms of cost and performance. Lead acid batteries tend to be less expensive whereas lithium-ion batteries perform better and are more efficient.Continue reading
Home battery backup power vs. generators: which is right for you?
If you live in an area with frequent power outages, you already know the benefits of having a backup power supply for your home. Propane, diesel, and natural gas-powered generators have long been the system of choice for homeowners and businesses that want to ensure that the lights stay on when the power goes out in the neighborhood. Now, an increasing number of people are considering newer, cleaner battery options like the Tesla Powerwall.Continue reading
Best solar batteries for energy storage
Solar batteries and storage systems are an integral part of any solar panel system. They work by storing the excess energy generated by solar panels so it can be used later while reducing overall energy costs.
Storage systems are becoming increasingly attractive home upgrades for homeowners across the country. Whether you’re looking for self-consumption, rate arbitrage during peak hours, or back-up power in case of emergencies, storage systems can provide greater independence, resiliency, and savings–especially if you have solar panels and live in a state without net metering.
Because storage systems have become so popular, many companies are now in the market, making it more challenging to compare and decide between the different brands and products available. In this article, we’ll explain some of the most important factors for comparing solar batteries and we’ll discuss some of the best brands and products available now.Continue reading
What solar energy equipment do I need to go solar?
If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably spent some time researching financing, tax breaks, and solar installers. However, you should also educate yourself about the solar energy equipment your system needs to get up and running. While the components of a PV system are simple, the different product options and brands can make the equipment selection process fairly complex. We’ll break down all things solar power equipment in order to best prepare you to select your hardware.Continue reading