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Los Angeles Community College Goes Solar!

The East Los Angeles College (ELAC) inaugurated a 1.2 Megawatt solar electric system at its Monterey Park campus. The school officials switched the system live on earth day to mark a significant milestone for the school. The goal of the LACCD colleges is to become more energy independent and what better city than Los Angeles to have such a great goal. The installation was completed with 6,000 Kyocera KC200 solar panels . Los Angeles is the city with the most average sunshine per day in the entire USA which makes this 1.2 Megawatt plant so special, it will be a great example and benchmark colleges...

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America’s Solar Cities 2008

Today, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman made a public announcement that the DOE will be funding 2.4 million dollars to 12 cities across the country. These Solar America cities have been chosen for their commitment to the deployment of solar technologies. Cities selected as Solar America Cities will receive 0,000 (doesn’t sound like much, but its better than nothing) to implement a variety of solar technologies throughout the cities. The funded cities include: Denver, CO Houston, TX Knoxville, TN Milwaukee, WI Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN Orlando, FL Philadelphia, PA Sacramento, CA San Antonio, TX San Jose, CA Santa Rosa, CA Seattle, WA In addition to the funding the DOE will provide technical assistance to the cities for them to implement solar technologies. The cities will be free to implement various renewable energy technologies from solar water heating, photovoltaics to concentrating solar...

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Solar Panel Warranties

Why do solar panels manufacturing companies offer a warranty period of at least 25 years? The average solar panel has a life expectancy up to 30-40 years. Since there are no moving parts with a solar energy system, nothing wears down. Therefore as long as the panels are cleaned at least every 6 months, the performance of your system should exceed your expectations. Cleaning a ground mount system is much easier since the panels are easily accessible. A garden hose with a bucket of water and soap is all that is needed when cleaning a solar panel system. Cleaning panels becomes a more difficult chore with a roof mount system because working on top of a roof becomes dangerous and typically a consumer must hire a service provider or window washing company to get up there and clean the panels. When making a decision for going solar, maintenance is an important factor in selecting between a ground or roof mount...

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Solar Panels & Golf Ball Sized Hail

A consumer called me thinking about going solar, but he had a major concern, Hail. How do solar panels hold up to Hail? Well it depends. Depending on the brand of Solar Photovoltaic Modules (aka Solar Panels that produce electricity) some panels are hail-resistant solar panels. In general if hail is a problem in your geographic area ask the installer if the panels have a certificate that they passed hail tests. I found out through a close source, that SunPower (a manufacturer of solar panels) shoots golf balls at their panels to stimulate a hail storm. If the solar panels is not hail rated and is damaged during a hail storm, depending on your insurance coverage, there is a possibility the panels may be covered. (You have to check with your insurance company and read your policy to make sure the panels are covered) There have been cases where homeowners insurance has covered damaged solar panels which were not hail resistant. Most solar panels are coated with tempered glass protecting the silicon and will take quite a beating; it’s always great to bring up this question to the installer when making a purchasing...

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What the heck is an inverter?

Without an inverter, it would not be possible to turn the energy produced by a solar panel or wind turbine into energy we can use. The primary purpose of a renewable energy inverter is to convert DC into AC power. Our everyday appliances use AC power, therefore the inverter is a very important part in the overall design of a renewable energy power generation...

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