News

Why Go Solar?

Since the introduction of solar power into the modern world, many reasons have been generated in support of the idea. Promoters of the ideas have tried to come up with several reasons why we need to go solar. A benefit of going solar that affects us all is that it protects the environment. Because of the carbon emission that is associated with the other sources of electricity, this tends to affect the environment in certain negative ways. The emissions pollute the air, causing climate change and some other environmental diseases. Climate change has been identified to be the cause of many natural disasters such as tsunamis. This is why people and organizations who are concerned about environmental issues embrace the idea of going solar. The electricity that solar panels give is totally free of emission.

Those who are into real estate use the installation of a solar system in the building they are trying to sell as a means to increase the value of the property. Studies have shown that people tend to buy more quickly and pay more for homes that have solar systems installed in them. Another specific benefit of solar system installation offers is that you have the opportunity to be energy independent. With the use of a solar power system, you begin to provide yourself with electricity totally free from any form of electricity bills. This is the most striking aspect of the “going solar” idea.

solar energy

Because of the fact that solar energy is renewable energy, it makes it possible to independently generate electricity over many years for free. Solar energy is gotten from the sun, and the sun is a free gift of nature. No one will bill you for tapping energy or generating electricity from the sun. You are an independent generator of electricity. This brings us to take a look at this major benefit. Should you consider the option over electricity that is generally provided? Which is more expensive: paying electricity bill of paying the cost for solar system installation?

Electric Costs vs. Solar Costs

In considering if you should go for solar electricity generation for your home, there are two major factors that you need to put into consideration. You need to know:

  1. The cost of solar system installation and
  2. The rate of your electricity utility bill.

The decision to go solar can only make sense if the cost associated with the solar system is less than that of the cost you pay for grid electricity.

For solar energy, the cost of solar panels, which is the major cost you will incur when going solar, has proven over time to come down. The cost of solar panels when it was first discovered is not the same as it is today. In the past, many could not afford to make the purchase because of the high cost involved. Today, solar panels have commercial value as a result of the reduction in cost. Many homes now use solar systems since they can afford it.

For electricity, the cost of grid electricity has over the years fluctuated, rising more times than it has fallen. If it has been this way over the last ten years then its only makes sense to predict that in the years ahead, the cost of electricity will keep rising. Therefore, the idea of going solar is a welcome idea.

Key facts about Electric Costs vs. Solar Costs

  1. The rate of retail electricity has fluctuated over the course of 10 years. Statistics show that it went up more times than it came down. This trend is not likely to change over the years ahead as the cost surrounding the production of retail electricity keeps rising. For example, the cost of natural gas has increased and as it does,  the electricity rate will also increase.
  2. When you install a solar system in your home, the cost of electricity in your home will be totally free.
  3. The solar system pays itself off over the years. It is true that it is costly to install a complete solar system in your home. However, since the system has a lifespan of over 25 years, it will pay itself off in about 5 to 10 years after installation. You know this by calculating how much your electricity bill would have been over those years if your home was without the solar system. Therefore, paying the cost of solar system installation is like paying your electricity bill in advance. If you made the installation with a loan, you would eventually pay off the loan in the lifetime of the solar panel.
  4. You save money in the long run with the solar system. This because the cost of solar installation will not be paid in the entire lifespan of the solar system. You will still have some years left after the solar system has paid itself off.

What should you expect after going solar?

  • Your electricity bill will certainly be reduced or entirely go extinct.
  • You might continue to pay stipends over the years to cover the cost of the solar panel if you financed the installation through loans. This means the freedom might not be immediate but you will eventually get to consume electricity for free. It’s only a matter of time.
  • If electricity pricing rates eventually go down, you may temporarily find yourself paying more than you would have if you stayed with retail electricity. Chances are that the price will eventually go back up. Statistics back it up. You, therefore, have nothing to worry about.

The competition between solar and retail electricity is already concluded. Going solar has been and will continue to be a viable choice.

According to the Latest Reports, The Value of a Home Appreciates because of Solar Panels

According to a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL), the installation of panels for solar power generation can cause a major appreciation in the value of your property. A report titled “Selling into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes”, says that in California, the homes that have panels for solar energy are more expensive than others that do not.

Is value added to a house because of panels for solar?

Panels for solar power increases home value. If you are considering buying a solar power generating system for use in your home, the information found in the LBL study will show you that a reasonable investment is being made. The LBL study discovered that homes in states including California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Pennsylvania with solar panels enjoy benefits from a ‘solar premium’ if sold as a result of the willingness of buyers to pay extra for homes with solar panels.

solar power home value

What value does solar power add to homes?

Example: A 5 kilowatt (KW) system of solar (the nation’s average) offers power worth 5,000 watts. LBL declares that each solar watt adds approximately $4 to the value of California homes and approximately $3 for a unit watt in other states. Hence, solar homes ought to be sold for approximately ($4 x 5,000W =) $20,000 higher in California or ($3 x 5,000W =) $15,000 higher outside of California.

Potential buyers who consider whether panels for solar power appreciate the value of homes was pleasantly surprised. The amazing thing about the figures is their closeness to what a brand new solar system can be purchased for today.

Our price analysis of a system of solar of 6KW in California shows many of the more costly systems are above $4/W. And be conscious that you would pay for the cost before taking the magnanimous 30% incentive of federal tax which is available

Cheaper power from solar is your optimal investment in California

The feeds state that the distinction between the California premium panels for solar and non-Californian states is ‘not significant by statistics’: Premiums that are lower may be as a result of “estimates of income and net costs that are lower” that are in other states. In other words, non-Californian states premium deals with installation of solar prices and rates of electricity that are lesser instead because the valuation of solar there are lower.

All these imply that if your house is sold quickly after the installation of a system of solar, most or every of your investment will be recouped while money from your bills of power is saved. This is a confirmation of what we have stated earlier: Power from solar system’s periods of payback is not something of excess concern.

Either the value of your home will be significantly increased by your system of solar if you make the decision to sell your house off, or by itself, it would pay off through the savings of power bills, before moving out. In either case, a good investment is solar.

Other fascinating points in the feeds include:
  • The premium for solar for homes that are newly built was a little bit lower than homes that are older, showing that installations of solar that are retrofit are equivalent to systems that are built into the house.
  • Homes with bigger systems have a smaller $/W premium, showing the possibility of an effect which is known as ‘green cache’. As stated in the report, “Purchasers may be desirous to pay a specific amount for owning a PV system of any size on their homes and increment that is more dependent on the system’s size”.
  • The writers propose that homes which opt for solar via leases or programs of PPA should be future research areas; the recent study scrutinize only homes that have systems that are owner-owned.

The Top 10 Solar Panel Manufacturers in the World

The process of harnessing solar energy is not just as straightforward as we have sunlight. This is why a lot of research has gone into the development of this technology. Every penny spent in order to achieve this aim is worth it because, as it has been said, there is no need to spend on renewing the source. Once a system of harnessing the power has been gotten, it remains a fixed asset unto us and we need not spend to keep or maintain the source. It is this knowledge that has made those who spent endless to keep spending and funding the research work. Not until recently when it became clear how solar power can be a source of electricity and how it can be mass produced and consumed in mass. Our doubts have now been cleared. Ongoing projects now focus more on the improvement of solar panels and how solar panels can become more efficient and less costly, this is so that a majority can have and make use of it.  Since solar panels are the major component of the solar power system.

solar powered homes

It has been said that the amount of energy the sun produces in an hour is more than enough to supply the world with power for more than a year. If this is true, why not then harness it? Harnessing solar power is not a new concept. However, there has been a great development in recent years that has helped us put solar energy to more use. The solar system built around the generation of electricity is a recent development. It is an advancement in technology.

Solar panels are the major component of the solar power system. In the early stages of the development of solar panels, the cost of getting one was way over the financial capacity of many, making it almost impossible to fully gain commercial value. However, over the years and with consistent research and adequate funding, the cost of solar panels has drastically reduced. The use of solar panels has now become less costly when compared to a traditional electricity source. As a result, many homes have turned to the use of solar energy as a source of power. This in turn, has given rise to the birth of many companies that manufacture solar panels. East Asia has become the hub for the manufacturing of solar panels. Manufacturers build their production plants in a country like China even if raw materials are sourced from some other places.

Does it matter where solar panels are made?

Should the place where a solar panel is manufactured matter in any way? The answer to this question is simple. To someone who wants to go solar, creating a balance between the cost and quality of the solar panel should matter more than where the panel is produced. In other words, it should matter more to you as a homeowner to go solar with efficient, long-lasting and durable solar panels.

What if I am concerned about the country of solar manufacture?

The country of production is definitely important. We all have what we prefer. You may prefer to purchase products manufactured in your country for patriotic reasons or maybe because you trust products made in your country more and this is good. However, it should not be a compromise on quality and cost. Striking the balance between these two should be of more importance. Some solar companies have their headquarters in the States and their production facility is based in another country. This, however, does not change the company’s product quality. In summary, one thing is certain and remains undisputed: there is little or no interrelationship between a company’s country of manufacture and the company’s product quality, which should be the most important factor in your decision-making process.

Solar Home Power System: Tapping the Power of the Sun

The amount of solar energy the sun offers on an hourly basis is beyond what we can consume in a year. The energy that comes from the sun is important to us in many ways, including providing us with electricity. However, the sun will not automatically power our house. There needs to be a mechanism made available to tap this energy and convert it to electricity that will then power your home. Technology will grow over the years, and the majority of our appliances will be solar powered.

Homes will become independent by producing their own electricity. The exciting aspect is that it will not just stop there. Homes will soon become inter-dependent. This means that homes will begin to supply each other electrical power. The development in net-metering law allows a home to supply electricity to other homes and building if it produces more energy than it can use. This service to others will be rewarded in the form of a credit on your utility. This system gives you retail value for the power that you generate in excess.

Why you should go solar:

There are other benefits you stand to gain from the use of solar energy. Let’s take a look at these other benefits.

  • Going solar is better for the environment: this is one major reason solar energy has become popular. The fact that it is renewable energy which has no harm to society when it is been consumed makes it a welcomed idea. The traditional source of energy like coal and gas emit substances that are harmful to the environment. Solar energy is not in that league.
  • You will save some money on your utility: aside for the cost of purchasing the solar panel, you will not have to pay money for electricity anymore. Since the energy power is from the sun and the sun is a free gift of nature; nobody will charge you for tapping energy from the sun. You have the possibility of providing energy to others in retail value which is another benefit of going solar as explained above.

Now that you know some reasons to why you should go solar, let’s look into how solar energy generating systems work.

Solar power system:

A solar power system is a combination of several solar energy generating components. Components such as the photovoltaic (PV) panels, the DC to AC converter usually an inverter primarily make up a solar power system. There are others such as the energy storage battery, the voltage regulator and so other mini accessories. How all these work to provide you with electricity is that the PV panels, combined in multiples arrays, capture the photons that are generated by the sunlight. These photons are then converted into electrons which will generate the direct current (DC). The inverter receives it and converts it into an alternating current (AC), which powers your home.

pv system

When choosing your solar panel, you need to choose carefully since it’s a major component of the success of solar power generation. There are two major types of solar panels:  polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Polycrystalline panels are sold at lower prices, however, they are sensitive to high temperatures, have a shorter lifespan, and are less space efficient. Mono-crystalline panels are expensive to buy but they are highly efficient, suitable for commercial use, and have a longer lifespan.

Solar Efficiency

The features of solar panels you are to be concerned about are its solar efficiency, the cost, the warranty on it, and technology type. This brings us to the discussion about solar panel manufactures. The current top three solar panel manufacturers are JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar. However, there have been changes in the last few years which have seen the introduction of some new entrants into the solar manufacturing industries. Also, old solar manufacturing companies are now gaining market. Because of the increase in demand for solar power, companies now can compete.

Solar Power Components

Let’s take a deeper look into the major and minor components that make up a proper solar power generating system.

  • Inverter: this is the system that helps convert the DC to AC which is needed by the homes.
  • Performance Monitoring Device: this device helps to check the health of the system. It will also indicate how much electricity is generated and indicated when there is a change.
  • Storage options: this is in the form of rechargeable batteries which can be installed to help store up energy for future use. In some places, your excess energy is sent to the grid in exchange for credit.
  • Solar panels: this is the most important component of the solar power generating system. It is this component that adsorbs power from the sun. Without it, there will be no solar power generation.

How to choose a Solar Panel

When choosing your solar panel, you need to choose carefully since it’s a major component of the success of solar power generation. There are two major types of solar panels:  polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Polycrystalline panels are sold at lower prices, however, they are sensitive to high temperatures, have a shorter lifespan, and are less space efficient. Mono-crystalline panels are expensive to buy but they are highly efficient, suitable for commercial use, and have a longer lifespan.

The features of solar panels you are to be concerned about are its solar efficiency, the cost, the warranty on it, and technology type. This brings us to the discussion about solar panel manufactures. The current top three solar panel manufacturers are JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar. However, there have been changes in the last few years which have seen the introduction of some new entrants into the solar manufacturing industries. Also, old solar manufacturing companies are now gaining market. Because of the increase in demand for solar power, companies now can compete.

Choose the Best Solar Manufacturing Company

The question now is, is it a must that the solar company you buy your solar panel from must be one of the top manufacturing companies? It is important you know that the quantity of sales made is the major determining factor for ranking solar manufacturing companies and not necessarily the quality and cost-benefit the customers derive. Therefore, if you are choosing to go for one of the top manufacturing companies, be sure you are not just purchasing from them because they are a top company but also because they offer you quality in exchange for money. Your solar panel is supposed to be effective and last you at least two decades of use.

List of American-Made Solar Panels and the Solar Panel Manufacturer

An announcement was made by the Trump administration on the 22 of January to place 30% tariff on photovoltaic panels and cells brought into the States. As a result of the announcement, lots of concerns were elevated about the solar marketplace. One of the major concerns raised was where one can discover American made solar panels.

A lot of the solar jobs in the United States take advantage of imported solar panels, but there are additionally numerous U.S. producers. Some of the making firm’s headquarters are not positioned in the United States. Below are some solar companies that manufacture all or the majority of the solar panels in the U.S.

Manufacturers of photovoltaic panels in the U.S. (2019 )

photovolataic panels
  • Tesla/Panasonic- at Buffalo, NY (U.S. manufacturing center).
  • SolarWorld Americas at Hillsboro, OR.
  • Silfab Solar at Bellingham, WA (U.S. manufacturing facility).
  • SolarTech Universal at Riviera Beach, FL.
  • Mission Solar at San Antonio, TX.
  • Seraphim at Jackson, MS (U.S. headquarters).
  • Solaria at Fremont, CA (U.S. head office).
  • Heliene at Mountain Iron, MN (U.S. production facility).

Various other remarkable solar panel business:

  • SunPower at San Jose, CA.
  • Solar Electric America at Richmond, VA.
  • SolSuntech at Virginia.
  • Prism Solar at Highland, NY.
  • MiaSolé at Sunnyvale, CA.
  • First Solar at Perrysburg, OH.
  • JinkoSolar at Jacksonville, FL.
  • Hanwha Q CELLS at Dalton, GA.
  • GreenBrilliance at Baltimore, MD.
  • LG Solar USA at Huntsville, AL.
  • Lumos Solar at San Jose, CA.
  • Auxin Solar at San Jose, CA.
  • Global Solar at Tucson, AZ.
  • CSUN at McClellan Park, CA.
  • CertainTeed Solar at San Jose, CA.

Two points should be kept in mind concerning the listing of the American manufacturing solar panel business over.

First, these companies collect some or every one of the parts of the solar panel and generate the key elements from other nations. All the components that are imported are typically positioned under the solar toll, though the very first 2.5 gigawatts (GW) are omitted from the solar toll for every year. (For even more understanding, the U.S. linked 12GW of solar in 2017, for which a calculated value of 2.5 GW solar panel was made in the U.S.).

Secondly, the checklist of all the business’s headquarters above is not totally located in the United States. For instance, Heliene has its headquarters somewhere else. Some like SolarWorld Americas are subsidiaries to worldwide producers. However, they will create a lot of their solar panels in the United States.

Check out for additional information on some business associated with making photovoltaic panels in America.
SolarWorld Americas and Suniva.

Update January 2019: Suniva declared bankruptcy in 2018 and also is presently going through procedures.

These two recognized firms, though on the list have been seen a current of late asking the U.S. government to reassess the levy placed on global photovoltaic panel companies.

There is a disagreement in the solar panel market relating to the tariff and if it will help the manufacturing of the solar sector in the long run. Some anticipate an unfavorable impact on the solar market in the U.S. due to the rise in the cost of manufacturing. The Association of Solar Energy Industry calculates that there will certainly be a loss of jobs in solar panel setup field and also a great rise in tasks in the generating industry.

In the short term, SolarWorld introduced they will certainly be boosting the degree of solar panel manufacturing in the U.S. Suniva did not make any kind of public news on the strategies.

You can experience the testimonials on SolarWorld and Suniva for a much better understanding of their solar panels.
Heliene Solar.

Heliene lies in Sault St.Marie, Ontario, Canada, and the majority of the solar panels are produced there. Heliene also has a production center in Minnesota. Heliene solar panels are appropriate for the made in Minnesota solar reward program, which provides financial value to Minnesota solar panel proprietors that connect the photovoltaic panels in the created state.

After the White House news of the solar toll, Heliene stated that it was buying a fresh line of devices at the facility in Minnesota.

Mission Solar.

Mission solar is a San Antonio, Texas-based solar company where the setting up, making and engineering of solar panels is done. They are additionally associated with the production of large-and-small- range solar panel projects.

Like a lot of sectors on the listing, Mission Solar said that they will be boosting production in 2018, though their strategies have actually been in production considering that 2017 because of boosted production and also not as an item of the profession case.

Seraphim.

Seraphim Solar USA is the U.S. possessed partner of Seraphim Energy Group, which is based in China. Seraphim Solar USA produces all of its photovoltaic panels in the United States at its industrial structure in Jackson, Mississippi.

Silfab Solar.

In 2018, Silfar Solar got the U.S. panel producer Item Energy. Silfab Solar makes modules in Washington State as well as Toronto, Canada.

For further information worrying the business’s items, red the complete Silfab Solar review.

Solaria.

Soloria is a U.S. based business that produces solar panels both in South Korea as well as Fremont, California. Soloria proclaimed that they had actually allocated $23 million to extend producing capacities at the beginning of January 2018.

Read even more details on the business’s items on Soloria review.

SolarTech Universal.

This photovoltaic panel generating firm is based in Riviera Beach, Florida. The company anticipates a great influence on business as a result of the toll and likewise considers that over time the gains will certainly be exceeded by the costs or purchases.

SunSpark Technology.

Sunspark Technology is a Californian business found in Riverside, California. Its founding company is positioned in China. Sunshark has actually not made a general discuss the tariff.

Tesla/Panasonic.

Tesla Energy has actually partnered with Panasonic to produce solar panels in the United States at the Tesla Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. At the beginning of January 2018, the company openly revealed that the production of solar cells had commenced at the center for both Tesla solar roof covering and Panasonic photovoltaic panels.

Panasonic creates all of its photovoltaic panels overseas; they have actually not been able to satisfy the demand of Tesla’s energy. Both companies anticipate boosting production in the coming year. Although Tesla discussed the toll in 2017 however also restated its commitment to the U.S. government after the tariff start was made.

List of American-Made Solar Panels and the Solar Panel Manufacturer

An announcement was made by the Trump administration on the 22 of January to place 30% tariff on photovoltaic panels and cells brought into the States. As a result of the announcement, lots of concerns were elevated about the solar marketplace. One of the major concerns raised was where one can discover American made solar panels.

A lot of the solar jobs in the United States take advantage of imported solar panels, but there are additionally numerous U.S. producers. Some of the making firm’s headquarters are not positioned in the United States. Below are some solar companies that manufacture all or the majority of the solar panels in the U.S.

Manufacturers of photovoltaic panels in the U.S. (2019 )

photovolataic panels
  • Tesla/Panasonic- at Buffalo, NY (U.S. manufacturing center).
  • SolarWorld Americas at Hillsboro, OR.
  • Silfab Solar at Bellingham, WA (U.S. manufacturing facility).
  • SolarTech Universal at Riviera Beach, FL.
  • Mission Solar at San Antonio, TX.
  • Seraphim at Jackson, MS (U.S. headquarters).
  • Solaria at Fremont, CA (U.S. head office).
  • Heliene at Mountain Iron, MN (U.S. production facility).

Various other remarkable solar panel business:

  • SunPower at San Jose, CA.
  • Solar Electric America at Richmond, VA.
  • SolSuntech at Virginia.
  • Prism Solar at Highland, NY.
  • MiaSolé at Sunnyvale, CA.
  • First Solar at Perrysburg, OH.
  • JinkoSolar at Jacksonville, FL.
  • Hanwha Q CELLS at Dalton, GA.
  • GreenBrilliance at Baltimore, MD.
  • LG Solar USA at Huntsville, AL.
  • Lumos Solar at San Jose, CA.
  • Auxin Solar at San Jose, CA.
  • Global Solar at Tucson, AZ.
  • CSUN at McClellan Park, CA.
  • CertainTeed Solar at San Jose, CA.

Two points should be kept in mind concerning the listing of the American manufacturing solar panel business over.

First, these companies collect some or every one of the parts of the solar panel and generate the key elements from other nations. All the components that are imported are typically positioned under the solar toll, though the very first 2.5 gigawatts (GW) are omitted from the solar toll for every year. (For even more understanding, the U.S. linked 12GW of solar in 2017, for which a calculated value of 2.5 GW solar panel was made in the U.S.).

Secondly, the checklist of all the business’s headquarters above is not totally located in the United States. For instance, Heliene has its headquarters somewhere else. Some like SolarWorld Americas are subsidiaries to worldwide producers. However, they will create a lot of their solar panels in the United States.

Check out for additional information on some business associated with making photovoltaic panels in America.
SolarWorld Americas and Suniva.

Update January 2019: Suniva declared bankruptcy in 2018 and also is presently going through procedures.

These two recognized firms, though on the list have been seen a current of late asking the U.S. government to reassess the levy placed on global photovoltaic panel companies.

There is a disagreement in the solar panel market relating to the tariff and if it will help the manufacturing of the solar sector in the long run. Some anticipate an unfavorable impact on the solar market in the U.S. due to the rise in the cost of manufacturing. The Association of Solar Energy Industry calculates that there will certainly be a loss of jobs in solar panel setup field and also a great rise in tasks in the generating industry.

In the short term, SolarWorld introduced they will certainly be boosting the degree of solar panel manufacturing in the U.S. Suniva did not make any kind of public news on the strategies.

You can experience the testimonials on SolarWorld and Suniva for a much better understanding of their solar panels.
Heliene Solar.

Heliene lies in Sault St.Marie, Ontario, Canada, and the majority of the solar panels are produced there. Heliene also has a production center in Minnesota. Heliene solar panels are appropriate for the made in Minnesota solar reward program, which provides financial value to Minnesota solar panel proprietors that connect the photovoltaic panels in the created state.

After the White House news of the solar toll, Heliene stated that it was buying a fresh line of devices at the facility in Minnesota.

Mission Solar.

Mission solar is a San Antonio, Texas-based solar company where the setting up, making and engineering of solar panels is done. They are additionally associated with the production of large-and-small- range solar panel projects.

Like a lot of sectors on the listing, Mission Solar said that they will be boosting production in 2018, though their strategies have actually been in production considering that 2017 because of boosted production and also not as an item of the profession case.

Seraphim.

Seraphim Solar USA is the U.S. possessed partner of Seraphim Energy Group, which is based in China. Seraphim Solar USA produces all of its photovoltaic panels in the United States at its industrial structure in Jackson, Mississippi.

Silfab Solar.

In 2018, Silfar Solar got the U.S. panel producer Item Energy. Silfab Solar makes modules in Washington State as well as Toronto, Canada.

For further information worrying the business’s items, red the complete Silfab Solar review.

Solaria.

Soloria is a U.S. based business that produces solar panels both in South Korea as well as Fremont, California. Soloria proclaimed that they had actually allocated $23 million to extend producing capacities at the beginning of January 2018.

Read even more details on the business’s items on Soloria review.

SolarTech Universal.

This photovoltaic panel generating firm is based in Riviera Beach, Florida. The company anticipates a great influence on business as a result of the toll and likewise considers that over time the gains will certainly be exceeded by the costs or purchases.

SunSpark Technology.

Sunspark Technology is a Californian business found in Riverside, California. Its founding company is positioned in China. Sunshark has actually not made a general discuss the tariff.

Tesla/Panasonic.

Tesla Energy has actually partnered with Panasonic to produce solar panels in the United States at the Tesla Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. At the beginning of January 2018, the company openly revealed that the production of solar cells had commenced at the center for both Tesla solar roof covering and Panasonic photovoltaic panels.

Panasonic creates all of its photovoltaic panels overseas; they have actually not been able to satisfy the demand of Tesla’s energy. Both companies anticipate boosting production in the coming year. Although Tesla discussed the toll in 2017 however also restated its commitment to the U.S. government after the tariff start was made.

A Know-It-All’s Lexicon To Solar Energy – Know What The Pro’s Do!

Some terms that will guide you while using solar energy

Going solar can be made very easy by using tools to calculate your solar saving and comparing quotes of pre-screened solar installers. With all the terminology used in solar energy, shopping for solar can be very confusing. Below is an index of solar energy terminology to help you understand solar terms and comprehend all the available options.

Terms related to Solar Panel.

  • Azimuth: The position your roof faces. We measure azimuth in degrees, the angle between the roof of the house, and the true north is azimuth.
  • Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV): This is also known as a solar shingle. These kinds of solar panels are usually integrated with housing roof tiles instead of placing it on the top of the housing roof.
  • Inverter: This is the part of a solar panel system that changes the electric current into a form which is usable in the home.
  • Kilowatt-hour (kWh): This is the unit for measuring electric current. In 2014, the use of electricity in the average U.S. home was at about 911kWh per month.
  • Off-grid: This is a total disconnection from the electric grid, with no means to connect to utility-generated electricity. Houses that go off grid need to produce most of the electric current on-site.
  • Photovoltaic (PV): A kind of equipment that produces an electric current from sun-lights. Solar panels are photovoltaic equipment.
  • Power rating: This is the theoretical power output that the solar panel produces in its normal conditions. The quality of the solar panel can be rated by the power rating. A lot of solar panels do not have the best possible conditions for more than a few minutes.
  • Solar panel efficiency: It shows how efficiently a solar panel converts sunlight to electric current. The efficiency of most solar panels is about 14-16 percent; the highly rated solar panels are well above 20 percent.
  • Solar-plus-storage: An industrial term used for a solar energy system that involves a battery for storing excess solar energy, unofficially known as solar batteries.
  • Temperature coefficient: This shows how well the solar panel does in high-heat states. High heat does not have a positive effect on the performance of the solar panel just like other electronics.

The Concepts of Solar Pricing and Policy

community solar
  • Community solar: This solar power plant is usually distributed to more than one household, mostly framed as another option to rooftop solar. Also called a solar garden alternatively shared renewable energy plant.
  • Federal investment tax credit (ITC): Normally known as the solar tax credit, the ITC effectively cuts the full price of your solar energy system by 30 percent with a deduction to your federal taxes. It is known as the ultimate monetary incentive for solar in the U.S.
  • Grid Parity: The level at which power produced by solar panels cost less or the same as power from common resources like natural gas. Solar is already a pattern parity in 20 states.
  • Levelized cost of energy (LCOE): This is the cost of each unit of a solar energy system. LCOE is gotten when we divide the out of pocket cost for the system by the calculated total amount of energy the system will create during its lifetime.
  • Net metering: The excess electric current generated by a solar panel is credited to you, then whenever the solar panels do not generate sufficient electricity to meet up the rate of your use. With the net metering, you can efficiently use the electric grid to “save” excess electric current for future use.
  • Property-Accessed Clean Energy (PACE): A unique kind of loan that is paid back through a yearly assessment on your tax belongings bill. PACE financing could be used to connect a solar PV system, alongside other pure energy improvements.
  • Payback period: This is the period of time it takes to pay for the solar energy investment. Seven years is the average time most homeowners are given to pay for the solar investment in the U.S.
  • Performance-based incentive (PBI): This is a monetary reward for solar that pays the homeowner based on the rate of energy generated by the solar system. It is paid based on the rate of electric current produced per kilowatt per hour. A type of PBI is known as the feed-in tariffs.
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA): A binding agreement with the solar company to connect the solar energy to the rooftop of your house, with this solar contract (PPA) you will be paying the solar company per kilowatt-hour amount for the electricity generated by the solar panels.
  • Solar lease: A signed contract by you and the solar company to install the solar panel on the roof. Using a solar lease, when you agree to the contract, you agree to pay a monthly fee to rent the system in exchange for the electric current the solar system gives out.
  • Solar lease escalator: A part of a contract of most leases and PPAs that result in increment or raise in payment rates by a fixed amount per year. A common escalator is 2.9 percent.
  • Solar loan: A credit given by the bank, credit union, or special providers of finance to cover the expenses of buying a solar PV system.
  • Solar renewable energy credit (SREC): SREC is generated alongside every element (unit) of electric current that the solar panel system produces. SREC is sold for more income in some states.
  • Third-party owner (TPO): This lease or PPA, a solar company which is the owner of the solar system. By signing the solar lease or PPA, you agree with the third party owner.
  • Helpful tips to learn more about solar energy terminology and help you understand solar terms and comprehend all the available options.

How Solar Panel Generate Electricity

    Have you ever wondered how solar panels made of glass placed on your roof generate electrical and heat energy from the rays of the sun? It’s a pretty long process that I will attempt to simplify in this write-up.

     Solar power is used all over the world for energy generation. Over one million homes have a solar system in the U.S. and many more millions all over the world use it, especially in countries where electric supply is still epileptic. Solar energy endeared itself to many environmentalists because it produces a safe, clean and renewable source of energy.

pv system

The Photovoltaic Effect

    A solar system consists of a silicon cell, a metal frame, a glass casing, and wires for current flow. The mechanism of power generation can be explained using the photovoltaic effect.

  1. The silicon cells are photovoltaic in nature; they absorb the radiation from the sun.
  2. The radiation from the sun sets off a series of chemical reactions in which electrons gain momentum and begin to move.
  3. The movement of the electrons leads to energy generation which is captured and transported by the wires in the panel.
  4. The electric current is supplied to the inverter as direct current (DC) and later converted to alternating current (AC) by the inverter.
  5. The electrical energy generated is fed into the electric grid.

    The solar panel comes with a gas casing which protects the silicon cells and gives durability. Under the glass casing is a protective sheet. This sheet increases the durability of the silicon cells and also protects it from humidity and heat which can greatly affect the productivity of the panel. Solar panels have an anti-reflective coating which prevents sun rays from being reflected. This helps to increase the day absorption of the panel.

    The silicon cell is either monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline allows for better electron mobility even though polycrystalline is much more expensive.

Solar panel system and the grid connection

    Your home has a utility meter which measures the amount of electricity consumed in your household. Your solar system can also be connected to this meter and, the energy generated from the solar panel system can be effectively measured by the utility meter. Some homes have a net metering system. This system transfers excess energy produced by your solar power system to the grid in exchange for electricity when your solar power is under producing due to little or no sunshine.

When shopping for your solar panel:
  1. Be sure to explore all of your options. Ask for quotes and cost estimates from as many companies as possible. Pick the most pocket-friendly one.
  2. Smaller companies mostly offer cheaper rates than a large conglomerate. Do not be fixated on patronizing the big names. The small companies may be able to offer quality products at a more affordable rate.

Shopping for your solar panel system can be a bit taxing. Take your time, consider your options, and ask for a solar quotation from different sources. You can also approach your neighbors or friends who have solar panel systems installed to ask for their opinion and reviews.

Your Future Energy Grid

The future of the energy grid in all countries lies in interdependence, NOT independence.

Going solar is great, and desiring to be completely off-grid and 100% energy-independent has it’s place. For most though, the future is an inter-dependent model; one where homeowners and utility providers share in the community’s total production of energy.

Stay tuned for more on this…

The Most Valuable Home Improvement Project in The History of The Universe

How I Added $30,000 to The Value of My Home with This FREE Home Improvement Project

Note: This project was essentially “free” because it required no money out of pocket beyond what I was already spending on my home energy costs.

When I decided to invest in a PV (photo-voltaic, otherwise known as “solar”) system for our home last spring (2018), it wasn’t because I needed to increase the value of my home.

And it surely wasn’t because I was looking for a fun home improvement project to work on.

Quite the opposite, I’m a man with little to no extra time on my hands, and very little patience to try new projects that will no doubt end up in misery and regret, taking me twice as long as it would take a pro, and probably just as much money.

Bottom Line

For those wanting the bottom line evidence, click here to read details on home valuation before solar vs. after solar, one year later.

A Personal Choice

I decided to invest in solar, like many, because it made great financial sense. Even though it may take up to a decade for the amount I would pay the utility anyway, to add up to what I’ll have invested in my solar system, it still made sense, because eventually, I would be “free” and clear of paying for (investing in) someone else’s infrastructure. After the loan is paid for, I expect my energy costs from the utility to be close to zero, probably until 30 years from now when I may eventually need an upgrade.

I was able to pay for my system slowly over time with no down payment beyond what I opted to pay from the bonus tax credit I would be qualified for, and receiving about a year later in April 2019.

A Huge Incentive

In 2018, I had started a new job and was making a decent salary. Even with the income tax deductions of children, children’s private schooling, and a few minor business write-offs and charitable giving, I learned from my tax advisor that I might still qualify to receive all of my 30% solar energy incentive tax credit (ITC), even though my income was well below $100,000 and I was the single income provider for my family.

solar tax credit
The Federal Solar Tax Credit (also known as the Investment Tax Credit or ITC) incentive

This meant a refund, just for the Solar ITC, that is equivalent to 30% of the total price of my system. It’s essentially like working a few months with tax-free, and investing in an asset for my home at a discount.

Because the solar company had great financing and a program where they would allow up to a year and a half (18 months) from the time the system was installed for me to make a down payment using the “free” ITC money, I was able to start off with a really low monthly payment, and keep that monthly payment low for the entire term of the loan as long as I paid the ITC back into the loan (or the monthly amount would adjust upwards at month 19).

And even if I didn’t qualify for the full 30% ITC this year, I could apply any remaining balance forward onto next year’s income tax return, and the following three years after that if needed. There was a high probability I would qualify for most of it even before the rollover period expires.

Caveats

As potential sellers of our homes, it’s important to consider where the value is in the mind of a prospective buyer. Not all buyers will want solar on their home. Certainly, the neighborhood, curb appeal, schools, floor plan, cleanliness of the home, and layout of the property are all very important factors. Something else to consider in the 21st century is the cost of utilities and property taxes which all factor into affordability measures (and seem to be ever-increasing).

And no, adding a system won’t increase your property taxes. Section 73 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code allows a property tax exclusion for solar energy systems installed before December 31, 2024. (https://www.energy.gov/savings/property-tax-exclusion-solar-energy-systems)

Conclusion

Now that I “own” my power with an attractive, high-performing solar energy system, and have a low and steady (never increasing) monthly energy payment (solar loan), I’m confident my home is more valuable than if it did not have solar.

Do your research and decide for yourself if an investment into your own energy-producing asset is right for you.

Some Additional Facts and Resources to Consider

According to Zillow.com, the estimated value of my home in Redding, CA increased from $473,700 in March 2018 (when solar was installed) to $562,804 in March 2019 – an annual increase of 16% (about $90,000). This was in a local market that suffered the worst October on record since 2011, and a year that saw the average home across the U.S. increase in value by only 4.4% (https://www.reddinghomes.com/blog/4-reasons-buy-home-spring/).

Solar Energy System Increased Home Value Beyond Normal Market Increases

A steep increase was recorded in the Zillow Estimate (Zestimate – Value Tracker) soon after installing the solar system. This may have been primarily due to the fact that home prices typically go up in spring and summer because of more sales on account of better weather.

I am highly confident though, that even if I sold my home the day after installing my system, the home would have sold for more money, even close to what the added system cost was.

More Evidence, Solar Adds and Retains Value

Here is a study conducted by a group of economists on solar system value and home prices in San Diego and Sacramento counties from 2003-2010 (including the real estate recession years). The result: on average, homeowners in California recovered 97% of their system costs–and that’s not even factoring the annual energy savings. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2011/08/01/how-much-do-solar-panels-boost-home-sale-prices/#276153fb11f2)

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL) conducted a study that concluded homes in California with a system size of 5KW should add $20,000 in extra value to a home and a 10KW size system would add $40,000 in value. (https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/selling-sun-price-premium-analysis)

More on Solar Savings here.