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Articles About Solar Components

Solar inverters from SMA

What are home solar inverters?

If your entire home solar system was like a human body, the inverter would be the brain. Inverters are the central component which binds the system together, and they are becoming more intelligent as the years tick by. The duties of home solar inverters are constantly evolving as the grid and solar projects get smarter. […]

Last modified: February 28, 2020

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Video: Great Solar PV Explanation

This is a great intro to solar basics. It explains how solar works and all of the components in a few minutes. Graphics are very clear. Notice the “thin film” roofing tiles that look like regular tiles. Solar doesn’t have to be panels (but it’s less expensive that way). A picture is worth a thousand […]

Last modified: October 1, 2019

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10 Tips to Finding a Great Solar Installer

Whether you buy solar, lease solar, or go with a PPA company, you’ll need to find an experienced installer. SolarFred.com is not an installer referral site, but an independent solar advocate’s guide to affordable, quality, residential solar. First, consider that solar is a relatively young industry. The boom times have come now, however, which means […]

Last modified: March 6, 2018

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Cheap Solar: The Advantage of Tierd Rates

In many States such as California, utilities often will charge customers different rate tiers for kilowatt hour usage. The more power you use, the higher your rate jumps for that above average usage. As a result, using solar with tiered rates can save a lot of money. For example, the lowest rate in PG&E territory […]

Last modified: February 23, 2016

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Cheap Solar: 53 Ways to Save Energy

I just found this great list of 53 ways 66 to save energy from PSEG Long Island, a utility that has solar programs. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, you can reduce your cost of going solar by first being more energy efficient in your home. These tips will financially benefit you (and the […]

Last modified: September 3, 2019

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Energy Info: Home Green Home

Though I now live in Los Angeles, I grew up in New York, so I’m partial to the New York Times, which has two great blogs devoted to energy issues. Green Inc is more business oriented, but Home Green Home is the Green Inc editor, Tom Zeller Jr.’s personal experience with buying an old home […]

Last modified: March 4, 2020

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Solar Info: Thin Film Video

How lucky are you, Solar Fred reader. My YouTube solar research has found a great example of Thin Film solar panels. See this video below and then read my post about the advantages and disadvantages of Silicon and Thin Fim.  

Last modified: October 1, 2019

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Video: Solar Basics

I’ve found a visual labor of love (low production values with good info) that explains the basics of how solar panels work in your home. In about a minute, this video below explains simple net metering and how the grid is used as a sort of battery for your solar panels. So if you’re still […]

Last modified: April 24, 2020

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A rack of FLA batteries in a solar battery bank

Cheap Solar: No Batteries

Dear Solar Fred, What’s the cost difference between having a system with batteries and a system without batteries? Is being off the grid worth it? Sincerely, Sam in Los Angeles Dear Sam, Great question. Short answer is that battery tied systems are NOT worth the extra cost for many reasons. Let me count the ways. […]

Last modified: April 24, 2020

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Cheap Solar: Buy Half a System

Dear Solar Fred, I admit that my family and I are energy hogs and spend $350 a month on our electric bill. I know if we size it right that we’ll see a payback in around 12 years, but right now, we don’t have enough home equity for the up front costs. Is there any […]

Last modified: March 4, 2020

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