Category Archives: Solar 101

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

rv solar panels

RV solar panels: are they right for you?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Solar panel systems aren’t just for houses or commercial properties – they can be a great resource for on the go electricity users as well. In this article, learn about how solar panels for RVs and campers work, if they’re right for you, and what some of the top options available are.

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solar panel generating electricity for a home

How do solar panels work? The science behind solar power generation

Reading Time: 8 minutes

As the cost of solar energy has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across the U.S. are starting to look at solar as a viable renewable energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?”.

In a nutshell, a solar panel generates electricity when particles of sunlight, or photons, knock electrons free from atoms, setting them in motion. This flow of electrons is electricity, and solar panels are designed to capture this flow, making it a usable electric current. This electric current is created by photovoltaic cells, and the components of those cells turn the electricity into usable power. 

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce renewable energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is.

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ground mounted solar panels

Ground-mounted solar panels: top 3 things you need to know

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When homeowners think of installing a solar energy system on their home, rooftop solar is probably the first thing to come to mind. What many homeowners don’t realize is that installing ground mount solar panels is just as easy and cost-effective.

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off grid solar

What is an off grid solar system? What does it mean to go “off the grid” with solar?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

People say all the time that they want to get off the grid. Beyond just meaning getting away from it all for a while, getting off the grid has a specific technical meaning with regards to your relationship to your utility and how you get your power. So, what exactly does it mean to go off the grid? If you’re going off-grid, there are tons of options to consider when it comes to batteries, inverters, panels, mounting systems, and solar charge controllers. Each product is different and you can customize your kit in a countless number of ways, which is why it is vital to know exactly what you’re looking for and why. Generally, an off grid solar system has the following parts:

  1. Solar panels 
  2. Solar inverters
  3. Wiring/cables
  4. Mounting equipment 
  5. Charge controller
  6. Batteries 
  7. Safety equipment (safety disconnects, grounding equipment, surge protection)
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Ten facts solar

11 facts about solar energy that you didn’t know before

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The U.S. solar industry has witnessed remarkable growth in the past decade while the cost of solar has declined by nearly 70 percent. Prices reached an all time low in Q4 of 2020 across all segments of the industry, meaning solar energy has never been more affordable and accessible. Now that solar has entered the mainstream, everyday homeowners are starting to wonder how much solar could save them and how simple making the switch really could be. If you’re starting to think about installing solar panels, it’s helpful to understand the big picture for solar power. In this article, we’ll break down ten solar energy facts that shed some light on key parts of the industry.

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solar panels for home

Solar panels for home: what to know about residential solar panels

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Over the past decade, home rooftop solar use has exploded around the country as home solar becomes a very popular investment. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, driven by a need to reduce emissions in a time of global climate change. Amidst this period of energy reform, rooftop solar panel systems for houses are taking off at a remarkable rate. It’s time to give residential solar the credit it deserves.

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solar cells

How does a photovoltaic solar cell work?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

You’ve probably seen solar panels on rooftops all around your neighborhood, but do you know how they actually work to generate electricity? In this article, we’ll take a look at photovoltaic solar cells, or solar cells, which are electronic components that generate electricity when exposed to photons, or particles of light—this conversion is called the photovoltaic effect. In this article, we’ll explain how PV cells work. Specifically, we’ll examine the science of silicon solar cells, the solar cells making up the vast majority of solar panels.

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DIY solar panels: can you install solar panels yourself?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Going solar has major financial benefits: it reduces your monthly electricity costs and can even increase the value of your home. Incentives like the federal tax credit for solar can reduce your net cost by 26 percent, but solar is still a big investment, and the price tag can result in sticker shock. To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY and asking themselves “can you install solar panels yourself?” Simply put, yes you can—but, there are some advantages and disadvantages of doing it alone. For instance, it may not be the best route to take if you still need to rely on some utility energy, and installation can be very complicated without professional experience. In this article, we’ll break down the top pros and cons that you need to know about do-it-yourself solar panel systems before making a decision.

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monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels: what you need to know

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

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