The future of solar panels is looking very bright—literally! The cost of solar panels in the United States is decreasing, and the efficiency of solar cells is increasing. It’s no wonder that the solar industry is booming.
In fact, solar is now the fastest-growing source of clean energy in the world. There are several factors that are driving this growth.
Solar panels are also a clean and renewable source of energy. They help homeowners and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.
So, what does the future hold for solar panels? Keep reading to find out.
Why Is Solar Power Such a Big Deal?
Solar energy is highly variable and depends on the sun’s cycles. But cloud cover and changes in weather need to be considered.
At night, solar energy cannot generate electricity. This is where supplemental energy from fossil fuels is needed. Nonetheless, the technology behind solar powered generation is improving at a remarkable rate.
Solar energy has many benefits. Here are a few:
- It decentralizes the electrical grid
- It offers a significant source of employment
- Solar-powered homes can sell their energy back to the electric grid, earning a profit
- It is a major driver of economic growth
Homeowners who install rooftop solar power systems can expect to reduce their electrical bills up to 75%. Despite the initial cost, savings will continue for the life of a solar panel system.
A Cost-Competitive Alternative to Fossil Fuel
In recent years, the cost of solar power has plummeted, making it a cost-competitive alternative to coal and other fossil fuel. Governments have also stepped up subsidies and tax breaks to encourage solar deployment. Though solar energy is not suitable in some markets, it is a viable alternative for many.
Cost estimates are constantly revised as new data becomes available. Solar PV and onshore wind have consistently exceeded initial estimates. Today, solar technologies and wind power generate over one-fifth of the world’s electricity.
Mitigate Climate Change
Solar thermal power and wind power can help us fight climate change. The warming of the planet is already leading to increased heat waves, rising sea levels, and losing sea ice. These alarming trends are projected to worsen further if significant changes aren’t implemented.
A Sustainable Source of Energy
Manufacturers make solar panels from silicon, a naturally occurring element that is abundant in the Earth’s crust. They make from materials that are recyclable, and some states have laws encouraging the reuse of these panels. These efforts are making solar power a more environmentally friendly source of energy.
The sun provides us with solar energy. As such, using solar panels for domestic use can drastically reduce your household’s power use and utility bills. Besides being environmentally friendly, solar panels are also highly durable.
Traditional electricity relies on fossil fuels. They’re not only expensive but can also be hazardous and have adverse effects on the environment. Further, fossil fuels are limited, and the prices of these sources of energy can fluctuate significantly.
Manufacturing Solar Panels
The manufacturing process for solar panels requires multiple layers and delicate components. These layers and components require precise alignment and placement. Modern factories use automated processes for cell cutting, material handling, and component bonding.
An error in any of these processes could cause a panel to perform below expectations and have a shorter operational lifespan. To ensure that solar panels meet high-quality standards, end-of-line testing is essential. Imaging can detect problems, such as cracks and misalignments.
Solar Power Potential
The sun is the most abundant source of energy. A fraction of its output provides 10 times as much energy as humans need. There’s no doubt that solar electricity generation is a rapidly growing industry.
However, its share of the overall energy market is still well below one percent. By contrast, 79% of energy consumption is derived from coal, natural gas, and oil.
Solar power has the potential to meet the world’s sustainability goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its main weakness is its inability to provide on-demand energy. Battery-based systems are expensive and environmentally harmful.
One of the most effective electricity enhancement techniques is the dual-fluid heat exchanger. This method has a greater surface area. It performs better under high operating temperatures than traditional heating and cooling methods.
Countries with limited access to electricity benefit from pico-solar systems. They are becoming a crucial component of global energy poverty relief strategies.
These systems consist of a small solar panel and a battery that powers a wide variety of appliances. Also, pico-solar systems have the potential to provide electricity to millions of people in emerging markets.
What’s In Store for Solar Energy?
The International Energy Agency is expecting solar photovoltaics to make up 13% of global electricity by 2030. This is a huge increase from the 2% it was in 2016. This rapid growth is being driven by falling costs, increasing access to financing, and improved policy support.
The report also predicts that the number of people working in the solar PV industry will increase from 2.8 million in 2016 to 8.3 million by 2030. So, what’s in store for the future of solar energy? Read on to find out!
Organic Solar Cells
Organic solar cells have many advantages over traditional photovoltaics. They are flexible, thin, and can adapt to a variety of substrates. The materials can also be tailored to absorb different wavelengths of light.
Organic solar technology has the potential for use in windows and glass facade shading, among other applications.
Organic solar cells are a relatively new technology composed of polymer molecules that have a carbon base. Made of thinly filmed plastic, organic cells are flexible and lightweight. They are also more durable than conventional solar cells.
A big advantage of using organic molecules in solar cells is manufacturers can make them with simple ingredients. In addition, they are relatively inexpensive. This allows for mass production of the material.
Organic materials can’t compete with silicon, but they can produce solar panels with similar functions.
Photovoltaic (PV) Trackers
Photovoltaic trackers can improve the efficiency of solar panels. Fixed panels can only collect significant amounts of energy when the sun is at its highest point. But a tracking system can maximize this amount over the entire day.
In addition, there are times during the year when the sun’s intensity is only about half its maximum. This misalignment can cause an energy loss of up to 20%. In these instances, photovoltaic trackers can make up for this loss with a higher output.
Photovoltaic trackers are based on the concept of a moving surface that follows the path of the sun. These devices are usually dual-axis or tip-tilt. Solar installation companies can install them on an elevated post and move with the sun.
Dual-axis trackers can generate up to 40% more energy than single-axis trackers. However, these devices are more expensive, adding three to six percent to the overall cost of a solar installation.
Photovoltaic trackers increase the amount of power produced by a solar system by coordinating its peak with the power needs of the grid. Another advantage of using a tracker is that it reduces the amount of work needed to install a large solar array.
High-accuracy solar trackers are mainly used in concentrating solar PV systems. They are also an essential component for large-scale solar installations.
These devices hold parabolic mirrors that reflect sunlight to a central collector tower containing hot liquid or gas. Using a solar tracker also enhances the efficiency of the solar panels.
The development of inverters will benefit from IoT and Blockchain technologies. Both of these technologies can improve their diagnostic capabilities.
They will also enable the inverters to work with other core devices like cleaning robots. They’ll increase their overall plant efficiency and lifespan.
Among the many benefits of inverters, the grid-forming capability is one of the most important. This allows an inverter to auto-start a downed grid, known as a “black start.”
Inverters that use “grid-following” technology rely on an outside signal to generate a sine wave that matches the power grid. But more advanced models can also generate the signal on their own.
Inverters are an intrinsic part of solar power systems. They convert DC electricity into AC power, the type that is used by the electrical grid. The difference between DC and AC is in the energy’s voltage. DC electricity is a constant voltage, while AC power flows in both directions in a circuit.
Inverters can also help stabilize the grid and control voltage. Inverters help to feed solar power back into the grid with maximum efficiency. The quality of the PV modules and inverters is essential to the installation’s yield. There are several important factors that influence the power quality of the system.
Solar power systems have continued to improve in efficiency and output. As a result, they’ve become significantly cheaper and more portable than other energy sources. With the development of inverters and energy storage, solar is poised to become the mainstream energy solution.
eArche Solar Panels
eArche solar panels are flexible and ultra-thin, which allows them to be molded to fit any surface. They are also cheaper to produce than conventional solar panels and are easier to install. They can also power boats, trains, and motorhomes.
The team behind eArche has tested their technology, but the energy output from their tests is not large. They have only produced 0.001% of the energy produced by traditional solar panels.
In the future, they hope to develop industrial partnerships to further their research. However, there are still many unknowns. Ultimately, the future of solar power depends on future market conditions. Public policies aimed at mitigating global climate change can affect renewable energy technologies.
Anti-solar panels capture the heat that leaves the earth’s surface during the night and converts it to electricity. This technology could eventually eliminate the need for batteries to store excess electricity.
Currently, the technology is only in its research phase, but it could soon be available on the market. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are working to develop anti-solar panels. They estimate the panels could produce up to 50 watts per square meter during ideal conditions.
Anti-solar panels could be installed at industrial facilities to use the waste heat from their processes. Alternatively, they could be installed on rooftops and produce electricity 24 hours a day.
This technology would be beneficial in low-resource areas where conventional solar panels do not exist. In addition, the technology could also be combined with cooling systems that use radiative cooling to cool buildings.
Anti-solar panels use a special type of cell to produce electricity. It is very different from the photovoltaic cells found in conventional solar panels.
Instead of capturing light in the visible spectrum, anti-solar panels use mercury alloys. They are specifically designed to absorb long-wavelength light.
The technology also allows for the production of energy at night. Compared to regular solar panels, anti-solar panels can be used in both industrial and domestic settings.
Anti-solar panels provide carbon-free energy that helps reduce environmental pollution. The technology also has the potential to match solar panels in efficiency.
The concept of anti-solar panels has been around for several years, but it still hasn’t received widespread acceptance. While they are still a few years off, they are promising and could revolutionize the industry. However, there are some issues that should be addressed before they become a reality.
Developing solar vehicles remains a tough challenge. People still need transportation, especially in urban areas with tall buildings and harsh weather. Also, solar cell technology is still far from commercialization.
Some industry experts say there’s a significant gap between the theoretical and real-world use of solar vehicles. However, there are several companies working on the technology.
Another project involving solar panels is solar-powered bus stops. This is a simple but promising idea: solar panels installed at bus stops can collect energy during the day. These panels can power bus information boards and other devices.
Other solar-powered transportation initiatives include solar trains and solar scooters. A solar-powered railway train could operate on long routes at a low cost. In addition, solar e-bikes could be used for long-distance competitions. A solar e-bike race in France could end in China.
Potential Problems Solar Will Face
One of the major problems solar power will face is the issue of waste. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, by 2050, there will be 78 million tons of waste produced annually. This is a staggering amount, but it is also an untapped billion-dollar opportunity.
This figure is based on the assumption that solar panels remain in place for the entire 30 years of their lifespan. However, it is not uncommon for homeowners and businesses to replace solar panels early.
Another potential problem is land use. Solar farms require about 3.5 to 16.5 acres of land for each MW of generating capacity. Building large solar facilities, such as these, will require fundamental changes to land use.
If the changes have negative impacts on local communities, they may cause conflict and derail solar projects altogether. Furthermore, they may fuel resistance against renewable energy development.
In addition to corrosion, solar panels can also develop moisture problems. Often, the problem starts at the edge of a panel and spreads all over it. This can result in a drastic reduction in the production of solar panels.
In fact, the darker corroded area on a solar panel is directly proportional to the reduced production of the solar panel. Moisture problems also affect glass and thin-film PV panels.
The Future of Solar Storage
The future of solar storage is highly market-dependent, and it is likely to be dynamic. Revenues at the beginning of a project may not be the same as those at the end.
In addition, the future of solar storage is highly competitive. It is competing with other energy storage technologies like standalone batteries, gas peakers, and smart EV charging.
Using solar-powered batteries is a great opportunity for homeowners. Although this technology is still relatively new, a growing number of states support solar-powered batteries.
In Maryland, for example, homeowners can get a 30% tax credit for solar battery systems. This credit is good for up to $5,000 for residential and $75,000 for commercial systems. Other states, including California, offer cash rebates for energy storage systems.
A key aspect of storage technology is its ability to extend the production window of a typical solar facility. This can be very profitable in the rapidly changing power market. By enabling storage and blending it with PV, utilities can achieve a more cost-effective solution to their growing demand.
Hybrid Power Plants
Hybrid power plants with solar storage are ideal for achieving multiple benefits:
- Enhancing solar capacity factors at the access point
- Lowering costs
- Improving power output
The complementary nature of solar and wind resources means they can provide a stable supply of electricity. Additionally, they create additional revenue streams.
Hybrid plants can take advantage of battery prices’ continued decline. They are gaining in popularity among power plant developers.
Hybrid solar power plants with solar storage are becoming a reality, but there are still challenges and questions. Factors like market rules and policy incentives can make or break a hybridization project.
The authors of a new study published in The Electricity Journal examine the operational benefits, relative costs, and industry trends for hybrid power plants.
The current technology is promising. But solar manufacturers need further research to determine the best way to design and build hybrid power plants that will meet energy needs and improve the grid’s performance.
In an industry that is eager to support renewable energy, copper is one of the most promising options. The copper industry is particularly interested in benchmarking grid energy storage technologies.
Researchers expect the resulting demand for copper to range from zero to more than four tons per megawatt, depending on installation configuration, electrical equipment, and storage type. The incremental demand for copper associated with grid energy storage will range from 900 tons to over 3,000 tons.
Copper is a vital component of renewable energy systems, and it is used nearly five times more in these systems than in traditional power generation. Its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity enables copper-based electrical systems to generate and transmit energy with high efficiency and minimum environmental impact.
Dysprosium is a rare earth metal that is used for a wide variety of applications. This material can store solar energy. Unlike lithium, it doesn’t have to undergo refining to be re-used.
Besides solar storage, it also has uses in electric vehicles and in permanent magnets. Some of the other rare materials used in batteries include lithium, cobalt, and neodymium.
Affordable and Accessible Solar For the Future
Costs have fallen dramatically in recent years, making solar a more viable option for a wider range of people. And as solar technology continues to improve, it will become even more accessible and efficient.
There are several factors that are driving the future of solar power. Solar is now cheaper than ever before and should continue to decrease.
Also, solar panels are becoming more efficient, meaning that more energy can be generated from a smaller amount of space. New technologies are on the way that promises even lower costs and higher efficiency. Soon, solar power will be cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
In 2010, solar energy only made up a small portion of the global energy market. It depended on subsidy schemes in countries like Italy and Germany to get off the ground. Today, however, the solar energy industry has grown significantly and is projected to surpass the combined energy production of India and China in five years.
These factors are coming together to make solar power a more viable option for the future. With continued cost reductions and improved technology, solar will become increasingly accessible and affordable for everyone.
The Future of Solar Panels Is Here
The future of solar panels is very promising. With government incentives and declining costs, solar panels are becoming increasingly popular and cost-effective. Homeowners and businesses alike are turning to solar panels to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
To learn more about how to make solar power a part of your future, schedule a consultation with us.
The state of Utah alone has invested over $4 billion in solar energy, as there’s enough solar to power over 500,000 throughout the state. With that said, many remain skeptical about solar panels, particularly regarding the noise they make.
So are solar panels loud? What kinds of noise do solar panels make? Are there ways to quiet your solar panels?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about whether solar panels are loud and what goes into modern solar panels.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
There are different solar panels, but the ones you’re most likely going to see in residential settings are photovoltaic, or PV panels. These convert light from the sun into electrical energy.
PV panels are commonly used in solar panels and work by absorbing the sun’s energy through the PV cells in the panel itself. Photons, electrons, and silicon eventually combine to make a reaction to produce a current.
PV cells are grouped and combined in a back sheet. Layers of glass make up a solar panel, and multiple panels are put together to produce a high amount of power.
In short, panels take in light from the sun and use different reactions to convert it to light. But do these reactions actually make noise?
So…Are Solar Panels Loud?
So are solar panels loud? The short answer is: technically, no.
Solar panels themselves emit little, or really any noise. They don’t have any moving parts that turn or churn to make any kind of noise. Once installed, they’re there to take in sunlight and convert it all to energy.
There are different aspects of both installing and maintaining solar panels that may cause noise. Let’s go over those factors here:
Most solar panels are installed by attaching them to a mounting rack and bolting that rack to the roof. The panels themselves never touch the roof, so no sound is made through direct contact.
As such, the installation process might be a bit noisy. After that, incorrect installation may cause instances where unwanted noise is created. Panels that are poorly secured often create noise on windy nights.
As we just discussed, improper installation can produce some noise from your solar panels. With that said, the wind often creates noise even if your panels are properly fitted.
The natural gap between the roof and the base of the panel creates a “tunneling” effect that might make noise on windy nights. If the roof is uneven, this issue is more pronounced.
On very windy nights, the wind might catch the edge of the panel and emit a creaking noise from the roof itself. This is quite rare, however, as contractors know how to secure panels properly even in the event of wind.
Before we discuss how inverters make noise, it’s important to understand that these are essential pieces of equipment that turn AC power into DC power. A solar panel inverter is crucial to power your home.
It manages the power from the solar panel to channel seamlessly to and from the grid. Inverters have fans that keep the entire system cool, especially larger inverters for bigger houses.
When installing your solar panels, ask about solar panel inverters and whether you need to worry about them creating too much noise.
You don’t have to worry about inverters making noises at night, either. Since solar panels do most of their heavy lifting in the daytime when there’s sunlight, inverters won’t bother you in the evening.
What If I Hear Noises From My Solar Panels?
Suppose you hear some kind of noise coming from your solar panels. Listen closely to see if you can tell exactly what the noise is.
Is it a creaking noise? Is it vibrating? Is it just the wind hitting up against your roof?
Does your solar panel dip in production when you hear this noise? If so, the panels might take on too big of a workload. In that case, contact your installer about how to proceed.
You can get the installer to check the screws and bolts to see if everything is nice and tight. There may also be loose strings and other connections causing an abundance of noise.
Sometimes wind going through the space between your panels and the roof it rests on is too much. You can fit rubber panels or something similar to block the wind’s passage.
It’s good to know whether you should expect this problem before installing. It’s going to be a lot easier to take care of it at the start rather than retrofitting your panels when you hear some noise at night.
Repositioning the Inverter
Sometimes your inverter is just in an inopportune location relative to your home. The best inverters are virtually silent, but some might still make a little bit of noise.
Garages and basements are common areas where you might place your inverter. The further it is from your living spaces, the quieter your solar panels can work.
Understanding Solar Panel Noise
Asking “are solar panels loud?” is completely valid considering the investment you take on when you install them for your home. Use this guide to help you understand solar panels and how they can make noise.
Are you looking for a reliable solar panel company? Contact us today and we’ll get you started on a solution right away!
Did you know that around the globe, the annual off-grid solar market serves 420 million people?
As the advent of solar energy has led many Americans to install solar panels on their roof, the number of solar panels in circulation in the off-grid market has also increased. It’s much easier than ever before to go off the electrical grid with your grid homes and have endless power wherever you live.
This goes for individuals with mobile homes or tiny homes that travel around, as well as individuals who simply want to be disconnected from the local power grid.
Are you interested in taking your house solar using an off-grid system? Are you wondering how many solar panels to run a house off-grid you’ll need?
In this article, we will help you with calculating the number of panels you’ll need using the amount of electricity your system uses.
What Is Solar Power?
Solar power is the process of turning the energy from the sun into heat or electricity. Solar energy is the most abundant source of renewable energy, and the United States has some of the best solar resources in the world.
Solar technologies can use this energy to do a lot of different things, like making electricity, lighting up a room, or making it more comfortable. They can also work to heat water for home, business, or industrial use.
This can be used to power all types of devices, small electronics like remotes and construction signs, to residential properties and large businesses. Depending on the use, each of these can be an efficient replacement for the existing energy production and storage system.
How Does Solar Power Work?
Solar PV panels are made up of many small photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic means that the cells can turn energy from the sun into electrical energy. These cells can be stacked together to scale upward and create a larger output of energy.
Most of the time, these cells are made of silicon, which is a semi-conductive material that can conduct electricity while keeping the electrical imbalance that is needed to make an electric field.
Basic Panel Technology
Sunlight will strike the semiconductor, and the energy is issued out in terms of photons. The photons then knock loose nearby electrons, which are then free to move around in the cell. Polar semiconductors are placed between each other in the solar cell to create an electric field (see the image to the left for a visualization).
This electric field pushes the free electrons in a certain direction, towards the metal plates that line the cell and make it conduct electricity. This flow is called an energy current, and how much electricity each cell can make is based on how strong the current is.
Once the free electrons hit the metal plates, the current is sent into wires, which lets the electrons flow like they would in any other way electrical system.
As the solar panel creates an electric current, the energy flows through a series of wires to an inverter. Even though solar panels make direct current electricity, most buildings need alternating current electricity to run. The job of the inverter is to change the electricity from DC to AC so that it can be used in everyday life.
After the electricity is changed into a form that can be used, it is sent from the inverter to the electrical panel or breaker box and sent into the building to be used where needed. Solar energy can then be used to easily power lights, appliances, and other electrical devices.
Through the utility meter, the breaker box sends a surplus that is not used back to the grid. The utility meter keeps track of how much electricity goes from the grid to your home and back again.
When your solar energy system produces more electricity than you use at home in the average day, this meter actually turns backward. Through a process called “net metering,” you get credit for the extra electricity you make.
When you need more power than your solar array can give you, you can get extra power from the grid through this meter. This keeps everything running normally.
Unless you have a storage solution that lets you live completely off the grid, it’s possible you will need to get some energy from the grid, especially at night when your solar array isn’t producing. But a lot of this grid energy will be made up for by the extra solar energy you make during the day when you aren’t using as much.
How Much Power Can Come From One Solar Panel?
There are many different kinds of solar panels for homes, and not all of them are the same. And not all of them make the same amount of electricity.
Solar panels are rated by how many watts of electricity they make. More power will be made by your solar installation if the wattage rating is higher.
The power output of most residential solar panels ranges from 250 to 400 watts, depending on the size of the panel and how efficiently it turns sunlight into energy. Even though higher power ratings are better, power output is not the only way to judge how well a solar panel works.
For example, two solar panels may both have an efficiency rating of 15%, but one may produce 250 watts of power while the other produces 300 watts.
The higher output may just be because the 300-watt panel is bigger, not because it is more efficient or has better technology. So, panel efficiency is a better measure of how well solar panels meet your energy needs than just the amount of power they produce.
What Is Off-Grid vs. On-Grid
How does an off-grid system compare to an on-grid system? Here are the main differences:
Even in the middle of winter, when there is less sun, an off-grid solar system is sufficient to make enough electricity for a home’s needs. But since an off-grid solar system doesn’t connect to the electricity grid, it needs batteries to store energy.
Because batteries and inverters are so expensive, off-grid solar systems are usually more expensive than other options. Because of this, they are usually only used in more remote areas that are far from the grid. Still, the price of batteries continues to go down in most regions, so even in cities and towns, the number of people who want an off-grid solar system is rising.
- A solar system like this can work without being connected to the grid.
- They make enough power that it can be stored and used at night.
- These are good for places that are far away and don’t have access to the power grid.
- The power supply won’t be affected by shutdowns or problems with the local infrastructure.
On-Grid Solar System
On-grid solar systems are the most common way for homeowners to use solar power. These systems are hooked up to the public electricity grid and use solar inverters. They don’t need batteries.
If you have more solar power than you need, you can sell it to the electricity grid. When you sell energy, you usually get utility credits or other compensation.
Solar inverters are an important part of a home solar energy system. They take the electricity that your solar panels make and turn it into a form that your appliances, lights, and other electronics can use.
Unlike an off-grid solar system, these can’t work or make electricity when the power goes out. This is for safety reasons.
Since blackouts usually happen when the electricity grid goes down, if the solar inverter sent power into a broken grid, it would put the people who were fixing the network’s problems in danger.
Most solar systems that are connected to the grid and have batteries can disconnect from the grid and still provide some power during a blackout. This is called “islanding.”
On Grid Pros
- On-grid solar power systems are very cheap and easy to set up.
- You can get your money back if you pay off your electricity bills in about 3 to 8 years. This will take less time if you use incentives
- The extra energy that the system makes can be used to make money for the people who live there.
- Solar power systems are a clean, renewable source of energy that can be used over and over again. Depending on the type of system you choose, they can help you in many ways.
Knowing the pros and cons of both on-grid and off-grid solar systems will help you choose the best one for your needs. With the right solar system and the right installation, you can get clean, cheap energy without having to worry about problems with maintenance.
How Many Solar Panels to Run a House Off-Grid: The Cost
For this example, let’s say you have some 300-watt solar panels and want to power your home with them. You don’t have access to the grid, so the best way to meet your energy needs is to install off-grid solar on your home.
Let’s say that each panel on your roof gets about 8 hours of sunlight per day. A 300-watt solar panel that gets 8 hours of sunlight a day will make almost 2.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day. If we multiply this by the number of days in a year, we get about 900 kilowatt-hours of power from the sun. In short, each panel will give off 900 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year.
How much power does your house take up? Most data show that a typical American home of 2,000 square feet uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
So, if we divide our total energy use by how much one solar panel is expected to produce, we can see that about thirteen panels of this size would be enough to power a home of that size.
Compare that to your average utility bill per kilowatt hour to see the cost and how much you could save.
If you have a small house or are powering an RV, you won’t need as many solar panels because you won’t need as much energy.
The government offers a tax credit that can be used to pay for part of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. It can be claimed on your tax return each year. There are also credits for other types of renewable energy at the state and local levels.
The system must be put to use during the tax year and power a home in the United States. The IRS doesn’t have a clear definition of what it means for something to be “placed in service,” but it has said that it means the installation is done.
The government extended the credit at the end of 2020. Systems installed in 2020-2022 get a 26% tax credit, and systems installed in 2023 get a 22% tax credit.
A 30% tax credit was available for systems installed before December 31, 2019, but this has ended. The tax credit will end completely in 2024 unless Congress decides to keep it going.
Update: In August 2022, the solar tax credit was increased to 30% and extended through 2032.
Going Solar With Off Grid Homes
At the end of the day, if you’re wondering how many solar panels to run a house off-grid you will need, the answer is probably between 10 to 15. This will depend on how large your home is, how large your panels are, the panel material, and your average daily consumption. Most homes will be able to go off-grid with a number of panels that can easily be mounted on or near the home’s structure.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you could go solar with an off-grid home, please contact us today.
There’s a lot of buzz around solar panels lately and for good reason! These panels have a ton of benefits, from reducing your carbon dioxide footprint to saving you money on your energy bill.
But many people don’t know how solar panels are made. In fact, many people believe that they can create efficient solar panels in their own garage for little cost and no risk. This can be quite problematic and result in serious expenses if problems occur.
In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process of how are solar panels made. You’ll learn about the different types of solar panels, how they’re manufactured, and the benefits of going solar.
Keep reading to discover the wonders of the solar system and how it can be utilized to provide clean energy for all.
Solar Panels: A Brief History
Solar panels have been around for centuries, but they’ve only become widely used in the last few decades. Solar panel manufacturers started becoming more commonplace.
The first modern solar panel was created in 1954 by Bell Labs. This panel was made of silicon, which is still used in many solar panels today. Solar panels were originally used for powering spacecraft and satellites.
But as technology improved, solar panels became smaller and more efficient. In 1977, the first residential solar panel system was installed in California. And since then, the use of solar panels has grown exponentially.
How Are Solar Panels Made?
Solar panels are made up of several different components, including an inverter, a charge controller, and batteries.
The most important part of a solar panel is the photovoltaic cells. These cells are made of silicon and they convert sunlight into electricity. The pv cells are connected together to form a solar panel.
Solar panels are manufactured in a cleanroom environment. This is because the slightest bit of dust can contaminate the photovoltaic cells.
The cells are placed on a metal sheet and cut into small squares. They are then placed in an oven and heated to high temperatures. This process removes any impurities from the silicon.
After the solar panels are cooled, they undergo a series of tests to ensure that they meet quality standards. Once they pass these tests, the solar panels are ready to be installed!
Why Go Solar?
There are many reasons why you should consider going solar. Solar energy is a renewable resource, which means it will never run out.
It’s also much cleaner than other forms of energy, like coal and natural gas. Solar panels have a small carbon footprint and they don’t produce any air pollution.
Another great reason to go solar is that it can save you money! Solar panels can reduce your electricity bill by up to 50%.
And in some cases, you may even be eligible for government incentives. Going solar is a great way to save money and help the environment at the same time!
The List of Benefits of Solar Power is Long
We’ve only scratched the surface of all the benefits of solar energy. Solar power is becoming more and more popular and for good reason! These panels are environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and they have a bright future ahead.
Here are some of the other benefits that solar power provides:
- Solar energy is free once you’ve installed the initial panels
- Solar panels have a very long lifespan (25-30 years)
- Solar power is becoming more efficient as technology improves
- Solar panels can be used to generate electricity, heat water, and more
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider going solar. Solar panels are an investment that will pay off for years to come.
What Are Solar Panels Made Of?
Solar panels are made of several different materials, including glass, aluminum, and pure silicon. The most important part of a solar panel is the photovoltaic cells. These silicon cells are made of silicon and they convert sunlight into electricity.
Furthermore, solar panels also contain an inverter, a charge controller, and batteries. These components work together to store the energy generated by the solar panel so that it can be used at a later time.
In greater detail, these parts are made as follows:
The solar cells are cut from silicon wafers, which are thin layer slices of crystalline silicon. It is a single crystal element.
The aluminum frame is made from extruded aluminum, which is heated and passed through a die to create the desired shape.
The glass cover is made from tempered glass, which is heat-treated to make it stronger. It often come with an anti reflective coating.
What Are the Materials Used to Make Solar Panel Components?
The primary component is the silicon as mentioned prior. This material is sourced by mining quartzite and processing it with heat to create silicon tetrachloride.
This chloride is then reacted with hydrogen to create trichlorosilane. This substance is then reduced with hydrogen to finally produce the monocrystalline silicon used in solar cells.
Aluminum, glass, and other metals make up the rest of the panel. The aluminum is sourced from bauxite ore which is refined into alumina before being smelted to create aluminum alloys used in frames.
The tempered glass is made by heating common float glass until it reaches its softening point and then rapidly cooling it to strengthen it.
Some other materials are made/sourced by the following processes:
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is deposited on the glass through sputtering, which is a process where the material is ejected from a target and onto a substrate.
The back sheet is made of polyvinyl fluoride (PVF), which is produced by fluorinating vinyl chloride.
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulant material is made by combining ethylene and vinyl acetate monomers.
What Would It Take/How Difficult Would It Be to Make Your Own Solar Panel?
The solar cell is the most important and difficult part to make. To create a silicon wafer, quartzite must be mined and then heated to extremely high temperatures. This process requires specialized equipment that most people do not have access to.
Even if you were able to obtain the necessary materials and equipment, it would be very difficult to create a solar panel that is as efficient as those that are commercially available.
Solar panels are typically only around 15% efficient, which means that only 15% of the sunlight that hits the panel is converted into electricity.
Commercially available solar panels are made in large factories with expensive equipment. The manufacturing process is also heavily automated, which further reduces the cost of production. For these reasons, it is not realistic for most people to make their own solar panels.
The Positive Impact of Solar Panel Installation: Saved Trees, Better Air, Renewable Energy
Solar panels have a positive impact on the environment in several ways. First, they save trees.
Solar panels require far less land than other forms of energy generation, such as coal or natural gas. In fact, if solar panels were used instead of Fossil fuels, we could save up to 50 million acres of land by 2030.
Second, solar panels help improve air quality. Solar installations do not produce emissions, which means that they can help reduce smog and other pollutants in the atmosphere.
Finally, solar energy is a renewable resource. Unlike fossil fuels, which will eventually run out, there is no limit to the amount of sunlight that we can harness for energy. This makes solar an excellent long-term solution.
Solar Panel Installation Advice & Guidelines
Now that you know how solar panels are made, you may be wondering if solar is right for your home or business. The first step is to determine whether your property receives enough sunlight to make solar a viable option.
If you live in an area with long winters and short summers, it is likely that your property does not receive enough sunlight to justify the cost of installation. However, if you live in a sunny climate, solar may be a good option for you.
Another factor to consider is the size of your roof. Solar panel installations require a large amount of space, so properties with small roofs may not be suitable candidates.
Finally, you will need to decide whether you want to install the panels yourself or hire a professional. Solar panel installation is a complex process, so it is generally best to hire a professional if you are not experienced in this area.
If you are considering solar panel installation, be sure to follow these guidelines to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Common Mistakes Made With DIY Solar Panel Installation
Although solar panel installation is a complex process, it is possible to do it yourself if you are experienced in this area. However, there are some common mistakes that people make when they try to install solar panels on their own.
One of the most common mistakes is not properly preparing the surface of the roof.
Solar panels must be installed on a flat, level surface in order to function correctly. If the surface of your roof is not prepared properly, the panels will not work as efficiently as they could.
Another mistake that people make is not securing the panels correctly. Solar panels are very heavy and can easily be damaged by high winds. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to secure the panels with brackets or straps.
Finally, people often underestimate the amount of work that is involved in solar panel installation. This process is very time-consuming and requires a great deal of patience. If you are not prepared for this, it is likely that you will make mistakes.
If you are considering solar panel installation, be sure to avoid these common mistakes. With proper preparation and care, you can successfully install solar panels on your own.
Should You Hire a Specialist to Source, Install & Maintain Your Solar Panels?
When it comes to solar panel installation, you have two main options: you can either do it yourself or hire a professional. If you are experienced in this area, then you may be able to successfully install the panels yourself. However, there are several disadvantages to this approach.
First of all, it is important to remember that solar panel installation is a complex process. If you make even a small mistake, it could result in the panels not working correctly. This could waste a lot of money and time.
Secondly, sourcing and installing solar panels is very labor-intensive. It is likely that you will need to take time off work in order to complete the project. This could end up costing you more money in lost wages than you would save by doing the work yourself.
Finally, you will need to maintain the solar panels on a regular basis. This includes cleaning them and checking that they are working correctly. If you do not have the time or expertise to do this, then it is best to hire a professional.
If you are considering solar panel installation, weigh up the pros and cons of doing it yourself before making a decision. Hiring a professional may cost more money upfront, but it could save you money in the long run.
Solar Energy for You
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to install solar modules. However, if you do your research and prepare properly, solar panel installation can be a great way to save money and energy.
If you are unsure about installing the panels yourself, hire a professional to do it for you.
They will have the experience and expertise to ensure that the job is done correctly. Ultimately, solar clean energy is a great choice for anyone looking for an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to power their home.
Now that you know how are solar panels made, if you’re interested in learning more or finding the right solar panel for your needs, get in touch with us and we will assist you in this regard.
Are you thinking of making the switch to solar but are worried about losing power on cloudy days? Don’t worry because today, we’ll be separating fact from fiction when it comes to solar panels and less-than-ideal weather conditions so you can make a truly informed decision.
Let’s dive right in!
Do solar panels work on cloudy days: the short answer
There’s no need to worry because yes, most photovoltaic solar panels do work on cloudy days because they’re designed to generate power using both direct and indirect sunlight.
This, however, doesn’t mean they work as well as they do on sunny days. In fact, depending on the amount of cloud coverage, your solar panels could drop to as low as 10 to 25% capacity, which could mean insufficient power for your home, depending on how long the situation lasts.
But we’ll get to that later. Let’s first go over three other situations that may negatively affect your solar power system’s performance.
Situation 1: Rainy days
For the most part, the result would be the same. Since the sun doesn’t really “go away” on rainy days, your solar panels should still get some indirect sunlight to work with. This means while you do need to deal with lower levels of energy production, you don’t really have to worry about it ever dropping to zero.
And rainy days aren’t totally bad for solar energy systems either. Rainfall can actually wash away dirt and debris build up from solar panels, allowing them to work better on sunny days.
And with that said, let’s move on to the second situation.
Situation 2: Snowy days
At first glance, rainy and snowy days shouldn’t be all that different because there’s still some indirect sunlight available in both situations. However, the similarities stop there.
You see, unlike rain, which simply rolls off your solar panels, taking dirt and debris with it, snow actually ends up covering them, further reducing their ability to produce power for your home.
And even after it stops snowing, the snow already covering your solar panels would still be there until it melts. To make matters worse, it can also act as glue for dirt and debris, which can get left behind when it finally melts off. So, to make sure your solar panels are able to work at peak capacity during winter, always make sure it’s not covered in snow, dirt, and debris for extended periods of time.
But even on sunny days, it’s important to regularly clean your panels to prevent dirt and debris build up.
Situation 3: Nighttime
Unlike rainy days, which can actually be beneficial to your solar system, nighttime renders it completely useless—unless you implement the measures we’ll show you later.
As we’ve established earlier, solar panels are only able to produce power when there’s either direct or indirect sunlight available, which obviously isn’t the case at night.
There’s no need to worry, though. Again, there are measures you can take to ensure you have enough power to last through the night.
Option 1: Solar batteries
On sunny days, your solar power system tends to produce more energy than your household needs during peak sunlight hours. If you invest in solar batteries, you’ll be able to store this excess power for use either at night or during periods of decreased solar system performance.
This ultimately allows you to enjoy a steady supply of clean, affordable energy throughout the year despite changing seasons and weather conditions.
The only downside is that this benefit comes at a cost—literally—because you’ll have to purchase your batteries as an add-on to your solar energy system. In addition, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough extra space in your home to house them.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether the convenience and peace of mind are worth the extra investment. But keep in mind that without solar batteries, you’ll need to buy power from the utility company whenever your solar power system isn’t producing enough energy (or at all), which also costs money.
Of course, you can always just consult a solar specialist to ensure you get the best setup for your specific needs based on your budget.
Option 2: Net metering
Simply put, net metering is an agreement with your utility company where you get to sell them any excess power your solar system produces in exchange for incentives such as rebates and credits.
You can use these incentives to offset—either partially or completely—the cost of buying power from the utility company during times of suboptimal solar power system performance.
However, while net metering is definitely a great alternative to purchasing solar batteries, especially if you have a limited budget, limited space at home, or both, it’s not yet available in all states. Make sure you check your local regulations first before making your decision.
What if net metering is not available in your area and you can’t afford solar batteries?
Even if net metering is not available where you live and it’s not financially feasible for you to purchase solar batteries, you still don’t actually have to worry about power outages at night or during less-than-ideal weather conditions.
First, if you stay connected to the grid after you have your solar system installed, your home will simply automatically switch to using power from it whenever your system fails to supply the amount you need.
Sure, without net metering, you’ll have to pay full price to the utility company whenever this happens, but it’s still a great way to ensure you won’t ever have to worry about only having power during sunny days.
Besides, the total amount you’ll be spending on electricity per year would still be lower compared to if you didn’t have your solar energy system.
Second, you can always just finance your solar power system purchase—including the solar batteries—so you don’t have to shell out as much cash up front (if at all). Let’s go over this in more detail in the next section.
Financing your solar power system purchase
When it comes to financing your solar system purchase, you have three primary options: a solar loan, a solar lease, and a solar PPA.
Let’s take a closer look at each one:
- A solar loan, as you may have guessed by the name, allows you to purchase a solar power system without paying for it up front. Instead, you pay a much smaller fee per month until you pay the total cost off.
By the way, if you ever decide to get your solar loan through LGCY Power, you’ll get access to benefits such as:
- Monthly payments lower than your energy bill
- System maintenance support
- Product and workmanship warranty
- Federal solar tax credit and other government incentives
- The second way to make acquiring a solar power system for your home easier on the budget is by getting a solar lease. It works practically the same way as a solar loan. The only difference is that you don’t actually get to own the system if you choose this option.
The benefits you get to enjoy in case you decide to get one through LGCY Power are exactly the same as well.
- The third option you have for making switching to solar more financially feasible is by signing a solar PPA (power purchase agreement). In this setup, the solar company retains ownership of the solar system and simply charges you for the amount of power you use.
It’s just like how you’re paying your utility company for electricity right now. The only difference is it costs significantly less and it uses a much cleaner and more sustainable resource to power your home.
Can high-efficiency solar panels make up for unfavorable weather conditions?
The short answer is probably not—unless you specifically account for the occasional performance drops when choosing a solar energy system for your home.
The problem with this approach is that you’ll be spending so much more money on a system that will produce significantly more energy than you need on sunny days—which you have no way of storing or earning from if you didn’t have solar batteries or a net metering agreement with your utility company.
But if you did have solar batteries and a net metering agreement in place, then you wouldn’t really need to account for performance drops in the first place.
Besides, even if you had the most efficient panels around, they still wouldn’t work at night anyway.
The bottom line
Even on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days, as long as there’s direct or indirect sunlight available, your solar energy system should still be able to produce power for your home, albeit at a lower capacity.
The only time solar panels actually stop working is at night when there’s absolutely no sunlight to work with—but this does not mean you have to bear with not having power every time the sun goes down.
You can ensure a steady supply of power all day every day by investing in solar batteries, signing up for net metering, or doing both.
Your next steps
Book a no-obligation free consultation with one of our solar panel consultants today so we can help you find (and install) the perfect solar power system for your home—and ensure you have access to clean, affordable power, year round.
Find out if you qualify for
solar panels in your area
Enter Your Zip Code
Did you know that there are approximately 250,000 solar power workers in America? This can make finding the right solar provider an overwhelming task. In this article, we will provide all the info you need to vet solar providers in Chico, California.
Searching for Chico Solar Companies
Of course, turning to Google is the first strategy for most homeowners in need of solar. There’s a lot of information out there and not all of it will provide the value needed to make an informed decision.
Past clients and their reviews will tell you a lot about a company. If you’re not already in the habit, take a minute to review Yelp and Google Customer Reviews. The most high-quality reviews for solar panel installation companies are often listed on the Better Business Bureau site. On the BBB’s website, you’ll find the companies who maintain an A+ rating and truly care about their clients take the time to follow through with every concern.
Of course, don’t forget to ask your neighbors! Speak with other locals about solar installers they’ve worked with. You can ask them these questions in person or, thanks to the power of social media, online. The members of locally focused social media groups will probably have suitable answers to your questions.
This won’t give you all the information you need about solar companies in Chico, but it can help to form a priority list.
Evaluate the Professionalism of a Solar Panel Installation Company
This may sound trivial, but the installation process for solar panels can be arduous for some homeowners. Examine the operational details of your prospective supplier. This will tell you a lot about how efficiently they can take your new panels from installation to activation.
Consider the overall professionalism of the solar panel companies’ website. The best companies have well-organized and aesthetically pleasing designs. You also should be able to navigate the site without trouble.
Take the time to call each company and ask some questions about their services. Pay attention to how the person on the other end speaks.
Ideally, they should sound polite and knowledgeable. Politeness and organization show that the company cares about its customers’ opinions. Usually, this means they will work hard to satisfy you during the installation process.
Understanding Solar Power Business Credentials
Now it’s time to review the specific details a solar power business needs on its website. These will help you learn about the company’s skill levels, legitimacy, and other measures of quality.
It’s essential to ensure the company’s technicians meet the certification and licensing requirements. So first, study the requirements Chico solar technicians need to meet to practice their trade. Then you can make sure that each technician has what’s required.
If you spot certifications that aren’t required by law, don’t discount them. Other non-essential certifications can also prove a business’ quality. For example, a Better Business Bureau certification is highly respected.
The company’s years of service are lower on the priority list, but still worth consideration. Technicians who have worked in their field for a long time have outstanding knowledge. Companies that have survived for years in one area have a track record of satisfying customers.
If you need even more proof, search for evidence of previous jobs. For example, most solar companies have photos and videos of completed installation jobs.
Proving Solar Installation Company Quality
Another thing to search for is proof that the company has warranties and insurance. This is another way a company can show it cares about satisfying customers. It also shows that a company has faith in the quality of its work.
By providing clients with warranties and insurance, a company can compensate you should something go wrong. A warranty ensures that customers get compensated should a product not last as long as it should (many solar panels last around 25 years). Insurance will help repay a customer should something go wrong with the installation process.
The low or high efficiency of the home solar products that an installation company uses is also telling. Look at the renewable energy brands and products that the Chico CA solar installers use for solar power systems. If you can’t find them on the site, call the company and ask about them.
You can then look up reviews of these products and brands online. Check for comments about features such as battery storage, energy generation, and how much customers saved on their electricity bill.
If there are too many poor reviews of the products, you may not want to work with the solar installers that use them. They may not know enough about solar array systems.
Compare the Prices of Solar Installers
Finally, once you’ve narrowed your priority list to just a few companies, you can compare installation rates. Call each company and ask for a price quote. However, it’s not necessarily best to take the lowest rate offered.
First, find the average rate for solar panel installation in your local area (don’t forget about solar incentives). Use that to set a reasonable budget. Then, use the average rate and your budget to find the best price.
Be cautious of very low bids. This could hint that a company does low-quality work. Your best bet is to find an average price close to your budget.
Choose LGCY Power!
Finding a solar panel installation company that meets all your needs will probably take some time. If you find yourself getting frustrated during the process, remember that excellent quality is worth the investment in your home.
Consider our services as you compare and contrast different Chico solar companies. We provide more-than-satisfactory services, as our multiple business awards and A-grade accreditation from the Better Business Bureau prove.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
How efficient are solar panels: the short answer
Different solar panel types come with different efficiency ratings, but most modern options fall anywhere between 13 and just about 25%.
Of course, the higher the efficiency rating, the higher the price tag as well. So, the goal is to just get the most efficient solar panel type for your budget instead of just shooting for the most efficient one out of all available options.
But what exactly are the options available to you? Let’s take a look at the most common ones:
Monocrystalline solar panels
Boasting an efficiency rating of around 20%—thanks to being manufactured using a single piece of pure silicon—monocrystalline solar panels are one of the most efficient options you have today.
But that’s not all they’re known for. They’re also highly regarded for their superior durability, making them perfect for homes located in areas with harsh weather conditions.
Unfortunately, these benefits all come at a price—literally. You see, monocrystalline panels are more expensive than most other options primarily because they are made using a single piece of pure silicon. Given the way they are manufactured, up to 50% of each silicon crystal used ends up wasted.
Polycrystalline solar panels
Slightly less efficient than their monocrystalline panels at about 15-17%, polycrystalline solar panels are perfect for you if you’re looking for a less expensive yet equally durable option.
These panels are manufactured using the exact same material as monocrystalline ones. The only difference is that instead of being made with just one crystal, they’re made using several cut up pieces. This means significantly less crystal gets wasted during manufacturing, which is exactly why they don’t cost as much.
PERC solar panels
Short for passive emitter and rear cell, PERC solar panels are pretty much the same as monocrystalline and polycrystalline ones in terms of the primary material used. The biggest difference is that they have an extra passivation layer behind their main cell, which does three simple things:
- Reflect sunlight back to the main cell, increasing the total amount that gets absorbed by the panel
- Resist the natural propensity of electrons to regroup, allowing them to flow more freely in the system
- Allow each panel to absorb higher wavelengths of light, preventing the back sheet from heating up and the panel’s efficiency from going down
The result is about a 5% increase in the overall efficiency of each panel—but that’s not all PERC panels have going for them. Aside from their top-notch efficiency, they’re also smaller than most other solar panel types, making them great for homes with limited roof space.
And, to top it all off, they also don’t cost significantly more than monocrystalline panels to produce, so they also generally don’t cost significantly more to acquire. So, if you’re already looking at getting the former, then you might want to consider spending just a little more to upgrade to the latter.
Thin-film solar panels
If you’re willing to sacrifice efficiency to save money, then thin-film solar panels may be the option for you. With an efficiency rating of just 13-15%, they’re the least efficient one out of the four solar panel types we’ve talked about today.
Is there a way to increase the efficiency of my solar panels?
Unfortunately, no, there’s no way to increase the efficiency of your solar panels. What you can do, however, is keep them working at peak efficiency for a long, long time.
First, you need to make sure that your home is solar ready. As a general rule, it should have a south-facing roof that slopes anywhere between 15 and 40 degrees and has unobstructed access to direct sunlight. In addition, the roof surface itself must be big enough to accommodate enough solar panels to generate the amount of power your household requires.
Second, you need to make sure that your solar power system is properly installed and set up. This means that unless you’re a certified expert when it comes to solar installations, it’s better to let a professional take care of it for you.
Finally, you need to make sure that your solar panels are not covered in leaves, snow, and other forms of debris, so be sure to clean them from time to time. And, if you spot signs of damage, get in touch with your solar provider immediately so they can fix the problem before it gets worse.
Given that most modern solar panels are designed to work at peak capacity for at least 25 years, if you have yours properly installed and keep them well maintained, you should be able to enjoy a healthy return on your investment.
Is efficiency rating everything?
The short answer is no, efficiency rating is not necessarily the be-all and end-all when it comes to choosing what type of solar panel to invest in.
While it may seem like going for the option with the highest efficiency rating is a great idea, there are actually several other factors you need to consider to ensure you get the right solar panel type for your specific needs and situation, such as:
- Your budget
- The size and condition of your roof
- The location of your property
- Your total power requirement
Let’s take a closer look at each one:
The first consideration is how much you have to spend on a solar power system. Even if you wanted to get the most efficient option, if you need to burn through your life savings to do so, then it might not be the best decision. Keep in mind that it takes time for solar energy systems to pay for themselves and become an actual asset.
Second, the size and condition of your roof would also dictate the type of solar panel you can use. There’s no point in going for the most efficient option if your roof is not big or strong enough to house it.
Third, you also need to consider your home address. if your property is located in an area that’s constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions, then you’ll also need to strike a balance between efficiency and durability when it comes to choosing the type of solar panel to use.
Finally, you need to remember that there’s more than one way to ensure your solar system meets your home’s power requirement. The goal is to find the most cost-effective setup that would last a long, long time—which doesn’t always require the use of the most efficient solar panels available in the market.
Long story short, if you want to make sure you get the perfect solar power system for your home, it’s best to hire an expert to not only help you choose, but also take care of installation, set up, and maintenance for you.
Is there a way to make switching to solar more financially feasible?
Absolutely! In fact, there are several ways for you to either significantly reduce or completely eliminate the upfront costs associated with switching to solar. Let’s take a look at the three most popular ones: solar loan, solar lease, and solar PPA.
Solar loans are just like any other kind of loan. They allow you to purchase your solar system without having to pay up front. Instead, you pay a significantly smaller monthly fee until the total cost of the system is paid off.
If you get your solar loan through LGCY Power, you’ll get access to benefits such as:
- Monthly payments lower than your energy bill
- System maintenance
- Product and workmanship warranty
- Federal solar tax credit and other government incentives
A solar lease, on the other hand, works pretty much the same way, taking the upfront cost of switching to solar out of the equation. The only difference is that if you choose this option, you won’t actually get to own the system. In fact, even the benefits are exactly the same when you get one from LGCY Power.
The third and final option we’ll be taking a look at today is solar PPA (power purchase agreement).
Unlike the first two options where you either pay in installments for the system or pay to borrow one, a solar PPA completely eliminates the need for you to purchase or lease a system. Instead, the solar company retains ownership of the system and you just pay for the amount of power you use—which typically costs less than what your utility company is charging you now.
The advantage of going with this setup is that you get to enjoy clean, affordable energy without having to worry about things such as depreciation and maintenance.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your needs.
If you prefer to have your own solar power system but don’t have the cash to pay for it up front, then a solar loan is your best bet.
If you just want a system installed but don’t mind not actually owning it, then a solar lease would be better for you. This option not only eliminates the need to pay for the system up front just like a solar loan, it also takes depreciation out of the equation just like a solar PPA.
Finally, if you just want more affordable energy but don’t want (or are unable) to install a solar power system in your home, then a solar PPA is exactly what you need.
Again, if you want to make sure you get the right solar power system for your home, the first step is to talk to a solar power specialist who can take care of not only helping you choose the correct system, but also installing, setting up, and maintaining it.
Book a no-obligation free consultation with one of our solar panel consultants today so we can answer all your questions and guide you every step of the way.
Getting a solar energy system for your home or business is a fantastic and reliable way to save money and protect the environment at the same time. It can also make your home more self-sufficient.
But it’s a big decision to make for your home. How much will it cost you? How long will your system last?
Do you know how to maintain solar panels?
These are all good questions that you should absolutely be asking yourself when shopping for a trustworthy solar energy system. But how easy it is to take care of them will astound you!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about maintaining your new solar energy system.
Where Is the Most Effective Place to Put Solar Panels?
You might find yourself wondering, “How do I get the most out of my solar panels?” The truth is that when you first buy your solar panels, they’ll be at their maximum efficiency. But placing them somewhere that doesn’t see a lot of sunlight might keep them from absorbing as much energy as they could.
This is why most people will have them put in sunny gardens or on top of roofs. For them to absorb as much sunlight as possible, you want them in a place that trees and debris won’t obstruct. This gives them full access to direct sunlight whenever it shines.
So putting them on top of your roof probably makes the most sense. The only issue is that this also exposes your solar panels to the elements. Rain, wind, and even snow will affect them every day.
The good news is that solar panels tend to be pretty sturdy. Many solar panels have even survived hurricanes.
Your main concerns might be if you live in an area of frequent tornados or large hail. If this sounds like you, then you might want to check that a warranty or homeowner’s insurance will protect your solar energy system.
Other issues you might run into are bird poop and pollen building up on your solar panels. While generally considered low maintenance, this kind of obstruction can prevent sunlight from hitting the solar cells as well as it should. Therefore, it can cause your system to run less efficiently.
What Causes Solar Panels to Degrade?
There is a name for when solar panels start to lose their efficiency: degradation. This can be the result of serious damage or obstruction on top of your solar panels. It will also simply happen naturally over time even if you take steps to maintain your solar panels.
You’ll notice that your warranty from the manufacturer will usually guarantee up to ninety percent efficiency for the first ten years. This is usually followed by another twenty years that guarantee eighty percent efficiency. This is out of a total of one hundred percent efficiency, which is what your solar panels will start with when they’re installed.
If you maintain them, the degradation process will be slow. Most solar panels made after the year 2000 degrade at a rate of less than one percent per year.
A solar panel is generally considered inefficient once it drops below eighty percent efficiency. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t still produce energy for your home. One of the oldest solar panels is sixty years old and is still producing energy.
However, it means that you will slowly start to notice that you’re not saving as much money on your energy bill every month. If this is alright with you, then you might not worry about it for a little while longer. However, like all things a solar panel won’t work forever.
Eventually, you will need to replace your solar panels to get the same energy efficiency you had before.
How to Maintain Solar Panels
The good news is that solar panels aren’t very difficult to maintain. You want to make sure that you’ve placed them where they won’t get pelted by falling leaves and twigs, but otherwise, you simply need to clean them every once in a while.
This process will serve to remove any dirt, pollen, or bird poop that has gotten on top of your solar panels. Any debris like this will prevent sunlight from reaching your solar cells. That means your solar panels won’t be generating as much energy for your home.
The good news is that if you live in an area that gets pretty consistent rain, then you shouldn’t need to do much. But if you go through a dry season or just don’t see any rain for a while, then you should take a garden hose and spray all the dirt off of your solar panels. This will remove any pollen and dirt from the solar panels.
If you have any stubborn pieces of bird poop stuck to your solar panels, a wet rag and some elbow grease should do the trick to remove this.
When it snows, you’ll want to remove it from your solar panels too. A garden hose with lukewarm water should melt ice and snow right off of the tops of them. Make sure it’s not hot water since interaction with snow would cause the solar panels to crack from the sudden change in heat.
Maintaining your solar panels in this way is the best way to keep them running efficiently for as long as possible.
How to Fix Solar Panels
The good news is that you can usually fix solar panels if they get damaged or cloudy. After a while, you may notice clouded plastic on your solar cells. This kind of clouding prevents sunlight from getting to the solar cells to generate power.
Rinsing and cleaning your solar panels isn’t going to help with this. You need something that’s going to clear the plastic for you.
Believe it or not, clear nail polish could be exactly what you need. Given the size of their cells, this trick is usually best used on a small solar light cell. All you need to do is spread some clear nail polish across the solar cells, careful not to get it on anything else.
Some people might be worried that this will reduce the amount of sunlight that can reach the solar cells, but that’s not true. In fact, it will make your solar panels more effective than if you let them stay cloudy.
The other thing you can do to fix your solar panels is getting experts to help you. If the problem isn’t that your panels are a little cloudy, then this is probably the best thing for you to do. Unless you are trained in fixing this equipment, you can easily break it if you try to do it yourself.
An expert will know exactly what to do to get your solar panel working right again, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Can Solar Panels Be Recycled?
Nothing lasts forever, and solar panels are no exception. No matter how well you take care of them, eventually, they will need to be replaced. Most solar panels are considered ineffective after twenty years, but yours may keep working just fine for longer than that.
But if solar panels eventually need to be replaced, what happens to the old ones? Are they recyclable?
The short answer to this is yes. They are indeed recyclable. The panel covers are usually made of plastic, which can be remade into something else.
But the reality is a little more complicated. While it’s completely possible to recycle degraded solar panels, it’s hard to get them to a place that will do that in the United States. Although many solar panels will be accepted by standard recycling companies.
The other option is that landfills will sell these solar panels second-hand. If the solar panel is still even somewhat usable, then it’s possible that it might still be useful to someone.
It’s also possible to recycle the panel itself in a way that recovers up to ninety percent of its solar cells for reuse. And the United States government is currently working on a way to make recycling solar panels cheaper for everyone.
This is good news because it encourages people to get their own solar installation. It means that people don’t need to worry about what will happen to their old solar panels when they need replacing. And with technology getting better all the time, soon you might see astounding lifespans from your solar panels.
Get Your Solar Energy System Today
So you can see that your solar energy system will last for a long time. It lasts even longer if you know how to maintain solar panels. Following the advice in this guide will make sure your solar panels are still producing energy after twenty years.
And the best place to get a trustworthy solar energy system for your home or business is here at LCGY Power. Our experts are delighted to help get you set up with clean solar energy today. Schedule a consultation today to get started!
Have you ever wondered or asked yourself: How much do solar panels cost in Arizona? And are they even worth it?
Arizona receives — on average — about 3,800 hours of sunlight every year, which makes it the sunniest state in the country.
Pretty interesting, right? But wait, because we’re not done yet!
Yuma — a small city with a population just shy of 220,000 that’s located in southwestern Arizona — has been crowned the sunniest city in the world!
Take that Los Angeles!
All this to say that, yes, solar panels are definitely worth it in Arizona.
And if you stick with us through this article, you’ll find out why we highly recommend that you consider solar panels for your home.
Why Choose Solar Power?
There are many advantages to going solar, it’s something that every Arizona homeowner can benefit from — and as a result — should know about. But we want you to feel comfortable and confident making the transition.
So if you find yourself still on the fence asking: why choose solar power?
Here are a few reasons that will cool your suspicions and heat your desire!
Arizona Will Fund a Quarter of the Cost
The government of Arizona provides solar tax premiums to people who install solar panels on their homes. A solar energy credit is what it is commonly referred to as.
This credit can be used to cover the cost of a $1000 solar panel by up to 25%.
Additionally, the credit is also valid toward other panel systems such as lightning, cooling, as well as electricity.
Uncle Sam Will Give Another 30%
Who would have thought? But yes, it’s true! The federal government is dishing out a 30% tax credit to the wise and well-informed homeowners who decide solar is the way to go.
But it’s best to get in on it as soon as possible since that tax credit is set to discontinue in 2022.
Solar Power Reduces Water Heating Costs
Did you know that the simple act of heating up water can actually make up a large chunk of your energy bill?
Your water heater is one of the biggest users of energy among all of your other home appliances. In fact, it’s responsible for close to 17% of your overall energy consumption.
But with solar panel installation, you can use your newly acquired solar energy to heat your water, saving yourself both power and money.
Arizona is the Sunniest State in the Country
Move over Florida, Arizona is the real sunshine state! There is a near-infinite supply of warm, radiant, and natural light that is centralized in this corner of the country.
And this abundance of sunshine makes Arizona is one of the best regions for solar power.
On top of that, solar power holds the trump card over traditional forms of energy as it will never run out (at least not in our lifetime anyway).
Moreover, getting on the bandwagon now can result in huge gains later.
We can generate an inordinate amount of power in Arizona via solar panels. Theoretically, we can produce 1752kwh every year for 1kw of panels installed on our homes.
Sounds like a pretty good trade-off, doesn’t it?
Eliminating Electric Bills
We want you to be self-reliant, we also want you to have more money in your pocket. And adding solar panels to your home is the perfect way to help accomplish those aims!
So if you’re still asking yourself: Are solar panels worth it in Arizona? Then this last point will not only answer that but will also make it as clear as day!
With solar panels, we’re able to completely eliminate our electric bill. This is because solar energy allows us to generate our own power.
And this, of course, means we’ll no longer have to rely on the electricity provided by utility companies.
There are some Arizona solar providers that will charge a nominal fee, but the savings you accrue will far outweigh this tiny payment.
Generally speaking, most panels can last for 30 years, which means you’ll be saving a lot of cash in electric bills for a very long time!
That’s a shockingly pleasant realization, wouldn’t you say?
The Costs for Upkeep Are Low
It doesn’t require a whole lot of effort to maintain solar panels. In fact, just a few scrub downs a year is all it takes to keep the panels working effectively and efficiently.
With the hectic schedules we all have in our lives, this is a big benefit that will save time and energy.
The simplicity alone when it comes to their maintenance is a feature that makes solar panels a very attractive option.
Solar Power is Not Harmful to the Environment
Pollution is no longer an issue when you switch to solar. This transition allows us to generate our own power from the energy of the sun, which means the environment will be spared.
Compare this to the alternatives that we used to (or in some cases, still) presently use — namely, gas and coal.
Those alternatives harm the environment with the constant upkeep of dangerous powerlines as well as the carbon emissions emitted from power plants, etc.
That is not a sustainable way to live, for two reasons. One; coal and other fossil fuels are non-renewable resources. And two; it’s damaging to the environment.
However, with solar panels, those concerns are a thing of the past.
Increases the Value of Your Home
Yes, the value of your home increases based on the number of panels you have. The value of your property can go up by about $6000 for each 1kw panel installed.
This can inflate the overall value of your home by as much as 4%!
Contemporary solar panels will obviously be more valuable than those that have been around for a while because over time, they eventually will begin to degenerate.
The enhancement in value of the home will be based on a few factors such as the demand for panels, the number of panels that have been installed, as well as the value of the property itself.
And solar panels don’t just make a home more valuable, they also carry the added benefit of selling a home faster.
In this day and age, there are many environmentally conscious home buyers who are more conscientious than ever before.
Some people even actively look for properties with solar panels due to their environmental values.
Therefore, homes with panels can attract people who are trying to go green while also attempting to cut costs and save energy.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Arizona?
Now, to answer one of the most heated questions of this article (pun intended). What is the price of having solar panels installed on our homes in Arizona?
The medium solar panel costs in Arizona are around $16,000.
This price is determined by the installation of a medium-sized 6000-watt panel system. And this is also before subtracting the 26% tax credit as well as any other encouragements or incentives.
Update: In August 2022, the solar tax credit was increased to 30% and extended through 2032.
Of course, this is just a general estimate. This number will fluctuate on a case-by-case basis due to a multitude of factors (number of panels we want, how much energy our home needs to operate, etc).
Solar Panel Industry Updates For September
New developments are constantly emerging in the solar energy industry. And it’s in our best interest to stay up to date on the current trends as this will help us stay well-informed.
Here are a few trending topics taking place in the industry to be aware of:
Solas Energy Signs For California Energy Projects (09/17/2021)
Solas Energy has implemented a second sequence of contracts to encourage project management and construction services for the Edwards Solar project. Solas has supplied bid management assistance since 2019.
Once complete, the project will be the world’s biggest battery solar-powered project.
Supplying 760MW of solar power as well as 2445MWh of energy storage, this project, when it’s all said and done, is expected to generate energy for more than 158,000 homes.
Public Service Corporation in Oklahoma Imparts Solar RFP (Request for Proposal, 09/15/2021)
The Public Service Company of Oklahoma has imparted a draft solar power sale agreement request for proposal. All in an effort to gain up to 1350MW of solar power assets via a variety of sales arrangements.
Proposals have a BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) as one option. Proposals are to be assessed on criteria laid out in the last 2021 power sales agreement RFP.
FTC Solar Launches New Solar Tracker for Design Modules (09/15/2021)
FTC Solar has released Voyager+. A novel 2p design solar power tracker that works to enhance energy while at the same time decreasing equipment as well as the manpower previously needed for installment.
This tracker optimizes energy creation levels. Presently, FTC has about 1GW of Voyager+ under contract or installed.
Are You Ready to Go Solar?
Solar panels are the way of the future for not just businesses and corporations, but also for regular everyday homeowners such as yourself.
So if you’re still asking: How much do solar panels cost in Arizona? That may be the wrong question. A more suitable question may be: What am I leaving on the table if I don’t get solar panels?
With that in mind, if you’re ready to make the switch and go solar, we’re here to help!
Send us a message today to get a free quote on your home! We look forward to hearing from you!
As solar power becomes more affordable and accessible throughout the U.S., more and more residents are making the switch. Not only can this investment save you money in the long run, but it’s also going to make a positive impact on the environment for years to come.
But how can you go about obtaining a building permit for solar panel installation? Is the process the same everywhere, or does it vary?
We have all the information to help you through the process. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Do You Need a Building Permit for Solar Panel Installation?
So the question is, do you need a building permit for solar? In short, the answer is yes. What gets complicated is learning the local, state, and federal laws that you have to abide by in order to obtain that permit.
This isn’t much different than any other additions to your home, though, so the process shouldn’t be too daunting.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Building Permit?
Failure to obtain any and all the required permits for your project can result in fines. You may even be called to take your solar panels down, putting you right back where you were before you started.
Take your time from the beginning to ensure everything is being done properly. From there, it’s easy to follow the process so nothing is held up along the way.
The biggest thing you’re going to need to remember is that permit requirements change throughout the years. If this isn’t your first time having solar panels installed, you’re going to have to research laws and bring yourself up-to-date before getting started.
You’re also likely to need an inspection from a local electrician to ensure that you’re meeting the proper codes, and you might have to clear it with your electricity company as well.
It’s also important to ensure you have approval from your homeowner’s insurance company. They might have certain regulations for homeowners to follow. If you fail to meet your insurance company’s requirements, it can result in your policy being voided.
How You Can Ensure Your Solar Panels Are Properly Licensed
To ensure that your solar panels are properly licensed and insured, it’s best to call in a local professional. They’re going to know the local laws, and they’re also going to be able to walk you through the entire process.
In some cases, you’re going to need a license to even purchase the materials you need to install solar panels. When you’re hiring or consulting with a professional, make sure you ask to see their professional certifications.
These are going to look different for each state and even city, but the premise remains the same: permits are the number one thing you need before you start construction or installation of your solar panels.
How Do You Know You’re Working With the Right Company?
No matter what area you live in, working with an experienced installer is the best way to ensure not only your own safety but also the safety of everyone in your home. Here are a few signs that you’ve picked the right installer:
- Includes you every step of the way
The right installer is going to be transparent about their process and work to include you every step of the way. Not only will they communicate with you in a timely manner, but they’ll work to keep you updated on everything as it’s happening.
They’ll know what they’re doing, and you’ll know you can trust them with your home.
Can This Be a DIY Project?
If you’re not properly qualified, installing solar panels yourself can be a dangerous task to take on. Not only can you hurt yourself, but it can lead to serious damage to your home.
Not only could you fall and hurt yourself, but panels also present the same risk. When either happens, it has the potential to damage not only you and the equipment but also anybody on the ground and your roof or home.
Shingles can be knocked off, rain gutters can get displaced, or you could break one of the panels, which are all costly repairs in themselves.
It’s best to trust a professional with the job. It might seem like you’re spending a lot of money on something you could “just do yourself,” but you’re actually going to be saving it.
When you hire a trusted professional, they’re going to be licensed and insured, and so is your product. If something happens to either one of them on your property, then it’s all going to be taken care of.
You’re also giving yourself peace of mind. When you hire a professional, you know everything is going to be done correctly the first time around. You won’t have to worry about repairs or mistakes being made.
In the event they are made, your warranty is going to ensure they’re fixed. If any damage is done to your home, it’s going to cover that as well.
Go With the Best in the Industry
Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about obtaining a building permit for solar panel installation, it’s time to get started. When you embark on the journey of adding solar panels to your home, it’s important to have a team of professionals behind you the entire way.
That’s where LGCY Power comes in. Not only do our services come with a 25-year warranty, but our team of professionals is knowledgeable enough to help you from beginning to end.
Schedule a consultation today to get started.