How Solar Panels Save You Money in Greater Boston

Homeowners can save money with solar panels by significantly reducing their electricity bill or even cutting it off completely by going off the grid. At a time when the cost of electricity is rising, making an investment in solar panels makes sense, and it is most likely to pay for itself in the short term.

There are also the tax credits on top of that. The US government offers a significant tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels to encourage environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative energy sources. Additional credits are provided by various states, as well as other incentives like expedited permits, waived fees and cash back.

Based on the average amount of sunlight, you can estimate that if you install a 3kW system, you will create 450 kWh per month. This means around half of the average household monthly electric bill. If we estimate that bill at $100, the initial investment of $10,500 in a 3kW solar panel system will save you approximately $50 a month during the life of your solar panel system. A solar panel system purchased today is expected to provide more than 20 percent average ROI.

Homeowners investing in solar panel systems will recoup their investment money in around 17.5 years. Another possible option is to lease your solar panel instead of buying them. In this case, you have the advantage of a lower upfront cost. If you can afford the initial investment and live in a state with a suitable solar rating, then installing solar panels in your home is well worth while the 30 percent tax break is in place.

You have to take into account local renewable energy incentive plans and local utility rates when you are making your choice to buy a solar system. You may inquiry the local installation company about the payback period and the cost savings for different sized solar systems.

Tech experts forecast that within the next five years, based on the falling prices for solar panel modules, even without incentives, solar energy will compete with local utility rates. Authorities in the field base this prediction on the annual cost increases and the current cost of retail electricity. This prediction holds true especially if you live in an area with significant sunshine and where the price of electricity is high, These factors will cause solar generated electricity to be very competitive.

Regardless of whether you’re looking at carbon emissions or finances, it is certain that solar panel systems can generate big savings. Over a 20-year period, you electricity savings can range from the low end of $7,000 to upwards of $30,000. If you are interested in a more detail estimation, you may use one of the free solar calculator tools available online. The right company to go with in your area will be easy to find online, since they do marketing through local digital marketing companies like Oxbow in SEO Boston.

Here’s More

Benefits of solar panels

The use of solar panels has continuously been increasing due to the many benefits a person enjoys when using them. Our dependence on fossil fuel has been reduced by the use of these panels that works by converting sunlight into electrical energy.

Solar panels only require sunlight for them to produce electrical energy. Sunlight cannot be depleted, and this means that the use of solar panels will never end. Using solar panels at your place is important and leaves you enjoying many benefits. Get the picture clearly by reading the following advantages of solar panels and understand why you should join others in embracing the use of these panels as your source of electricity.

1. It drastically reduces your power bill
Solar panels only require the ever free sunlight for them to produce power. No one can charge you for using sunlight to power your home. When using solar panels, you can reduce your use of the other sources of power that normally depletes your budget. Sourcing your power from the panels reduces your cost of electricity bills so much and gives you a chance to put your money in other green opportunities.

2. Creates the reliability of energy
Solar panels only require sunlight for them to produce electricity. Even when the sun is covered by the clouds, the solar panels will always convert the available sunlight to the electrical energy that you need. This means that you will always be assured of having the power provided the whole solar panel system is functioning well.

3. Solar Panels are long lasting
Solar panels are normally built to serve you for so many years. On average, most of them will remain effective for more than 30 years. This time period is long enough for you to enjoy the services without worry of replacement as you make great saves.

4. It helps in saving the environment
The production of electrical energy through the use of solar panels is always environmentally friendly and causes no harm to the surroundings. Replacing other harmful sources of energy with this source means cutting down all the adverse effects that these sources bring to our environment. The use of solar energy needs to be endorsed more, and everyone should start using the solar panels. This will result in reduced production of the harmful emissions made by the use of other sources of energy.

5. Solar panels are user-friendly
The process of acquiring and assembling your solar system is now easier and is continuously getting better with new discoveries. Going solar is easy and remains the same even when it comes to servicing it.

The use of solar panels is important and should be your next move if you’re concerned with alternative lifestyles that preserve our environment. As seen above, using them leaves you enjoying huge benefits. Acquiring, installing and maintaining a solar panel system is easy and that is why you should start using the system so as to enjoy all the above benefits and more.

5 Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy has continuously been gaining fame and usage as time goes by. However, this does not mean that it does not come with some disadvantages. There are a number of problems that the solar energy brings along, and which you should know and expect before acquiring a solar energy conversion system.

Being aware of the challenges that the solar energy brings is important and will help you come quickly to terms with what you will meet when acquiring and using its conversion system. The following are the disadvantages of solar energy that you should be aware of.

1. Initial installation is expensive
Although using and maintaining the solar energy system may be cheap, the initial cost of purchase is high and may even be too much for you. Acquiring a reliable solar panel that will meet all your needs may be too costly. The relevant authorities in most regions have been trying to help the people by cutting down on some charges, but this has not been effective in bringing down the prices to the level of affordability to the average person.

2. Solar energy is always unavailable at night
Solar energy comes from sunlight. This means that it is always unavailable at night and a person will have to use stored power or grid power during that time. If the homeowner is always unavailable during the day, then this means that the direct solar energy will always remain unused.

3. Storing the energy is expensive
Solar energy is always available during the day and the best way a person can be able to use it during the night is through storing it in batteries. These batteries need not be connected to the grid for them to be able to store the solar energy. This sounds like a good option, but purchasing the batteries is always difficult because the reliable ones are always expensive.

4. High solar power production requires big spaces
For you to be able to produce more electricity, you will need more solar panels. All the solar panels must be accessing the sunlight, and if your roof is not big enough, then you will have to rely upon on your yard acreage. Of course, this results in the coverage of your personal family area that could be used for other activities.

5. Producing and transporting solar panels brings pollution
For starters, solar panels are made using polluting materials. The process of making the panels is commonly polluting and ends up harming our environment. The completed solar panels also need to be transported using vehicles that produce harmful gases as they burn their fuel. Using solar energy is conservative, but the process of making and transporting the necessary equipment is always detrimental to the environment.

Solar energy is always reliable but brings in a number of disadvantages. The negative effects it brings should be known and considered before any related decision making. You should consider the stated disadvantages and let them be a part of your decision making before you purchase and install your solar energy panels.

How Solar Panels Work

There is a limitless amount of solar power for the earth, a hundred and seventy-three thousand terawatts. This is so much energy than the planet’s population uses. Solar panels take advantage of the powerful and free source of energy – the sun. It converts the energy into clean electricity which is much more cost effective. The more the light received by the solar panels, the more the electricity that can be generated. This is how solar panels convert solar energy to electricity which is used to power our homes, businesses, and lifestyles.

Solar panels are comprised of smaller units called cells. Silicon, which is a semiconductor, is used to make up most of the common solar cells and is the second most abundant element on earth. Silicon is put between conductive layers of the solar cell. There are four bonds in the Silicon atoms which attach themselves to each other that keep the electrons in place so that no current can flow. Here is the key, there are two different layers that a solar cell uses: an N-type silicon which has extra electrons, a P-type silicon that has extra room for electrons referred to as holes. These two types of silicon meet across a P/N junction where the electrons drift across, leaving negative and postitive charges on either side. Light can be referred as the flow of tiny particles called photons, dashing out from the sun. When the silicon cell is struck with enough energy from the photons, it can strike an electron from its bond, leaving a hole. This makes the positively charged hole and the negatively charged electron, be free to move around. But they will only move one way because the P/N junction has an electric field. The N side draws the electron while the P side draws the hole. At the top of the cell, there are thin metal fingers that collect the mobile electrons. They then flow through an external socket doing electrical work such as powering a light bulb and then returning through the conductive sheet at the back. Every silicon cell makes up half a volt, but you can strain the cells together into modules to receive more power. Twelve photo-voltaic cells produce enough energy to charge a cell phone. Many more modules are required to power an entire house. In a solar cell, the only moving parts are the electrons which return from where they came from. Solar cells do not get used up or worn out, hence can last for decades.

Of course, there is much more.  This article serves as a quick overview. Watch the video for more;

Solar Panel Farm Dangers

Solar panel farm installations are designed to run with minimal human resources and are highly reliable. The common belief among the proponents of this technology is that solar power is not only cleaner but also safer. However, there are some potential dangers to solar panel farms.

We still do not have enough research studies about what happens to the soil, wildlife and plants in areas where solar panel farms are built. Solar panels are likely to alter temperature, may cause shading, change the wind flow over the land and rainfall distribution. Once the effect of solar panels on the environment is better known it will be possible to design the next generation of solar panel farms that pose fewer dangers and are more efficient.

Here are several potential dangers of solar panel farms:

  • Fire Hazard – The concentrated sunlight used by solar panels may pose an increased risk of fire.
  • Sun Radiation – Another of the potential dangers is the radiation from the sun. Studies show that too much exposure pose a risk to develop skin cancer. We are already exposed to direct sunlight. But solar collectors present in solar panel farms concentrate that sunlight and that may also increase our risks of sunlight radiation exposure in the proximity of the solar panel farms.
  • Transformer Leakage – A transformer leak can pose safety hazards, causing land contamination. It is necessary to carry out preventive maintenance in transformers and to be more alert if a leak is present. The transformer level, pressure, and temperature should be carefully monitored. To minimize dangers of land contamination, in a case of a transformer leak the defective device should be repaired or replaced promptly.
  • Various Inverter Damage – Changes to frequency and voltage in an inverter may affect the safety of those in proximity. Inverter damage requires a quick response to minimize any dangers.
  • Broken Conduit – As charges are uncontained, a broken conduit poses the danger of shock, fire, and other personal hazards.
  • Combiner Box Damage – If damaged, a combiner box may cause a major decrease in the productivity of the solar panel farm and also pose a safety risk.
  • Toxic Waste – The production of solar panels for solar panel farms creates many toxic byproducts, including greenhouses gases like sulfur hexafluoride, silicon tetrachloride, dust, and silicon tetrachloride. These byproducts are a hazard for the environment and can make the contaminated land unsuitable for growing crops. The production of electric batteries is creating even more toxic byproducts than the production of solar panels. Water, air and plants can get ruined by the “graphite rain”.

Types of Solar Panels

Advances in research and development of solar panel technology are fueled by the rising demand for solar power. However, since the introduction in the 1950s of the monocrystalline solar panel, the technology for generating solar energy hasn’t changed much. It just improved in quality, efficiency, and versatility.

The monocrystalline solar panel technology is being challenged by both emerging and established technology on factors like versatility, efficiency, and price. The first generation of thin film solar panel technology and solar photovoltaic modules made from polycrystalline silicon are giving industrial, commercial, utility and residential clients a variety of options. Here are some comparisons.

Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panels
The monocrystalline silicon solar panel technology is the first that has been developed, as mentioned above. These panels are measured by the output of according to the panel’s size; this is the best technology regarding efficiency. However, this high efficiency comes also with higher costs. The monocrystalline solar panels are produced by growing a single crystal. Monocrystalline panels are cut into distinctive patterns because these crystals are usually an oval shape. Monocrystalline panels have a recognizable appearance with sliced silicon cells exposing missing corners in a grid-like structure. In a monocrystalline solar panel, the crystal framework is even, with no grain marks, producing a steady blue color. Due to this even crystal framework, the monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency levels and the best purity.

Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are manufactured by pouring into a cast some molten silicon. The crystal structure will form imperfectly because of this construction method. Where the crystal formation breaks, the crystal structure is creating boundaries. For this reason, the polycrystalline silicon has a distinctive, grainy appearance. The boundaries in the crystal are highlighted by the gemstone type pattern. When compared with monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon is less efficient because of these impurities in the crystal. But this manufacturing process also comes with some advantages. On of these advantages is its affordable cost compared to the monocrystalline silicon, because it uses fewer materials and energy.

Thin-Film Solar Panels
At the moment, thin-film is the technology with the lowest market share. This technology comes with several disadvantages, but it can prove a good option for projects with needs for portability and light weight and lesser power requirements. The most common material used in thin film technologies is the amorphous silicon at 12.5 percent. The maximum efficiency achieved by thin-film technologies is 20.3 percent.

A variety of materials can be used for manufacturing of thin-film solar panel. The main options are amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium gallium selenide (CIS/CIGS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Thin-film solar cells are based on a technology that is still emerging, and for this reason, they have the potential to become less expensive. Tech experts forecast that price consideration could make thin-film technology more competitive, having the potential to become a driver in the consumer market.

And for extra info on the most efficient panels, take a watch:

10 Facts on Solar Energy

The rapid consumption of non-renewable sources like coal, gas, and oil is increasing its pace at an alarming rate. To prepare for the future and shift to a sustainable source of energy, many countries have started to use solar energy extensively.

The sun has been the most important source of energy for life forms for billions of years. Nowadays, solar power technologies use the sun to heat homes, produce hot water, and light homes. One of the perks of using solar energy is that it’s a clean source of energy that does not produce pollutants. Its only limitation is that is the amount of sunlight received depends on the time of year, time of day, location, and weather conditions.

Here are ten facts on solar energy that you may need to know:

Fact 1
Solar energy is limitless, and it is entirely free. The solar panels that used for producing power are designed to capture wavelengths of the sun’s radiation and convert them to electricity. This is the most abundant energy on Earth. At every moment as much as 173,000 terawatts of solar energy continuously strikes the Earth. That represents more than 10,000 times the total energy used currently in the world.

Fact 2
The demand for solar energy in the US today is at an all-time high. At this point in our country, we’re set to become the world’s fourth largest solar market.

Fact 3
Solar energy does not emit so much greenhouse gas emissions as fossil fuels. Renewable energy has a substantially lower environmental impact over the lifespan the power source.

Fact 4
It is important to expand solar power production to be able to meet climate goals and limit global warming back to the pre-industrial level. In this context, Technicians are forecasting that by the year 2050 solar power energy will provide over 10 percent of global electricity.

Fact 5
Photovoltaic cells that compose the solar panels cause a reaction on an atomic scale between electrons and photons. The electrons get catapulted loose when photons collide with electrons. Then, these free electrons can be captured and used as electricity.

Fact 6
Photovoltaic cells are usually made from various types of silicon.

Fact 7
Sunlight takes slightly more than eight minutes to reach Earth and just a few seconds longer to reach your solar panels.

Fact 8
To capture optimal sunlight, solar panels in the US need to face south.

Fact 9
Solar power is measured in watts, like all electricity.

Fact 10
Your solar panel system can use a special battery as a backup when the sun isn’t shining. Most modern solar units, however, use net metering.

For more facts…

Solar Farms Pros and Cons

Solar farming is the most efficient and modern way of channeling sunlight for energy, and many independent investors and companies are increasingly investing in building solar farms. Over the last few years, scientists were able to develop many new and advanced solar energy technologies. However, it is necessary more testing and research be done to reach best performance and efficiency. For this reason, those considering investing in solar energy should research and understand the pros and cons of solar farms.

Solar Farms Pros

Available Worldwide
Contrary to other traditional energy sources, solar power is not limited to any particular location, as the sunlight is available everywhere. Because Solar Energy is available worldwide, solar energy can be harnessed for solar farms.

No matter how much solar energy one consumes, the scientists forecast that the sun will last for billions of years. The sun’s output is not affected by harnessing this energy. Solar farms do not deplete sunlight, unlike exploitation of coal.

Low Maintenance
There is almost no need for any maintenance to operate solar farms that produce energy using solar panels. The only maintenance of solar farms is the routine check to ensure that the systems and machinery are working efficiently.

Tax Incentive Plans
Incentives and tax credits are currently offered by the federal government to individuals and companies who invest in solar farms.

No Carbon Emissions
There is a large quantity of waste byproduct that these farms produce to ensure solar energy production. More than 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide are released each year into the atmosphere.

Solar Farms Cons

Output Depends On Clouds / Shade
The amount of solar energy produced by solar farms is affected by heavy cloud cover or excess shade which limits the amount of sunlight.

Land Space
Solar farms require installing thousands of solar panels for the production of enough energy for power grids. This means that a large surface needs to be occupied by solar farms for them to be efficient.

There are those who consider solar energy fields unattractive. They complain that solar farms may alter the land’s natural look.

Expensive to Start
The costs to build solar farms are relatively high. Fortunately, there are also some incentive programs designed to help cover these costs.

There are many pros and cons to solar farms. However, we can conclude that, overall, the pros to solar farms are outweighing the cons. Another important aspect to understand when considering investing in solar farms is that these cons will be diminished over time as the technology advances.

Buying Solar Panels

Why Buy Solar Panels?

Buying solar panels may seem like a very low priority for most families. There are other expenses to be taken care of and no one has the time to research and then go out to buy solar panels. It’s understandable. What many families don’t realize, though, is that to buy solar panels may very well be one of the better financial decisions they’ve made! When you buy solar panels for your home you supply your family with additional electricity for free! That’s electricity that you have made yourself, stored in solar cells and reaped from the sun absolutely free of charge. The only cost is buying solar panels and then installing them. After that it’s money in the bank.

Buying Solar Panels for Your Home

Buying solar panels doesn’t need to be difficult. We believe that it should be a straightforward and easy process for any family to buy solar panels online and then have them installed quickly and efficiently. Clean energy is becoming more common, so, it won’t be long before everyone wants to buy solar panels. Why wait for the future when you can live the future today? When looking for solar panels, buy from companies you trust and who know the market – like ours! We understand that it’s a huge to decision but one that will benefit you and your family immensely in the future.

Where to Buy Them

Use the internet to search for deals in your state. Each seller or installer local to you area will have connections to city and state deals, and will be able to set things up for you to take advantage of those incentives. The best solar installer companies work with search engine marketing firms like Boston SEO to make sure they are found at the top of the search results. Look primarily on the first and second page of results for companies that have invested in their marketing to win your business. Firms on later pages are more likely to be “fly by night” operations looking to make a fast buck.

Buying Solar Panels Made Easy

Buying a solar panel has never been made easier than it is through our services. Our company has specialists lined up and ready to help install your panels and help you adjust to how they work. We know that buying solar panels seems daunting and that many may feel they don’t quite have the technical expertise it requires but it is not nearly as technical as you may think. Be a part of the future and help the earth heal from the harm coal and fossil fuels have done to it. Buy solar panels today and see the difference it can make!