When it comes to finding the best solar installer for your needs factors to consider are installation costs, any solar loans available in your area, and any applicable tax credits or incentives.
A basic overview of the components needed for an utility grid-connected system.
A helpful tool for estimating your electricity usage when you don't have old utility bills handy - and an essential tool for planning a system that will meet your electricity needs.
A brief description of the major components of a Solar PV System. Note that components vary depending on whether or not batteries will be used in your system. There are additional small components required for a complete installation that are not listed here.
Learn how to design and choose components for a grid-tie solar system, including solar panels, inverter, racking, and overcurrent protection.
Our Grid-Tie System Calculator helps you size a grid-connected solar panel system.
Fill out this form with as much information as you can, and we'll get back to you with a system design!
Before beginning your renewable energy journey, read this guide on the five most important tips to consider.
This 4-part video series covers the primary components of a solar power system: solar panels and storage batteries, charge controllers and inverters, solar panel racking, and overcurrent protection.
Understanding the basics of electricity is an important building block for any work with PV.
Learn the fundamentals of measuring rates and quantities of electrical energy, tailored for DIY solar enthusiasts.
Solar electricity does not have to be complicated. However, becoming a PV system owner does require a basic level of understanding, and this article is a good place to start.
Figure out which renewable energy system is right for you and find links to contact us for any kind of system design and quote you need.
Get to know the pros and cons of each kind of solar electric system: PV Direct, Grid-Tied, Off-Grid, Grid-Tied with Battery Backup, and Hybrid systems.
Solar electric panels (also known as photovoltaic modules) are perhaps the most popular of the renewable energy technologies for home owners. This article goes over some of technical basics behind solar electric panels and how they are used in larger systems.
This 2-part video series discusses solar panel basics: voltage, current, power, grid-tied vs. off-grid applications, Standard Test Conditions, connecting modules, and mono vs poly solar cells.
Are you thinking about buying a solar panel system but don't know where to start? You came to the right place!
Solar electric panels (or photovoltaic/PV modules) are devices that convert sunlight energy into electricity, but how do you know which one to choose and what are the differences between them?
Every solar panel is rated to produce a certain wattage, voltage and amperage under specific conditions. Learn more about how modules earn these ratings and what factors affect energy production.
Unlock the mysteries behind the jargon and acronyms of voltage!
Voltage-schmoltage! Read more about the four main voltages used in RE systems.
PV modules often come with special connectors (wires) on the back rather than just a junction box. There are several different types of connectors, and it's important to understand the difference between them.
Learn what inverters are and how they are used in a solar power system.
Learn why you need an inverter in your renewable energy system, the different optional features that they offer, and the advantages/disadvantages of different inverter types.
Learn about the different sine waves by seeing oscilloscope images created by various Inverters in action!
All inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, but that's where the similarities end between inverters. These days, a huge number of brands and options are available to consumers, and the correct choice for you depends on how you intend to use it.
Determine the maximum amount of electrical current (amps) that can safely flow through different wire gauges.
Solar energy is a resource for all parts of the world. Read on to find out more about your specific location.
Sizing a solar panel array is easier than you might think.
A: This is a trick question! There is no direct correlation between square footage and watts of solar to power the home.
What is magnetic declination, and why is it important when mounting solar panels?
Determine where true solar south is for your specific location.
Facing true south in an unobstructed location is extremely important to the proper functioning of a solar electric system.
Two parallel strings of two modules in series.
Learn about the WEEB strategy for grounding PV equipment.
How exactly should you mount your solar panels?
Solar panel arrays can be mounted in many ways, so it's important to understand considerations like materials, costs, and orientation before deciding on a mounting system.
Short answer: It depends on the size of the system and what type of loads you want to run...
Maybe. But there are reasons to consider not to...
Quickly find the the typical power rating (in Watts) of many common household appliances. Use this information to help estimate how large your alternative energy system needs to be.
"The right tool for the job makes all the difference."
Learn to calculate NEC-compliant wire sizes for an off-grid or grid-tied solar PV system, including de-rating calculations for temperature, conduit fill, distance off the roof, and more.
Many of the folks who visit our site are interested in installing a solar or wind electric system for their home but they do not know where to begin. Although to a certain degree each situation is different there are a few basic things that we will need to know to get you started.
The answer has a lot to do with understanding your site's potential for insolation, wind, and water flow.
U.S. Department of Energy handbooks for improving new home efficiency, comfort and durability in various climates zones.
Definitions of many of the frequently used terms within renewable energy.
Yes, but there's a much better way...
Maps of insolation and solar PV potential across the United States.
Solar insolation data for many large U.S. cities.
Maps of insolation and solar PV potential across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
Maps of insolation and solar PV potential across South America.
Worldwide maps of insolation and solar PV potential.
Watch the recorded webinar sessions given by OutBack, SimpliPhi, Sol-Ark, MidNite Solar, SMA, Morningstar, KiloVault, Schneider, and more during our 2022 Virtual Solar Conference.
Watch the recorded webinar sessions given by Sol-Ark, OutBack Power, Morningstar, KiloVault, Schneider, MT Solar, S-5!, and Tamarack Solar during our 2021 Virtual Solar Conference.