Our modern world runs on electricity. Most of us consider that Ben Franklin “invented” modern day electricity when we think back to school books showing drawings of him and his kite with a key and lightning. Electricity, however, wasn’t so much invented as it was discovered, harnessed, and put to use.

Over the years names like Tesla, Westinghouse, Watt, Ampere and Ohm contributed to the rise of commercial electricity that powers the world. Coal factories, for a long time, became the main way people got their electricity. However, coal was and is dirty, polluting the planet. Smart people were able to find that the sun’s rays could be converted into electricity– a cleaner way than coal, for sure. Thanks to solar panels, solar power is viable today.

Did you know that the amount of solar energy coming from the Sun in one hour’s time is more than enough to provide all of our planet’s energy needs for a whole year?

Back in 1839, a French physicist named Edmund Bequerel noted that certain materials produced small amounts of electrical current when exposed to light. Many years later, Albert Einstein expanded the world’s knowledge about the nature of light and “the photoelectric effect,” leading to the emergence of primitive photovoltaic technology. In 1954, Bell Laboratories built the first photovoltaic module, used as a solar battery. Remember the 1960s, when the space industry really took off? Technology was put to good use to use solar energy to help power various spacecraft. In the 1970s, there was an energy crisis. Photovoltaic technology then moved from space to non-space applications, such that solar panels on rooftops started to become ubiquitous.

Today more than 10,000 homes in the U.S. utilize solar power systems for electricity, and that number is continually rising. One square foot of solar panel typically provides an output of 10 watts of power. Have you been thinking of getting solar panels for your home or business? Call GR Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461 and ask as many questions as you’d like.

“Space, the final frontier…” are the words used in the famous TV show Star Trek. All you have to do is go outside and look up toward the stars and there it is: space.

Right now, we all tend to think of things on our planet. After all, space travel is not available to the majority of people on Earth. Only a select few have had the honor to venture “up there.”

However, what if space, the final frontier, became used for something more than just a research space station and some satellites? What if space could be utilized for, of all things, harnessing solar energy to supply electricity to people on Earth?

Think about it this way: here on the planet we’re living on, we deal with sunrises and sunsets daily. Solar panels exist in places where it gets dark, right? But, what if solar panels were placed in space where the sun never sets? Interesting idea, right?

This concept of putting solar panels in space to collect the sun’s energy to then send solar power to people on Earth could very well become “the next big thing.” As a concept, for a long time it was just too expensive to make it work. But over the years, teams of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs have used their collective brainpower to come up with ways to make it economically viable.

How would the concept actually work? Modules would be launched into space where they’d end up in geosynchronous orbit. Mirrors, solar panels, and converters turning sunlight into electricity would work together to then beam microwaves to receivers on the ground (of our planet) where they’d be re-converted back into electricity and utilized by people on Earth.

How much would a solar power plant in space cost? All together, it would probably cost $5 billion dollars. Could this become a reality in the coming decades? Yes, it could. We shall see…

If you’ve ever shopped at Walmart (and most of America has) then you’ve probably noticed how their newer stores differ from their older ones. For instance, newer Walmarts often have a lot of skylights letting in natural light from above. This means they don’t have to spend as much money on light bulbs and electricity. It’s nature’s way of lighting the aisles. The sun not only provides light, but it also helps make electricity. Solar power is popular these days.

Interestingly, corporate America is getting better at utilizing the sun to ultimately save money. For instance, many corporations are installing solar panels atop the roofs of their buildings because they recognize solar energy as a good investment in more ways than one. Not only does solar energy save them money on their electric bills, but it’s also a clean energy that’s good for the environment. Consumers appreciate knowing that the corporations are doing their part to care about the environment by utilizing solar energy.

Consider the statistics. Over 1 GW of solar power is being utilized by corporations these days, according to the Solar Means Business 2016 report by The Solar Energy Industries Association. To give you an idea of how much 1 GW is, it’s enough to power 193,000 homes. Wow. There are plenty of corporations with names you know who are using solar energy to save millions of dollars. Among them are Target, Walmart, Apple and Costco. Solar panels are not only used for retail stores and office buildings, but also for data centers.

GR Solar Solutions of Texas has a partnership with UMA-Solar and Centrosolar America. This allows the company to bring residential and commercial clients efficient solar power solutions. If you want to know more about having solar panels installed on your home or at your business to ultimately save money, please call GR Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461.

Choosing a solar company can sometimes feel intimidating since it’s not something you do everyday. How are you supposed to know whether or not the company that might put solar panels on the roof of your house is a quality company worth paying to do the job?

First, consider if the solar company is willing to analyze your roof and energy needs in such a way that you feel like they care and can show you how solar energy will ultimately save you money in the long run. If they’re going to give you a quote for work to be done, does that quote provide adequate details? Does the company consider things like the pitch of a roof and building codes? Do they seem to be experts at this?

Next, the one question most people have in the back of their minds is this: what happens if the solar power system doesn’t produce the amount of electricity it was/is supposed to? What do I do then? It’s a good idea to ask a solar company about this and see what kind of guarantee they offer. For instance, are they willing and able to monitor the system to check to make sure it’s producing as it should? Exactly how much electricity will the solar panels produce? How does the company figure out their numbers?

Also, don’t be afraid to ask about who would be the people actually installing the solar panels on your roof. How will they know, for sure, that the roof can handle such panels? Do they have experience installing solar panels? Do they need to get any permits to do so? Does their work get inspected when it’s done by someone else who makes sure everything was done right?

There are many questions to ask a solar company before you decide to “go solar.” If you want to talk with GR Solar Solutions of Texas, call 915-581-0461 with any questions you might have.

Solar PanelsOne of the more popular questions people ask before buying solar panels and having them installed on their home is this: will my roof be able to hold them?

Solar panels, including their mounting equipment, typically weigh between 2 to 4 pounds per square foot. This is a weight that most roofs can handle. As long as installers distribute the weight optimally, most roofs should have no problem with the addition of solar power systems.

Solar panel manufacturers have come up with solutions to work well for all sorts of roofs, whether they’re flat or sloped.

Some of the things to consider before adding solar panels to your particular roof, though, include its age, slope, and whether or not adding panels voids the roof warranty.

First, keep in mind the age of your roof. If it’s older (think 15 to 20 years old) and you plan to have a new roof replacement done soon, then it makes sense to wait to add solar panels at the same time the new roof is put on or right afterward.

Next, if you have a steep sloped roof special equipment may be needed to install panels; check with GR Solar Solutions beforehand to get an idea of what could be done to make it work out just fine. If your roof is made of specialized material such as slate tiles then installers may need to charge extra because they have to take special precautions not to damage the unique roofing material.

Sometimes people get nervous that solar panel installation will cause damage to their roof, leading to leaks. Generally, installers use sealants and metal flashing to make sure leaks do not occur.

What about the roof warranty? Adding solar panels may cause the roof warranty to be voided, but solar power system installers often add their own warranty into the mix so homeowners need not worry.

Finally, one other option is solar shingles. These integrate with conventional asphalt roof shingles.

If you have any questions about solar panel installation on your roof, please call GR Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461.