Solar Panels: A Strong Investment Or Waste Of Money?

With the world moving towards more sustainable energy production, it’s not surprising that homeowners are beginning to see the countless benefits of installing solar panels in their homes.

In terms of finances, solar panels can actually be the best decision for anyone’s wallet; drastically reducing energy consumption and saving a significant amount on monthly electricity bills.

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity using solar cells, and when sunlight hits the cells, electricity is generated. Solar panels can be used for various industries and purposes: as remote power systems for telecommunications equipment, and as electricity generator in residential areas and commercial establishments.

Cost spikes in electricity are inevitable, and having solar panels on your roof can stabilize your monthly expenditures on utilities and keep more money in your family’s pocket!

Solar panels are not only an investment that will save you money on an ongoing basis, but will also increase the value of your home. A study from the Appraisal Institute in Chicago says that a typical residential installation of solar panels could increase a home’s value by $30,000.

This means that for every $1 dollar that you save from electricity consumption, an additional $20 goes to your home value. The accumulated savings over time eventually offset the initial cost of installation, with a return on investment in as little as 5 to 7 years.

Other Benefits

However, solar panels have other benefits that go beyond money. For one, solar panels make your home  ‘off-the-grid’. This means you can protect yourself from unpredictable sources in energy rate. You also get to enjoy cheap energy throughout the day, making your home energy-independent.

Suffice to say, solar panels improve grid security. Each home that utilises solar panels work as a small independent power plant and provides security during natural and man-made disasters.

Not only this, but installing solar panels helps do your part for the environment. Solar energy is a clean and green energy source, drastically reducing your carbon footprint. And unlike other sources of energy production, solar doesn’t emit greenhouse gases or other harmful substances into the environment. Solar power is totally self-sufficient and is one of the greatest contributions to sustainable development.

Putting The Control Back In YOUR Hands

Furthermore, solar panel roofs allow you to be in control of your energy consumption. You will be consuming energy that is domestic, as opposed to electricity that needs to be transported from power plants through networks and providers. Solar panels also largely reduce service interruptions (there is of course, no power outages!)

In the UK, solar power creates more jobs and encourages economic growth. Thirty-five thousand people were employed in the solar energy industry in 2015, and the photovoltaic (PV) panel installation market continues to grow.

Meanwhile, US residents 30% federal solar tax credit to commercial and residential properties – some government states offer additional tax credits, too. A residential federal tax credit allows you to claim 30% of your installation costs. Suppose you placed this service in 2019, the credit will drop to 26% in 2020, and will expire in 2021. Though it may not sound like a lot, these tax credits help decrease your monthly spending costs.

Obviously solar energy works when the sun is out… So what happens when the sky is overcast?

In such cases you may draw from the grid, OR install a solar battery. And although the full benefits of using solar panels may not manifest for now, you’ll definitely enjoy the fruits of your initial investment much later.

How Many Solar Powers Can Power a Household?

You can use a solar calculator to determine the best sized system for your home. It’s easy to use – you’ll just have to enter your postcode and how much you pay for energy consumption.

For example: a 2,000-square foot household would need a solar array of 4,000 watts. That would translate to around 17 or 18 solar panels. Remember that this is just an estimate of your energy consumption, which will vary depending on your electricity provider.

How Much Can You Exactly Save?

The amount saved by utilizing solar panels depend on a few key factors. As solar panels generate their own power, they can offset your monthly electricity expenditures. Keep in mind though, that energy rates and usage are volatile!

When the price fluctuates, the amount of saving does also.

One cannot really say how much – for a fixed price – you can chop off your electricity bill every month. Reviewing your own electric bills will more or less give you insights on how much you could save.

Another important consideration is to evaluate your sunlight exposure. Some states in the US are blessed with more sunlight than others. California and Arizona, for instance, get more sunlight hours in each day.

You also have to check the location of your home – its position toward the sun, its roof type, and the amount of shade it gets. A Solar-Estimate Calculator can estimate the efficiency of solar panels in your area depending on your exact location, average energy cost in your bill, and electricity provider.

While solar panels may require an initial investment of anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000 on average, the benefits and savings that they offer make them an important consideration for any family. With low maintenance and a long life, solar panels can provide your family years and years of free energy, saved money and a reduced carbon footprint.

Can We Recycle Solar Panels

If you have ever worked in the solar industry you will know the importance of solar energy to the world at large. Solar energy is inexpensive to maintain, and it aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, what a lot of experts in the industry have failed to understand is that solar modules have some advantages and disadvantages when they are no longer useful.

The United States deployed 53GW solar capacity so far this year. Now, let’s say 250W was the average wattage of every installed solar module, the overall weight of panels deployed is equivalent to 44.5 million tons. To put it in perspective, that is equal to the weight of the Empire State Building times 22.

Being an industry that takes pride in its sustainability, there needs to be a concentration on recycling its panels after a solar project, so that our landfills don’t become saturated with them. The recycling of solar panels, as of now in the United States, is not a problem due to the fact that a many of the installations have been carried out in the past decade; however, the market for more places to recycle will only increase with time in the near future. According to a research by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), materials that can be recycled are expected to hit $15 billion by 2050.

How are they currently recycling?

The question being asked is if “solar modules are currently being recycled?” The quick and short answer to this question is, YES. Silicon solar modules basically consist of aluminum, glass and plastic, which are the three materials recyclable in large quantities.

The process involved for these materials to be recycled is not an easy one, and require the use of highly sophisticated machinery. The procedures for a silicon module to be recycled include:

  1. eliminating the frame of the aluminum
  2. separation of the glass with a conveyor belt
  3. the processing of thermal at no less than 500 degrees Celsius
  4. and finally, the etching away of silicon wafers and the smelting of slabs which can be used again.

Due to the fact that PV capacities were installed in the 1990s by a lot of European Nations, the recycling market of a solar module PV is booming gradually. The PV Cycle was built by the European Union’s WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) to structure a great recycling system.

This is why the United States has a lot to learn when it comes to the recycling of PV module form the European nations. Although last year, Washington turned out to be the first state to scale through solar product stewardship law, there is a need for other states to join this movement in order put enough pressure on producers to come up with recycling programs.

This process will not be as hard to implement as the life span of a solar panel is beyond 24 years. However, the success of the solar industry depends on how we get the raw materials needed for producing solar modules. If we aim at making our solar firm move to the next level in the coming years, now is the time to start thinking of ways to make sure modules stay out of landfills throughout our beautiful country.

What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

Are you considering a solar panel for your home? If so, one of the first few questions you will probably ask yourself is “what is the best direction for solar panels to face so they will produce maximum power?”

Typically, your solar panel company will help you with the placement, but the general rule is if you are in the U.S., you should have your solar panels facing true south.

The more sunlight that reaches your solar panels, the more electricity you can generate and the more you will be able to save on your electric bill.

If your roof doesn’t face the south…

Don’t panic, if your roof faces east-west instead of north-south you have a few options. You could increase the solar collector area by using more solar panels or larger collectors. Another option is to place the panels somewhere other than your roof. You could mount panels on a south-facing wall or even on the ground. This is more unusual but it gives you easy access to the panels so you can clean or repair them easily.

Worried about not getting enough sunlight?

If you decide to place your panels on the ground instead of the roof, you could always look into placing your panels on trackers which adjust the position of the panels though out the year to maximize the amount of sunlight.

Now that you know the direction your solar panel should face, give Solar Solutions a call at 915-581-0461 today so we can answer any questions you may have regarding solar energy.

New Homes in Miami Require Solar Panels

As the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source out there, solar power is the energy of the future. Because of its many benefits, more and more individuals and companies are going solar. And just this month, South Miami passed a law requiring that anyone buying a new home or renovating their existing one install solar panels.

The Whats

Under South Miami’s new law, any homes being built that are larger than 1,100 square miles will need to install solar panels. Any home renovations that replace or extend more than 75% of the building are also subject to this law and thus require the owners to install solar panels.

South Miami is the first city in Florida to pass a law of this kind, and the fourth in the country. The law will go into effect on September 18.

The Whys

Lawmakers and government officials cite looking toward the future as their reasoning for passing this new legislation. As South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard explained the night the measure passed, “Solar reduces the cost of home ownership, it makes houses sell faster, it returns more to a builder, it makes local jobs, and most importantly, it reduces carbon emissions today to help our children and grandchildren have a better future tomorrow.”

Looking to install solar panels for your own home or business? With more than 30 years of experience in the solar energy field, Solar Solutions will provide you with superior panels and installation! Contact us today to learn more about our services.

 

Drones and Solar Panels?

Sometimes there are broken solar panels on solar farms, but a new company, Measure, has come up with a revolutionary idea to fix this issue.

To help make solar energy more efficient, drones might be utilized to help identify broken or improperly installed solar panels.

Harjeet Johal, a vice president of the drone company says that sending employees out to manually locate busted panels is incredibly difficult, labor intensive and costly. To find 200 panels in a 200 acre farm would take a couple of weeks where as a drone can spot dead panels in seven hours.

How does the drone spot broken panels?

A drone can be partially or fully defective or wired improperly. The drone company uses both visual and infrared panels to tell which panel is functioning or not. Solar panels convert sun’s rays into electricity and not heat. However, if a panel is broken, it will get very hot compared to the rest of the panels because it is absorbing all of the sunlight, which causes it to stand out to an infrared sensor on a drone.

Why do panels sometimes break?

You don’t hear of solar panels breaking very often, but it can happen. It could depend on the panel manufacture, the life of the plant, the environment, the weather and other factors. But the most important rule regarding solar panels is to not touch them. Always have an experienced employee from Solar Solutions inspect your panels and repair or replace them if need be. Give us a call today at 915-581-0461; we will be sure to meet all of your residential and commercial solar energy needs!

World’s Largest Floating Solar Panels

China once had a reputation as a coal-guzzling, smog – blanketed polluter. However, that is changing fast. China invests more in wind, hydro and solar power than any other country and recently, China switched on the world’s largest floating solar power plant.

Where is it located?

The floating solar power plant is located in the city of Huainan. The power plant has a capacity of 40 megawatts, which is enough to power a small town or more than 15,000 homes and it floats over a flooded former coal-mining region.

Advantages of floating solar arrays

Floating solar panels have been in use for a little over a decade and have several advantages; the cooling effect of the water the panels float on makes them more efficient and they don’t take up any valuable space on land. Floating solar panels not only increase clean power, but they also reduce evaporation of water for drinking or irrigation by intercepting sunlight before it hits a reservoir’s surface.

China may have achieved a seemingly impossible renewable energy goal and we are intrigued. Solar power is gaining traction around the globe, and if you are interested in the process, give Solar Solutions a call at 915-581-0461, we are one of the most experienced solar power companies in Texas and New Mexico.

Google’s Latest Feature

Google knows and does just about everything, but the latest feature might just blow your mind away. Google’s Project Sunroof allows you to check if your neighbors have installed solar panels on their rooftops.

This tool has been around for a few years, allowing you to check whether installing solar panels will cut your energy bill or not, but now you’re able to zoom in on a satellite map and a red dot will show you homes and building that have solar panels. Project Sunroof was launched in 2015 but has now expanded outside the US earlier this year.

How does it work?

This tool tells you how much sunlight hits your rooftop, how much you could save by installing solar panels and it gives you information on local panel providers to help with the installation.

Where does the tool get the information?

It’s gathered by a machine learning algorithm that’s trained to recognize solar panels from satellite images. According to The Atlantic, this intensive information is available on 60 million buildings in the US as of right now, but Google is hoping to add 40 million buildings in the next few years.

Why was this tool created?

The goal of Project Sunroof is to encourage more people to commit to solar panels. People are more likely to install solar panels if their friends and neighbors have, especially if the panels are visible from the road.

Use the power of the sun to your advantage and contact Solar Solutions at 915-581-0461 today to help get your solar panel installed. We are looking forward to working with you!

Why You Should Camp With a Solar Panel

With summer shortly approaching, your mind is automatically planning trips you want to take with family and friends. Perhaps you want to get back to the simplicity of nature by going camping, but you don’t want to completely go off of the grid. In that case, bringing a solar panel camping will allow you to enjoy electricity at any time without doing any damage to Mother Nature.

Are you worried about running out of battery on your next camping trip? No need to panic. You’ll still be able to run your refrigerator, mobile device and camping lights if you use solar power. You won’t have to detract from the peace and quiet you went outdoors to find, like generators tend to do. Instead, you can use solar power, a clean form of energy that’s natural, renewable and free.

What you’ll need

A compact and portable solar panel, a solar regulator, a deep-cycle auxiliary battery and an inverter (if you’re planning to charge large appliances such as a television or laptop.)

How it works

A solar panel gathers power from the sun, which then flows into the battery through the solar regulator. Solar regulators are important because they prevent damage to your battery from fluctuating charge or overcharging. How much power your panels gather depends on their size, how they’re used and the amount of sunlight hours in a day. Keep in mind that not all sunlight is created equal. Factors such as geographic location, surrounding temperature and the time year all have an influence over how much power your solar panels are able to gather.

How to calculate your solar power requirements

Knowing how to calculate your equipment’s power usage is key to creating a solar power system that’s tailored to you. If you don’t have a basic understanding of how much power your appliances are using, you could end up buying the wrong-sized solar panel or incorrect battery.  To calculate your usage, look at your devices and see if they have a power draw on the label, then figure out how long per day you will operate the equipment to calculate its overall power draw. To figure out how to calculate your solar power requirements in depth, check out iTechWorld.

How to set up your solar panel

In order to optimize its best performance, position and align your solar panel perpendicular to the sun, it will capture the maximum amount of solar energy. When possible, try to align your panels according to the sun’s position in the sky and clear off any dust that gathers on the panel with a microfiber cloth.

Now that you’re thinking about solar panels, call GR Solar Solutions, one of the most experienced solar power companies in Texas and New Mexico, at 915-581-0461 for more information.

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.