Category Archives: Solar

Introduction to solar energy

Introduction to solar energy

Solar energy – the direction of alternative energy, based on the direct use of sunlight to generate energy in any form. Solar power uses a renewable source of energy and is environmentally friendly, that is not generating hazardous waste. Energy production using solar power is well agreed with the concept of distributed energy production. Methods for producing electricity and heat from solar radiation:

– Getting electricity through photovoltaic cells.

– Convert solar energy into electricity using heat engines: a) steam engines (piston or turbine), using water vapor, carbon dioxide, propane, butane, freon; b) Stirling engine, etc.

– Solar thermal energy – heating the surface, absorbing the sun’s rays, and the subsequent distribution and use of heat (focusing sunlight on a vessel with water for subsequent use in heating, hot water or steam electrical generators).
– Convection power (converting solar energy into the flow of air directed at the turbine generator).
– Solar balloon power (generation of steam inside the balloon by heating the surface by solar radiation, coated with a selectively absorbing coating). Advantage – a pair of stock in the tank is sufficient for power at night and in inclement weather.


– Accessibility and inexhaustible source.
– In theory, the complete security to the environment, although it is likely that the widespread introduction of solar energy can change the albedo of the earth’s surface and lead to climate change (but at the present level of energy consumption is extremely unlikely).


– depending on weather and time of day.
– As a consequence, the need for energy accumulation.
– The high cost structure.
– The need for constant cleaning of the reflecting surface from dust.
– Heating the atmosphere above the power station.

Fundamental research

– Due to theoretical limitations in converting the spectrum into usable energy (30%) for photocells of the first and second generation requires the use of large areas of land for power plants. For example, for 1 GW power plant it may be a few tens of square kilometers (for comparison – hydropower, with the same capacity, prints from the use of much larger tracts of land), but the construction of solar power plants of such capacity may lead to changes in the microclimate in the locality, so basically installed photovoltaic power station 1 – 2 MW close to consumers or even individual and mobile units. Photovoltaic cells on the large solar power plants installed at a height of 1,8-2,5 m, which allows the use of land for power plants for agricultural purposes, such as for grazing. The problem of finding large areas of land for solar power is solved in the case of the solar balloon stations, suitable for both terrestrial and maritime and for high-rise home.

– The flow of solar energy falling on a set at the optimum angle of cell, depending on latitude, season and climate and may vary twice for the settlement of the land (up to three in view of the Sahara Desert). Atmospheric phenomena (clouds, fog, dust, etc.) not only alter the range and intensity of the incident on the surface of the Earth’s solar radiation, but also alter the ratio between direct and scattered radiation, which exerts considerable influence on some types of solar power plants, such as hubs or on the elements of a wide range of conversion.

Applied research

– Photovoltaic converters work day and work less efficiently in the morning and evening twilight. The peak power consumption falls on the evening. In addition, the produced electricity can fluctuate sharply and unexpectedly due to changing weather. To overcome these shortcomings by using solar power efficient electric batteries (today it is not enough to solve the problem), or converted into other energy forms, such as building a pumped storage stations, which occupy large areas, or the concept of hydrogen energy, which today still not cost effective. Today, this problem is simply solved by creating a unified energy systems, which redistribute generated and power consumption. The problem according to some power solar power plant on time of day and weather conditions is also solved by using solar power balloons.
– To date, relatively high price of solar cells. With the development of technology and rising prices for fossil fuels, this shortcoming is overcome. In 1990-2005. prices for solar cells decreased on average by 4% a year.
– The surface of the graphic panels and mirrors must be cleaned of dust and other contaminants. In the case of large photovoltaic plants, in their area of several square kilometers, it can cause difficulties.

– The efficiency of photovoltaic cells decreases when they are heated (mostly it concerns systems with concentrators), so there is a need to install cooling systems, usually water. Also in the photoelectric converters of the third and fourth generations are used to cool the conversion of thermal radiation rays are consistent with the absorbent material in the photovoltaic element (the so-called up-conversion), which simultaneously improves the efficiency.

Introduction to solar energy
– After 30 years of operation, the efficiency of photovoltaic cells begins to decline. Spent it’s solar cells, although a small part of them, mostly for special purposes, contains a component (cadmium), which is unacceptable disposed of in landfills. Needed additional expansion of the industry at it’s disposal.

Solar Hot Water FAQ’s

Solar Hot Water FAQ’s

What is solar hot water?

Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that collect light from the sun and convert it into electricity, solar hot water systems collect the heat of the sun and transfer it to water. Millions of homes and businesses around the globe use solar water heating systems because they are one of the most cost effective renewable energy sources available.

How much money can I save using solar hot water?

Switching to solar hot water can decrease your water heating bill by 50%-80%! Since water heating can account for a quarter of your total energy bill every month, using solar hot water can provide substantial savings.

Does solar hot water work when it’s cloudy or cold?

Although the heat output of the solar collector is reduced on cold, overcast days, it will still be able to provide considerable heating. Evacuated Tube Collectors are suitable for such conditions as their round shape enables them to absorb the sun’s heat at many angles increasing their performance.

Will a solar hot water system supply all of my hot water?

Solar hot water systems typically supply up to 80% of hot water needs. During summer months, the system may provide all hot water needs. When there is less solar energy available in the winter or on cloudy days, a backup system fueled by gas, electric or solar photovoltaic panels can be used to supplement the hot water supply.

Do I need to change my hot water routine when using a solar hot water system?

With solar hot water and a backup water heater, you will actually have much more hot water than ever before. You can increase your savings by not relying on the backup system with some simple hot water saving tips: space out laundry loads during sunlight hours to allow the solar water heater to replenish its supply, install low flow faucets and shower heads to reduce the amount of water used, and fix leaky faucets to preserve water.

How much money can I expect to save with incentives? can give you up-to-date information on incentives and policies that support the use of renewable energy. Federal tax credits and state incentives will significantly reduce the cost of your solar hot water system.

How do I pick the right solar hot water system for my needs?

Solar hot water systems come in a variety of configurations. Your renewable energy contractor will evaluate which type of solar collector, circulation system and tank you need based on your location and the average hot water usage for your household.

Where should solar hot water collectors be located?

To benefit from solar energy, collectors should be placed in an area with unobstructed sunlight throughout the year, usually on a roof that faces south, southeast, or southwest.

How long does a solar hot water system last?

Many solar hot water systems can last 20 years or more. Most come with a five to ten year warranty and require little maintenance.

Solar Hot Water FAQ’s

How hot is the water from a solar hot water system?

Solar water heaters can heat water well past the typical 120 degrees used by average households, especially during the summer. Systems have tempering valves to keep water leaving the tank at a safe temperature. During winter or cloudy days, your conventional hot water system will ensure your water remains hot.

Benefits of Solar Hot Water

Benefits of Solar Hot Water

Solar hot water systems are economically smart, reliable and good for the environment. Take advantage of the many benefits of using solar hot water by contacting a renewable home energy contractor in your area today!

Solar Hot Water:

  • Financial Savings – With 50% to 80% savings on your hot water bill, you’ll see a return on your investment in as little as 3 to 5 years – that means years of free hot water after your investment is paid for!
  • Increased Hot Water Supply – Your solar hot water tank and backup tank together will supply twice as much hot water for less money.
  • Energy Independence – Solar hot water will reduce your dependence on foreign energy sources by harnessing the sun’s free, abundant energy.
  • Healthier Environment – Switching to solar hot water will help clean the air you breathe by reducing CO2 emissions.
  • Useful Incentives – Check for information on financial incentives that make solar hot water a practical investment for you.
  • Increased Property Value – Renewable energy systems like solar hot water add resale value to your home.
  • Long Lasting – Solar hot water systems are low maintenance and can last more than 20 years.

Benefits of Solar Hot Water

Types of Solar Hot Water systems

Types of Solar Hot Water systems

Since solar hot water systems come in a wide variety of designs, your renewable energy contractor will determine which type of collector, circulation system, storage tank and backup system to use to meet your solar hot water needs.

Solar collectors – the background

Solar collectors – Solar hot water works by first absorbing the sunlight and converting it to heat using a solar collector. Your renewable energy contractor will evaluate your site to determine if adequate sunlight is available. Your solar collectors should be mounted on a site that receives ample, unobstructed sunlight throughout the year. Solar water heating is one of the most efficient solar technologies when used in the proper location.
Active Solar Water Heating Systems – Active systems are the most common solar water circulation systems used. These systems use electric pumps to efficiently circulate fluids through the collectors and into the tank. Since active systems storage tanks do not need to be installed above or close to the solar collectors, they are a good choice for colder climates.
Passive Solar Water Heating Systems – Passive systems do not use a pump to circulate fluids but use natural convection or gravity. Typically they may not be as efficient as active systems but they are less expensive and tend to last longer. Passive systems work well in warm climates.
Storage Tanks – Your renewable energy contractor will estimate the required tank size to meet your hot water needs. Most solar hot water systems incorporate a well-insulated storage tank so the hot water can last for a few days. An 80 gallon storage tank is usually sufficient for 3 or 4 people.

Types of Solar Hot Water systems
Backup system – Solar hot water systems typically supply up to 80% of hot water needs. During summer months, the system may provide almost all hot water needs. When there is less solar energy available in the winter or on cloudy days, a backup system using gas, electric or solar photovoltaic panels supplements hot water supply.

Basics of Solar Hot Water

Basics of Solar Hot Water

The sun emits enough energy to power the whole planet for an entire year, every hour. By using solar energy as your primary heat source, you can cut your energy bill in half while having unlimited access to hot water for your home.

Solar energy can be harnessed in two ways: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels or Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water is a form of renewable energy that captures the sun’s energy and uses it to heat the water in your water tank. This benefits homeowners where the demand for hot water has a large impact on energy bills, such as frequent laundry washing or large families.

Solar hot water heaters can operate in any climate. However, performance varies depending on how much solar energy is available at the site. To take advantage of these heaters, you must have an unshaded, south-facing roof on your property. Solar water heaters use the sun to heat the water or a heat-transfer fluid, and then transferred to a well-insulated storage tank.

Basics of Solar Hot Water

Learn more about Solar Hot Water as an alternative to your conventional hot water system by connecting with an installer today.

Solar Energy FAQs

Solar Energy FAQs

Will solar power work for me?

To reap the rewards of solar power, solar panels should be placed where they receive the most sunlight possible. This is typically on south facing roofs that receive unobstructed sunlight. However, wall, pole or ground mounted panels as well as tracking mounts that can tilt panels toward the sun may also make solar a viable option. A qualified solar technician can assess your property and your energy usage to help you find the renewable energy source that’s right for you.

How much money will I save using solar energy?

Exact savings is dependent upon the output of your solar energy system and your electric usage. To get a general estimate of savings, use our solar calculator below.

Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy or cold?

Even on a cloudy day your panels will still produce electricity since solar panels collect direct and diffused light. Solar cells use this light to produce energy, so they don’t need heat to function. Solar panels conduct electricity better when they are cold and work well in cool climates.

How long do solar panels last?

Most solar panels come with a 25 year warranty, however, they may continue to remain effective long after this. Some homeowners claim that their panels continue to produce adequate electricity well after their warranty period ends. Solar panel systems installed with no moving parts will require little to no maintenance.

What is the difference between off grid and grid-tied?

An off grid solar energy system is not tied to the local utility company. This system requires a back up energy source, such as a battery or a generator, to be used during times your solar panels are not generating electricity.

A grid-tied solar energy system is connected to the local utility power grid. Grid tied systems allow you to pull electricity from the utility grid when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity. In turn, any excess power generated by your panels during the day is fed back to the utility company.

What is net metering?

Since many solar powered homes generate more electricity than needed during daylight hours, net metering allows the homeowners whose solar energy systems are grid-tied to receive a credit for power generated by their system that is sent back to the grid. These credits for net excess generation may be applied to electricity the homeowner pulls from the utility company at night or when their electricity usage exceeds their solar energy output. Using net metering can greatly reduce or even eliminate your electric bill.

How do I get power at night?

If your system is grid tied, it will still be connected to the local utility which will automatically feed your home power when you need it. If your system is off grid, it will no longer be connected to the utility company and you will need a backup battery to store excess energy generated during the day for nighttime use. Your renewable home energy technician will help choose the right type and size battery to meet your energy needs.

How much money can I expect to save with incentives? can give you up-to-date information on incentives and policies that support the use of renewable energy. Federal tax credits and state incentives will significantly reduce the cost of your solar energy system.

Do I need to replace my roof before I install solar panels?

Solar Energy FAQs

Since solar panels will last over 25 years, your roof should be in good condition and no more than 10 years old. If your budget is limited, you may replace only the roof tiles where the solar panels will be placed. Remember that solar panels will greatly reduce the wear on the roof by protecting it from snow, ice, and ultraviolet rays.

Dispelling some popular solar myths

Dispelling some popular solar myths

Myth #1 – Solar doesn’t work when it’s cloudy or cold

Truth – Solar panels collect direct and diffused light, so even on a cloudy day your panels will still produce adequate levels of electricity. Since solar cells absorb light to produce energy, they don’t need heat to function. Solar panels actually conduct electricity better when they are cold so they work well in cooler climates.

Myth #2 – You need a southern facing roof to install solar panels

Truth – Solar panels can face southeast or southwest and still perform. Plus, there are a variety of alternative installation options for solar panels including ground, wall and pole mounting as well as tracking mounts that automatically tilt panels toward the sun.

Myth #3 – Solar panels are too expensive to install

Truth – The cost of solar panels has fallen sharply since the end of 2010, making them more affordable. Rebates, tax credits, leasing and financing options will also decrease the cost of your system drastically. And don’t forget to factor in the immediate savings on your electric bill. All these things should be considered when measuring the economic benefits of going solar.

Myth #4 – Solar power is unreliable

Truth – Solar power comes from the renewable energy of the sun, a resource that will never run out. Using solar energy can be more reliable than the utility company since it is not subject to power outages. Also, solar panel systems require little to no maintenance as they have no moving parts and have a 25 plus year lifespan.

Myth #5 – Solar power won’t save me money

Truth – The savings on your electric bill is immediate. Many homeowners report that they have cut their energy bills between 50% and 100% after installing solar panels. With rebates, incentives, and tax cuts, the return on your solar investment could be much sooner than you think. As prices for fossil fuels continue to rise, solar power is a beneficial and economical option for everyone.

Myth #6 – Solar panels are obtrusive

Truth – Solar panels today are better engineered to blend into the roof of your building. Many have been designed to integrate with a wide range of architectural styles and environments. Solar shingles, for example, blend almost seamlessly with traditional roofing materials.

Myth #7 – Solar energy can’t replace energy from fossil fuels

Dispelling some popular solar myths


The U.S. is one of the fastest growing solar energy markets in the world. Many states now require utilities to sell an increasing amount of renewable electricity. Unlike the limited supply and rising costs of fossil fuels, the supply of solar energy is unlimited giving consumers an energy independence not possible with fossil fuels.

Solar Installation Video

Rooftops are the best location for solar panel installation because they can easily capture the sun’s energy and already have the structural specifications that solar panels require.

Most Solar PV systems can be installed within a few days of starting the installation process. Prior to laying the panels down, weather-resistant brackets and rails are securely installed directly on your roof to lay the foundation for the renewable energy system.


The solar panels are installed one at a time, using an interconnection system that locks them in place on your roof. The panels are then wired to an inverter that converts the power to electricity to use in your home.

Homeowners should expect to have their power shut off for a short amount of time during the final stages of the installation process. After the solar panels are installed on your roof, there is very little noise or maintenance required, due to a lack of moving parts.

For more information on what to expect when installing a Solar PV system on your roof, connect with a Professional Installer today.

Solar Panel Installation

Solar Panel Installation

A Renewable Home Energy solar contractor will walk you through each step of your solar project from evaluation to monitoring to ensure solar energy success.

1. Evaluation – Is solar energy a smart choice for you?

Your local Renewable Home Energy solar contractor will conduct a thorough evaluation and audit to determine if using solar power is right for you. This may start with a phone consultation to get information about your energy usage and goals. A certified technician will then come to your home or business to take measurements and evaluate possible locations for your panels.

Deciding on the best placement of solar panels at your site is key to achieving the most energy savings. Most solar panels are placed on south facing roofs of houses, garages, sheds, carports, porches or awnings. However, panels that face east and west may work too.

Your technician will discuss all issues that may affect your solar installation and its effectiveness at this time. The size, age, material or pitch of your roof, as well shading issues should be addressed. If roof installation is not viable, your technician will discuss alternatives such as ground or pole mounted solar panels.

2. Proposal – Your solar energy blueprint.

A design for your solar project showing the layout of your solar panels and its system components will be presented to you for approval. This proposal should provide a blueprint for achieving the maximum solar power output to meet your present and future electric needs. Upon your approval, your installer will obtain all required permits as well as complete the solar rebate paperwork to get you the financial benefits of using solar.

3. Installation – Connecting your home or business to the sun.

Installation times can vary depending on the project, but most projects take just 2 to 5 days. First, the installation crew will position and secure the mounting system on your roof to lay the foundation for the panels. Then the solar panels are installed. The panels are then wired to a central inverter that converts the electricity generated by the photovoltaic solar cells into electricity to use in your home. Your contractor will also install a monitoring system so you can keep track of your solar project’s performance.

4. Start-up – Watching solar energy work for you.

After installation, your solar energy system will be inspected by the appropriate utility and building inspectors. Your installer will then turn your system on and will help you monitor your solar energy production to ensure the system is working to its fullest potential. Your home or business is now producing clean, renewable energy at a fraction of the cost.

Solar Panel Installation

Although your solar panels are made to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds, and heavy snow and require little to no maintenance, your installer should recommend regular inspections and cleaning to make sure your system is operating at its fullest potential. Most solar panels have a 25 to 30 year warranty.

Solar In Your Home

As electricity and fuel costs continue to rise, solar power has become increasingly more valuable.

By installing solar panels on your roof, you can capture the sun’s renewable energy to efficiently heat, cool, and power your home. As a result, you save money on your monthly electricity bill and deliver less of an impact on the environment.

With a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy system, your family will never have to worry about losing electricity due to a storm or broken power line again. Once the solar panels are installed, you are able to produce and use your own electricity to power your appliances. Excess power generated from the panels can even be stored for future usage.

Homeowners who invest in solar panels can receive incentives and tax credits, making it a more affordable option. Your family can be credited for the electricity you produce and even sell the surplus electricity back to the grid.

Not only will you be saving money by installing solar panels on your roof, but you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint as Solar PV is non-polluting. For more information on how your family can benefit from solar PV panels, connect with a Professional Installer now.