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Why efficiency is key on deciding what solar panel to buy.

As more solar panel producers enter the market, consumers are confused on what brand to buy. What should you look for when purchasing solar panels to power your home or small business? Not all solar panels are created equal, efficency matters! If you are a homeowner with limited roof space, well you should care more about efficiency more then anyone. The more efficient the solar panel, the more watts you generate per square foot, that’s the bottom line. Sanyo Solar Panels are highly efficient and this is why we like them, because you produce more electricity with every panel. Even though Sanyo’s are priced at a premium compared to value or cheap solar panels, the return on investment is much quicker on a Sanyo system because of the efficiency. So the first thing to do when comparing two brands of solar panels is to look at the specifications sheets and compare the efficiencies, you will be surprised how much more efficient premium panels are. What do you think are highly efficent panels always worth it or is it better to go with more cheaper...

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Solar Panel demand can’t keep up with supply

Many solar panel manufacturers and installers can’t keep up with the demand for solar panels and are not taking on anymore jobs in 2008 because they don’t either have the time nor supply to help anyone the rest of this year! This is due to the US federal tax credit expiring December 31s, 2008, people want to get their projects installed by the end of this year so they can pick up on that tax credit and is causing a strain on the supply of solar panels, this holds true especially for large business projects. Industry reports suggest as more manufacturing capacity is put online in 2009 solar panel demand will catch up with supply. There maybe a downturn in the solar and wind market next year if the renewable energy tax credit is not renewed by congress by the end of this year. Although electric rates are jumping up to historic highs, so hopefully we can get solar and wind technology to compete financially against the fossil fuel industry without rebates and tax credits. What do you think will happen next year to this booming industry if the tax credit is not...

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Simple Grid Tie Solar Power System Drawing

The Guide to Photovoltaic System Design and Installation by the California Energy Commission has an interesting drawing of how a solar electric system wires up to the grid. Grid interactive systems do not have a battery bank, therefore if there is a blackout your power will also go down. A grid tied / interactive system is easier to install and takes 40% less time then a system with batteries because a grid tie system have less wiring and components to deal with. The diagram above shows how a standard solar power system is connected to the grid. Most homes and businesses that have solar electric systems in the USA are typically grid tie systems. The grid tie solar system diagram shows a great view of the difference between the DC and AC side of the system. As you can see the inverter is the hub of the system and an important part of the overall efficiency of the system. The PV Array is a group of solar panels wired together. The size of the array depends on your individual clean energy generation goals and electric needs. If you don’t know how to calculate the size of your system, see Calculating the Economics of Solar PV...

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Prepaid electric bill for life.

When you install a grid tied solar panel system or wind turbine your prepaying your electric bill, it is that simple although many consumers when shopping for a clean energy systems are shocked by the cost up front cost. This the the fist time in history people now have the chance to buy technology to produce their own electricity! People can finally become producers and not just consumers at the mercy of big energy. Since we have been used to paying electric bills on a monthly basis, most customers don’t realize how expensive electricity is over a long period of time when they see the cost of buying solar power to energize their home. I noticed when consumers buy a clean energy system, all of a sudden they start thinking about energy efficiency although when just paying month to month for electricity from the utility company customers are more wasteful. It seems like when customers become their own producers, they start to appreciate the long term value of electricity. Why do you think people who buy their own clean energy system become more cautious of their electric usage after they install a...

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Do you think your electric rate is too high?

I was looking at this interesting chart of the average utility electric rates here in the USA published by the Department of Energy. It’s really interesting to see what people are paying on average per kWh (kilowatt hour), especially if you are considering solar power to offset or eliminate your electric usage. Solar Power without rebates and tax credits typically produces electricity for a solar power system owner at about 15 cents per kWh, therefore states with rates in the range of 10.26 to 24.13 cents per kWh will see a quicker financial payback period with solar panels since the cost of electricity is higher. Take a look at Hawaii, they have the highest electric rate in the USA! Does your electric bill match with the average for your state? Why do you think the electric rate in your state is what it is? Do you think solar panels will make a good investment in your neck of the woods, why or why...

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