Solar - Miscellaneous Questions

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Why are some solar panels connected to batteries? Why are some solar panels not connected to batteries?

Some grid-tie panels do not comes with batteries because your panels must not produce electricity when there is a power outage (for the safety of the people that are fixing the power line). Some solar panels are not connected to batteries because batteries are expensive, and you will need to maintain and replace them periodically.

Why are we not using solar panels?

What are the challenges facing solar technologies?

Which home builders are on board with using solar panels?

Solar providers are hooking up with home builders in increasing numbers, creating houses powered by the sun and bringing solar power into the mainstream homebuying experience. Solar home builders are some of the nation’s biggest, including Meritage and Pulte.

Shea Homes offers a line of homes called SheaXero that includes solar panels designed to take care of all household electrical needs. The system is standard, rather than an option.

What can I power with solar panel?

Can I power my stove using solar panel? Can I power my refrigerator using solar panel? Can I power my TV using solar panel?

I still need to complete this question. I've seen videos where a person use an array of solar panels to power his refrigerator. There are also videos on using solar panels to power a water heater, or using solar panels to heat water. I am not sure about using solar panels to power a stove. This also depends on how your solar panels are installed, whether they are connect to the grid or not. There are videos about using solar panels to keep your room cool (power air conditioner). Whether you can use solar panels to power your TV depends on how much you use your TV.

Why is efficiency of solar panels vary from day to day?

The efficiency of the solar panels depend on the amount of sun light received, therefore, on cloudy or rainy days, the solar panels produce less electricity compared to sunny day.

How can I get electricity on a cloudy or rainy days?

This question is for rural areas where there is no electricity. For non-rural areas, solar panels can be plugged into the grid so for cloudy days, you can use electricity from your normal electricity / utility company. For rural areas, on cloudy or rainy days, we can fall back to other alternatives, such as natural gas, batteries, or gasoline powered electricity generator.

Is there any solar panels that are designed so that we do not have to drill holes in the roof?

Yes. See http://powershed.com/Home.aspx

Can solar panels be plug-and-play?

Plug-and-play PV systems could be installed without special training or tools, and simply plugged into a PV-ready circuit, through which an automatic detection system would initiate communication between the solar energy system and the utility. See http://www.houselogic.com/news/solar-energy/plug-and-play-solar-energy-systems-way-home-owners/

Can commercial customers take advantage of the federal tax credit?

Both residential and commercial customers can take advantage of this tax credit, and it applies to all three major types of solar technology; photovoltaic,solar heating & cooling, and concentrating solar technology.

Can we have transparent solar cells?

Possibly. See http://gizmodo.com/new-crystal-clear-solar-cells-could-power-your-smartpho-1624403522

Why do most grid-connected solar panels do not generate electricity during power outage?

If your wind turbine is connected to the local utility grid so that any of the power produced by your wind turbine is delivered to the grid, then your utility also has legitimate concerns about safety and power quality that need to be addressed. The utility’s principal concern is that your wind turbine automatically stops delivering any electricity to its power lines during a power outage. Otherwise line workers and the public, thinking that the line is “dead,” might not take normal precautions and might be hurt or even killed by the power from your turbine.

How much do solar panels degrade?

While solar panels slowly degrade overtime, most manufacturer’s warranties guarantee 90% of original electric output for 25 years.

Does a typical grid-tie solar panel system provide power during outage?

No. This is to prevent electrical engineers who are working to restore the power line from being accidentally electrocuted by an active solar array / grid. A typical grid-tie solar panel system is also battery-less, and is therefore cheaper than battery-backed system. Solar panels that are attached to a battery bank can also be connected to the grid.

Why should we keep a copy of our electric bill before going green?

Solar panels add value to your home. Studies by the Appraisal Institute, a worldwide association of real estate appraisers, say a home improvement that leads to documented energy savings can yield up to a 20-to-1 valuation. At that rate, if your solar array saves $1,000 per year, you can expect a $20,000 increase in your home’s value. An actual valuation increase depends on the location and condition of your house. That info is echoed by research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that says every kilowatt of electricity your solar system is capable of generating adds about $3,500 to the resale value of a home. For a typical 5 kW system, that’s a $17,500 bump. Tip: To get your marketing edge, document your energy bill before and after your solar installation.

What is one of the most important steps in purchasing a grid-connected solar electric system?

One of the most important steps in purchasing a grid-connected solar electric system is choosing a provider with experience. A good provider will also have a properly licensed electrical contractor, have enough years of experience to have demonstrated an ability to work with customers, and be able to compete effectively with other firms. A good provider should be familiar with your local utility’s regulations on interconnection requirements. If your provider is not familiar with these requirements, check with your local utility, state energy office, or state or local Public Utility Commission for details.

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