Category Archives: Solar 101

How solar installers calculate solar production estimates

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solar production estimate

When you’re evaluating your solar options, there are a lot of factors to take into account. Price, of course, is key, whether you’re paying out of pocket or financing monthly payments with a lease or loan. You should also think carefully about the installation company you choose and the type of equipment going on your roof. But arguably the most important data points are the amount of electricity your panels will produce, and how much they’ll save you in the long run.

When a solar installer starts to work with you, he or she will highlight a “production estimate” as part of their quote, which is the basis for your long-term savings. Here’s how your installer estimates your solar panel system’s electricity production. 

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How do you replace a roof with solar panels? Solar panel roof replacement logistics

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solar panel roof replacement

A solar panel system will last you 30 to 35 years. In that time, your solar panels will generate plenty of savings on your electric bills.

Because solar panel systems have such a long life, many homeowners have questions about the impact this will have on their roof. How will the roof hold up over time? What if you have to remove and reinstall your solar panels for a roof replacement?

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Should I Go Solar Now or Wait?

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should I go solar now or wait EnergySage graphic

For those asking themselves “should I go solar”, the cost of solar installation has fallen every year, and 2017 was no different. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), installing a residential solar energy system cost 1.6 percent less than in 2016, which is great news for today’s solar shoppers. But the ever-decreasing costs of solar create a conundrum: should I go solar now or wait? For many, daily headlines that declare lower and lower prices can stir them to action. For others though, these same headlines can cause them to wait a few more years in hopes of saving even more money. So who’s right?

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What are the disadvantages of fossil fuels?

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disadvantages of fossil fuels EnergySage

For the vast majority of the world, fossil fuels continue to be the primary source of energy production. More and more, however, renewable technologies like solar energy are rivaling the potential of traditional fossil fuels. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the disadvantages of fossil fuels, and why the future of energy likely won’t rely on these energy sources.

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in the U.S. in 2018?

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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

How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Actually Produce? Electricity Output Explained

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power output of a solar panel

Power output or wattage is an important factor to consider when comparing solar panel options. You may hear your solar installer say, “it’s a 255 Watt panel” or “the panel I am recommending is has a wattage of 300.” Or, when you are reading a quote from a solar installer, you might see numbers like 245W, 300W, or 345W next to the name of the panel. They are all referring to a solar panel’s wattage, capacity and power output.

How much energy can a solar panel produce?

Available sunlight will vary depending on where you live but for the sake of an example, if you are getting 5 hours of direct sunlight in a sunny state like California you can calculate it this way: 5 hours x 290 watts (a wattage of a premium solar panel) = 1,450 watts or roughly 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kwh). Thus each solar panel in your system would produce a little over 500-550 kWh of energy per year.

All solar panels are rated by the amount of DC (direct current) power they produce under standard test conditions. Solar panel power output is expressed in units of watts (W), and represents the panel’s theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. Most home solar panels on the market today have power output ratings ranging from 250 to 400 watts, with higher power ratings generally considered preferable to lower power ratings. Pricing in solar is typically measured in dollars per watt ($/W), and the total wattage of your solar panels plays a significant part in the overall cost of your solar system.
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How do solar panels work for your home?

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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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How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

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how much do solar panels save graphic

Do solar panels really save you money?

With so many trendy investment opportunities available in today’s day and age, it’s easy to be skeptical of new products that boast promises of “saving you tons of money.” Solar panels are no different – saving money through reducing your electric bill is one of the main appeals and selling points for solar as a product and home upgrade. The simple answer to the question “do solar panels really save you money?” is yes. That being said, how much you’ll save depends on a number of factors. Direct hours of daily sunlight and size and angle of roof are both important, but local electricity rates play the biggest role in determining how much solar can save you.

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