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ask this old house installs a solar attic fan

I’ve been talking to many people about solar attic fans and I’ve found a lot of customers being very skeptical about the real value a solar attic fan can really deliver. Many times customers end up asking roofers or other unqualified people if they should invest in a solar attic fan and many times since these people have very little experience and often say solar attic fans are worthless without any concrete understanding of the benefits. It was not until a friend of mine Attila, an instructor at the East Los Angeles Skills Center stressed the importance of proper attic ventilation that I began realizing how important solar attic fans are in terms of energy efficiency. He highlighted many times our homes remain hotter because of the hot air trapped in the attic which can make your air conditioner run longer per day. Attila has been in the heating & cooling business for over 30 years and understands well the mechanics of how to keep a home cool. We all understand solar panels are very reliable, since they have no moving parts they can last over 25 years. The fans on a solar attic fan are similar to what you would see on a traditional attic fan and sometimes even better if the solar attic fan has a brushless motor. Since solar attic fans do not need a source of power, building permits are not required to install one, since you would not have to bring up a high voltage DC cable up to your roof top. I wonder why so many people are skeptical about the value of a solar attic fan? I think This Old House did a fantastic job educating viewers about solar attic fans, wouldn’t you...

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S-5 VersaBracket attachment for face-fastened metal roofs

How would you mount solar panels on a face-fastened metal roof? The process is quite simple with the VersaBracket, a new metal roof attachment from S-5! A company that specializes in manufacturing attachment solutions that allow solar panels to be mounted onto unique metal roofs. S-5! developed the VersaBracket to handle a load of up to 1,283 pounds, a significant increase over previous models of the attachement. Even though the VersaBracket is designed to provide a strong, versatile and low-cost bracket option, it’s very easy to use solution. The VersaBracket comes with factory-applied sealant already in the base to waterproof its attachment, peel the release paper from the base and tighten fasteners through the pre-punched holes. The factory-applied sealant removes the chance of roof leaks, which is typically a major concern when installing solar panels onto a...

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a rugged string combiner box

Solectria Renewables recently introduced a new type of solar panel string combiner made completely out of stainless steel. The new string combiner product line is now available for fused string combining of any commercial solar photovoltaic system. Stainless steel combiner boxes are great for systems located outside in harsh weather conditions. The U.S. made string combiner box are available in both NEMA4 or NEMA4X type of enclosures. The more rugged string combiner boxes are great for solar electric systems that are installed in coastal regions, harsh sea breezes can cause balance of system components to degrade over...

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analog vs digital electric meters

Most people typically don’t pay attention to their electric meters, but if your considering to install a grid tie solar electric system, it’s a good idea to determine what type of electric meter you have. Analog meters also known as electromechanical are the most common, the simple meter spins forward when your using electricity. If the analog meter is bidirectional it will spin backwards when your solar electric system is pushing extra electricity back into the grid. The number of times the disc spins forward or backwards determines how much electricity you are using or contributing to the electric grid. The utility company must dispatch a meter reader every month to figure out how much energy your building is using. Digital meters or solid state meters have no moving parts and work similar to analog meters but they display the data on a digital screen versus the dials on an analog meter. The utility will be able to read the data from the meter every 15 minutes without the need of sending a meter reader to your property since its connected to the utilities network. Digital meters allow your utility company to monitor your usage remotely and are typically bidirectional. What type of electric meters do you have on your home or...

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solar power techies love PVSelect.com

Blue Oak and SolarPro Magazine have teamed up to launch a web application called PV Select, a solar panel string calculator, array and inverter sizing calculator. This free web application requires no login and allows you to quickly compare multiple solar electric system configurations. Solar panels are typically connected to a central grid tie inverter via strings. Multiple solar panels are wired up on a string that goes into the inverter. The number of solar panels that can be wired together on one string depends on the ambient temperatures in the location you are going to install the system, they make and model of the inverter and solar panels being used in the project. The advantage of using PVSelect.com is that it has 60 different central inverters from 9 different manufacturers and over 200 solar pv panels all within one application, its quite convenient to be able to configure multiple components all from one web application. This is a great tool add to your bookmarks for all you solar techies out...

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check out the skystream 3.7 video

I noticed an updated video about the Skystream 3.7, a residential wind turbine has been released and I wanted to share it with you because it does a good job of explaining how this leading grid tie wind power system interacts with your home and the electric utility that provides you service. The Skystream 3.7, since it’s a grid connected wind power system spins your electric meter backwards when the unit is generating more power than your using. There are many misconceptions with consumers who are looking to add a wind turbine about how grid tie wind turbines actually work. When there is limited wind resources on a particular day your home or small business would be receiving electricity from your utility company. During windy days, when your wind generator is cranking out watts it would be offsetting the electricity you would normally have to purchase from the utility company. In most cases a Skystream 3.7 would offset your annual electric bill not completely eliminate your entire bill. What do you think about the Skystream 3.7? Do you like how the wind turbine interfaces with the grid, eliminating the need for cost of...

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