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Samsung now offering solar panels

Samsung is now in the solar panel business, introducing the Samsung LPC Line of Solar Panels with 15% efficiency that narrows gap against premium solar panels on the market such as SANYO and SunPower. Samsung Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics, semiconductor and display technologies, has been developing its solar cell production capabilities for several years and recently entered the marketplace. It has taken its manufacturing expertise in semiconductors and developed its own line of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells and panels. The first Samsung solar module offered is the LPC241SM, It stands out in today’s marketplace with its 15% module level efficiency, higher than any other product in its class. Samsung solar panels set a new benchmark for price/performance and narrows the performance gap against premium priced panels. The Samsung name brand and superior PTC power density of the LPC241SM provides a higher value to end-users. The quality of Samsung modules is evidenced by a world class peak power tolerance rating of -0%/+2%, guaranteeing full...

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which solar power system would you install?

Similar to a computer which is made up of not only the processor but a keyboard, mouse, RAM, memory, monitor, speakers..etc, there’s a lot more to solar power than just the solar panels. An ordinary solar power system includes solar panels plus mounting hardware, inverters, wires, clips, clamps, standoffs, L-Feet, grounding lugs, connectors, wire management, disconnects combiner boxes and many nuts & bolts not the mention the tools required to get the system installed. For someone installing a solar power system for the first time, it’s an overwhelming process of figuring out all the parts required to make up the entire system. Many times even experienced installers make several trips to the hardware store for missing parts. Why does installing a solar power system have to be like putting together a complicated jig saw puzzle? thanks to the developments in the solar industry, installing a solar power system does not have to be as difficult with the Andalay Solar Panels by Westinghouse Solar. The system by Westinghouse Solar requires the least amount of parts, labor and tools to install compared to any other solar power system on the market. The Andalay Solar system is made up of black Suntech 175 watt solar panels with Enphase M190 Micro Inverters attached directly to the frame of the solar panel. The frame of the Andalay Solar Panels act as the rails and attach directly to the roof with the simple mounting hardware supplied with the system. This is the type of innovation and efficiencies we need to take solar power to the masses, it needs to be more user friendly. Westinghouse Solar is leading the industry in terms of offering a complete solar power solution that any contractor or savvy do it yourselfer can install with ease. Would you rather install an ordinary solar power system or Westinghouse Solar? What do you think of Andalay Solar by...

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attaching solar panels to a metal roof

The electrical side of installing a solar electric system is a pretty straight forward process although when it comes to the mechanical aspect of attaching solar panels there can be a lot of variances based on the type of roof. One of our customers was involved with a new home construction project that had a standing seam metal roof. He called us and asked us to design and provide him with a complete solar electric system that would attach to the metal roof. The 4.1 kilowatt grid tie solar electric system consisted of 18 Canadian Solar CS6P 230 watt solar panels with an Enphase M190 Micro-inverter behind each solar panel converting the DC power generated by the solar panels into grid compliant AC power. Attaching the solar panels to the metal roof was easy by combining the UniRac SolarMount Rails with S-5-U Clamps made by S-5!. S-5! clamps attach to the seam of a metal roofing by the tightening of two “bullet-nosed” stainless steel setscrews against the seam material. The round point setscrews compress the seam material against the opposite wall of the clamp. The clamps will “dimple” the seam material, but will not penetrate it. Threaded holes in the clamp enable the easy attachment of the UniRac SolarMount Rails to the clamps. The customer was able to attach the solar panels to the metal roof by taking advantage of the S-5! clamps. The picture above shows the installed solar panels, what do you think of the outcome of his...

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clean solar panels produce more power

Dirty solar panels before PowerBoost Every major solar panel manufacturer recommends solar electric system owners to wash their solar panels as needed to harvest maximum power. Soiling is a term used to describe particle build up on solar panels which includes dust, dirt, bird poop and other debris that solar panels encounter in the outdoors. Research conducted by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) suggests that solar panel power output can decrease up to 10% from the accumulation of dirt. Efficiencies of solar panels can drop up to 20% in areas where bird poop, air pollution or dust from farming operations are common. Cleaning your solar panels is easy! Since solar electric systems are solid state technology, meaning there are no moving parts in the system, the only maintenance that’s required is cleaning the solar panels. You can simply use soap and water to clean your solar panels although many people prefer PowerBoost, a biodegradable solar panel cleaning solution that connects to any garden hose and provides added benefits that household soap does not offer. With PowerBoost you’ll be cleaning your solar panels less frequently through out the year since it adds a protective layer on the solar panels that prevents the future accumulation of debris. Rinse first, then soap Cleaning solar panels is like washing your car, you have to first rinse the solar panels using a garden hose with a pressure nozzle. The objective would be to loosen up the debris before you apply PowerBoost. After your rinse with water flip the switch on the PowerBoost and the special formulated PowerBoost cleaning solution will be sprayed onto the solar array. Let PowerBoost do it’s magic After PowerBoost solar panel cleaning solution has been applied to the solar panels, let the solution sit on the solar panels for a few minutes. For best results I would recommend putting some elbow grease into the job by using a brush with a long handle to scrub down the solar panels before rinsing off the PowerBoost cleaning solution. So fresh, so clean By the end of the process your solar panels should look this clean. There should be no particle build up left on the solar panels, maximum sunlight will now be able to penetrate into the solar cells thus providing you maximum energy harvest yields. Now we have our solar panels installed on a ground mounted system which makes it easier to clean our solar panels. Many times solar panels are installed on top of roofs which can make it a little more challenging to clean. What do you think about the maintenance related with a solar electric...

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Battle of the Solar Panel Brands

Have you ever hear of Battle of the Bands? It’s contest in which many bands, usually rock bands but often from a range of different styles, compete for the title of “best band”. The winner is determined by judges, the response of the audience, or a combination. The winning band usually receives a prize in addition to bragging rights. These days there many solar panels flooding the marketplace that it’s becoming more difficult for consumers to make informed decisions, most customers just can’t tell the difference. Why not take different brands of solar panels and make them compete head to head in my backyard? So I called up my friend Dennis Epp, President & CEO of Heritage Solar, a leading solar contractor in Southern California and teamed up to bring to you The Battle of the Solar Panel Brands. Even though solar panels look very similar to each other, not all are created equal. Each make/model of solar panels have their unique characteristics which allow them to produce more or less power in different environments. By adding Enphase Micro Inverters to each solar panel and connecting the system to the internet, we will be able to share live production data with you through our website 365 days a year. But before we can get to the competition we have to build the stage. I got a big backyard with limited shading, therefore we have plently room to install a ProSolar GroundTrac mounting structure to secure the solar panels in a 30 degree pitch facing true south (192 degrees in our case) We’ll be installing the following six solar panels to kick off the competition off: #1 – Sanyo HIP-215NKHA5 #2 – REC REC215AE-US #3 – Sharp ND-U230C1 #4 – Canadian Solar CS6P-230 #5 – SolarWorld SW 230 #6 – Solon P220/6+/01 230Wp Our goal is to get the solar array up and running before January 1st, so we may begin collecting solar panel production data from the first day of the new year. We’re still waiting for the City of West Covina to approve our permit to build GoGreenSolar Labs and hopefully the weather will cooperate with us the rest of this month so we can finish this project as soon as possible. Stay...

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install unisolar pvl laminate on a metal roof

I’ve had a couple people ask me how to install Uni-Solar’s flexible thin film laminate PVL product line on a metal roof. The unique part of Uni-Solar PVL product is it can be bonded directly to a metal roof between the ridges. Traditional solar panels would need racking and mounting components that are not required with a uni-solar PVL installation, therefore installing the laminate reduces balance of system costs. Also these thin film laminates are extremely durable since they are not made of glass like traditional solar panels. I think the uni-solar product line works well when you have a lot of surface area to work with, aesthetics is a major concern in the project, or have a shady/cloudy project since thin film solar panels perform better than crystalline solar panels in those conditions. The video below is a good overview of how these unique thin film solar panels can be installed on a metal roof. What do you think about the uni-solar PVL thin film flexible solar...

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