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top 5 tips to size a solar power system that fits your budget.

My day consists of helping many people size their solar power system to fit their budgets. If your considering a solar power system for your home or small business, I would consider the following 7 tips to help you size you solar power system: 1. Figure out what is the maximum you are willing to spend on a complete solar power system. Are you going to install yourself or hire a professional? The answer to this question will have an impact on your budget. 2. How much space do you have to install solar panels? If your in the northern hemisphere of the world, which includes the USA. Then the best location to point your panels is south. In the southern hemisphere of the world you would point your panels north to maximize on the peak sun. 3. How much of your electric bill do you want to offset using solar panels? Remember solar power systems are expandable so you can add more capacity in the future. 4. Investigate tax credits, rebates from utility companies, government incentives, and other incentives that you qualify for. call your utility company and ask if they have a solar power rebate program. If your in the USA, ask your tax consultant about the federal tax credit for renewable energy systems. 5. Popular ways to finance a solar power system include for your home are home equity loans, loans from your 401k, lines of credit, and unsecured credit. For small businesses, equipment leases and power purchasing agreements are popular. what do you think is the most difficult aspect of getting started with solar? Is it difficult to figure out how many solar panels you...

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SCM series solar panel released to U.S. Market

REC Group, a Norwegian based solar panel manufacturer has released the SCM series of their photovoltaic solar panel which offers a special treated glass on top of the solar cells to increase performance and quick locking connectors. These solar panels have hit the U.S. market, as the REC Group is aiming to diversify their global strategy into the hot solar U.S. market. What’s interesting about the company, is that they own the entire manufacturing process, meaning they produce the silicon, ingots, wafers, cells, and panels in house, which means they produce all the components integrated to develop a solar panel that turns sunlight into electricity. The REC Group SCM Series is backed by a 10 year limited warranty of 90% power output and a 25 year warranty of 80% power output. According to the REC Group SCM series spec sheet the solar panel efficiency ranges from 12.7% to 13.9% depending on the model number. Do you think owning the entire production process improves...

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NegaWatts save you money.

Want to lower your electric bills? Well, lets start by understanding the term”Negawatt”, I promise this is going to be worth your time because you’ll save thousands of dollars during your lifetime on electric expenses if you can wrap your mind around the concept. Negawatt power is a term promoted and introduced by Amory Lovins of The Rocky Mountain Institute means investing in energy efficiencies to reduce electrical consumption rather then investing in extra generation capacity can actually support the growth of electric supply by improving the efficiencies of appliances, homes or businesses rather then constructing a new power plant. In simple terms it means by saving energy, we create a “virtual power plant “, thus not having to create a new power plant to increase electrical supply. The reduction in electrical demand is called a Negawatt For example, If the World banned all incandescent light bulbs (which are very inefficient) and only sold LED light bulbs, which is high efficient lighting, it would create a significant increase in our power supply because the demand would significantly drop. The world would create Negawatts of electricity without creating a new power plant! Taking this theory into practice in your own home or business, its always more affordable to “reduce then produce”. Solar Panels typically have a high upfront cost, but you could buy less solar panels to cover your electrical generation needs If you focused on Negawatts, energy efficiency first. There are tons of projects you can do everything from fixing the air leaks, better insulation, LED lighting, programming your thermostat, and even conducting a do-it-yourself energy audit. Producing Negawatts could be as simple as making a life style change such as developing a habit to turn the lights off when you leave the room. Please share some methods of how you produce...

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Surging demand for Nevada’s RenewableGenerations rebate program

The citizen’s of Nevada have spoken in support of NV Energy’s RenewableGenerations rebate programwhich gives homeowners, businesses, public buildings and schools a generous rebate for installing solar panels, wind power systems. Agriculture customers can also qualify for a hydroelectric rebate. Below is a quick overview of the rebates available for each technology. SolarGenerations Rebate Program: Residential: $2.30 per watt $11,500 maximum rebate Small Business: $2.30 per watt $69,000 maximum rebate Schools: $4.60 per Watt Public Buildings: $4.60 per watt WindGenerations Rebate Program: Residential, small business, agriculture: $2.50 per watt up to 10 kW $1.50 watt above 10 kW Schools and Public Buildings: $3.00/watt up to 10 kW $2.00/watt above 10 kW HydroGenerations Rebate Program: All agricultural, grid-connected customers: $2.50 per watt 962 citizens of Nevada filed an application for the rebate program, majority of the applicants are installing residential grid tie solar power systems. Cumulatively, Nevada is developing 9.3MW of solar, wind and hydroelectric projects, thanks to the rebate program. Regions of the USA in which states force the utilities to give rebates to their customers to install renewable energy power generation systems is where solar and wind power systems thrive. Currently, NV Energy’s SolarGenerations and HydroGenenrations program has closed, although they will start to take additional applications soon. The WindGenerations program is still open for applications. To date, NV Energy has paid its customers 7 million dollars Not located in Nevada? Don’t worry, there might be a rebate program in your neck of the woods, be sure to check out the DSIRE website to learn more about state and federal rebates to install solar panels and wind...

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What is anti-islanding on a grid tie inverter?

Linemen who work for the utility company have a dangerous job because they are the people who are dispatched when an electrical line has gone down. Even though most linemen assume the line is live when they reach the scene to repair a broken connection, its still important to think about their safety. That is why most grid tie inverters on the market have an “anti-islanding” function built into the inverter’s software. The term “anti-islanding” refers to a feature of a grid tie inverter that senses when there is an power outage and shuts itself down and stops the production of electricity. There is a common misconception within solar panel and wind turbine consumers that if there was a blackout their grid tied system would keep them going through an outage, well this is not true because of grid tie inverter anti-islanding feature will stop the production of electricity when the gird goes down. You have to realize that when you own a grid tie system, the energy is stored in the grid, so the system is as reliable as the grid itself. When the grid goes down, the anti-islanding feature on the grid tie inverter will realize that either there was a sudden change in system frequency, voltage, rate change of frequency, increase in kW beyond normal levels, or a change in kVAR and shut down the inverter. When the inverter shuts down your system is no longer producing electricity for the safety of the people who will be working on the grid to repair it. There are grid tie inverters that are still under development such as the TerraWatt Power inverter which works during an outage because the inverter redirect the power being generated by a system back into the property without shutting down and keeps the linemen safe because the TerraWatt Power inverter does not send electricity into the grid when it senses there is an...

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