Big news for solar fans, researchers in Japan have broken the efficiency record for crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells. Crystalline silicon-based solar panels are the type of solar panels one would find installed on a house, and they type we use here at GreenLeaf Solar. The panels that broke the efficiency record reached an efficiency of 26.6%. This was reached by innovative design by the researchers involving The efficiency percentage means the amount of energy from the sun that is converted to electricity. Crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells have a theoretical limit of 29% according to pv-tech.org. While other types of solar panels might be more efficient; such as Multijunction Cells that reach up to 48%, crystalline silicon-based solar panel cells are ideal for houses for a number of reasons.
Many homeowners on Long Island that are interested in going solar worry about the impacts of winter weather on their solar system; however, there are many important factors to understand when assessing how well a solar system will function in the winter. It is common knowledge that the daily hours of solar production are less during the winter months. There is a host of other important factors to consider, such as reduced electric consumption and improved system efficiency. The winter has a very small impact on your solar systems ability to produce the power needed for your home on Long Island. Below the factors impacting the production of a solar system during winter months will be explored.
While it is hardly news that solar energy is booming on Long Island, the vast majority of current installations are residential solar installations. In spite of the huge amount of commercial roof space on Long Island, only a very small portion of commercial have gone solar, but that is all starting to change. Historically one of the largest obstacles to commercial solar on Long Island has been the challenges associated with funding a large commercial solar project. While there are many specialized financing options for residential solar until now there have been no solar specific loan options for commercial solar available on Long Island. In addition to the restrictions related to commercial solar financing on Long Island until a few months ago, commercial buildings were not allowed to sell the excess power they produced beyond their own consumption, for this reason, it previously did not make sense for large commercial buildings to max out their roof space with solar panels.
Community net metering represents a major shift in solar policy in New York State. Essentially community net-metering allows large buildings to install solar panels on their roof and sell the energy produced at a discounted rate to homeowners. Community net metering represents the first time in history that individuals have an option of where to buy their electricity from, instead of being forced to buy power from the monopolized power utility. Before further delving into community net metering, it is worth understanding how traditional net metering works.
One thing that is abundantly clear, is that there is no single silver bullet solution to achieve a zero carbon economy. Rather, multiple technologies will need to work together in an interlinked fashion in order to achieve the goal of a zero carbon economy. Broadly speaking, the technologies needed to achieve a zero carbon economy can be divided into two` distinct categories; energy production and energy management. Some of the most critical technologies that fall under the umbrella of energy production include solar power, wind power, hydro-electric, geothermal and “advanced” nuclear.
Unlike many major industries in the US, such as the automotive industry that are dominated by a few major players, the US solar market is notably different. While there are several major corporate players in the US residential solar space such as SolarCity, Vivant Solar, SunRun and NRG with billions of dollars of investment backing, the residential solar market is shared with much smaller solar installers that are still finding ways to thrive. Interestingly, while the top five national solar companies do control a large segment of the market, an estimated 42% of the US residential solar market is occupied by independent installers. In order to better understand how local solar companies are able to coexist with national powerhouse solar companies like SolarCity, this article will examine some of the unique features of the solar market that allow for it to be a shared by local and national solar companies.
Roughly 10,000 years ago, a major social change occurred that revolutionized human society forever: instead of hunting and gathering for food, we began to farm our food. This agricultural revolution had a dramatic impact on human society. Instead of living in warring nomadic tribes, humans began to form early farming settlements that eventually grew into major global metropolises. However, while we now farm for the vast majority of our agricultural resources as a society, we still hunt and gather for one resource: energy.
When a homeowner buys a solar system or when a solar company installs a system on your home, the federal government issues a 30% tax credit rebate based on the quoted price of the system. Sounds fair right? Unfortunately, solar leasing companies have found a loophole to exploit this government program, while simultaneously hurting the entire solar industry and squandering tax payers dollars. In the residential solar sales market, the price that a solar system sells for is dictated by the economic laws of supply and demand. In order to stay competitive, solar companies must sell their systems at a similar price point to other solar companies. However, because solar lease companies do not actually sell their solar systems, but rather lease them to homeowners, they can quote the value of their system as essentially whatever price point they want.
Many homeowners go solar due to the potential to save huge amounts of money by producing their own electricity. Few homeowners, however, consider the potential savings that come with making their homes more energy efficient. In fact, making your home more energy efficient prior to installing solar panels can lead to your home needing a smaller sized solar system. This, in turn, would mean that you wind up saving a lot more money. As an experienced solar company on Long Island, we recommend that homeowners have a professional energy audit conducted prior to installing solar on their home, with the goal of knowing exactly which appliances in their home are consuming the most energy.
With the Long Island hurricane season right around the corner, the threat of power outages is a growing concern. And keeping power outages in mind, many homeowners considering solar ask the question, “Will my solar system produce energy when there is a power outage?” With a standard solar system, the classical response to this question is no. However, new technology is making powering your home with solar during a power outage more possible. Traditionally if you have solar when the power goes out, your system will shut down in order to protect both your equipment, as well as the utility workers servicing the power grid during an outage.