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Solar Power News and Information

Avatar for Ben Zientara
Written by
Published on 04/03/2017
Updated 11/08/2019
Is the Tesla Solar Roof right for your home? Cost, Savings, & Availability.

Is the Tesla Solar Roof right for your home? Cost, Savings, & Availability.

In short: The Tesla Solar Roof (also called “Solarglass”) is designed to replace your regular roof and generate electricity at the same time. It’s made of long, thin tempered glass roof tiles with integrated solar cells, which click into place to create a beautiful, durable surface. Tesla says it will last 25 years and cost less than a traditional roof plus a solar installation. If you need a new roof, getting the Tesla solar roof is likely more cost-effective, but it’s still a relatively new product. Expect some growing pains,...
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The 9 things you need for your grid tied solar plus battery backup system to work

The 9 things you need for your grid tied solar plus battery backup system to work

In short: We introduce you to the 9 components you'll need for a grid tied solar plus battery backup system, and explain how they work together to provide more resilience for your home when the power is out in your area. With all the recent power outages due to extreme weather, there’s been strong homeowner interest in learning how to be more resilient and self reliant when the grid is down. Because of our new partnership with Solar Energy International (SEI), the leader in solar energy job training, we are...
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Is the LG Chem RESU battery right for your home?

Is the LG Chem RESU battery right for your home?

In Short: The LG Chem RESU battery is a lithium ion battery that can keep your home running even if the grid goes down. Since 2013, the LG RESU battery is a proven product with a solid track record. It’s also used by some of the biggest solar installers in the country to provide backup power for their solar systems. In the crowded home energy storage field, the LG Chem RESU home battery stands out for its relative longevity; it was initially launched in 2013 and brought to the North...
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Peak sun hours: solar panel output per day, month and year

Peak sun hours: solar panel output per day, month and year

In short: How much electricity a solar panel makes depends on how much sun it gets, which can vary greatly day-by-day. When measuring solar output, what’s most important is the total amount of solar energy available on an average day, expressed as kilowatt-hours per square meter, and also called peak sun hours. Image source: Geloven thuis We’ve talked about solar panel output, which means how much power a solar panel can produce under ideal conditions, but now let’s take that further and look at how much energy that panel can...
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Everything you need to know about solar tracker installations

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 sun with their panels without the need for any electricity to power the moving parts. You may have seen videos of large arrays of solar panels which track the sun. It’s a beautiful sight to...
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What we saw at Solar Power International 2019 – North America’s Largest Energy Conference

What we saw at Solar Power International 2019 – North America’s Largest Energy Conference

In short: The future of solar is coming, and it looks a lot like the past (with batteries). Silicon still rules the rooftop, but the solar-adjacent stuff that goes inside homes may revolutionize the way our lives work... in a few years. Batteries are still expensive, but the exciting thing for homeowners is: you don't have to wait for economical batteries to install solar now. Solar Power International (SPI) is an annual conference held by and for solar professionals every September in various places (this one was in Salt Lake...
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Virtual Power Plants and Home Batteries May Shape the Future of Net Metering in the United States

Virtual Power Plants and Home Batteries May Shape the Future of Net Metering in the United States

In short: Got home solar and a battery backup system? Your utility company would love to draw power from batteries like yours to respond to increased demand at will, but they aren’t able to cut you a check, yet. Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) are comprised of solar installations coupled to battery storage and software which allows utilities to pull power at will, and credits to flow back to the system owners. We show you how this arrangement is starting to take shape between solar installers, developers, utilities, and ratepayers like...
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Protect yourself from power outages with solar plus batteries

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. This was the most widespread outage caused by risk management due to weather conditions ripe for wildfire. To put this in context, there has been a tenfold increase in major power outages between the mid-1980s...
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Guess what these solar companies do based on their names

Guess what these solar companies do based on their names

At the end of September, 2019, the Solar Power Rocks crew attended North American Smart Energy Week in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's the largest single energy conference in North America, and includes Solar Power International, Energy Storage International, and more. The solar and energy storage industry has its fair share of inscrutable acronyms and mysterious marketing ploys, but one thing that struck is there are some remarkable company names in the solar industry. Whether that's because companies want to stand out in a crowded field or they use some...
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Types of solar panels – What they’re made of & how they work

Types of solar panels – What they’re made of & how they work

In short: Most solar panels are made from silicon solar cells encased in glass and surrounded by an aluminum frame. But the details matter! Modules can be made with either polycrystalline or monocrystalline silicon, and many so-called “thin film” panels are made without silicon at all! Read on to learn the differences between the types of solar panels and the best ways to use each kind. A solar panel (more commonly known in the industry as a “solar module”) is a piece of equipment that generates electricity from sunlight by...
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Last modified: November 8, 2019

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