Category Archives: Solar 101

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the U.S. in 2017?

solar panels cost in the u.s. graphicYou’ve probably heard about how solar energy can reduce your electricity bills, but how much do solar panels really cost? The easiest way to calculate the average cost of solar panels is to look at its price in dollars per watt, which is relatively consistent across the United States. Continue reading

Solar panel safety: what you need to know

solar panel safety

As with any electrical appliance, solar panels can be at risk to certain electrical damages and dangers, such as solar panel fires and power surges. Luckily, there are plenty of measures in place to ensure your solar panel installation is safe. This article will discuss some of the common safety concerns around solar panels, and what mechanisms are in place to prevent dangerous solar panel scenarios.

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What are the most efficient solar panels on the market?

most efficient solar panels on the market energysage

For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.

In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.

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Solar Panel System Design: How Solar Installers Map Out your PV System

solar panel system design

The process of of how solar installers design a solar energy system is often a mystery for most consumers. Because of this, we would like to give you some insight into how solar installers design a solar power system for your home or business. A solar power system is designed considering two important factors – the amount of space that you have available for installing solar panels and the amount of electricity you consume annually. Other factors, like shading analysis and the efficiency of solar panels and inverters also come into play.   Continue reading

How do solar panels work for your home?

how solar panels work

As the cost of solar has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across the U.S. are starting to look at solar as a viable alternative energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?” In this article we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is in 2017.

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Why are solar panels blue?

why are solar panels blue not black

Most solar panels you will see have a blue hue to them, although some panels are black in color. The source of this color difference comes from the way light interacts with two different types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. In this article, we will examine what the color of a solar panel can tell you, and what makes solar panels blue.

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Critter guards for solar panels: protect your system from squirrels & birds

solar panel critter guards squirrels birds

A surprising threat to your solar panels may be the animals that live in the area surrounding your home. Birds and squirrels can damage your solar setup in several ways, leading to unwanted repair costs and headache. One solution to solar’s animal problem is to install “critter guards,” a physical barrier between your panels and the local fauna.

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Why Consumers Should Get Multiple Quotes for Solar Panel Systems

When shopping for airline tickets or other big-ticket items, people generally shop around. For airline tickets you might compare: How much will it cost? When are the flights? What are the baggage charges? What’s the airline’s safety record? What’s their “on-time” percentage? How much leg-room will there be? Etc. People use a comparison shopping approach because it gives them all the information needed to make the right choice. The same is true when shopping for solar power systems for your home or business. If you take the first offer that comes your way, how will you ever know if you got the right system or the best price or terms for your property?  Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

pros and cons of solar energy graphic energysage

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably already had your share of exposure to solar marketing, whether through spammy ads promising free solar panels or a knock at the door signaling an eager solar salesman ready to convince you why you should go solar. To make the right decision for your home, you need to be able to distinguish between the real pros and cons of solar power and the solar myths that are sometimes communicated in the media. 

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