How Long Will My Solar Panels Last?

The industry standard for a solar panel’s productive lifetime is 25-30 years. However, a solar panel won’t die after 25-30 years, rather, their output will decrease a significant amount below what the manufacturer projected. It’s hard to understand the upfront cost of going solar without knowing how long you can expect your rooftop panels to produce ample energy. Your solar panels will be able to offset your electricity use for decades, but it is also important to understand industry projections and degradation rates. 

How long do solar panels last?

As a general rule, solar panels last for about 25-30 years. However, this doesn’t mean that they stop producing electricity after 25 years – it just means that energy production has declined by what manufacturers consider to be a significant amount.

Solar panels will continue to work for many decades, given they aren’t physically damaged by wind, debris, or any other external factors. This is primarily because solar panels don’t have any moving parts – they rarely break from within and are usually only damaged by outside forces like a poor racking setup or inclement weather.

The key factor in making solar panels last: panel degradation rate

2012 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that, on average, solar panel output falls by 0.8 percent each year. This rate of decline is called solar panel degradation rate. Though this rate of decline metric will vary depending on which panel brand you buy, premium manufacturers like SunPower offer degradation rates as low as 0.3%. Solar panel degradation rates are constantly improving as solar panel technology gets better over the years, and degradation rates below 1% are common throughout the industry. In the years since this 2012 study was conducted, more efficient technologies have been developed and many newer panels have just a 0.5 percent yearly decline in energy output (or better!).

What does panel degradation rate mean exactly? For the above example, a 0.8% degradation rate means that in year two, your panels will operate at 99.2 percent of their original output; by the end of their 25-year “useful lifespan,” they will still be operating at 82.5%.A slightly more durable panel with a degradation rate of 0.5% will likely produce around 87.5% as much electricity as it did when it was first installed. To determine the projected output of your solar panels after a certain number of years, you can simply multiply the degradation rate by the number of years you are interested in and subtract that number from 100%.

Solar panels also come with a few different warranties that can give you a sense of just how long you can expect your solar panel’s lifespan to be. Manufacturers will offer both an equipment warranty, to certify against manufacturing defects, and a performance warranty, to guarantee that your panels will produce a certain amount of electricity. Your solar panel’s performance warranty, which typically lasts 25 years, can give you a better sense of how much electricity to expect from your solar panel system over time.

You don’t need to worry about the carbon footprint of your solar panels, either. The 25 to 30 year lifespan of a solar panel is significantly longer than its “energy payback time,” or EPBT. EPBT is the amount of time it takes for a solar panel to produce enough clean electricity to “pay back” the energy that was used to manufacture it in the first place. A 2010 analysis from Brookhaven National Laboratory found that the EPBT of a solar panel is just six months – a number that has surely fallen in the past six years as panel manufacturing becomes more efficient.

solar panel installation

Can you make your solar panels last longer?

In general, solar panels are extremely durable. Most manufacturers test their panels to confirm that they can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, and many solar panels are specifically tested to ensure that they can withstand falling hail. Additionally, solar energy systems don’t usually have moving parts, and they require little to no maintenance.

The best way to keep your solar panels working long-term is to work with a reputable installer that offers solid customer service.  It’s also important to purchase solar panels that have robust warranties – many panel manufacturers offer 10 to 12-year equipment warranties for their panels that cover defects and environmental damages, as well as production warranties usually lasting around 25 years that guarantee your panels will produce above a certain amount of energy for your home.

Nevertheless, keeping your solar panel system well maintained can lead to a lower degradation rate each year and can promise longer panel performance. Here are a few actions you can take to make your solar panels last longer:

Regularly get your panels checked by your installer or service provider

The best way to ensure your solar panels last a long time is to have your installer or operations and maintenance (O&M) provider regularly examine your solar energy system. A regular examination can reveal potential issues like loose racking, exposed wires, and other areas of concern. It is important to have a professional check up on your panels instead of doing it yourself because you can void your panel warranty if you end up scratching or otherwise damaging the panels on your roof.

An inspection of your solar panels may also include an inspection of the other equipment involved in a solar installation, namely your solar inverters and roof racking system. A typical central inverter for a PV installation will last between 10 and 15 years and thus will need to be replaced at some point during the lifetime of your solar panels. However, micro inverters are a new and popular alternative to central inverters and generally offer the same lifespan as their solar panel counterparts – 25 years. When it comes to racking, it is always essential to make sure that your panels are securely mounted to your roof so they don’t become loose and move around or fall off entirely.

Keep your panels clear of debris and other damaging materials

When you first install your solar panels, your installer will make sure that there are no large trees that could cast a shade or drop branches on your panels. As long as you can avoid physical damage to your solar panels, they will continue to produce energy for many years, possibly far beyond the 25 to 30 year “lifetime” of typical solar panels. You can even buy specialty products to prevent specific types of physical damage to your panels. For example, solar panel critter guards can keep animals like squirrels and birds from nesting under your panels, which can cause panel and wire damage over time.

Going solar is an investment in the earth’s future that can also save you money by reducing your monthly electric bills. If you’re ready to make the jump to Solar Power give us a call or contact us for a FREE quote.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

As the cost of solar energy has plummeted in recent years alongside major improvements in technical efficiencies and manufacturing quality, many homeowners across North America are starting to look at solar as a viable renewable energy solution. And as solar enters mainstream energy markets, the big question is, “how do solar panels work?”.

In a nutshell, a solar panel generates electricity when particles of sunlight, or photons, knock electrons free from atoms, setting them in motion. This flow of electrons is electricity, and solar panels are designed to capture this flow, making it a usable electric current. This electric current is created by photovoltaic cells, and the components of those cells turn the electricity into usable power.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how solar panels produce renewable energy for your home and how pragmatic going solar really is.

How do solar panels work? Step by step overview of the solar generation process

Solar power generation starts when solar panels absorb photons, or particles of light, with photovoltaic cells, generating this direct current (DC) energy and then converting it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology. AC energy then flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly. The main steps for how solar panels work for your home are:

1. Photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity

Photovoltaic cells are treated with phosphorus and boron, giving them positive and negative charges conducive to carrying an electric current.

2. The solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar modules to AC electricity, which is used by most home appliances

DC electricity becomes AC output when an inverter switches the direction of the current rapidly enough that it becomes AC power. Inverters can also be equipped with transformers that regulate the voltage of DC and AC currents.

3. Electricity flows through your home, powering electronic devices

Solar inverters transfer converted AC energy to your home’s electric box. From there, electricity is dispersed through your house by wires in the wall so that when your devices need to be plugged in, there is an electric current available.

4. Excess electricity produced by solar panels is fed to the electric grid

If you have a grid-tied solar system, energy runs both ways to and from the grid, and excess energy produced by your panels can actually make you money with a policy called net metering. Through net metering, you receive credits from the grid you are feeding your excess energy to, which makes your overall cost of electricity even cheaper.

How do solar panels generate electricity?

A standard solar panel (also known as a solar module) consists of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing, and various wiring to allow current to flow from the silicon cells. Silicon (atomic #14 on the periodic table) is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. When photons interact with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current. This is known as the “photovoltaic effect,” and it describes the general functionality of solar panel technology.

The science of generating electricity with solar panels all comes down to the photovoltaic effect. First discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel, the photovoltaic effect can be generally thought of as a characteristic of certain materials (known as semiconductors) that allows them to generate an electric current when exposed to sunlight.

The photovoltaic process works through the following simplified steps:

1. The silicon photovoltaic solar cell absorbs solar radiation

More specifically, the semiconductor, which is not as effective in conducting electricity than metal, hence “semi”, absorbs light energy. There are a few different types of semiconductors typically used in solar cells. Silicon is by far the most commonly used semiconductor, making up 95% of solar cells manufactured today. Cadmium-telluride and copper indium gallium diselenide are the two main semiconductor materials used in thin-film solar panel production.

2. When the sun’s rays interact with the silicon cell, electrons begin to move, creating a flow of electric current

The wavelength of the light that shines on the PV cell plays a role in the overall efficiency it possesses.

3. Wires capture and feed this direct current (DC) electricity to a solar inverter to be converted to alternating current (AC) electricity

These wires are the grid-like lines you typically see on solar cells. The efficiency of a solar cell refers to how much electricity is picked up by these wires compared to the amount of sunlight that shines on the cells.

The science of solar panels, in depth

Silicon solar cells, through the photovoltaic effect, absorb sunlight and generate flowing electricity. This process varies depending on the type of solar technology, but there are a few steps common across all solar photovoltaic cells.

First, light strikes a photovoltaic cell and is absorbed by the semiconducting material it is made from (usually silicon). These incoming photons cause electrons in the silicon to be knocked loose, which will eventually become the solar electricity you can use in your home.

There are two layers of silicon used in photovoltaic cells, and each one is specially treated, or “doped”, to create an electric field, meaning one side has a net positive charge and one has a net negative charge. This electric field causes loose electrons to flow in one direction through the solar cell, generating an electrical current. The elements phosphorus and boron are commonly used to create these positive and negative sides to a photovoltaic cell.

Once an electrical current is generated by loose electrons, metal plates on the sides of each solar cell collect those electrons and transfer them to wires. At this point, electrons can flow as electricity through the wiring to a solar inverter and then throughout your home.

How does grid connection work with solar panels?

Though electricity generation with solar panels may make sense to most people, there’s still a lot of general confusion about how the grid factors into the home solar process. Any home that is connected to the electrical grid will have something called a utility meter that your utility company uses to measure and supply power to your home. When you install solar panels on your roof or on a ground mount on your property, they are eventually connected to your home’s utility meter. The production of your solar system’s renewable energy can actually be accessed and measured by this meter.

Most homeowners in North America have access to net metering, a major solar incentive that significantly improves the economics of solar. If you have net metering, you can send power to the grid when your solar system is overproducing (like during the day in sunny summer months) in exchange for credits on your electric bill. Then, during hours of low electricity production (such as nighttime or overcast days), you can use your credits to draw extra energy from the grid and meet your household electricity demand. In a sense, net metering offers a free storage solution to property owners who go solar, almost like a battery, making solar an all-in-one energy solution.

Additional important parts to solar panels

Aside from their silicon solar cells, a typical solar module includes a glass casing that offers durability and protection for the silicon PV cells. Under the glass exterior, the panel has a layer for insulation and a protective back sheet, which protects against heat dissipation and humidity inside the panel. This insulation is important because increases in temperature will lead to a decrease in efficiency, resulting in lower solar panel performance.

Solar panels have an anti-reflective coating that increases sunlight absorption and allows the silicon cells to receive maximum sunlight exposure. Silicon solar cells are generally manufactured in two cell formations: monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline cells are made up of a single silicon crystal, whereas polycrystalline cells are made up of fragments or shards of silicon. Mono formats provide more room for electrons to move around and thus offer a higher efficiency solar technology than polycrystalline, though they are typically more expensive.

Can Solar Panels Be Recycled?

Anyone who works in the solar industry is intimately aware of the benefits solar energy provides to communities nationwide. Clean, renewable energy bolsters local economies, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and requires little maintenance over the lifespan of the investment compared to other forms of energy generation. What many industry professionals are unaware of is what pros and cons exist for solar modules at the end of their useful life.

At of the beginning of 2018, the United States had 53GW of solar capacity deployed. Assuming the average wattage of each solar module installed was 250W, the total weight of all panels deployed equates to 89 billion pounds or 44.5 million tons. Put differently, that’s the equivalent weight of 122 Empire State Buildings in solar modules installed across the country.

For an industry that prides itself on sustainability, there must be a focus on recycling at the end of a solar project’s lifespan so that landfills don’t overflow with panels. As things currently stand, solar panel recycling is not a huge issue in the US because a vast majority of installations have occurred in the past ten years; nevertheless, the market need for developed recyclers will only increase over time. In fact, a 2016 study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates the recyclable materials in old solar modules will be worth $15 billion in recoverable assets by the year 2050.

How are they recycled?

So can solar panels be recycled? The short answer is yes. Silicon solar modules are primarily composed of glass, plastic, and aluminum: three materials that are recycled in mass quantities.

Despite the recyclability of the modules, the process in which materials are separated can be tedious and requires advanced machinery. Here are the main steps involved in successfully recycling a silicon module:

  • Removing the aluminum frame (100% reusable)
  • Separating the glass along a conveyor belt (95% reusable)
  • Thermal processing at 500 degrees Celsius
  • This allows for the evaporation of small plastic components and allows the cells to be easier separated.
  • Etching away silicon wafers and smelting them into reusable slabs (85% reusable)

Because many European nations installed greater PV capacities in the 1990s, a solar PV module recycling market is steadily maturing. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) of the European Union helped found a member-based organization called PV Cycle to build out a robust recycling infrastructure. Here’s a look inside one of their plants:

Thus, the US market has plenty to learn from their European counterparts when it comes to PV module recycling. While Washington became the first state to pass a solar product stewardship law last year, more states will have to join this initiative to place greater pressure on manufacturers to develop recycling programs.

It may seem easy to kick the can down the road when it comes to PV module recycling. After all, these solar panels often last well beyond their 25-year lifespan and continue to negate greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, the long-term success of our industry relies on successfully recovering the raw materials that produce solar modules. If you anticipate your solar company to thrive for the next two decades, it’s time to begin thinking about the responsibility we have to ensure modules stay out of our nation’s landfills.

Key Benefits of Using Solar Energy: Why Solar is Always a Great Investment!

Impact on the Environment – What does it do for the planet?

Solar is a clean, renewable source of energy that can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower our impact on the natural environment. Unlike traditional fossil fuels like coal and oil, solar energy does not lead directly to pollutants (like carbon dioxide) being released into the atmosphere and water supply. Even compared to nuclear energy, solar comes out on top in terms of being a more environmentally friendly solution.

Solar energy has the least negative impact on the environment compared to any other energy source. It does not produce greenhouse gases and does not pollute the water.

Using solar energy reduces CO2 emissions and greenhouse gas. A modestly sized solar panel system can reduce a home’s energy use by 80 percent. Larger units may come close to 100 percent. At these levels, the environmental impact is notable. Over two decades, a home that consumes 13,000 kWh of electricity a year and that has a solar system that produces 80 percent of the home’s energy requirements will lower CO2 emissions to the equivalent of 150,000 pounds of coal burned.

Solar Energy Is Applicable Everywhere

Among all the benefits of solar panels, the most important thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy.

As long as there is sunshine, solar energy can be deployed anywhere. This is particularly useful for remote regions with no access to any other source of electricity.

Moreover, solar energy is also used to power up spacecrafts and boats.

Improves Grid Security

The grid is less vulnerable to blackouts if there are many power plants which are spread out. A grid with high penetration of solar energy has thousands of energy production centres which are widely spread out. This improves the security of the grid in case of overload, natural or human-caused disasters.

Solar can drastically reduce or eliminate your electric bills

This top benefit of solar panels is pretty straightforward – when you install solar power for your home, you generate your own electricity, become less reliant on your electric utility and reduce your monthly electric bill. A solar panel system typically has a 25-35 year lifespan, which means that you can cut your electricity costs for decades to come by going solar.

Solar energy is a growing segment of our power generation mix, and it will play an important role in the future of energy production. Producing power with solar panels has two big advantages over fossil fuels: it is both renewable and cost-effective.

Is solar energy renewable?

Solar energy is one of the cleanest and most abundant renewable resources, meaning it won’t ever run out or be in short supply. In just one hour, enough sunlight shines on the earth’s atmosphere to hypothetically provide electricity for every person on earth for a year. We simply need to build enough solar panels to capture even just a small portion of this energy.

A renewable energy source is any source of energy that replenishes naturally on a human timescale. Non-renewable energy sources like coal and oil aren’t considered renewable because they form over hundreds of thousands of years, which makes them unable to replenish at the rate humans use them today.

Solar energy reaches us via the sun’s rays, while fossil fuels come from ancient carbon-rich remains on earth. So, as long as the sun is shining, solar energy will be around. (For reference, NASA scientists say the sun is about halfway through its lifetime, which means that we have about 4.5 billion years to take advantage of solar energy.) Solar energy is a remarkably dependable energy resource, and will always be available for us to use.

How green is solar power?

In addition to being renewable, solar energy is typically labelled a “green” source of energy due to the lack of harmful environmental side effects associated with its use. While fossil fuels release greenhouse gases and other particles into our atmosphere, generating energy from solar panels is a zero-emissions process that can take place anywhere the sun shines.

Many people are concerned with the environmental effects of manufacturing solar panels. Like any manufactured product, making quality solar modules takes resources and energy, which means that solar energy production has at least some environmental impact. The good news is that this impact is minimal in comparison to the benefits of the zero-emissions energy produced with solar panels. Studies have shown that it only takes a few months for a solar panel producing energy to “cancel out” the impact of manufacturing it.

The environmental effect of producing solar panels is decreasing year after year with the introduction of better panel technologies and designs. For example, solar panel efficiency is increasing dramatically every year. This means that solar panels are becoming much better at converting sunlight into emissions-free energy, and the relative environmental cost of producing panels compared to the clean energy they generate is shrinking rapidly.

Solar panels can also be recycled and the components within them repurposed, further lowering the overall environmental footprint of solar energy. Similar to panel efficiency improvements, panel recycling processes are continually getting better, further reducing the lifetime impact of solar energy.

Solar Energy: What You Need To Know

Solar power is simply usable energy generated from the sun in the form of electric or thermal energy. Solar energy is captured in a variety of ways, the most common of which is with a photovoltaic solar panel system, or PV system, that converts the sun’s rays into usable electricity. Aside from using photovoltaics to generate electricity, solar energy is commonly used in thermal applications to heat indoor spaces or fluids. Residential and commercial property owners can install solar hot water systems and design their buildings with passive solar heating in mind to fully take advantage of the sun’s energy with solar technology.

Interested in benefiting from solar power? Solar panels are installed at three main scales: residential, commercial, and utility. Residential-scale solar is typically installed on rooftops of homes or in open land (ground-mounted) and is generally between 5 and 20 kilowatts (kW), depending on the size of a property. Commercial solar energy projects are generally installed at a greater scale than residential solar. Though individual installations can vary greatly in size and cost, commercial-scale solar arrays serve a consistent purpose: to provide on-site solar power to businesses and nonprofits. Finally, utility-scale solar projects are typically large, several megawatt (MW) installations that provide solar energy to a large number of utility customers.

For some solar shoppers who may not be able to install solar on their property due to cost or other factors, community solar is a viable solar option that more directly connects utility-scale solar energy projects to residential consumers. As such, community solar farms are typically built in a central location as opposed to on any single customer’s property. Residential consumers can subscribe to a community solar project to receive many of the benefits of solar power without installing solar panels on their property.

How do solar panels work?

A solar panel (also known as a solar module) consists of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing unit, and wiring to transfer electric current from the silicon. Silicon (atomic #14 on the periodic table) is a nonmetal with conductive properties that allow it to absorb and convert sunlight into usable electricity. When light hits a silicon cell, the light causes electrons in the silicon to be set in motion, initiating a flow of electric current. This is known as the “photovoltaic effect,” and it describes the general functionality of solar panel tech.

The science of generating electricity with solar panels boils down to this photovoltaic effect. It was first discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel and can be thought of as a property of specific materials (known as semiconductors) that allows them to create an electric current when they are exposed to sunlight.

The photovoltaic (or PV system) process works through the following broad steps:

  • The silicon photovoltaic solar cell absorbs solar radiation
  • When the sun’s rays interact with the silicon cell, electrons begin to move, creating a flow of electric current
  • Wires capture and feed this direct current (DC) electricity to a solar inverter to be converted to alternating current (AC) electricity

A brief history of solar power

In 1954, Bell Labs developed the first silicon photovoltaic cell. Although solar energy had previously been captured and converted into usable energy through various methods, only after 1954 did solar power begin to become a viable source of electricity to power devices over extended periods of time. The first solar cells converted solar radiation to electricity at an efficiency of 4 percent – for reference, many widely available solar panels today can convert sunlight to solar power at above 20 percent efficiency, a number constantly on the rise.

Although adoption of solar energy was slow at first, a number of state and federal incentives and policies contributed to driving down the cost of solar far enough to become more widely adopted. At this point, solar power accounts for enough capacity to power 11 million of the 126 million households in the country.

The cost of solar energy

Concurrent with an increase in solar efficiency, the cost of solar panels has fallen substantially. In the last decade alone, the cost of a solar panel installation fell over 60 percent, and many industry experts predict that prices will continue to fall in the years to come:

Additionally, depending upon where you live, several rebates or incentives for solar power may contribute towards lowering the cost of solar energy even further. Nationwide, the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the primary incentives available to anyone interested in solar energy, as it allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar array system from your federal taxes. This incentive won’t last forever – in 2023, the federal ITC steps down to 22%, and then goes away completely for residential solar installations in 2024.

Many states and utilities offer further incentives (such as net metering) in addition to the federal ITC, dropping the cost of solar power even further.

Solar energy is a renewable power source

Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source that is harnessable nearly everywhere in the world – any point where sunlight hits the surface of the earth is a potential location to generate solar power. And since solar energy comes from the sun, it represents a limitless source of power. Renewable energy technologies generate electricity from resources that are infinite. Compare, for instance, producing electricity with renewable resources to doing so with fossil fuels. It took hundreds of thousands of years for oil, gas and coal to form, so every time one of those resources are burned to create electricity, that finite resource is moved marginally closer to depletion. Using a renewable resource – such as wind, solar and hydropower – to generate electricity, does not deplete that resource. There will always be consistent sunlight shining on Earth’s surface, and after turning sunlight into electricity, there is still an infinite amount of sunlight to turn into electricity in the future. That is what makes solar power, by nature, renewable energy.

While the current electricity mix in North America is still made up largely of fossil fuels like oil and gas, renewable energy sources like solar are steadily becoming a larger part of the overall energy profile. As the cost of solar and other renewable technologies continues to be competitive.

Should you go solar?

When it comes to installing solar panels and switching to a more eco-friendly energy source, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are several factors worth considering to help determine if your home or business is a good candidate for solar. When deciding to go solar, you should at least be asking questions like “How much do I spend on electricity?”, “What type of home do I live in, and do I own it?”, and “Is my roof suitable for solar? Is it old, how big is it, what’s the angle, etc?”.

Perhaps the most impactful question is the first one: the more electricity you use, and the more you pay for it, the more you will save by going solar. Next, if you live in a multi-family home or rent the property, it will be much more difficult to install solar than if you own a single-family home. Lastly, the ideal roof for solar would be one that’s in good condition, is southern-facing, and receives plenty of direct sunlight.

Solar energy + battery storage, electric vehicles and more

The rapid proliferation of solar power nationwide and globally has also led to parallel growth in several adjacent areas. Notably, energy storage systems and electric vehicles are two sectors poised to explode alongside solar power by augmenting the benefits of solar.

Given that solar panels can only produce power when the sun is shining, storing produced but unused energy throughout the day for use at a later time has become increasingly important. For instance, solar batteries store electricity and can be drawn on during periods of low solar production. What’s more, solar-plus-storage solutions work for all scales of solar panel installations and provide many added benefits, from energy reliability to grid resiliency and lower-cost power.

Electric vehicles are a second product poised to ride the wave of solar energy adoption. With lower maintenance costs, lower fuel costs, and a lower environmental footprint than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, electric vehicles are set to be an important piece of the automobile industry for years to come. With increasing electric vehicle adoption also comes a growing need for electricity to run the vehicles, a perfect fit for solar energy. Distributed solar installations provide cheap and reliable power for electric vehicles directly from the sun. In a world of increased electrification throughout the home, solar power is one of the most inexpensive, reliable, and cleanest ways to fuel our electrified future.

Solar Energy– Fun Facts

Enjoyable truths regarding solar energy are preferred at any kind of age. Individuals desire major details regarding solar energy, however in some cases, also the major can be revealed in enjoyable realities.

Enjoyable truths on solar energy consist of points such as the reality that, in a solitary hr, sufficient sunshine gets to the planet’s surface area to satisfy the whole globe’s power requires for a complete year. Think of! That detail originates from the American Solar Energy Society.

Below are some even more enjoyable truths on solar energy.

12 Fun Facts on Solar Power:

* As early as 1921, the Nobel Peace Prize was granted for trying outs solar energy as well as photovoltaics. It was granted to Albert Einstein.

* When silicon is extracted from simply one lots of sand, and also made use of in photovoltaic or pv solar energy panels, that silicon can create as much power as 500,000 lots of melting coal.

* In the U.S., there are greater than 10,000 houses that obtain their power totally from solar energy.

* Nearly 200 years back, a British astronomer by the name of John Herschel prepared food with solar energy throughout a trip to Africa.

* California opened its initial huge solar energy plant in 1982.

* Solar power can reduce water costs by greater than 50 percent annually in a residence where a solar version changes the electrical hot water heater.

* The cost of solar (PV) solar energy panels has actually gone down 200 percent over the last 30 years, according to the Department of Energy. Proprietors currently pay in between 10 as well as 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.

* A research study by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) revealed that solar energy problems were close to best (99 percent) in San Francisco on June 14th, 2000. On that particular day, 100,000 clients because location shed power. Solar energy might have given all they required.

* Another USDOE research study revealed that the roof coverings of California’s city and also area structures, if covered with solar PV panels, can produce 200 megawatts of tidy electrical energy! Cover California’s college roofing systems with solar energy panels, as well as you include 1,500 megawatts extra to the state’s peak power supply.
* In California, covering every readily available business as well as commercial roof covering with solar energy panels can create every one of the electrical energy required because state throughout the daytime.

* Germany is making the very best use solar energy, although its environment consists of numerous over cast days.

* It takes just around 8 mins for solar power to take a trip from the sunlight to the planet.

Pointer for institution educators: Have a competition to see which team of trainees can uncover one of the most enjoyable truths on solar energy.

Enjoyable realities on solar power consist of points such as the reality that, in a solitary hr, sufficient sunshine gets to the planet’s surface area to fulfill the whole globe’s power requires for a complete year. That info comes from the American Solar Energy Society.

* A research study by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) revealed that solar power problems were close to ideal (99 percent) in San Francisco on June 14th, 2000. On that day, 100,000 consumers in that location shed power. Solar power can have supplied all they required.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is energy from the sun in the form of radiated light and heat. The sun’s radiant energy can be used to provide lighting and heat for buildings and to produce electricity. It is a renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner over long periods of time. Solar energy can be harnessed only during the day and only if the sunlight is not blocked by clouds, buildings or other obstacles.

Solar thermal and solar PV are the main techniques and technologies used today for producing/generating solar energy. Other types of solar energy systems include solar air heating, which is usually applied on commercial and industrial buildings, and concentrated solar power systems, which were more common in the past, and at a utility scale. Given Alberta’s cold climate and relatively large heating demands, homes with solar heating systems also typically have other methods of heating, especially during short winter days.

Terminology and how energy is measured for solar systems:

If you encounter a term that you are unfamiliar with please refer to our Glossary. Electricity is measured in kilowatts (kW). Electrical energy is the amount of electricity used in an hour and is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The average Alberta home uses 600 to 800 kWh per month as is shown on the monthly electric utility bill. Thermal energy is typically measured in Giga-Joules (GJ) for natural gas, although several other measures of thermal energy are also used. The average Alberta home uses about 2 GJ of natural gas in the summer and this increases to 20 or more GJ in winter months. All thermal energy measures can be converted to kWh to develop your combined energy profile. For example, one GJ is equivalent to 278 kWh.

Why Home Solar Is Always a Smart Investment

Thinking about installing home solar panels and a home battery? Solar rooftop panels and home batteries are now more affordable, accessible, resilient, and efficient than ever before. We’ve rounded up the benefits of solar energy that matter the most. 

Gives you control over your electricity

Home solar panels and a home battery can offer freedom from the utility companies with predictable electric bills. This helps you avoid peak electricity rates and provides reliable back-up power when the grid goes down. 

Electricity costs across the country have risen by 15% over the past ten years, and this is a trend that’s likely to continue.

Provides clean, renewable energy

Home solar is a clean, emissions-free, and renewable energy source. Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, home solar doesn’t release harmful pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide—into the air and water supply. 

By decreasing air pollution, solar can prevent $167 billion in health and environmental damages and save more than 25,000 lives. In Alberta, a household that switches to renewable sources like solar panels can eliminate the equivalent of burning over 5,000 pounds of coal and the resulting carbon emissions.

Home solar’s potential is immense. If we could capture all the solar energy on the planet for just one hour, we could power the whole world for an entire year. When you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll help to eliminate harmful emissions from burning fossil fuels. Renewable energy technologies are the key to a cleaner and brighter future for all.  

Increases home value 

Another advantage of home solar is the increase in home value. Across Canada solar panels raise a home’s value by 4.1% on average. That means a home valued at $500,000 could get a $20,500 increase.

Specific numbers vary between each installation and property, yet recent studies show an average increase in resale value between $4,020 and $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed.

The price of an average rooftop solar installation is generally recouped in the home’s sale price. Plus, households that purchase solar are rewarded with lower energy bills and healthy tax incentives that can cover the system’s costs multiple times over the life of its warranty.

The length of time that a solar-powered home is on the market often varies by region of the country. A solar energy installation will help sell your home 20% faster than residences without solar panels.

The numbers say it all: Installing home solar panels is a sound investment. Whether you’re upgrading your home for a future sale or making it your forever home, property values typically increase significantly.

Costs have fallen

The cost of home solar systems have dropped dramatically in recent years, falling more than 70% in just the last decade. The cost of home solar batteries have dropped substantially as well.

There’s no question that clean energy sources like home solar are what we need to keep the air clean, enjoy reliable power, and protect our communities. 

Enjoy the Advantages of Solar Energy with Eco Leaf Solar

Eco Leaf Solar will help you with everything from designing a custom solar system and installing solar panels to monitoring and maintenance. Get your FREE quote today!