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simple calculation for solar pv payback

Too many people call us everyday and ask how the figure out the payback period of an investment in a solar pv system. Today, I wanted to focus on showing you how to simply calculate how long it will take you to break even on a solar electric system you maybe considering for a home or business. (Total system cost after incentives) + (Maintenance costs x Equipment lifetime)—————————————————————————————————-(Annual system kWh production) x (Your electric rate cost per kWh) Maintenance costs = $0.02/Annual system kWh productionEquipment lifetime = 25 – 30 years You can forecast annual system kWh production using PVWatts Check your electric bill for your cost per kWh, if you can’t figure out what your average cost for every unit of electricity you consume, then it’s going to be impossible to forecast a payback period for your investment in a solar electric system. Get to know your electric...

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UL to test Solar PV Panels

good news! Underwriter Laboratories (UL), focusing on product safety testing and certification has opened North America’s largest photovoltaic (PV) testing center. The center located in San Jose, CA focuses strictly on Solar PV Panels, which turn sunlight into electricity. UL will finally be able to get solar pv products tested and onto the market much faster, thus offering more reliable and safer products for consumers like yourself. UL has always been a seal that has been trusted for consumer products, we are glad they have dedicated a testing facility just for solar pv panels, because we saw it to be a bottleneck in the industry. The lab has 14 test chambers and two solar simulators which provide both indoor and outdoor testing environments. The facility will also test power generation system accessories. The center will serve as a R&D lab for solar panels also which may push newer more efficient solar panels to the market even quicker then we are seeing. I suppose UL certification can help eliminate a myth some consumers believe in about solar power, “solar panels are just not reliable.” In fact solar panels are very reliable and now the industry has the full backing of UL. Look forward to many solar power products stamped with the UL seal in the near...

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Heat your water, generate electricity, one panel.

At the ASES Solar 2008 conference we saw some great technology improvements and creative out of the box thinking in the solar industry itself. One technology that stood out was a solar PV panel with the ability to heat water. One panel does the jobs of two different technologies (Solar PV & Solar Thermal) The great part of the new solar energy collector is not only to heats water and produces electricity with less surface area, but the water within the panel water cools the PV Panel before the water is heated and used for hot water. According to the company there is a 10% gain in efficiency of the PV Panel. The industry seems like to get much more innovative. According to representatives at the booth the founder of the company used to work for Intel and understands how to cool silicon since heating of silicon was a common problem in the computer processor industry. The solar energy collector snaps on top most solar pv...

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The Future of Solar Energy at the Tiger Woods Learning Center

The Tiger Woods Learning Center is a 35,000 square foot, 14 acre education facility located in Anaheim, California. The center’s goal is to help young students excel in education and sports after school. Last week I joined the LA/OC Alternative Energy Meetup Group for a tour of the facility not because of the educational value the learning center promoted, but because of the awesome solar photovoltaic system they have integrated into the high tech facility. The roof of the learning center features a standard rooftop array, although the most interesting element of the solar system is the Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), basically what that means the some of the building’s windows actually has a tint, that turns the sunlight into electricity! The windows have thin-film solar cells sandwhiched between two plates of glass. The solar photovoltaic system was designed by Solar Design Associates (SDA) of Harvard, Massachusetts. The BIPV solar window curtain wall is made up of custom, thin-film modules with special glass from Schott Solar, the standard rooftop array was provided by PowerLight. The tricky part of this installation was the design of the solar powered windows was both curved and sloped which required SDA to specify BIPV window of different size, shape and light transmissions. The Tiger Woods Learning Center of the only places in the USA that has successfully implemented and using BIPV to generate free clean electricity from the sun! Learn more about the tiger woods learning center:...

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