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Got Dirty Solar Panels? Powerboost to the Rescue!

How much money are your dirty solar panels costing you? Yes, keeping your solar panels free of bird poop and other debris is extremely important because depending on how well you keep your solar panels clean has a direct impact on the overall return on investment of your solar electric system. Especially out here in Southern California, it has not rained in a while, imagine how dirty most solar panels are and the impact on the bottom line of solar power system owners. Sure, every now and then, mother nature can wash off your solar panels for you. Although many system owners want to keep their solar panels as clean as possible to harvest the most electricity. Until recently most solar electric system owners had no cleaning solution to turn to. Thanks to SolarFrameWorks for introducing the PowerBoost Solar Panel Cleaner, a revolutionary solar panel cleaner designed specifically for photovoltaic cells. Available for both residential and commercial applications, PowerBoost can be applied within minutes, the intense foaming solution contains high-quality surfactants that remove grime thereby increasing the level of solar insulation that is able to reach the solar cells. PowerBoost works on all types of glass, such as the tempered glass layered on the top of most crystalline solar panels. PowerBoost not only enhances the cleaning process but leaves behind a specially-formulated coating to reduce the number of cleanings required. Don’t worry, PowerBoost is environmentally friendly, because its completely biodegradable and only costs pennies per panel to clean and protect panels from debris that can reduce your solar power system’s performance by up to 20%!! Shown in the picture above, Powerboost residential cleans up to 5 kilowatts (kW) of panels and comes in a cost-effective applicator designed for use on solar electric systems. The applicator hooks up to any garden hose and is fast and easy to...

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Schott Solar to unveil new solar panels

Schott Solar, a leading German company that manufacturers solar panels will showcase a new 225-watt, polycrystalline photovoltaic solar panel at the Solar Power International show in San Diego, CA October 14-16th. The new solar panel will be made right here in the USA at Schott’s planned factory in New Mexico. The company is investing $100 million to build a 200,000-square-foot plant at Mesa del Sol in south central Albuquerque that will open early next year. The facility will manufacturer both photovoltaic solar panels and concentrated solar power collectors. The proposed plant has a capacity of manufacturing 70 megawatts of solar panel per year. The new Schott Solar panels will be marketed under the product line name of, Schott Solar Poly 225, the product line will complement the 310 watt solar panels manufactured at Schott’s factory in Billerica, MA. According to Mac Moore, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “The introduction of a 225-watt module to the North American market enables us to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse marketplace,” Moore said. “A module of this size is ideal for a wide range of commercial and residential applications.” This is very interesting, now we’re seeing panels that are in the 225 watt to 310 watt range! As the rated output of panels become larger, homes and businesses will need less panels to meet their energy production goals. Every trade show we attend, we see a higher rated output for solar panels which is a trend in the industry. Pretty soon we’ll see panels with ratings over 400 watts...

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Three Flavors of Photovoltaic Solar Panels

As we explained in our previous post titled, Solar Arrays Explained a group of solar cells make up a solar panel. Not all solar cells are created equal, in fact there are three major flavors of solar cells that most solar panels that we see on homes and businesses are made from. Solar cells come in the following three flavors, as you can tell from the pictures each solar panel has a unique look: Single-crystal (Monocrystalline) Monocrystalline solar panels produce the most electric power per square meter and are mounted in a rigid frame. Multicrystalline (Polycrystalline) These solar panels are made up of solar cells that are cut from multiple crystals grown together in an ingot. These solar cells are built very strong structurally although are slightly less efficient then Monocrystalline solar cells. Amorphous Silicon (Thin Film) Thin Film solar panels are made through a deposition process or printing photovoltaic material on glass, metal or plastic substrate. Solar Roofing Shingles are made up of Amorphous silicon because the ability to print solar cells right onto the shingles. They are significantly less efficient than Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline solar cells therefore to generate the same power you would need more than double the surface area. Although they cost much less than traditional solar panels. Depending on the substrate the thin film solar cells are printed on they can be very robust and...

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The Path of the Sun Across the Sky

The sun raises and sets everyday, but the path the sun takes across the sky can differ between seasons. Azimuth is a concept defined as an angle measured in degrees between a reference plane and a point. When installing solar panels to ensure maximum system output you must consider the azimuth of the sun. Obviously, the days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, this is because the sun is traveling on different paths across the sky. In the winter the sun is low in the sky, on December 21st the shortest day of the year is called the Winter Solstice, at this point the sun is a the lowest point in the southern sky. Each day after Winter Solstice the Sun’s path goes up higher in the southern sky. The Summer Solstic occurs on June 21st which is when the sun follows a longer path through the sky. As the sun moves through its yearly rhythms is important to take note what may not be a shading issue in the Summer could be an issue when the sun changes its path in the winter. The diagram above provided by the US Department of Energy shows an example of the difference between the summer and winter sun in relation to a solar photovoltaic...

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Solar Arrays, Explained.

I read a lot of articles out there related to solar energy and I’ve seen many different terms used by authors describing a Photovoltaic Module. Photovoltaic Module, What does it mean? Its just a solar industry term that describes a solar panel that can covert light into electricity. But people often refer to panels as “solar arrays” or “solar cells” and I noticed many people get confused by the different terminology. So lets break it down, The Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems by the infinite power organization of Texas has a great diagram. A group of individual cells make up a solar panel (module) and a group of solar panels create an Array. Typically, people install a solar arrays on their roofs or ground mount solar arrays, rarely solar arrays are mounted to tracking systems to follow the path of the sun. The number of solar panels that make up an array depend on individual project goal, budget and needs. The great aspect of a solar array is that the panels are modular, meaning you can add more panels to the array at a later date to generate more electricity. There are a growing amount of people who are concentrating sunlight onto each solar cell that by magnifying the intensity of the sun and generating a greater output per solar panel, imagine taking a large magnifying glass and putting it over a solar array. Over clocking a solar panel, just like people over clock computer processors for more processing...

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