Amazon is Utilizing Solar Panels Atop Their Buildings

What’s one thing buildings have that they could be better utilizing right now? If you answered their roofs, you are correct. Think about it– countless buildings around the world have roofs that don’t do much except protect what’s underneath them. However, imagine if these roofs were collecting solar energy in order to power the building and property below? It’s not that far-fetched an idea these days.

The famous online company Amazon is realizing what other companies are also realizing: they can save money by putting solar panels atop their buildings. It’s becoming cheaper to install and use solar panels than to pay the local electricity provider.

Amazon is known for e-commerce, whereas millions of people shop on their website for all sorts of items. These items are generally stored in giant fulfillment centers– humongous warehouses full of stuff. Amazon has 15 fulfillment centers that they plan to install solar panels on top of, in order to generate 41 megawatts of power. By the year 2020, they expect to be covering 50 of their sites with solar panels for power.

It’s a win-win situation for Amazon and its customers. In the long-run, Amazon saves money and is able to pass savings on to customers, who are always looking for a good deal. Meanwhile, solar energy is clean as can be– unlike fossil fuels and their dirty smokestacks. Therefore, what Amazon is doing is great for the environment.

Amazon believes in renewable energy, and the power they’ll be generating could power more than 30,000 homes, to give you a clear idea of what’s at stake.

More and more companies, along with residential homes, are installing solar panels to capture the sun and put it to work. Indeed, in the U.S.A. last year almost 36 gigawatts of solar power generation capacity was reached. It’s a number that continues to grow.

Small, Portable and Flexible Solar Panels Could Be In Your Future

Have You Ever Held a solar panel? If you have, you would know that carrying a solar panel around with you for a day would be a fool’s errand. However, thanks to new technology, the ability to carry a several solar panels around with you could quickly become a reality.

Interestingly, the days of five foot long, glass-enclosed solar panels mounted on top of van roofs and homes and other places might be numbered… Did you know that miniaturization efforts are underway to the point where the solar panels of the future will be smaller and– get this– flexible? That’s right– there’s the potential to fold up tiny solar panels that still work well. Using high-efficiency silicon, developers are able to put the technology into smaller, more flexible forms than previously imagined. For instance, “solar panels” have the potential to be incorporated into wearable clothing! Think of the possibilities– your clothing, worn outside in the sun, may one day charge your smartphone device wirelessly.

Traditional solar panels are crystalline. You can’t bend them or else they’ll break. Future solar panels, however, are likely to be bendable, making them much more convenient for a variety of uses.

In the coming years, it’s entirely possible that people will be using “new form” solar power in order to charge and use their devices. Indeed, this improved technology could literally reshape the way people live, work, play and function in daily life. The future for solar power shows much promise.

If you have any questions about solar panels or the future of solar panels, contact GR Solar Solutions today.

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Interesting Facts About Solar Panels

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.

The Reach of Solar Energy Could Be Limitless

“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…

Why Big Corporations Are Utilizing Solar Power

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.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Solar Company

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.

How Can You Tell If Your Roof Can Hold Solar Panels?

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.

A Big Announcement From GR Solar Solutions!

GR Solar Solutions is pleased to announce we’ve been chosen to be the service providers for Home Depot of El Paso regarding solar power systems. In working with Home Depot, GR Solar Solutions will be responsible for solar power system installation services and repairs, helping Home Depot customers convert to solar energy.

Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. Last year, the company released its Sustainability Report, which stated they’ve been able to reduce supply chain carbon emissions by 35% (over 2008 levels) and to reduce energy use in their stores by 30% (over 2004 levels). They have a continued commitment to becoming even more energy-efficient by the year 2020, with an emphasis on using onsite fuel cell and solar installs as well as offsite solar and wind developments.

As a company, Home Depot is serious about solar energy. It uses solar power systems for its own energy needs and provides solar energy solutions for its customers.

Home Depot generally gives potential solar energy customers a free quote to show them the advantages of solar power. They recommend homes with a mostly-sunny roof facing south, east or west as the best for utilizing solar power systems to save money on energy bills.

Since Home Depot is committed to using local, licensed and insured solar providers and panel installers, it makes sense they’ve aligned with GR Solar Solutions of Texas. With more than 30 years of experience in designing and installing solar power systems, GR Solar Solutions is the kind of company Home Depot’s customers will appreciate.

When working with Home Depot, customers will find that there are a wide range of flexible financing options including the company’s Consumer Credit Card and Project Loan. If you happen to live in the El Paso area, visit your local Home Depot to ask about solar power systems. If you choose to move forward with an install, know that GR Solar Solutions will be the ones doing the physical work to put solar panels on top of your roof.

Do You Need to Clean Solar Panels?

Solar panels rely on taking in the sun’s rays to convert sunshine into electricity. Solar panels are typically placed on the roofs of buildings, including residential homes. A common question for new solar panel users is this: “How often do I need to clean them?”

Rainstorms are really good at cleaning solar panels; they’re nature’s way of cleaning so you don’t have to. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t get rain often, you may need to get a hose and spray them yourself.

What makes solar panels dirty? Typically, wind-blown dust and pollen are the chief culprits. Occasionally bird poop might interfere as well. Dirty panels’ output may decrease by 5 to 20 percent, so it is a good idea to keep in mind their cleanliness and attend to them as needed.

Basically, how often you should clean your solar panels depends on a couple factors. First, your location matters. If it rains a lot, you’re good. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to clean them more often than not. Next, what does the tilt of the panels look like? The steeper ones stay cleaner than the more horizontal ones. Thirdly, do you live in a windy, dusty area? If so, you’re apt to need a regular schedule of cleaning the panels every couple weeks or months. Also, if the electric rate is high it might be time for a cleaning. Finally, cost factors in– how much is it going to cost you to clean the panel(s)? Can you do it yourself with a ladder and hose or do you need to hire someone else to come do it professionally?

If you want to talk to a professional about cleaning solar panels, please call GR Solar Solutions of El Paso, Texas, at 915-581-0461. GR Solar Solutions is one of the most experienced solar power companies in Texas and New Mexico.

The History of Solar Panels

Solar panels seem like they’ve been around awhile, don’t they? While the sun has been around since time began, solar panels are a more recent development, getting their start in 1955.

Though you’d almost expect solar panels to have been first developed in a sunny state like Florida or California, the solar panel got its start in… New Jersey. It was there, in the mid-1950s, that scientists from Bell Laboratories came up with the first practical photovoltaic cell. Using razor blade-sized strips of silicon, the scientists found success at converting sun rays into electricity. Soon after that, in 1958, Bell Labs provided solar electric power for NASA’s first permanent satellite.

In the 1960s and 1970s, New Jersey became the leader in solar research thanks to the efforts of a company you’ve probably heard of: Exxon. Labs were set up in Linden and Florham Park, and the company spent more money on solar technology research during that time than the U.S. government did! Exxon was convinced that oil was on its way out and solar was on its way in as reports that society would run out of oil in the coming decades surfaced. Exxon helped make solar energy a viable alternative to oil.

Interestingly, while practical solar panels were a mid-Twentieth Century development, it was way back in 1839 when Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which allows for sunlight to be turned into electricity. Attempts to make this effect work for practical purposes didn’t work out well at the time. Eventually, though, in 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell. From there, Bell Labs utilized solar cell technology to develop solar panels.

Now that it’s 2016, something interesting has happened: solar employment has overtaken oil, gas and coal employment in the U.S. according to an article from Bloomberg.

GR Solar Solutions is one of the companies providing solar power to thousands of people in New Mexico, Texas and beyond. Find out how GR Solar Solutions can save you money through solar panels by calling 915-581-0461.