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Summer vs. Winter: Energy Consumption Infographic
Aug30
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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill
Aug29

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill

1.  Invest in a programmable thermostat. Don’t blast the AC when you don’t really need it. A programmable thermostat can save you hundreds during the hot summer months. Adjust your AC for the time you spend sleeping or away from home. When you are home, set your AC a couple degrees higher than you normally might.  Try 78° F. Call us today! 1 (866) 798-4435 2.  Plant Trees & Shade Windows On the south and west sides of your home, plant fast-growing trees and close the blinds to shade windows that are exposed to the hot summer sun. Open the windows at night to cool down the house instead of using the air conditioner. 3. Find your vampire loads! Vampire loads are typical household appliances that silently suck up energy 24 hours a day. Little phantom loads like this can add up, stealing money out of your pocket. For example, your coffee maker might be using small amounts of energy to run a digital clock.   How would you know? Learn to use a Kill-A-Watt energy meter to hunt down the energy-suckers in your house. 4.  Make the switch to LED technology! About 10% of the energy you use goes towards lighting your home. One of the easiest ways to cut back your electric bill is to switch to LED Lighting. LED lights are initially more expensive, but they will pay for themselves and save you money over their long lifespan. 5.  Go Solar. Request a free solar quote today.  Going solar is a more long-term investment on future energy savings. Many utility companies have a tiered rate structure, so installing enough solar to get you out of the higher tiers will save you money for decades. Predict your savings with our solar energy savings calculator  Got Questions? Call Today! Request a Free Quote 8kW Solar System 8085 Watt Complete Solar Panel Kit, SMA Grid-Tie Inverter If you use a little more than 1000 kWh per month, an 8kW solar system will bring your net consumption to about zero. Click here to learn the pros and cons of central inverters compared with microinverters. 1 (866) 798-4435 4kW Solar System 4165 Watt Complete Solar Panel Kit, Enphase M215 Microinverters In the same scenario, using about 1000 kWh per month, a 4kW solar system will cut your electric bill in half. This system is complete with Enphase M215 microinverters to maximize...

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What’s the optimal angle for my solar panels?
Aug08

What’s the optimal angle for my solar panels?

Enter in your country, state, and city to calculate the optimum tilt of your solar panels every month. The optimal angle varies throughout the year, depending on the seasons and your location and this calculator shows the difference in sun height on a month-by-month basis.  For even more precise angling, you would need to track the sun as it moves throughout the day on a minute-by-minute basis.  This can be accomplished with an automated mechanical solar tracker, but unfortunately this is not very economical. The sun reaches its peak at solar noon each day (exactly half way between sunrise and sunset) and this calculator shows the angle at that time of day. At solar noon, the irradiance from the sun is at its zenith and you can generate the most energy. As an example, the sun is due south at solar noon in the northern hemisphere.  To get the best performance out of your photovoltaic panels, you would face them due south at the optimum angle so that the panel is receiving as much sunlight as possible at this time. The best angle for your solar project also depends on when you want to get the best out of your photovoltaic system. If you want the best performance during the summer months (when there is the most sunlight), you would angle your photovoltaic panels according to the height of the sun in the sky during these months. If you have the ability to adjust your photovoltaic panels throughout the year, you will benefit from having the optimum performance from your solar system all of the time. If you like this calculator please...

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Are solar panels tested for hail?
Aug01

Are solar panels tested for hail?

Are solar panels tested for hail, golf balls, or other kinds of impact? If solar panels are broken by some kind of impact, is this damage covered by the solar panel manufacturer’s warranty? If you’re about to drop thousands of dollars on a solar system that’s supposed to last a few decades, you obviously want to be confident that you’re not investing in equipment that could be ruined by one day of extreme weather.  It’s a valid concern. The ambiguity regarding hail resistance and impact testing for solar panels can be frustrating, so I spoke with a claims representative from a major solar panel manufacturer to get some clarification. The short answer is that there’s probably no manufacturer’s warranty that will cover this kind of damage, but any high-quality solar panel will have tempered glass that’s designed to take a beating and tested accordingly. If you’re worried about protecting your investment from this kind of damage, make sure that you pull a permit for the system and consult your property insurance provider.  There should be no problem getting the coverage you need if you go by the books. Back to the question about manufacturer’s warranty-  even though you likely won’t find a manufacturer’s warranty that covers hail damage, any reputable brand will test their solar panels to obtain industry-recognized quality certifications. In North America, these tests are a 5 ft·lbs impact of a 2 inch diameter ball of 1.18 lbs that’s dropped at a distance of 51 inches- no parts of the solar panel can be damaged to acquire this label.  If the solar panel has undergone this standardized testing successfully, you will see something like this in the specifications sheet. Quality Certifications from the Sharp ND-240QCJ specification sheet Because solar panel manufacturers usually sell to markets outside of the United States, modules are often subject to additional testing standards such as Europe’s “IEC.” Quality Certifications from Canadian Solar CS6P-240P specification sheet The European quality certificate specifically for hail is IEC 61215, which is circled in the image above.  Solar panels with this label were shot with frozen ice balls at varying sizes and speeds from an air gun. The most substantial of this IEC impact testing comes at 39.5 m/sec from a 203 gram ice ball.  The solar module must perform at a maximum of 5% degradation with no visible damage. If you live in an area that’s prone to hail storms, you should get solar panels that have been tested for impact and talk with your homeowner’s insurance company about your coverage options. That being said, if your system is going to experience hail that would dwarf...

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Will solar prices increase soon?
Jul23

Will solar prices increase soon?

Representatives from GoGreenSolar.com just attended InterSolar North America, one of solar’s leading networking events.  Businesses from more than 70 countries met in San Francisco to showcase new technologies, watch presentations, network, and discuss the future of solar.       Having had the opportunity to talk with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers, we’ve discovered some key information that suggests that the days of low solar panel prices might soon be coming to a close.  Though no one has a crystal ball, industry-insiders believe that the prices for solar modules will be going up soon, meaning that the days of  $0.72 / Watt solar panels may not be around much longer.  Over the last several years, the surplus of solar panels being manufactured drove margins down, consequently pushing multiple manufacturing companies out of business.  While solar panels continue to get cheaper to produce, this consolidation process is now helping manufacturers that are left in the game. If you recall the trade scuffle we talked about this last year, the Chinese government was found to be providing illegal subsidies, allowing their manufacturers to sell their products below fair market value in the United States. In response, the U.S. government imposed anti-dumping tariffs of roughly 30% on Chinese solar cells.  As you might expect, Chinese manufacturers have been circumnavigating these duties by manufacturing solar cells outside China.  Taiwan, which now manufactures these cells, is now having difficulty keeping up with the increase in demand.  This could cause prices to increase. As the dominant solar panel manufacturer in the world, China recently swung back at the U.S. by implementing their own import duties on polysilicon coming from the United States.  Because this is a raw material used to make solar panels, this new tariff could also drive up the cost of solar panels. Though these issues may indicate a coming increase in solar panel pricing, even manufacturers can’t foresee what will happen several months into the future.  As you might imagine, this can pose a problem for solar projects that are scheduled months if not years into the future.  Imagine a multi-MegaWatt solar project- even a matter of a few cents would make a massive difference.   For a homeowner looking into a residential application, several cents per Watt isn’t exactly pocket change. While prices are still low, request a no obligation solar quote or call 1 (866) 798-4435. _____ Tom Jackson...

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