12 Volt Versus 24 Volt Solar Panels

What Is the Difference Between a 12-Volt and 24-Volt Solar Panel?

12 volt solar panelSolar energy is one of the most popular sources of renewable energy available today. A solar panel converts the energy from the sun into usable electricity. This process has been seen to be an environmentally friendly and environmentally responsible option for people who wish to reduce their carbon footprint. With this in mind, people who think about solar panels are often confused about what kind of solar panels they should purchase. Many people are confused by the difference between 12-volt and 24-volt solar panels. Today, we’re going to look at the difference between these two solar panels and the advantages they provide to help you decide which is best for you.

1. Compatibility with Battery:

The first thing to understand is that the 12-volt solar panel is not compatible with 12-volt batteries. The advantage of the 24-volt solar panel is that it is compatible with both 12-volt and 24-volt batteries. If you purchase a 24-volt solar panel and battery, you will be able to connect the solar panel directly to the battery and begin using it. This means that you will not have to use an inverter or other power converter to get your energy. You can connect a 12-volt battery to a 24-volt solar panel and charge it through this device. Since most people already have 12-volt batteries, this is an important advantage of using a 24-volt solar panel.

2. Compatibility with Inverter:

12-Volt and 24-Volt solar panels are compatible with different inverters. Inverters are devices that allow you to convert solar energy into usable electricity. A 12-volt solar panel will require a 12-volt inverter, while a 24-volt solar panel will require a 24-volt inverter. This is necessary because the device’s voltage must match the voltage of the battery it is being connected to.

3. Application:

12-volt solar panels are mainly used for smaller applications such as powering RVs, computers, TVs, and lights. While these are nice for camping or other outdoor recreational activities, they may not provide the power that you need in your everyday life. On the other hand, a 24-volt solar panel is much more powerful and can be used for bigger applications such as solar power for a home, apartment, and even hospitals. 24-volt solar panels are also great for large-scale and commercial projects because they provide a lot of power for the price and are great for projects such as golf courses and farms.

4. Range & Pricing:

Both 12-volt and 24-volt solar panels can be purchased at various prices depending on the wattage and the brand. Depending on the model, brand, and added benefits like warranty, installation, etc. 24-volt panel will cost you between $170 to $550. 12-volt, on the other hand, will cost you $110 to $140. 24-volt panels usually have a larger range, and you will get a larger wattage at a comparable price but will definitely require more batteries and more space for them to work properly.


As you can see, the 12-volt and 24-volt solar panels are similar in many ways, but there are some differences. While both of these solar panels will help you to use solar energy to power your electronics and appliances and enjoy the benefits of using renewable energy, the 24-volt solar panel provides a little more bang for your buck. It is more powerful, works with both 12-volt and 24-volt batteries, and can be used in more applications. On the other hand, the 12-volt solar panel is more affordable, lighter, smaller, and is great for smaller projects and for those who don’t need a lot of power. In the end, it is up to you to decide which will work best for you, but with so many solar panels on the market today, you will never have a hard time finding the one that you need.

What is Solar Energy and How Solar Panels Work

How Solar Panels Work

how solar panels work in albuquerqueHave you often noticed roofs covered in solar panels and questioned how exactly they work? They look simple on the service, but there is a whole process between how solar energy works with panels to generate power into someone’s home. The following article will explain how solar panels work to power your home or property and how using solar energy can benefit you financially and help you do your part in helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

How Do the Panels Generate Energy?

Having solar panels installed in your Albuquerque home is a great idea.

The absorption of the sunlight is the most basic way of explaining how you can power your home using solar panels. However, there is a lot more to it than that. The panels themselves are made with a frame made of metal, cased in glass, silicon cell layers, and wiring, and a film. These are then placed together on rooftops or outdoors in fields where they are in the best position to spend the daylight hours absorbing sunlight.

So how do the panels work? The solar cells include a semiconductor made of silicon in the form of two layers. These are positively and negatively charged, which creates a field of electricity. When sunlight hits the panel, it makes contact with the solar cell to generate energy for it. This releases electrons from the atoms in the semiconductor, which sets about the electric field, motioning itself around the wafer to create the electrical current around it.

The solar panels are now able to turn sunlight into electricity as a direct current. This can then be converted into an alternating current that is used to power homes. Once this conversion has happened, it will go through the home’s electrical panel to power the appliances within. This is the same methodology used by a power grid from a general electric company when traditionally powering homes.

How is it Measured?

Since it doesn’t work in the way you would typically expect from an electric company, it raises the question of how exactly the power is measured in your home when using solar panels. When the weather in your area isn’t producing a lot of sunlight, you won’t capture a lot of energy. This will occur on days when it is raining or cloudy, and even overnight, there is no sunlight to be absorbed. That being said, on the flip side, your solar panels can collect a surplus of energy if there is a lot of sunlight and there is no one at home using the power.

When the latter occurs, and a surplus of energy is collected, it can lead you to be granted credits from your utility company. In return, the surplus power is then returned to the grid in what is called net metering. The meter will measure the electricity in both ways, going in and out of the property.

Advantages of Using Solar Panels

The use of solar energy does have several advantages. Typically, if you have enough to invest in it in the first place, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. They are a long-term investment that will cut the cost of your bills with solar panels, and you can earn cashback by returning it to the grid when you have a surplus amount of energy being generated.

The ease of installation is appealing to many of those looking to use them as well. Solar Panels are simple enough to be installed on the roof of your property and only require a couple of days to get your home running on solar energy. You will need to ensure that you have the correct tilt on your roof so that you can get the most out of your solar panels. Luckily, there is a wide range of panels for you to choose from, so there is bound to be something that will benefit your roof to make the most of solar energy.

Main Attractions of Solar Panels

One of the main attractions of using solar energy, besides the money that can be saved in the long term, is reducing your carbon footprint to consider. Since solar power provides clean energy, you are taking a big step towards cutting down to help the environment and protect local wildlife and their local habitats. There is the ongoing threat of a warming climate, and having this form of clean energy in your home means you are contributing towards the conservation of the environment.

Not only does this help the environment and do its job against climate change, but it is also a renewable source of energy. This is probably a phrase you have heard many times, especially if you have been looking into solar energy and panels. Using a renewable energy source helps reduce air pollution, which is a global challenge being faced daily.

Why Renewable Energy Is Rising

As a society, many of us are working towards a sustainable way of living. This is why the use of renewable energy is becoming more and more popular as of late, and in recent years we have seen many more people opting to make a change to their carbon footprint. This is indeed done by the combination of solar and battery-based energy.

These are the reasons why you should consider making the switch to solar energy. Beforehand, it is worth mentioning that it requires some initial investment when you compare the cost to what you would traditionally pay from a power grid. Ultimately, it is an investment, where even though you will have to pay for the initial setup for the panels, you will find that you can save a lot of money down the line.



5 Reasons to Use Solar Energy

Global electricity consumption has increased dramatically over the last century and is expected to continue to rise by ~79% by 2050. All of this electricity consumption adds to the carbon footprint, which ultimately influences climate change and many other environmental issues that persist today, such as ocean acidification.

However, with the growing awareness about climate change and the issues, it is creating, many individuals, businesses, and even Governments are looking towards alternative energy sources as a way to curb fossil fuel consumption and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint. Though not perfect, solar energy is one of the most promising ways to achieve this for business and residential consumers.

Here are 5 reasons why solar energy is great for your business:

1. No pollution:

Solar energy does not produce any pollution during its production process, thereby preventing the environmental damage that electricity generation and consumption causes. One of the key benefits of solar energy generation is that it leaves no carbon footprint. No greenhouse gases are produced or emitted during the process.

2. Renewable:

With almighty sun, solar energy is simply limitless and permanent, as it is a renewable energy source. Solar energy is harvested by photovoltaic or solar cells that convert sunlight directly to electricity. These cells are placed inside sunlight fielding structures that direct the sunlight to the cells and drive a current through it. Generated current from the solar cells is then connected to an inverter, which transforms DC power to AC power for distribution or storage. This is exactly how a solar system works and what makes it so powerful and versatile.

3. Freedom and Control Over Electricity:

We, as consumers, are constrained by the electricity generated by the utility companies that deliver our daily electricity needs. Imagine if you had the freedom to generate your own electricity? Batteries and solar photovoltaics offer you this freedom. Adding more solar panels to a system can increase the amount of electricity generated, while smart batteries and other management systems also enable you to store extra electricity for later use or even sell generated electricity back to the utility companies.

4. Energy Security:

Another great reason to use solar energy is that it is not linked by cable infrastructure that is vulnerable to outages, damages, and theft. Solar energy will not be affected by power cuts and blackouts and will generate electricity at all times of the day, as long as it is sunny.

5. Financial Benefits:

As a homeowner, business, or as an investor, installing a solar system is a financially rewarding decision. Whether you are looking to avoid paying high utility bills or looking to generate income from a solar system, the financial benefits of solar are undeniable. Electricity generated from a solar system is actually free after the cost of the initial installation since you can sell the excess electricity to the utility companies often at a reasonably good price. This adds a source of income to your household, office, and can even drive a profitable venture if you have a large property to cover.


Solar energy is an exciting and quickly growing renewable energy source, with great potential for use in many sectors. The key benefits are obvious, and in many ways, outweigh the disadvantages of using solar energy for non-critical power generation. Hopefully, as technology evolves, the cost of solar panels will also decrease and make it a more attractive choice to rely on solar energy for a greater percentage of our electricity consumption.

Why You Should Take Advantage of the 30% Tax Credit Before 2020 Comes Around

This article is intended to give you information you should be aware of in regards to the solar tax incentive and its decline over the next 3 years. In order to take advantage of the 30% Federal tax credit, you will have to install your solar panels by the end of 2019. At the beginning of 2020, the tax credit will decrease by 4% down to 26%, which could mean a substantial amount of savings, dependent on the size of your system.

Any professional solar panel company should know everything having to do with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and the benefits that come with it for you as the consumer. The enactment of the ITC was the intended to allow those with solar energy projects to take advantage of a 30% tax credit on a cost basis of their qualified energy property in the year it was first put into service.

Back in 2015, when the ITC’s original 30% was about to expire, Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015. This extended the 30% ITC for all residential and commercial projects up until the end of December 2019. Beginning 2020, it would go down to 26%, then drop to 22% at the beginning of 2021. The start of 2022 meant that the remaining 10% tax credit would remain intact only for commercial projects. The extension of the ITC tax credit also stated that the requirement for the qualification of a solar panel project only needed to commence instead of it being in-service. The IRS states that in order for a project to fall under the “commence construction” phase, it must fall in to the following two steps:

  1. PHYSICAL WORK TEST: SECTION 4.02-.04: “The Physical Work Test requires that a taxpayer begin physical work of a significant nature.  This test focuses on the nature of the work performed, not the amount or the cost.” This work performed can include the installation of racks or other various structures to attach PV panels, collectors, or solar cells to the site (4.02.2.A).  This does not include any preliminary activities such as planning or designing an array design, obtaining permits or licenses, securing financing, the clearing of a site, or conducting geophysical/environmental/engineering surveys of the site (4.03). It is important to note that physical work also does not include the effort involved in producing “the components of the energy property that are either in existing inventory or are normally held in inventory by a vendor.”
    1. Continuous Construction Test (Section 6): “Involves continuing physical work of a significant nature. Whether a taxpayer maintains a continuous program of construction to satisfy the Continuity Requirement will be determined by the relevant facts and circumstances.”
  2. FIVE PERCENT SAFE HARBOR: SECTION 5. 01-.02: “Construction of energy property will be considered as having begun if: (1) a taxpayer pays or incurs 5% percent or more of the total cost of the energy property, and (2) the taxpayer makes continuous efforts to advance towards completion of the energy property” (5.01).  Meaning that the estimated total of all costs of the energy venture in question are taken into account when trying to evaluate whether or not the Five Percent Safe Harbor standard has been established.  This total does not include the price of the land intended to house the energy property.
    1. Continuous Efforts Test (Section 6): “Whether a taxpayer makes continuous efforts to advance towards completion of an energy property to satisfy the Continuity Requirement includes, but is not limited to: (a) paying additional amounts included in the total cost of the energy property; (b) entering into binding written contracts for the manufacture, construction, or production of components of property or for future work to construct the energy property; (c) obtaining necessary permits; and (d) performing physical work of a significant nature.”

A couple of questions have been asked in regards to satisfying these two requirements:

  1. “Is it necessary for me to complete both these two steps before January 1, 2020 in order to satisfy the requirements necessary to receive the 2019 tax credit?”
    1. Looking at section 3.02 of the IRS Notice 2018-59, it states that while you must implement both these steps for your solar project to qualify, the construction will be considered started on the date the taxpayer first establishes the first of the two steps listed above. Here is an example:
      1. “For example, if a taxpayer performs physical work of a significant nature on [the] energy property in 2018, and then pays five percent or more of the total cost of the energy property in 2019, construction will be deemed to begin in 2018 under the Physical Work Test, not in 2019 under the Five Percent Safe Harbor” (Section 3.02).
    2. “Is it true that I have 4 years to complete my energy project and still apply for the ITC credit level of the year in which I first “Commenced Construction”?”
      1. There is an article by McDermott that technically says the answer to this question is yes, however, this notice clarifies that after a commercial project has been approved for the ITC (aka the taxpayers have been able to purchase equipment equal to 5% of anticipated project costs and passed the Physical Work Test) in 2019 it will permit projects placed in service up until January 1st, 2023 to qualify for the ITC at the current 30% rate from 2019.  Although it is important to note that construction and significant payments of the energy property must continue throughout this 4 year time period to remain in good graces for the Continuity Safe Harbor.
      2. “If a taxpayer places an energy property in service by the end of a calendar year that is no more than four calendar years after the calendar year during which construction of the energy property began (“the Continuity Safe Harbor Deadline”), the energy property will be considered to satisfy the Continuity Safe Harbor.  For example, if construction begins on an energy property on January 15, 2018, and the energy property is placed in service by December 31, 2022, the energy property will be considered to satisfy the Continuity Safe Harbor (Section 6.05).”

Therefore, based on all the information from the IRS Report 2018-59 to claim the 30% ITC this year all you have to do is:

  1. Make a 5% payment on the total cost of the solar panel system along with a written contract that guarantees the continuous development of the solar panel system, or begin physical work of a significant nature in regards to the installation process (ie. “racking or other structures to affix PV panels, collectors, or solar cells to a site”) before January 1st, 2020.

Our advice is to claim your tax credit now and don’t wait until next year or you risk part of the 30% tax credit.

Note: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

How Solar PV and Energy Storage Play a Role in Farming

The process of convering solar energy into electricity is called solar photovaltaic (PV). This is not a new technology, however, many home owners, including farmers, are not taking advantage of this process to help reduce their electricity bill.

Because of increased cell efficiency and lower raw material costs and manufacturing, the costs of PV has reduced past the 80% mark in the last decade..

Farmers can take advantage of a new 40% grant through TAMS and a 100% accelerated capital allowances in year of purchase to help reduce their electricity costs, thus making Solar PV the smartest investment they’ll ever make.

Other grants are readily available through the BEC program that is run by the SEAI. The importance of farmers to generate their own electricity is because of planned Government increases in carbon taxes that will become innevitable.

A Solar PV investment on a farm is a wise one due to 100% write off against tax in the year that it is purchased and they can also reclaim the VAT part of the cost.

Full Clarity

Because Solar PV systems are monitored, farmers will be have full transparency of the energy they generate yearly, daily and hourly.

They can also tell how much electricity they are purchasing from the grid which allows them a clear understanding of their energy usage, which is very beneficial.

If you’re a farm owner and would like more information on how having a Solar PV system on your property, contact us and we’d be happy to set up a FREE solar savings consultation with you.

Solar To Take Over US Electricity By 2022

According to Yuri Horwitz, co-founder and CEO of Sol Systems, solar power will be the main form of electricity generation by the time 2022 hits, despite the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. In a report released on the 15th of February 2018, Horwitz names three reasons for solar power to advance.

Public Support

Polls show significant support for renewable energy. A Pew poll of January 2017 notes 65% of Americans would prefer to develop alternative energy sources, as opposed to 27% who would rather expand production of fossil fuels. A Gallup poll of March 2018 notes that 59% of Americans prefer environmental protection to development of energy supplies, and that 63% would rather emphasize conservation, as opposed to 32% who would rather emphasize production. A second Gallup poll of March 2017 saw 71% of respondents favour emphasis on alternative energy, versus 23% who prefer oil, gas, and coal.

Horwitz believes that this base of public support will become important, as the US continues to develop its renewable energy assets.

Solar Rises to the Challenge

Horwitz then considers natural gas, currently America’s primary fuel in terms of power generation. He notes an increase in production that will lower prices by 2019, but also is concerned that the long-term picture doesn’t look as good. New gas discoveries have fallen to a 70-year low, and continue to fall, and recent studies show that the least expensive wells have already been tapped. Whether or not these are valid concerns, there are also projections that estimate prices to rise to $79-$85, depending on location, by 2039.

Solar, on the other hand, is getting cheaper all the time. Solar-based power purchase agreements are getting cheaper every year, and many such agreements in 2017 for delivery in 2018 and 2019 came out at a price below the range for new-build natural gas. As solar develops, prices are fully expected to go even lower, not just due to after-the-fact costs, but also because the technology is maturing. Raw material prices are going down, manufacturers are figuring out how to use less material to achieve the same result, and performance in output per watt is increasing.

Investors Want Solar

Horwitz’s third point is based on a detailed analysis of the current state of the stock market. Boiled down, the current market is shrinking and growing more expensive to invest in; investors are looking for stability over the long term, which solar assets offer. Also, Horwitz cites ‘a global preference for dollar-denominated investments, specifically infrastructure, and especially renewable energy investments’. This preference has driven large investors towards renewable, and thus capital for utility-scale solar is expected to remain cheap or grow even cheaper.


The simple fact of the matter is that the money has to go where it’s cheap, and right now, with public interest in renewable energy, the good bet is on solar. It just so happens that solar is also the environmental option. With the three factors above, it’s well on track to overtaking other sources.