Myths Surrounding Solar Energy

MythsThe sun is nature’s way of giving life to the planet. And, in recent years, the sun’s light has been harnessed to provide power for many people the world over. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular, yet there are plenty of myths associated with it.

For instance, some people think that solar panels require a tracking system to follow the angle of the sun. For residential purposes, moving parts aren’t needed. They’ll work just fine staying stationary. Interestingly, since solar panels have no moving parts, they don’t require maintenance. As for cleaning, the rain will clean them off so you don’t have to!

Then there’s the myth that solar panels are ugly. It turns out that they’re quite sleek and are seen as a way to enhance the look of a place these days.

Is it just “too expensive” to have solar panels? Actually, most customers notice they save money using solar energy compared to the traditional way of powering their home. Thanks to modern financing options, solar panels are being installed on homes with little-to-no money down.

What about foggy or cloudy days? People often wonder if their solar panels still work when it’s cool, cloudy and/or foggy outside. The good news is this: they work fine in ambient light. They’re nearly as efficient on cooler days.

Finally, people often think, “Well, solar power will get more efficient so I should wait before I buy.” This might surprise you– the same solar technology from the 1960s is being used today! Unlike cell phones and computers, solar power doesn’t experience dramatic improvements in short periods of time. As solar panels become more efficient, it’ll just mean you won’t need as many as before.

GR Solar Solutions of Texas provides solar pool heating systems, solar domestic hot water heaters, and photovoltaic solar systems, with locations in El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Please call 915-581-0461 (Texas) with any questions you have about solar energy.

Why Solar Impulse 2 is Making People Dream Big

solar PlaneAt the end of July, history was made in Abu Dhabi when the world’s first entirely solar powered plane completed its flight around the world without a single drop of conventional fuel.

The all-solar plane, Solar Impulse 2, first set off from the United Arab Emirates in March 2015, flying eastward around the world in 17 flights of varying length that took it through numerous countries. Despite some setbacks – including a nearly year-long delay in Hawaii caused by overheated battery damage, as CNBC reports – the plane performed well, traversing the planet completely without the use of carbon-polluting fuels.

This record-setting achievement is just the latest example of the myriad possibilities that solar technology offers in the field of travel. While the plane was not exactly fast enough to support long-distance travel as a viable solution – Solar Impulse 2 traveled at an average speed of 75 kilometers per hour, according to the project’s website – its fuel-free flight could open the door to further improvement and refinement to help conventional planes be more efficient. For example, if solar was added to a conventional aircraft, it could reduce in-flight energy costs and help diminish the reliance of airliners on jet fuel, making a more efficient and green flight a viable option.

The plane also used new battery technologies that allowed it to sustain flight even at night. The energy generated in excess of the plane’s immediate needs was stored in the onboard battery systems, which then allowed for 24-hour operation, including five nights as part of the plane’s longest trip from Japan to Hawaii. This technology could help to improve automated devices like drones or satellites, allowing them to conserve power more efficiently and operate for longer periods of time without the need to land or switch to a conventional fuel source.

Perhaps the most important part of the mission was to change attitudes around the world toward solar power and show the capabilities of solar technology.

“I hope that the result of this project will be the people understanding that you can achieve absolutely incredible goals with renewable energies and energy efficiency and new monitoring technologies,” said Bertrand Piccard, chairman and co-pilot of Solar Impulse 2, in an interview with CNBC.

Here on the ground, Solar Solutions can help your home or business add solar energy and make your home less reliant on conventional fuel. Solar energy can power your lights and other electronics, or even be used to heat the water in your shower or pool. To learn more about the capabilities of solar power for your building or to get a quote on adding solar panels, call us today at 915-581-0461.

The World Is Becoming Increasingly Solar, Which is Good News for All

Solar PowerFor several years now, there’s been a concerted push by individuals, corporations and nations around the world to increase the use of renewable power sources. Wind and geothermal have been popular, but nothing like the adoption rates of solar power. Solar is simple to install and can work in nearly any location that receives sunlight, making it versatile and adaptable in situations at nearly every parallel north and south of the equator.

China has emerged in recent months as a powerhouse in solar energy generation. According to Computer World, in the first half of 2016, the nation has added new solar power generation sources that are capable of creating 20 billion watts, significantly beating industry analysts’ estimates and further securing it’s position as the top solar power generating nation, a title it took from Germany just last year. China’s National Energy Agency is also forecasting growth to continue at record levels, and aims for 150 billion watts of generation capacity by the end of the decade.

This is just one of the latest signs that the solar industry as a whole is moving us into a solar-driven era of renewable power. Domestically, great strides are being made as well. In Nevada, Scientific American reports that the Crescent Dunes concentrated solar facility now uses a new method of melting salt using the sun’s energy during the day to keep electricity-generating turbines running throughout the night, creating the world’s first solar generation plant that can make power 24 hours a day.

Further to the west, California – long known for its green energy efforts – has made new advancements as well. Just last month, California Independent System Operator – a utility in the state – announced that it had broken its single-day generation record. According to Inhabitat, CISO generated a whopping 8,030 megawatts on July 12, besting the previous record by roughly 2,000 megawatts. Most notably, however, are two facts about this high level of generation. First, the power generated is capable of serving 2 million average households – an impressive number. Second, all power generated came from utility-grade sources, and did not include any of the residential or commercial solar panels that dot roofs across the state.

With so much to gain from solar power, it’s easy to see why companies and residences across the nation are continuing to invest in solar panels and other generation options. At Solar Solutions, we’ve helped countless clients with planning, purchasing and installing new solar panels are their homes and businesses. We even offer financing options, and offer free estimates to help you better understand the prospective costs and benefits of adding solar power to your property. To learn more or to get started, call us today at 915-581-0461 or request your quote online now.

Reasons to Switch to Solar Energy

In recent years, the use of solar energy has skyrocketed as numerous homes bad business across the country have adopted the new technology for a variety of reasons. Despite this spike in usage, many still haven’t jumped in and started using solar energy. So, if you’re on the fence about whether to go solar or not, here are a few good reasons you should make the switch.

Good for Environment

Solar energy doesn’t contain nearly as many harmful emissions as other energy sources as all of its power comes from the sun. By converting over to it, you will be reducing your home or business carbon footprint on the environment and not emanate such harmful things such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

Great Home Investment

Installing a solar energy system might seem like a tall investment but once it is installed, you will make your money back in more ways than one. For starters, you won’t have to succumb to rising energy rates as you will be in control of your home’s electricity, so you will ultimately save yourself money in the present and future. Also, the systems are very durable and low maintenance whereas other energy systems are more apt to breaking and needing repairs which can be expensive.

Set a Good Example

By getting a solar system installed, you set a good example that hopefully your neighbors and other businesses will follow. Once you see the benefits of the system, you can spread them through word of mouth to others and encourage them to transfer over to solar energy. This will keep the conversion into solar energy going so that we can protect the environment for future members of our family tree.

So if you’re looking to convert your home over to solar energy, GR Solar Solutions has got you covered. We’ve been designing and installing solar electric systems in Texas and New Mexico for over 30 years and will create the system your home and business needs. For more information, call us today at 915-581-0461!

The Benefits of Solar Pool Heating

pool flatOne of the nicest things to own and use is a pool with warm water. If the water’s too cold, it’s just not that nice. What about using solar pool heating to keep the water nice and warm?

The nice thing about solar pool heating is that it helps stretch the length of your swimming season, keeping your pool warmer for a longer period of time than if you didn’t have it. As an environmentally-friendly way to heat pool water, solar energy from the sun helps keep your pool comfortable without requiring costly electricity or a refrigerant system with a noisy motor and compressor which eventually wears out or breaks down.

Most solar pool heating systems are fully automated whereas you set the desired temperature and barely ever think about it again for the rest of the swimming season. It’s one of those systems that eventually pays for itself, and then the rest is essentially “free heat” for years to come. Many people like utilizing solar pool heating because it’s not only good for the environment but ultimately saves them money in the long run.

So how does a solar heater work? A solar collector has small passages through which water flows and is warmed by the sun. The collector is able to monitor the pool water temperature so that when the set temperature is reached, water then bypasses the solar collector because the pool water is as warm as the owner wants it to be. Since energy from the sun is free, it’s quite cost-efficient!

Solar Solutions of Texas has installed many solar pool heating systems over the years. Utilizing Heliocol solar panels, Solar Solutions is able to help heat swimming pools in a wide variety of climatic conditions– from the arid desert to cold mountain areas. Since 2006, Solar Solutions has installed more than 400 residential systems throughout Texas, New Mexico, and surrounding states.

If you want to keep your pool warm using energy from the sun, call Solar Solutions today at 915-581-0461.

A Brief Look At the Future of Energy

With two-thirds of this planet’s human population living in cities by the year 2050, how can we sustain our environment rather than wrecking it? Obviously, the way we get and use energy will matter more than ever, simply because billions of people’s daily lives will depend on it.

Cities have no choice but to integrate renewable energy into their landscapes in order to both survive and thrive in the coming years.

Solar power is going to take the lead– even in places that don’t seem so sunny. The solar industry is currently being built up to handle an increasing demand, and technology is making it possible to deploy solar power in many ways.

Today, we’re used to thinking of big solar panels on rooftops, but the solar panels of the future will be transparent and mounted on the windows of buildings, thus capturing more sunlight than before. Furthermore, solar cells are being optimized to take advantage of the light that’s available to them.
For instance, in cloudy climates, solar cells can be made to utilize longer wavelengths, in order to effectively harness enough light to be productive.

Remember when people first had giant satellite dishes to receive TV signals? Over time, they became a lot smaller and more compact. That’s happening with things like wind turbines, too. Smaller, lighter, more efficient wind turbines of the future will be built into and onto buildings to capture the wind and turn it into energy. Even right now, this sort of thing is happening: The Eiffel Tower in Paris has recently been fitted with two wind turbines.

Whether it’s wind or solar power, one thing’s for sure: we’re moving away from polluting energy sources, and moving toward a planet where clean energy rules. That’s a great thing.

Solar Solutions Inc. is one of the most experienced solar power companies in Texas and New Mexico. When you’re ready to “go solar,” call 915-581-0461 or email solarsolutions.texas@gmail.com.

Solar Panels Could Soon Proliferate Up North

Since solar power is fairly new to most people, questions arise about the details such as, “Will it work with a steep roof or a flat roof?” or “What if I don’t want panels on my roof– are there other options?”

In Madison, Wisconsin, a solar demonstration project exists to test out solar panel designs, directions and angles with a focus on figuring out what works best in northern climates like Wisconsin, where it’s more likely to snow in the winter than, say, Texas.

Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it to electricity which can then run the many appliances and gadgets in a home like TVs, computers and washing machines.

Since states in the southern part of the USA are well-known for their sunny climates, solar panels have become quite prevalent in places like Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and California. So what’s next for the industry as a whole? The idea is to adjust panels as needed in order to meet the electrical needs of people in the Midwest as well as places far north like Minnesota and Maine.

Overall, solar panels are like most technologies: over time they become more efficient as more people work toward developing smaller, better, faster models that improve on the generation that came before them.

There’s definitely a move away from coal-supplied energy in America and abroad. Solar power is emerging as a major player in the world for supplying people with energy to run their homes and businesses. After all, the sun is an amazing natural resource, and the technology to harness its rays to create electricity has arrived. Now researchers just have to figure out how to make the panels as efficient as possible so that even on cloudy or snowy days they’re still “up to par” with what people expect.

By the way, at the solar demonstration project in Wisconsin, there are solar carports with electric-vehicle charging stations. You’ll also find special “solar trees,” whereas panels are mounted on curved steel structures that look like trees or flowers! The day could come where everything is powered by the sun.

Could You Soon Make Photocopies With Solar Panels?

For years Xerox was a company synonymous with making photocopies of documents using paper. However, the times, they are a changin’, like Bob Dylan once sang, and today Xerox-affiliated researchers are looking to help expand their business with something else… copied solar panels.

Could there be a machine that copies solar panels? It is possible. Xerox’s idea is to develop a new digital printing process to make it cheaper to mass produce “solar photovoltaic systems,” aka solar panels. Just like a lot of things, these items could be smaller, cheaper, and more efficient than what’s currently on the market today. Think about how phones used to be bigger and bulkier, as well as computers. Now imagine the solar panels you see on rooftops– they’re generally pretty large, aren’t they? What if a company like Xerox could design and make smaller ones that do a great job for people?

How can Xerox-affiliated researchers make this technology a reality? They’re developing a new kind of printer which can deposit tiny semiconductor chips on a flat panel. So, instead of depositing ink, like most printers and copiers do, this new version would be able to assemble together electrical and optical components, thus making improved solar panels on a mass scale.

Strides have been made by engineers to shrink components needed that concentrate and focus sunlight down to the millimeter scale. In a few years, it’s possible that precision-made solar panels will be able to be made like the way we photocopy documents today.

Since this technology isn’t quite ready just yet, you have the option of utilizing today’s solar panels on top of your roof to harness the sun for power. Solar Solutions Inc. is one of the most experienced solar power companies in Texas and New Mexico. If you’d like solar electric and solar pool heating systems designed and installed for your place, call 915-581-0461.

Common Solar Energy Myths

Although using solar energy to generate power has been around for quite some time, there are still many myths associated with it. These myths often dissuade people and businesses from investigating whether solar power is a viable and worthwhile investment.

Today, we’re going to dispel three common solar energy myths. Hopefully, this will help educate people about the true advantages of installing solar power panels in their homes and business.
Let’s get to it.

Myth #1: Solar energy is super expensive

Dating back to the nineties, many people believe that the price to install solar panels is astronomical. In reality, the price of solar modules has dropped about 95% since 1977, according to an article in the Huffington Post. For a system installed in 1995, one person paid $40,000. If the same system was installed today, the cost would be about $9,000. And that’s just one example!

Myth #2: Solar energy doesn’t work in the cold

While many of our customers in Texas and New Mexico don’t have to worry too much about the weather being extremely cold, the myth that solar energy doesn’t work in the cold is widespread.

The truth here is that solar systems might actually work better in the cold! According to the article, solar PV systems loose some efficiency when the temperature hits above 70 because of how hot the modules get.

Myth #3: Solar energy isn’t very efficient

Many people believe that solar modules are only capable of converting 15 to 20 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity. While this is true, the supply of solar energy (the sun) is a nearly unlimited resource. This means we don’t have to worry about of resource wasted, like we do with natural gas or coal.

While we would like to see solar modules become more efficient, they have increased efficiency over the years. Thirty years ago the efficiency of a solar system was about 10 percent; today it’s closer to 20 percent.

So there you have it, three common solar energy myths discredited. For more myths debunked, check out the Huffington Post article here. If you’d like to learn more about solar power installations, please contact us today at solarsolutions.texas@gmail.com, or give us a call at 915-581-0461.

Join the Movement, Let Solar Energy Heat Your Pool

Taking a dip in your backyard pool is the perfect way to spend a humid, summer day. There is nothing like jumping in a comfortably warm pool to swim some laps or play a game of volleyball with the family. However, even if you live in an area where warm temperatures are common – as we do here in Texas – a heater may still be necessary for you to thoroughly enjoy your pool at any time of day or year. Instead of automatically thinking about purchasing a conventional heater however, look to solar energy to heat your pool this year.

 

Warming your pool with traditional methods results in high monthly gas or electric bills and requires a great deal of maintenance, especially if something goes wrong with the system. On the other hand, solar pool heating allows you to enjoy warm pool water through environmentally efficient means. By harnessing energy from the sun, heating your pool is not only easier to maintain, but also keeps you from burning a hole in your wallet. Plus with Heliocol making use of PVC on their solar system components rather than metal, you are guaranteed that your heating system won’t rust or leak.

Energy costs continue to rise especially due to the current economic situation, making the idea of an energy efficient heating method extremely appealing for a pool owner. Considering its use of free renewable resources from the sun, a solar powered heater can help protect you from these rising costs!

What’s even more, solar energy heated pools allow you to extend your pool season, giving you the luxury of swimming 8-10 months out of the year and on those seasonably cool days or nights. That means that this energy and cost efficient method nearly triples your length of swim time as opposed to regular pools.

Another added benefit of solar powered heaters is they not only work with in-ground pools, but above ground as well. If you already have a pool pump, not to worry! They work wonderfully with most existing pumps for various pools and sizes. Call GR Solar Solutions, Inc. for more information and take the next step towards bringing a solar powered pool heater to your backyard oasis today!