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what makes solar photovoltaics so unique?

What does coal and nuclear have in common? These types of electrical generation plants boil water to create steam, which turns a turbine and generates electricity. Hydroelectric and Wind Power is similar to coal and nuclear because it generates energy by turning a turbine to generate electricity. Although since hydroelectric and wind power are renewable and clean, they are a better source of electricity for the future to reduce carbon footprints and to generate electricity safely via domestic resources. What makes solar photovoltaic so different is there are no moving parts, with photovoltaics you don’t have to turn a turbine to generate electricity. The special materials that solar panels are composed of causes the “photovoltaic reaction” when light hits a solar cell, electronics are excited and the byproduct is electric voltage and current that is transported through wire to an electrical circuit. get it? No moving parts means, highly reliable equipment that will last for a very long time. Most solar panels come with warranties that covered for at least 25 to 30 years. There are solar photovoltaic panels still in operation since the 1970s. So why do you think so many people think solar power is...

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The importance of ground fault protection

Don’t want to get electrocuted by your solar power system? Make sure you have ground fault protection in check. Most grid tie inverters such as the Xantrex GT Series have built in ground fault protection. According to NEC (National Electric Code) for solar photovoltaics states all roof mount solar photovoltaic arrays must have ground fault protection. What ground fault protection does is grounds the inverter itself through a grounding rod which prevents you from being shocked when touching the inverter. The picture above is the Xantrex GT series PV Ground Fault Breakers that disconnects the solar photovoltaic array if a ground fault occurs in the wiring. Grounding your system also limits voltages due to line surges, lightning, or accidental contact with higher voltage lines. In addition grounding stabilizes voltages because the earth is a common reference point for the system. If there are over current devices on the system grounding provides a path for these devices to operate. Does this make sense? Without being too technical, its important that your system is grounded for obvious reasons, and since most grid tie inverters come with ground fault protection you have no excuse not to ground your solar photovoltaic...

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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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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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String Inputs on Your Grid Tie Inverter

The number of string inputs is the total pairs of solar photovoltaic (pv) panel positive and negative input terminal lugs provided by the inverter manufacturer. The maximum number of solar photovoltaic panels source circuits that can be connected to an inverter without wiring in a parallel connection is determined by the number of input strings. The larger inverter you have, the more terminals will be provided inside the inverter to connect solar pv panels onto, thus being able to hook up more solar pv panels per inverter. Sometimes it’s better or needed with a installation to string in parallel because of the type of equipment being used and the individual circumstances of the project, combiner boxes are used in these type of cases. We recommend people buy complete grid tied solar power kits because it takes the headache out of making sure the inverters and number of solar panels will be...

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