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Articles About Solar Technology

We’ve been watching advances in the solar power industry for more than a decade, so we’ve collected the articles we’ve written about solar technology, below.

A Sense plus solar energy monitor installed inside an electrical panel

The Sense Energy Monitor Plus Solar – Is It Worth It?

In short: Sense is a home energy monitoring system that can tell you how much electricity devices in your home use and help you find problems with power consumption. If you have solar, Sense also provides real-time monitoring of your panels’ production. Using a Sense monitor can also enable smart home integration and reduce your […]

Last modified: February 27, 2020

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Lightyear one cover photo

Is the Lightyear One a Tesla Killer?

One of the biggest problems with electric vehicles is their range. After all, what are you supposed to do if you run out of energy, miles away from the nearest quick charge station? For most regular commuters, it’s really not an issue and there are plenty of apps available to help you plan a road […]

Last modified: February 25, 2020

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A Solar Panel Car Roof

Solar Panel Car Roofs: Are they a good idea?

In Short: Solar panel car roofs are a relatively new phenomenon that promise to use renewable energy to add some charge to the car’s batteries, but short of some absolutely miraculous new physics breakthrough, a fully solar-powered car will not be practical for the vast majority of people. Still, some car manufacturers are pushing the […]

Last modified: February 20, 2020

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Solar panels that work at night?!

The idea of solar panels producing electricity in the middle of the night seems entirely preposterous. After all, the reason solar panels are even called solar panels is because it is a material which relies on the sun to function. Wait a minute, says UC Davis professor Jeremy Munday. He’s recently authored a concept paper […]

Last modified: February 7, 2020

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Everything you need to know about solar tracker installations

In short: You can get more electricity by pointing solar panels directly at the sun throughout the day. Making that happen requires moving parts, and added expense. We help you determine if that added expense is worth it, and introduce you to a new kind of technology which allows solar farm operators to track the […]

Last modified: November 1, 2019

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When the grid goes down most solar panel configurations do not allow people to use electricity

Protect yourself from power outages with solar plus batteries

In short: Weather related power outages are becoming more common, we show you how smart home solutions tied to solar and battery storage can help you be more resilient and self sufficient If you’ve been tuned into the news, you may have noticed over a million Californians went without power for several days last week. […]

Last modified: March 11, 2020

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Solar panels on top of RV

Solar Panels for Mobile Homes and RVs

In short: Are solar panels for mobile homes and RVs a good idea? In both cases, the answer is “yes, but…” It’s a bit tricky, and there are rules and best practices to follow. First, you should try to reduce your electricity usage, then make sure you install the right amount of solar in the […]

Last modified: August 23, 2019

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PVWatts header image with a description of what the tool does and a picture of solar panels

How to use PVWatts to figure out the ideal size for your solar system

In short: PVWatts is a highly useful tool that can show you a close estimate of annual electricity production from a solar array of a given size. But by using a reverse-engineering trick and dividing your annual energy usage by the amount of solar energy 1 kilowatt of panels can make, you get your ideal […]

Last modified: February 4, 2020

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bifacial solar panel on top of a building at dusk

What are bifacial solar panels, and why are they awesome?

In short: In short: Bifacial solar panels are a smart, efficient way to harness even more of the sun’s energy; typically 11-20% more energy is captured than energy from traditional PV panels. Bifacial solar panels are in the spotlight these days because they recently became exempt from President Trump’s Section 201 solar panel tariffs. Bifacial […]

Last modified: November 8, 2019

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