The Importance of Solar Panel Alignment

If you’re installing a home solar system, have you thought about solar panel alignment yet? The angles of your solar panels will determine how much energy they generate for your home, and ideally you want your solar system to generate as much energy as possible. Our team will take a closer look at why solar panel alignment is so important. 

Why Is Solar Panel Alignment Important?

You want your solar panels to be placed at the angle that allows them to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight, which is when your panels are perpendicular to the sun. Not everyone’s roof allows for this possibility, so it’s important to work with a qualified solar technician who can place your solar panels at the best angle. 

Factors That Affect Your Solar Panel Angle

  • Latitude: The further away your house is from the equator, the steeper your solar panels need to be tilted to get the maximum amount of sunlight. Someone who lives in Arizona, for example, will have a different optimal tilt to their solar panels than someone who lives in Minnesota. 
  • The Season: The ideal angle for your solar panels is different depending on the season. Mainly, this is because during the winter the sun is much lower in the sky than in the summer. 
  • Your Roof Design: This factor isn’t one that you have much control over, unless you’re building a new home from scratch. Whether your roof is flat or angled, a solar technician can advise on the best solar panel alignment for you. 

What else affects your solar panels?

  • Roof pitch: The pitch of your roof refers to how steep the angles are. A flat roof has zero pitch, while angled roofs are all pitched, just at different steepness levels. 
  • Shade: If you have a lot of tree cover on your property, this will need to be considered when installing your solar panels. Ideally you want as little shade as possible, because sometimes trees and shrubs can get in the way. 
  • Property orientation: Some homes are north-facing, some are south-facing, and so on. You will have one part of your roof that is most suitable for solar panels, and the orientation of that part of the roof will determine the best angle for your solar system. 

For more information about solar panel alignment, or if you have any other solar panel installation questions, please visit us at:  http://greenhouse.solar/

The Future and Solar Power

Solar technology is evolving quickly, and there are several different types of innovative solar panels you can expect to see more of in the near future. While solar panels themselves are not exactly a new technology, their prevalence among homeowners is relatively new within the last few decades. As the need for clean, renewable energy continues to grow, so will the various futuristic solar options. Here are a few you can watch out for.

Solar Skins

A solar skin is a piece of thin material that produces an electrical current when it’s exposed to sunlight. Think of it as a piece of saran wrap that you can wrap around an object, like a cell phone for example. Solar skins can be applied to almost any surface – cars, the outside of a home, a motorized scooter – and they generate power for the object they’re wrapped around. Soon you may be able to buy a solar skin to charge your phone in the sun!

Floating Solar Farms

Floating solar farms are clusters of solar panels installed on the surface of lakes, industrial ponds, reservoirs, and other bodies of water near coastal areas. Land is both limited and expensive, so utilizing water to generate renewable energy is an excellent alternative. Portugal is home to Europe’s largest floating solar park, located on the Alqueva reservoir, and it supplies the nearby towns with a third of its power. 

Solar Power Street Lights

Did you know that it can cost millions of dollars per year to keep street lights illuminated using electricity from the grid? Solar power street lights are just one way that cities can reduce their dependency on non-renewable energy. Not to mention, a solar power street light has a lifespan of around 25 years, making it incredibly efficient. 

Replacing the Grid With Solar Energy

If you’re interested in getting your home or business off the grid, investing in a solar system is the right choice. Despite the common misconception, your solar panels will still release energy to your building when it’s not sunny or when it’s dark outside, and solar accessories like batteries ensure your home stays powered around the clock.

As you can see, the future of solar is very exciting and full of possibilities! If you’d like to learn more about innovative solar panels, or if you have any residential or commercial solar questions, please give us a call or visit our website at: http://greenhouse.solar/

Solar Trackers & Ground Mounts

For home solar system enthusiasts, there are some terms you may have come across in your findings like solar trackers and ground mounts. But do you know what they are, as well as the pros and cons of each? As home solar systems become more popular across the country, so do various types of solar set-ups and the ways in which they can be mounted. Our team will explain what you need to know about solar trackers and ground mounts within this article. 

What are Solar Trackers?

A solar tracker is a device that follows the sun as it moves across the sky, thus enabling your solar panels to absorb more sunlight and generate more energy for your home. Solar trackers can be single or dual axis and can be paired with roof-mounted solar panels or ground-mounted solar panels, and they connect to the racking and swivel as they follow the sun. 

Solar Trackers: The Good & the Bad

The good:

  • If you live in an area with Time of Use electricity rates, a solar tracker will be very beneficial because it produces more energy during peak hours. This means you won’t be paying for any electricity from the grid when it’s at its most expensive. 
  • Solar trackers enable your solar panels to absorb more sunlight because they’re always tilted in the direction of the sun, giving you more energy to power your home.
  • There are a variety of solar trackers on the market, so you can definitely find one that suits your specific needs. 

The bad:

  • While they require fewer panels to generate the same amount of energy as a roof or ground mounted system, the solar tracker equipment itself can be more costly than other racking and mounting options.
  • Because they contain moving parts, there are more potential failure points than stationary equipment. 
  • Installing solar trackers can make your home solar system slightly more complicated because it requires extra site preparation.

Ground Mounts: What You Need to Know

A ground mount is a freestanding piece of equipment that mounts your solar panels either on top of a single pole, or using a rigid metal frame. If your roof isn’t suitable for solar panels, or you get the most direct sunlight in a different part of your property, a ground mount might be the best choice for you. 

Ground Mounts: The Good & the Bad

The good:

  • If you have a large property, you can install a ground mounted solar system in a far corner where it’s out of sight, out of mind. Some people prefer this to altering the structure of their roof.
  • They’re often more efficient because there are no obstructions like trees, chimneys, and other objects close to your roof. 
  • Ground mounts are easy to expand if your energy needs change later on. 

The bad:

  • They require a certain amount of land, and not every homeowner has enough open space for a ground mount.
  • Depending on the size of your ground-mounted solar system, you may be required to apply for a permit from your local zoning authority. 
  • You’ll need to install extra wiring to connect the ground mount to your home.

If you’d like more information about solar trackers and ground mounts, or if you have any questions about solar panel installation for your home in NJ, please contact our team at Green House Solar.

The Pros And Cons Of Net Metering

If you use solar panels to generate electricity for your home or business, you’ve probably heard of net metering, but do you know how it works? Solar systems have become much more affordable over the last decade, and with a range of financial incentives and tax credits available, many people are choosing to use solar power and net metering for their energy needs. When you have a solar system you can opt in to net metering, but what exactly is it, and what are the pros and cons? Let’s take a look. 

What Is Net Metering?

Net metering, sometimes called net energy metering (NEM), is when someone who privately owns their solar panels gives any excess energy generated to the electric grid. So if on a sunny day your solar system generates more electricity than your home or business can utilize, the excess electricity is fed back to the grid and the customer builds up a surplus.  At night or on a cloudy day, they can draw on that surplus and get the power they need from the grid.  Customers enrolled in this program are only billed for the net amount of power that they use, which in some cases means no charges at all.

To use net metering you must be connected to the grid, which the majority of people who have solar systems are. If you want to determine if you’re eligible to opt in to net metering, please contact your solar installer and they’ll be able to explain your local regulations.

The Pros of Net Metering

  • Increased control over your energy bills. Once you start paying closer attention to how much energy you’re using on a regular basis, you can be more mindful about not leaving lights on when you don’t need them, or not leaving your hot water running unnecessarily. 
  • Reduced demand on the grid. Sending your excess energy to the grid means there is less reliance on non-renewable energy. 

The Cons of Net Metering

  • It isn’t available everywhere. Most states in the US currently mandate net metering, but not all of them do. That’s why it’s important to ask your local solar installer about the regulations for the state you reside in. 
  • It requires being connected to the grid. If you’re completely off the grid, you won’t be eligible for net metering. You must be connected to your local power grid in order to send excess energy to it. 

For more information about how you can use net metering with your home solar system, or if you have any other questions about solar panels, please contact our team at Green House Solar today or visit us at: http://greenhouse.solar/

 

 

How Do Solar Power Inverters Work

People across the United States are growing increasingly interested in solar power and other renewable sources of energy. Solar systems are now more common, more affordable, and more efficient than they were several decades ago. To boot, the U.S. government has passed several pieces of legislation that offer tax credits and other incentives for people who install home solar systems.

While a solar system is made up of many components, the solar power inverter is perhaps the most crucial. So what is this piece of equipment, and how does it work? Let’s take a look. 

What Is a Solar Power Inverter?

A solar power inverter is a type of electric converter that takes the direct current electricity generated by your solar panels and converts it into alternating current. Alternating current is the standard flow of electricity used by domestic appliances and electric circuits. Essentially, it turns sunlight into renewable power for your home. 

How Solar Power Inverters Operate in Your Home Solar System

When the sun shines down onto your solar panels, they absorb the light and send the energy to the photovoltaic cells. This energy produces direct current, which is then sent directly to the inverter. From there, the energy will be converted into alternating current then sent into your home or stored in a solar battery. 

Types of Solar Power Inverters

  • Battery inverters: A battery inverter is a good choice if you need to fit your inverter into an existing solar system, or if you want your battery to be in a separate spot than your solar panels. 
  • Microinverters: Microintervers are about the size of a small book, making them a convenient option if space is a concern. You’ll need one microinverter per solar panel, and each inverter optimizes one solar panel efficiently. Due to their many advantages, Green House Solar designs the vast majority of our systems with microinverters.
  • String inverters: String inverters are another choice for residential solar systems, and they’re called this because they’re connected to a string of solar panels. 
  • Central inverters: The largest type of inverter, a central inverter is used for commercial or industrial purposes, in systems that require hundreds of kilowatts of volume. 

Are Solar Power Inverters Weather Proof?

Certain solar inverters are weatherproof, while certain types aren’t. The placement of your solar inverter is important, and if you need extra protection from the weather we recommend installing a weather-proof cage. Speak with your solar installer to learn more about which solar inverters are weatherproof, and which choice is best for your property. 

If you’d like more information about solar power inverters, to learn which one would operate best with your home solar system, please contact our team at Green House Solar today or visit us at: http://greenhouse.solar/

 

What The Rural Energy For America Program Means For Solar

The U.S. government, through various pieces of legislation and several programs, is incentivizing both homeowners and business owners to use renewable energy. We’ve seen a range of tax credits and other financial incentives rolled out recently, and people across the country are not hesitating to take advantage. One incentivized program in particular is the Rural Energy for America Program, called REAP. In this article, our team of solar panel installers will explain REAP, including who qualifies and how to apply. 

What is the REAP Program?

The REAP is a government program that provides guaranteed grant funding of up to 40% of the value of the project and loan financing for up to 75% of the project value to small, rural businesses and agricultural producers for renewable energy systems, or to make energy efficiency improvements. According to REAP, agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment, and for new system loans for agricultural production and processing. 

Who Qualifies for REAP?

Rural small businesses, meaning businesses located in areas with a population of 50,000 residents or fewer, and agricultural producers in both rural and non-rural areas qualify for the funding available through REAP. All applicants must prove they are citizens of the United States, or can prove they are residing legally in the country. Borrowers must prove that the loan funds will stay in the United States.

How to Apply for REAP

To apply for the REAP, visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s website and select your state from the drop-down menu. Once you’ve chosen your state, the appropriate form and accompanying instructions will follow. This website also contains important information about deadlines. 

How Green House Solar Can Help You with REAP

At Green House Solar, we work closely with several REAP specialists and can help you complete the necessary paperwork for the REAP program in New Jersey. The March 2023 deadline is quickly approaching, so we recommend you submit your application as soon as possible. Don’t miss out on this excellent chance to invest in a renewable energy system for your rural business in NJ. 

For more information about the REAP, if you need assistance completing your application, or if you have any other renewable energy questions, please contact our team at Green House Solar today. You could also visit our website to learn more about harnessing solar energy for your home or small business: http://greenhouse.solar/

What documentation do I need when installing solar panels?

If you’ve made the decision to install a home solar system, obtaining the necessary documentation is an important first step. Each year, thousands of homeowners go off the grid and make the switch to solar, but before you can have your solar panels installed, there is certain documentation that needs to be completed. In this article, our experienced solar technicians will explain the permits and the documents you’ll need, and if you have any questions – our team is happy to help. 

Permits and documents: the logistical paperwork required for your solar panel installation

The first step is to contact your county and city government offices and ask what their requirements are. If you’re working with a licensed solar company, then chances are they know the requirements and can help you understand them. It’s worth noting that not all cities require permits.

If your city requires you to obtain a permit, you’ll now need to prepare all the documents for your permit application. These typically include a roof plan, a site plan, a construction plan, an electrical plan, and a location plan, among others. Your solar installer should be familiar with the process and may be able to assist you in submitting your permit application. 

Next, your local government may ask you to attend a hearing before issuing your permit for solar panel installation. If this is the case, your solar installer can attend on your behalf and answer questions, such as what your panels will look like, but we also encourage you to attend the meeting as well. 

Solar panel permit approval and interconnection

Once your permit has been approved, your solar installer will pay for and pick up your permit, which needs to be on site during the installation of your solar panels. The permit will include information about which inspections are required during and after installation, and your solar company can help you schedule the necessary inspections. 

Many solar panels draw energy from the grid as a back-up electricity source, so you’ll also need to complete an interconnection agreement, which is between you and your utility company. This agreement notifies the utility company that you’re installing a home solar system and will be connecting it to their energy grid. 

For more information about the documentation needed to install a home solar system, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Green House Solar today. We’d be happy to walk you through each stage of the solar panel documentation process.

Solar panel system installation: what to expect

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system at home, you may be wondering what happens during the installation process and what you can expect. More people are opting for home solar systems now because they want to break free from conventional energy, reduce their environmental footprint, and lower their monthly energy costs. 

In this article, we’ll discuss each step of the installation process from start to finish. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our team today – they’ll be happy to help.

Step #1: Install Solar Panel Mounts

The first step is installing solar panel mounts. These pieces are affixed to your roof, and then your solar panels are affixed to the mounts. Your solar installer will inspect your roof to determine what type of mounts will work best, and then they’ll place them in the ideal position for maximum sun exposure. While it’s true that solar panels generate energy on cloudy days, you want your solar panels to be in the best position possible to absorb as much sunlight as they can, hency why it’s so important to properly place the mounts. 

Step #2: Install the Solar Panels

Once the mounts are firmly in place, it’s time to attach the solar panels to the mounts. Your solar installer will ensure the panels are properly attached to the mounts and that they’re angled correctly. It’s important that your solar panels are securely affixed to the mounts.

Step #3: Wire the Solar Panels

After your solar panels have been secured to the mounts, you’ll need to install the electrical wiring. Turn off your home’s power supply before this step. 

Step #4: Install Solar Inverter and Consumer Unit

The solar inverter is a crucial part of the home solar system. It converts sunlight into the energy used to power your home. Solar inverters are usually placed near the main solar panel, and we recommend they be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. 

The solar inverter will need to be connected to the consumer unit, which is your fuse board, in order to generate electricity. 

Step #5: Start and Test Solar Panels

You’re now ready to turn your power back on and let your solar panels get to work. Once your home solar system is up and running you can install an app on your phone that allows you to monitor your electricity usage in real time.

To learn more about solar power and how our team can install a home solar system for you, please call us today or visit our website at: http://greenhouse.solar

How long can solar energy be stored -

Are you thinking of transitioning to solar energy for your home or business? More and more people are turning to solar panels because they are becoming more interested in free, clean, completely renewable energy from the sun. Instead of relying on traditional energy, why not invest in a solar system that gives you total control?

Solar panels are consistently generating energy, and when they generate more energy than you’re using, the excess energy is stored in a battery pack. While there are differences in battery types, a standard solar battery can store energy for one to five days.

How is Solar Energy Stored?

For home solar systems, solar energy is stored in batteries. The most common type is a Lithium-Ion battery, and other types include saltwater batteries and lead-acid batteries. Your solar installer will recommend the best batteries for your system, and batteries are useful for storing solar energy during high-production, low-use periods, like on a sunny day while you’re at work. 

The number of solar batteries you’ll need depends on several factors, like the size of your home, how many people live there, and how much energy you all use at various times of the day.

Can I Use a Solar Powered Battery Pack instead of a Generator?

Generators are loud, dirty, wasteful, and very inefficient. They also only provide power for a limited amount of time. On the other hand, solar powered battery packs are environmentally friendly, have a longer life than generators, and emit no noise. 

Additionally, solar powered battery packs don’t require any servicing or maintenance, they come with a 10-year warranty, and they are smart home ready. There’s a misconception that solar panels only work on bright sunny days. However, solar power battery packs make it possible to use solar energy at night and during adverse weather conditions, meaning your home will never be without a steady supply of energy. 

How long will the charge on battery storage last for?

Like all batteries, solar batteries do need to be re-charged from time to time. An average fully-charged solar battery can last anywhere from one to five days, while Tesla batteries can last as long as seven days without a charge. 

Solar batteries have a very long life, lasting on average nearly 20 years. How frequently you need to re-charge your solar batteries depends on several factors, including the make and model, and how frequently you use it. 

To learn more about solar batteries or solar panel installation for your home, please contact us today or visit our website at: http://greenhouse.solar

Can solar power be used as the world’s main source of energy-

Addressing climate change means searching for alternative sources of energy, and for some, solar power might be the answer. Solar energy is free, clean, renewable, and doesn’t produce any carbon emissions. Solar panels continue to increase in popularity despite several persistent myths, including that they only generate energy on bright sunny days and that they’re only a viable option in certain climates. 

In this article, we’ll explore the demand for clean energy, take a look at the energy outlook, and discuss the benefits and limitations of solar energy. If you’re considering investing in a solar energy system please don’t hesitate to call our team today to learn more about your solar power options in NJ. 

Demand for clean energy

We’ve been seeing a rise in extreme weather incidents in the US and across the world, and climate experts agree: investing in clean energy sources is critical to slow the speed of climate change. Everyone has a part to play, both on a personal and corporate level, and as solar panels have increased in popularity they’re now more affordable than ever before. 

Energy outlook

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report stating that by the year 2050 the sun might be the world’s main source of energy. Solar system capabilities go far beyond home and personal use, and large corporations and huge manufacturers must also invest in solar power in order to reduce their emissions and their carbon footprints. Business owners may not think that solar systems can supply adequate clean energy for large, commercial operations, but advances in technology have made it more than possible. 

Solar energy has benefits and minimal limitations

The benefits of solar energy are clear: reduced emissions, reduced monthly energy bills, reduced operating costs, very low maintenance costs, plus solar panels are extremely durable. On the other hand, there are some limitations, including upfront installation costs, efficiency is dependent on climate and how much sunlight there is on a particular day, and storing solar energy for a large business can be costly.

It’s up to each individual to weigh the benefits and limitations, however we recommend you speak with a solar energy expert to learn more about your options. For more information about solar energy systems for your home or business, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Green House Solar today. Discover the many benefits of using solar power by visiting our website at: http://greenhouse.solar/