chelsea-WvusC5M-TM8-unsplash

Solar Power: Fact or Fiction

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, solar power systems’ demand continuously rises. Solar technologies take sunlight and convert it into electrical energy through photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. Since solar panels are relatively new, there are many misconceptions. Here are twenty common myths about solar power.

Myth 1: Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Fiction: Solar panels do not produce electricity from sunlight itself but rather from the photons found in natural daylight. Though panels can only harness energy during sunlight periods, the temperature does not play a role in determining how much electricity a panel produces. Read more cold weather solar power myths here.

 

Myth 2: Solar power systems are too expensive for installation.

Fiction: Solar power systems can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, depending on the type of solar power system. Depending on the state, most people qualify for tax credits, possibly reducing costs by several thousand dollars. Read more about solar panel pricing.

 

Myth 3: Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Fiction: Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including hard hail or extreme winds. If a solar panel is somehow damaged, most solar power systems come with warranties that would cover the cost of the damage. Read more about the low maintenance cost of solar power systems here.

 

Myth 4: Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Fiction: Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. This determines how much energy a house is producing and how much is being sent back to the grid. This grid acts as a battery system, as a home’s solar energy system can draw from the grid when needed.  The recent invention of solar batteries allows for a solar power system to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid. Read more about solar batteries.

 

Myth 5: Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Fiction: Many solar power systems actually help protect and preserve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking. Also, most solar panels can be easily taken off for temporary cleaning or minor repairs.

 

Myth 6: Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

Fiction: As one of the largest energy sources in the universe, the sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the whole globe’s energy needs for one year. Scientists are only beginning to understand how to take advantage of this information. Though a new development, photovoltaic technology/solar power systems are growing at an increasing rate globally. Read more about the possibilities of large-scale solar energy.

 

Myth 7: Homes with Solar power systems do not get power at night.

Fiction: Though energy can only be produced by sunlight, most solar panels produce surplus energy during the day that can be used at night. This surplus goes back to the grid where homes can draw from at night or when necessary. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 8: Solar Power is more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

Fiction: Currently, the demand for fossil fuel energy is higher than the demand for solar power. So, the price of fossil fuel energy is slightly lower than the price of solar power energy. However, as the world becomes more eco-conscious, the demand for solar energy will rise exponentially. This will cause solar energy to become more accessible while decreasing in cost. Read more about future solar energy cost benefits over fossil fuel here.

 

Myth 9: Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly.

Fiction: On average, it will take most solar panels about four years to produce the amount of energy it took to produce the solar panel. So, any energy production after four years is helping the environment. Also, a solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods. Read more about the environmental effects of a solar power system here.

 

 

Myth 10: Solar power systems do not look good on houses.

Fiction: As solar panels and other solar power systems grow in popularity, solar panels are becoming less noticeable yet more common. Also, most solar panels are black or dark blue, often matching the color scheme with the roof. Thus, this helps make the solar power system more aesthetically appealing.

 

Myth 11: Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

Fiction: When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator, but this is only possible when the house owner supplies this; it does not include a solar power system. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 12: It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

Fiction: The price of installing solar panels in a house has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower. If anything, due to the rising demand for solar power systems, the price could potentially rise.

 

Myth 13: Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

Fiction: The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is located. A smaller house will not require as much energy from a solar power system as a larger house would, so it would be unfair to charge the same price. Here’s more on the varying price factors of solar power systems.

 

Myth 14: A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

Fiction: A solar panel can operate for up to thirty years, then can be recycled once it is no longer usable. Most solar power system manufacturers will recycle the system with little to no additional cost.

 

Myth 15: Clean coal is just as efficient and only slightly more harmful to the environment than solar power.

Fiction: Solar power is significantly cleaner than clean coal because no version of coal is genuinely clean. The more coal is burnt, the more damage is done to the environment because of the increases in carbon pollution. Read more about clean coal vs. solar power myths.

 

Myth 16: Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Fiction: Rather than raising property taxes, most solar energy systems raise the property’s value. Therefore, making it worth more with the solar energy system. However, some states have forms of protection in place. This prevents solar power systems from being included in the home’s appraisal to calculate property taxes. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 17: Solar power systems are loud.

Fiction: The most noise that a solar panel will emit is a subtle humming sound. This is due to the inverter turning DC electrical currents into AC currents. However, this is very quiet and can only be heard when standing less than two feet from the solar panel.

 

Myth 18: Solar power systems are not available everywhere.

Fiction: Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines. Some areas around the world might be slightly difficult to get a hold of a solar energy system, but many manufacturers are willing to ship their systems out. It just may require additional expenses. Read more about the availability of solar power systems.

 

Myth 19: Solar panels require a tracking system to be best positioned to receive the sun’s rays.

Fiction: When solar panels are first installed, they are strategically positioned directly in the sun’s path. Some solar power systems are equipped to allow the system to adjust its angle throughout the day to receive more sunlight. Still, research shows that the cost of installing these additional features is not often worth it, as it doesn’t bring in enough extra energy to make up for the costs.

 

Myth 20: You need to own a house to install a solar power system.

Fiction: The US Department of Solar Energy created a community solar program. It allows for residents, business owners, and other individuals who live geographically close together to split the cost and share a Solar Power System. This helps those who do not own a house access solar power.

 

 That’s a lot of myths to bust about solar power. Contact Redwood Creative if you have any questions about solar power myths!

giorgio-trovato-mIlvCv21W1s-unsplash

How To Find Out If Your Home Is Solar-Friendly

It is becoming apparent that electricity is moving from power plants to solar energy. Solar panels are becoming popular and for a good reason. If you’re ready to make the change to go solar, here are ways to see if your house is ready, too.

Solar-Friendly Home

For starters, there are several factors in this equation. Obviously, the location of residence is the most important. While solar panels prefer sunny climates, they still function in cloudy/rainy environments. However, if your panels receive more energy than what you consume, then you can sell the excess energy to the electric company. The next step is the roof. The roof must be in good condition and newer to support the heavy panels. The size and angle of the roof are critical as well. South-facing roofs are optimal because it best catches the sun going from east to west. The most effective roof slope is between 15-40 degrees. Additionally, the roof’s composition matters, too. Composite/asphalt shingle, concrete tile, standing seam metal best support panels. You can still install panels on other roof types, but make sure you get an expert specializing in your roof type.

The next thing to consider is your home’s surroundings. Panels cannot intake as much sunlight if trees or buildings block the path—factor in tree trimming/removal costs. The condition of your home overall matters. Some older or cheaply made homes may not be suitable for this fancy technology. Also, you may need to check with your HOA and city to obtain a permit and make sure your panels are adhering to regulations. There’s also the option to install panels in your yard.

The last and most important thing to keep in mind is finances. Solar panels may cost more than what they are worth. Make this commitment only if you are committed to your house and do not plan on moving. Solar companies recommend switching to solar if your energy bills currently run at $75 or more. Also, check with your city/state to see if you qualify for tax exemptions or rebates. If you are still on the fence about whether your home is solar-friendly, see if you can rent panels.

Image: Unsplash.com

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

sunset photography

The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

 

Solar Power House

Solar Powered Homes and Office Buildings

Solar-powered buildings, such as homes and offices, is a great way to curb environmental damages. Instead of burning through oil, gas, and electricity to generate power, there’s a much more sustainable method. Huge panes placed on the roof absorb sunlight then store that energy until someone turns the light switch on. They work best in sunny environments, but can work in cloudy climates as well. There is enough solar power in the United States to power approximately 16.1 million homes.

Solar powered homes work best in a community together, where the rays absorb into everyone’s solar panels and reduce electricity flow into the neighborhood. Solar panels are installed on the roof onto rafters, placed 4 feet apart. Then, it connects to your electricity supply, converting the solar energy into DC current. It powers your lights, heating/AC, and all electrical appliances. There is an option to purchase panels with batteries in case a storm causes a power outage.

Why Solar Panels?

Panels work better because industrial generators do not have to deplete more non-renewable resources to produce a large amount of power for a certain area. It will thus produce less harmful greenhouse gases, improving our atmosphere and air quality. Another advantage is lower electricity bill. You could even get credit if you take in more power than you use. Thanks to the panel grid’s ability to store the energy, you can power your home when it is dark outside. For multiple-story buildings, this could help you save hundreds every year. It takes a great deal of electricity to cool down upper-level floors, so if you live in a hot climate, think about investing in solar panels. Depending on the situation, you could even qualify for tax exemptions. Save your money and the planet!

If more office buildings, homes, and schools used solar panels, it could hopefully produce a domino effect so that nearby areas started using them too. Awareness of alternative energy options will hopefully encourage people to be more environmentally conscious. Thus, light a spark to push for greener practices. Read more about the advantages of solar panels on an individual and community level here.

 

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing today!