Why does my solar panel not seem to work even though only one small part of it is covered up/in the shade?

A solar panel is actually just a casing that holds multiple small solar cells. These are the blue or dark-blue squares inside the solar panel that are actually absorbing the light and producing the energy. Each individual cell has its own voltage and amperage that are normally both very small. By combining these small cells together, the voltage and amperage can be combined into the larger output which is what the entire solar panel is rated for. Connecting cells...


Does using solar energy or using solar products help increase the national energy security of the US?

A big Yes! The Department of Education calls the amount the US produces their own oil, Field Production. Statistics have shown that the total percentage of field production in the US will decrease and the total percentage of dependence on oil imports will increase in the years to come. For example in the year 2000 the US had in Field Production only about 35 percent of its oil, but 5 years later the number has decreased to 28 percent. Along with this...


What is the difference between “Watts” and “Lumens”?

Though light bulbs have traditionally been measured in Watts, today, manufacturer are now required to provide Lumens on the packaging for lights. Watts is the measurement of how much energy the light bulb will draw. However, this really has nothing to do with how bright a light bulb will be. Lumens, on the other hand, is a measurement of brightness. With a rating for Watts and for Lumens on a particular light bulb, you can determine how efficient your...


What is the difference between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film solar panels?

  Monocrystalline solar panels are panels cut from single slabs of silicon. They are identifiable by their consistent color throughout the panel and are often a dark blue to almost black color. Historically, monocrystalline panels have had the highest efficiency (around 15-17%) because being cut from a single slab of silicon allows a greater level of purity in the silicon, but have also been more expensive for the same reason. Polycrystalline panels are those created from many different pieces of silicon...


What are the environmental benefits of solar power?

In short the use of solar PV panels prevents the production of radioactive nuclear waste. Studies tell us that one megawatt-hour of electricity generated through a solar PV panel avoids more than five pounds of sulfur dioxide, 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide, and about two pounds of nitrogen oxide emission. One of the greatest things about solar power is that it creates the greatest supply as demands spike. Especially on hot sunny days, when air-conditioning and electricity are high,...


What is “Net Metering” and how does it work?

When using a grid-tied solar system, power from the solar kit is used as a supplement to the power grid that is feeding your house. During peak hours, when the most energy is being used, the load is usually more than the PV system can provide and the needed extra energy is taken from the power grid (and adds to your monthly power bill). However, during periods when electricity use is very low, such as everyone in the household...


What happen to my solar system if I am moving in few years?

We understand taking an entire solar system with you when you move is a hassle. In actuality, there is no need to move your installed system and still be able to recover the cost of the system. Studies have proven that solar systems add value to your property and help it sell quicker. Homeowners understand the importance of renewable energy and know the future savings that solar systems can grant them. Usually, the increase in property value exceeds the...


How is the solar industry working towards improving its technology?

In recent years research for improving solar technology has been an ongoing process. There has been a lot of research done to improve solar power technology. In Europe there is the European Kestcells Project that is funded with 3.7 million euros as researchers are looking to replace the present material in solar technology to another type of material that is more readily available, more cheaper, and that may be able to capture more energy from the sun. This project...


Do solar panels work with artificial light?

Yes, solar panels will work under artificial light but not as efficiently. One concept that is worth considering regarding this matter between solar panels and artificial light is a fundamental law of physics. Whenever energy is changed from one form to another, what results is a net loss. It is highly recommended that you just stick with sunlight to power your solar panels.


What is the efficiency of PowerFilm modules?

There are many factors that go into the how much power you are able to draw from your solar panels, and many are related to the design and orientation of your solar array. With that in mind, a safe average to assume with PowerFilm technology is 5%. Flexible panel technology, however, is still young compared to rigid panels, and as such is advancing all the time. There are widely varying standards within the industry for solar panel efficiency ratings...