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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
Apr12

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

How to calculate a quick, easy GUESStimate for sizing a PV system. “How much will it cost to power my XX,XXX square foot house?” “How many solar panels do I need to eliminate my electric bill?” We get questions like this every day from homeowners in the beginning stages of going solar. For all intents and purposes, it’s pretty much impossible to give you a number based on the size of your house or the dollar amount of your electric bill – it’s all going to depend on the load.  Though I hesitate to give a rough number like this, sometimes you do need a ballpark figure to start things off. Alright, here we go: To begin, calculate your average energy usage in kWh.  Collect your electric bills for the past 12 months or more. Get an average of kWh used on a monthly basis.  Let’s say that this number is 1100 kWh per month. Now divide your average monthly usage by 30 to get your average daily kWh usage.  In this case, it would be about 37kWh per day. To keep things simple for this rough estimate, we’ll assume that a 250W solar panel will produce about 1kWh a day.  **Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate, based on a site location getting 4 hours of sunlight per day** Assuming that you use about 37 kWh per day, you would need about 37 solar panels to meet 100% of your average energy needs. Based on your current usage, how much of this do you want to offset with a solar power system? 100% …75%…. 50% ?    Multiply accordingly. Let’s say you wanted your solar system to account for 80% of your energy consumption. 37 kWh per day x 0.80  = 29.6 kWh Since one solar panel produces about 1 kWh per day, you would use 30 solar panels to account for 80% of your average consumption. The purpose of this is to give a rough idea of how many solar panels you will need.  This sizing tool provides a quick number to go off of as you’re shopping around- it’s not a replacement for having an electrical contractor design a system for you. Once you’ve calculated your average kWh use and determined the percentage that you plan to offset with solar, get a free solar quote from GoGreenSolar.com 😉  We’ll help you design a complete system that’s specific to your roof and geographical location. Any questions?...

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Top 7 Myths About Solar Energy

1.  Solar energy is too expensive. According to a nation-wide poll, 97% of Americans overestimate the upfront cost of going solar. [1] The price of photovoltaics (a.k.a. solar)  has been declining, renewable energy is more affordable than ever.  Click here to view solar panels as low as $0.70 Watt! There are financial incentives at the federal and state level that help solar compete with fossil fuels, which also subsidized by the government.  Having the financial incentives in place for renewable energy makes solar energy a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels and a often a practical investment for homeowners. Solar systems in the United States qualify for a 30% federal tax credit.  If you have tax liability and you put a solar system in service, you can claim a tax credit that’s equal to 30% of qualified expenditures that went into your solar system. To learn about state and regional incentives in your geographic location, visit dsireusa.org. “Soft costs” associated with permitting are also going to depend on your local Authority Having Jursidiction (AHJ).  Unfortunately, the U.S. has yet to streamline permitting so much of this is going to be specific to your location. Want to see how you can save by switching to solar?  Get your monthly energy usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) from your electric bill and use our Solar Energy Savings Calculator! 2.  Solar panels only work on hot, sunny days. Contrary to the common misconception that solar only works on sunny days, solar panels work best on clear, cool days.   Even if it’s overcast and a bit foggy, your solar panels will continue to generate at about 30% of their normal energy output.    Germany, which doesn’t have a reputation for being the sunniest of places, had about 21.6 times more solar power installations per capita than the United States by the end of 2011.  Solar panels can also take a beating.   Quality solar panels are manufactured with tempered glass and “hail-tested” with golf-ball sized projectiles to ensure that they will withstand environmental pressures.  Click here to read about solar panel hail testing. 3.  You can size a solar PV system based on the square footage of your home. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get an accurate idea of how many kW of solar you should install without doing some homework first.   The first step is determining your load, or the average amount of energy consumed (kWh). Dig out your electric bills for the past 12 months and average the kilowatt hours (kWh) used by your home or business.  If you don’t have this on hand but want to figure out how much electricity you use,...

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How Does Solar Energy Work?
Feb11

How Does Solar Energy Work?

 

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How Much Will Solar Cost You?
Jan09

How Much Will Solar Cost You?

Infographic by Visual News

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Send Power Directly into Your AC Outlet
Nov30

Send Power Directly into Your AC Outlet

GoGreenSolar.com is proud to present our original product, the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit. This all-in-one unit is comprised of a 235 watt solar panel, a micro-inverter, and a racking frame that gives you the option of easily placing the SunPlug on the lawn, deck or anywhere else the sun shines, rather than being permanently installed on the roof. Simply place the kit in the sun (ideally facing South), plug into a standard 110 volt outlet, and the SunPlug will immediately start generating power that is sent back into the grid, off-setting a portion of your electricity usage with clean, renewable energy. SunPlug, the new plug and play solar kit from GoGreenSolar.com The SunPlug is incredibly easy to use, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t still have questions about it! Below you will find a list of answers to common questions about this kit. The most pertinent questions have been included, but feel free to leave additional questions in the comments and we’ll get them answered post-haste! Q: Will my meter spin backwards when the SunPlug is in use? A: Before answering this, it should be noted that most electricity meters that spin to record usage are being replaced with digital smart meters that have no moving parts. So if you have a smart meter that is “spinning backwards,” you would see an arrow pointing left to indicate that your kilowatt-hours (kWh) are being reduced because more electricity is being sent back to the grid than the home is using. That being said, one SunPlug will not generate more electricity than what the home is using. For example, if your home uses 1 kWh every hour and you’re using one SunPlug that offsets .235 kWh (235 Watts per hour) for every hour that it receives peak sunlight, then in that hour your home’s net energy usage will be .765 kWh. Keep in mind that solar panels really only produce significant amounts of energy during peak sunlight hours, and in the United States peak sunlight hours range from 4-5.5 hours per day. So if the 1 kWh per hour home had 5 235 Watt SunPlugs (totaling 1175 Watts per hour or 1.175 kWh/hour) then the meter would “spin backwards” for the duration of peak sunlight hours, but that extra energy that was sent back to the grid would just go to offset part of the home’s usage at night. Q: How many SunPlugs can be used on one branch circuit? A: Circuit breakers on residential homes typically have 20 Amp branch circuits. Rather than breaking down the math, suffice it to say that it’s recommended to put no...

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