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get ballpark figures for your solar electric system

Ever wonder how much a solar power system would cost you? Well you don’t have to get a quote from a professional if your just looking for ball park figures of the cost of a system after tax credits and rebates. Sharp Solar’s clean power estimator not only helps you answer the question, “I wonder how much it will cost to solar power my home?”, the online estimator will help you realize all the variables that effect the performance and rate of return on your investment in a solar electric system. I recommend everyone who is just getting started researching a solar electric system for their home should start with the online estimator, it’s a great starting...

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Schüco ezFlatroof-Light

Schüco USA at Intersolar this week showed off their Schüco ezFlatroof-Light which they claim to be one of the leanest racking systems for quick and simple installations. The racking solution can be used with framed or frameless crystalline and thin film solar panels. The racking solution can be tilted in angles of 7.5, 15 and 20 degrees or any pitch you need to maximize your harvest based on your project site. Schüco developed ezFlatroof-Light to reduce costs of solar panel installation, make the process easier and allow scalability of the base system while maximizing the roof area available for the solar panel installation. The system is versatile enough to be installed on a private residence with a flat roof or a standard commercial flat...

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stopping solar panel theft dead in it’s tracks

Solar panel theft is a growing problem in the solar power industry. This is a problem is currently being addressed through lockable clamps that hold solar panels down to rails, although thieves can still cut through with the right tools. Lockable clamps are just one line of defense you can use to protect your investment. Gridlock Solar Security, a start up company is taking solar panel theft deterrent to the next level by using electronic technology. The company is producing a wiring system that would be installed on your solar panels, if the solar panels were removed without authority, bright lights and sirens would go off. Also the system would send out an alert to your cell phone and even call the law enforcement. All this protection at the cost of 1% of your solar electric system. I think this is a pretty neat solution to a problem that is quite new, people want to steal solar panels more than ever. And this is great time for companies to create solutions that are going to make the process of going solar less risky for the customer. What do you...

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why do UMG solar panels have a lower cost per watt?

UMG (Upgraded Metallurgical Grade) Silicon based solar panels have been debated because they use a lower grade Silicon to reduce the cost per watt for solar power to the end customer. Canadian Solar Incorporated (CSI) is a company that has changed the game by introducing UMG Silicon solar panel on a large scale into the solar panel market. The primary reason solar power has not reached grid parity yet is because pure silicon prices very high and UMG silicon based solar panels are more competitive to coal based generation because of the lower cost. UMG Silicon is 95% pure compared to high grade silicon which is 99% pure. Solar cells only need a silicon purity of 95% to produce energy, therefore CSI blended UMG with pure silicon to create a lower cost solar panels. Although many people argue that these newer lower cost solar panels are unproven in the field, and it’s a point well taken. On the other hand, CSI is offering 25 year performance warranties on UMG based solar panels. What do you think about low cost solar panels that use UMG Silicon? Do you think they will be as reliable as solar panels that are pure...

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should you build your own solar panel?

This week many people have been asking me if they should “build their own solar panels”. There are quite a few eBooks and videos being sold online give you step by step instructions on how to find solar cells and turn them into solar panels in your garage. This is my two cents on if you should make your own solar panels or not. it would make a fun experiment, for educational purposes don’t expect too much power output in which you could power your entire house with homemade solar panels they have a higher risk catching on fire than factory made solar panels You typically can’t grid tie homemade solar panels because they don’t have a UL mark. Most utility companies won’t allow you to grid tie unlisted product. If you’re looking for a fun educational weekend project that results in you making a solar panel to charge a battery then that is what should expecting purchasing a “make your own solar panel” resource. Although if your looking to generate serious power with reliable and safe solar panels I would highly recommend purchasing a high quality factory made solar panel. What do you think about the concept of making your own solar...

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making sure your solar power system is running right

Many times dirt on your solar panels or shading can reduce the power output of your solar electric system, not achieving your maximum potential could result in many lost kWh (kilowatt-hours) every year. IBC Solar has developed the “SolControl” which is a device that compares your solar electric system’s power harvest to current weather data. The SolControl basic has built in sensors which collects the weather data and then determines how much power your solar electric system should be producing under the given weather conditions. If the solar electric system is not achieving the maximum power yield then the system owner is remotely notified, who can check and fix the problem. The SolControl can be used with any inverter and is offered in three different models which accommodate different sized solar panel arrays. This is a great tool for solar electric system owners who want to make sure hey squeeze every drop out of their solar panels. What do you think about the...

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