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what do you think of "solar in a box"?

Last month we announced that we would be offering ReadySolar’s “Solar in a box”® through GoGreenSolar.com Solar in a box is a unique complete solar electric system which makes the installation process similar to installing an appliance versus a complicated system. Solar in a box is completely pre-engineered and meets NEC code. We all can agree if solar was easier to install, it would reduce costs and encourage faster adoption of solar power, don’t you agree? I think we will see more standardized solutions hit the market, what do you think? How do you like “Solar in box?” It would be great to hear your...

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Do you really have a lot of sun on your roof?

I get a lot of people that call me everyday and say, “when I go outside and look at my roof, I have a lot of sun on it”. Many people think just because they have a sunny roof they have an ideal roof for solar panels, but often the inexperienced solar consumer is making a faulty assumption. Here in the USA, which falls under the northern hemisphere of the world, peak sun occurs around 12pm, at this time the sun is south. The solar electric systems that get the maximum return on investment point true south. Looking at your home at noon notice the position of the sun, this will give you an approximate location of true south. Does your roof allow you to point solar panels true south? Understanding the concept of magnetic declination and true south will help you get the most out of your investment in a solar electric...

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solar electric systems and your utility meter

Grid tie solar electric systems connect to your existing electrical service and send extra power you generate back to your utility company. Your utility company in return, depending on their interconnection agreement give you a credit based on the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) you contribute to the grid each month. This is called net-metering, it allows you to offset or eliminate your electric bill through solar panels without leaving the reliability of the electric grid itself. This concept is converting homes and businesses across the world into mini power plants that give back to the grid versus just being a liability to it. When you are using electricity from the gird, your meter spins forwards in the normal direction. On the flip side, when you install a grid connected solar electric system and you produce more then you are using, your electric meter will spin backwards! Although before installing you solar electric system be aware of the type of meter you have on your home or business, because some older electric meters records the number of time the meter spins and does not register if the meter is spinning backwards or forwards. In this case if you do not have a “two-way” meter you would be billed for the power you contribute to the grid, yikes! Most locations have two-way meters although if you are unsure, call your utility company to confirm. If you find out you only have a one-way meter, you can always upgrade your...

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welcome to balance of systems 101

If you in the process of shopping for a solar electric system, more than likely you have ran into a key term called balance of systems (BOS). What role does BOS play in a solar electric system? Today I’ll write about why the BOS components are the foundation of your solar electric system. BOS parts are all the pieces of the solar electric system besides the solar panels. The parts that make up BOS include: inverter batteries & charge controllers (if your system is off-grid or grid tie w/ battery backup) overcurrent protection devices electrical enclosures junction boxes support and security structures. disconnects Some of the parts in your balance of system will be rated for outdoor exposure such as most grid tie solar inverters while other parts such as batteries would need an electrical enclosures. BOS parts are typically located close to the electrical service panel, although close proximity is not required. The layout of the BOS parts within the system must be done in a neat manner which allows easy access, testing and disconnecting the system. For solar electric systems operating at 48 volts or less its important to minimize the distance of the dc wiring for efficiency purposes. Solar panels are just one part of the solar electric system, all the components that make up the system must work harmoniously for you to maximize your solar harvest. Selecting the right components can be overwhelming for people who are just get started with clean energy systems, that’s why we have our complete pre-engineered solar grid tie systems, our systems include everything you or your installer needs to get your system up and generating electricity without having to worry about the compatibility of the wide range of products that make up a solar electric...

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genasun charge controller for lithium-ion batteries

Typically when people have a battery based solar electric systems they are composed of deep cycle lead acid batteries. Although lead acid battery technology is not the newest type of battery on the market, there are more advanced batteries called Lithium-ion batteries, which are typically found in our consumer electronics, such as cell phones, ipods, digital cameras..etc. Lithium-ion batteries have the best energy-to-weight ratio, so they’re significantly lighter then lead acid batteries. Another great feature of lithium-ion batteries is that they have no memory effect, means they won’t hold less charge as the battery gets older. Compared to lead acid batteries, Lithium-ions have a slow discharge rate when not in use. More people are now using lithium-ion batteries with their solar electric systems, thanks to Genasun who recently released the GV-4-Li charge controller which is a maximum power point tracking controller that is optimized for use with lithium-ion batteries. Do you think people will finally be ditching old lead acid battery technology for lithium-ion...

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disconnects for your clean energy system

Clean energy systems such as a wind turbine or solar panels which produce electricity that are attached to a building need to have safety devices called “disconnects” according to the NEC (National Electric Code) Each major component of a clean energy system including inverters, and charge controllers, batteries (if your system is battery based) must be able to be disconnected from sources of power. To be compliant with NEC code, your disconnects must: be switches or ciricut breakers be installed in an accessible location must not have any exposed live conductors clearly display the on/off position be compatible with the system’s voltage and current The picture above shows a Xantrex DC Disconnect that meets all NEC code requirements. Overcurrent protection circuit breakers maybe used as disconnects. Only switched fuses can be considered disconnects. The NEC code says a solar photovoltaic system can have 6 or fewer disconnects, switched circuits or circut breakers to cut off all sources of...

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