The other way is like renting an apartment. Both have benefits. Buying your system, is the best way to maximize your financial savings and returns. All the savings come straight to you. You can save between 40 % and 70 % over the lifetime of your solar panels.
Buying your system yourself, usually costs at least $10,000 to $20,000 after tax breaks and incentives. If you don’t have that kind of capital, many lending institutions around the country offer loans that are specific to going solar.
With loans, you can own your system with zero money down. If you own your solar panels, you can take advantage of the ITC, a federal tax credit that helps people pay for solar projects. The ITC lets you subtract 30 % of the cost of your system from your tax bill.
If your tax bill is smaller than the value of the ITC for your system, leasing can be a great option. Leasing is also ideal if you don’t want to pay the upfront costs or take out a loan or if your credit score is below 650.
When you lease your system, you sign an agreement with the company that owns the solar panels. In exchange for a set monthly payment, they install the panels on your property, for you to use and you enjoy the electricity produced for the length of the contract. Solar panels are very durable and require little to no maintenance during their 30 year lifespan. However, if you’re worried about maintenance, a solar lease might be a better option for you.
The company that owns the panels will be responsible for any repairs and they’ll come out and give you a hand. Now you know the different benefits of buying and leasing your solar energy system.
Got more questions? We’ve got the answers on our solar frequently asked questions.
Okay, well, everybody’s looking for a good solar system installation, but there are a few core components and the actual work on your house on your roof is really just one of them. So what makes up a good installation? It is the entire package.
First, we’re going to look at your system design. Not all solar energy systems are the same. We’ve got to look at product selection, make sure the product we’re using is right for what we’re trying to achieve at your place.
Then we’re looking at planning. We’re going to look at planning and make sure that where we’re putting solar panels on your roof and where we’re putting the equipment is really the right location. One size doesn’t fit all.
The physical installation then comes along. We’re going to work on your home after we’ve planned it so our team know exactly what they’re going to achieve on site. Commissioning is really important. As we move through this process, we’re going to make sure what we’ve installed is working and then we’re going to hand over the solar system to you so that you understand exactly what you had installed and how it’s going to work.
Then we move to day two, quality checks are really important. We’ll do those remotely and sometimes we’ll come to
site and do quality checks but importantly we’re going
to make sure the system has been set up the way we
intended it to be designed and then we’re going to look
at performance monitoring.
All of our solar pv systems we’re watching to make sure the output of the system matches what we sold you and then after we moved forward, support and problem resolution is really important. We’ve got to make sure that if there’s a problem in your site it’s resolved quickly and you know what’s going on.
So please talk to us about the entire package. We’ll give you a great installation. We’re going to help you understand what’s going to work right for you. It could be the best 10 minutes of your solar power journey.
I have reviewed some power stations in the past few months, but the VESTWOODS Power I’m going to present today seems to have unique highlights that make it different from the rest. And today they invited me to their lab to check out everything.
So, what’s special about it? Let’s take a closer look! Starting with the unboxing. We have a bag of accessories that you need to get this power station to work and the main VESTWOODS Power unit. Definitely included for the official unit will be some paperwork like a manual or warranty card.
Moving on to the design, here are all the
ports on the machine. We have two communication ports, an ON/OFF
switch, and two sets of positive and negative ports. Moving down are the indicators. Turning to the back, we have the bracket so
you can mount the machine to your wall if needed.
While today in the lab, we are not going to mount it on a wall. We’ll just put it on the floor to test. But before the test, let me walk you through the key specs first. The one we were testing was the VE51100W model with a 5.12KWh capacity, they have a larger version boasting a capacity of 14.33 kWh. The cost that comes with such an enormous capacity of course is the weight. The weight of the two is 54kg and 128.5kg respectively, this is definitely not something you can easily move around.
But we can see the logic here, they are designed
to let you mount on a wall or put in a corner instead of moving it around. It has more than 6000 cycles and was designed
to use for more than 15 years.
For others, you can check out on the screen. To use the VESTWOODS Power, you have to connect it to a solar inverter, VESTWOODS also sells that as well. We use the cables that come with the box to connect the positive, negative port, and the Communication cable with the solar inverter, and then press the ON/OFF switch to turn it on.
As we can see, the indicator will light up as well. Now moving to the max loading power test. Of course, the max loading power relates to the solar inverter as well. I’m just so glad that it handles those high-power electrical appliances without a hiccup.
The next test is the charging and discharging speed. We used the RePower, a professional battery test machine to test that, as you can see it reached almost 100amp for charging, which means, theoretically, you could fully charge this 5.12KWh capacity in just one hour because the VESTWOODS battery backup we were testing came with 51.2 nominal voltage. That’s fast compared to some of the big players on the market. And here is the discharging.
Just like you would expect, the VESTWOODS Power offers an App. Here on the home page, you can clearly see the status of it. How much power you get from the solar panel or the grid and the remaining capacity and consumption of the battery.
You can check your production power and consumption each day. You can view more from the Statistics, so you will know your total production, total grid Feed-in, etc. Also, you can check more data about your Inverter.
Alright, that’s a very simple and first
look at the VESTWOODS Power. Compared to the “Portable” Power Stations
I’ve reviewed before, the advantages are obvious, it offers a massive capacity that
lasts for days that other normal ones couldn’t even imagine.
It integrates with your family grid power system seamlessly even when power outages occur, your power still stays on. And it stores solar energy. This is great as you probably live in an area with time-of-use charges, like the sample plan in California, 33 cents from 8 am to 4 pm and then 53 cents from 4 pm to 9 pm, that’s a much higher rate.
All solar generation happens during the day so if you are not home and you are not consuming that power you could store it in your battery and use it when the peak charges are present. But like all such battery backups, they are not cheap, definitely more expensive than let’s say, a whole home generator.
Usually, the price lies between $15,000 to
$20,000 for a 10 – 15 kWh backup. Gladly, if we compared to other big brands,
VESTWOODS still has the best price per Wh. Thus reliability and safety are the two most
important factors when buying such battery backups.
So if you experience power outages often for an extended period of time and you want to be able to stay warm or cold, or for those areas with extreme weather events that are without power for weeks that could lead to severe damage, then this VESTWOODS is more of a convenience reason to buy and sometimes even a necessity, what do you think?
In the last two decades, the contribution of solar energy to the world’s total energy supply has grown significantly. This video will show how a solar cell or photovoltaic cell produces electricity. Energy from the Sun is the most abundant and absolutely freely available energy on planet earth.
In order to utilize this energy, we need help from the second most abundant element on earth sand. The sand has to be converted to 99.999 % pure silicon crystals, to use in solar cells. To achieve this, the sand has to go through a complex purification process as shown.
The raw silicon gets converted into a gaseous silicon compound form. This is then mixed with hydrogen to get highly purified Polycrystalline silicon. These silicon ingots are reshaped and converted into very thin slices called silicon wafers.
The silicon wafer is the heart of a photovoltaic cell. When we analyze the structure of the silicon atoms, you can see they are bonded together. When you are bonded with someone, you lose your freedom.
Similarly, the electrons in the silicon structure also have no freedom of movement. To make the study easier, let’s consider a 2d structure of the silicon crystals. Assume that phosphorus atoms with five valence electrons are injected into it.
Here, one electron is free to move. In this structure. When the electrons get sufficient energy, they will move freely. Let’s try to make a highly simplified solar cell only using this type of material.
When light strikes them, the electrons will gain photon energy and will be free to move.. However, this movement of the electrons is random. It does not result in any current through the load. To make the electron flow unidirectional, a driving force is needed. An easy and practical way to produce the driving force is a PN junction. Let’s see how a PN Junction produces the driving force. Similar to n-type doping, if you inject boron with three valence electrons into pure silicon, there will be one hole for each atom.
This is called p-type doping. If these two kinds of doped materials join together, some electrons from the N side will migrate to the P region and fill the holes available. There. This way, a depletion region is formed where there are no free, electrons and holes.
Due to the electron migration, the N-side boundary becomes slightly positively charged. And the P side becomes negatively charged. An electric field will definitely be formed between these charges.
This electric field produces the necessary driving force. Let’s see it in detail. When the light strikes the PN Junction, something very interesting happens. Light strikes the N region of the PV cell and it penetrates and reaches up to the depletion region. This photon energy is sufficient to generate electron hole pairs in the depletion region. The electric field in the depletion region drives the electrons and holes out of the depletion region.
Here we observe that the concentration of electrons in the N region and holes in the P region become so high that a potential difference will develop between them. As soon as we connect any load between these regions, electrons will start flowing through the load.
The electrons will recombine with the holes in the P region after completing their path.. In this way, a solar cell continuously gives direct current. In a practical solar cell you can see that the top N layer is very thin and heavily doped, whereas the P layer is thick and lightly doped. This is to increase the performance of the cell. Just observe the depletion region formation here. You should note that the thickness of the depletion region is much higher here compared to the previous case.
This means that, due to the light striking the electron hole, pairs are generated in a wider area compared to the previous case. This results in more current generation by the PV cell. The other advantage is that, due to the thin top layer, more light energy can reach the depletion region.
Now, let’s analyze the structure of a solar panel. You can see the solar panel has different layers. One of them is a layer of cells. You will be amazed to see how these PV cells are interconnected. After passing, through the fingers, the electrons get collected in busbars. The top negative side of this cell is connected to the back side of the next cell through copper strips. Here it forms a series connection.
When you connect these series connected cells, parallel to another cell series, you get the solar panel. A single PV cell produces only around 0.5 voltage. The combination of series and parallel connection of the cells increases the current and voltage values to a usable range.
In polycrystalline solar panels, multi crystals are randomly oriented. If the chemical process of silicon crystals is taken one step further, the polycrystalline cells will become monocrystalline cells.
Even though the principles of operation of both are the same. Monocrystalline cells offer higher electrical conductivity. However, monocrystalline cells are costlier and thus not widely used. Even though running costs of PV cells are negligible.
The total global energy contribution of solar voltaic is only 1.3 percent. This is mainly because of the capital costs and the efficiency constraints of solar voltaic panels which do not match conventional energy.
So generally, they are connected to the electrical grid system in the same way that other conventional power plant outputs are connected. With the help of power. Inverters DC is converted to AC and fed to the grid.
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This is the largest solar energy plant in the United States, with more than eight million solar panels and an area roughly 16 kilometers in size. The project was announced back in 2011 and intended to transform the energy sector throughout California, but nearly 1.4 billion dollars later. Why did the U.S. government build this massive solar facility and how has it impacted, California’s goals of operating on 100% renewable energy? The desert sunlight solar farm was first announced back in 2011 and was completed just four years.
The solar farm is co-owned by three different companies: Next Era Energy Resources, GE financial services and the Sumitomo corporation of America. All share ownership of the facility. The solar farm generates enough electricity to power more than 160 thousand California homes after being produced.
The electricity is then sold to the Southern California Edison company under a 25-year power purchase agreement, in addition to the direct jobs created by the solar farm, it’s estimated that the project will create nearly one billion dollars in economic activity throughout the state over the life of the project.
To understand the real goal of this facility, we need to take a look at the current energy situation in California. Currently, natural gas is the largest source of energy for the state, accounting for about 50 percent of energy production, with roughly half of the state’s energy being produced by non-renewable forms of electricity.
Throughout the past few decades, solar energy in the state has been rapidly expanding into hundreds of new facilities. To date, the state government has spent upwards of 73 billion dollars on various solar energy projects throughout the state, and there are a number of reasons behind this.
For one studies have revealed that California is the best state to build solar farms resulting in the maximum effectiveness of each of the panels. The state sees nearly 300 sunny or partly cloudy days per year, allowing the solar farms to profit from electricity on nearly every single day of the year.
Additionally, the state has many vast areas of open land that can be turned into solar farms when it comes to desert sunlight, solar farm, the state needed a large area capable of storing nearly 8 million solar panels, while at the same time maximizing the effectiveness of this Multi-Billion dollar project in the end, the project’s success can be tied to the effectiveness of building solar farms in the state of California.
Today, desert sunlight solar farm supplies electricity to more than 160,000 homes and helps solar make up about 17 of the state’s total energy production. In all, there are more than 750 solar facilities across the state, and the government is continuously working to expand into even more facilities in the coming years.
California has a goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2045.. In order to meet these ambitious deadlines, the state government is developing a number of renewable energy projects and legislation to go along with them, in addition to the state having the best conditions for solar farms.
One of the most important factors is the economics behind building a solar facility in the past, solar has been unreliable and extremely expensive, making the return on investment take extremely long amounts of time.
The types of panels that these large-scale farms are using are called photovoltaic panels. When the sun shines onto these panels, the energy from the sunlight is absorbed into the interior cells and into a conductive wire from there.
The electricity is distributed to either a storage facility or directly for usage in the past. Photovoltaic panels have been extremely expensive to build and operate, but throughout the past few years, prices for these panels have dropped by double digit figures.
This has then allowed more companies and state governments to begin investing into solar technology. Well, these panels are mainly for converting sunlight into electricity. Regular solar panels are mainly used for turning solar radiation into heat energy.
This then creates the difference between utility scale solar panels and residential scale. Solar technology will the availability of open land and the economics behind these panels are factors behind the rapid expansion of solar energy.
We also have to account for the reliability of solar power compared to other forms of electricity generation. Studies have found that for every 10,000 solar panels in operation, roughly five of them end up failing every year.
This very minimal percentage of the total panels allows them to be more reliable than other forms of power generation for a state such as California, solar energy is currently allowing the state to suffer the decrease in production by hydroelectric power as a result of the ongoing drought.
The production of hydroelectricity in the state has been steadily declining throughout the past few years as the water levels at the hoover dam and many other reservoirs have fallen to extremely low levels.
The purpose of this facility was to profit from a very large area of land in central California and continue expanding the state’s network of solar farms. But not everyone is in agreement with this transition into renewable energy, while the state of California is promoting further construction of new solar farms.
Not everyone is in agreement with this transition into renewable energy. We have to keep note of the many disadvantages that solar energy farms come along with. They may alter the landscape and environment in negative ways, and they take up a very large amount of space.
These factors influence where solar farms can be built and if they receive permits for construction. The problem is that there has been disagreement between the state government and local residents debating as to where solar farms should be built, how large they will be and the local impacts of the projects.
Various studies have revealed that solar farms can reduce surrounding property values, and this has caused the disagreement when it comes to constructing new solar facilities. Because of this, the state has chosen to build some of the largest solar farms in remote areas of the state where they are not negatively affecting property values nearby.
In the end, these debates will unfortunately, continue as the state looks, to continue constructing even more solar facilities. Throughout the next few decades, in the end, the department of energy has invested such a large amount of money into this project because of the long-term benefits of solar energy production, while California does have ideal conditions to build solar farms.
There is a long list of benefits that come along with this technology. The economics behind these panels have also convinced many companies to dive into solar energy and build massive production farms across the state.
Today, California is seeing the most benefits from its investments into solar energy. As non-renewable forms of energy production have either become too expensive or not as effective as they previously were, while the state has invested billions of dollars into solar technology.
Recent reports have stated that the entire state may still face electricity shortages as a result of transitioning away from fossil fuels. While we have yet to see the full effect of this initiative, only time will tell if california’s investment into solar energy really pays off.
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With thousands of solar panel manufacturers around the world, it can be tough and confusing to pick the best solar panels for your home. Don’t worry, though, because in this video we’ve put together a list of the 7 best solar panels for home use in 2022, since no 2 homes are completely the same, we categorize the list to highlight which of these top-rated choices would be ideal to meet your needs, to further help you decide the right solar panel for your home.
We will share with you the key qualities for each model, such as the size, weight, energy output, efficiency and warranty program for more information and the updated prices of the solar panel systems check out the links in the description box below now.
Let’s get into the top 7 best solar panels for your home. First off, we have the best budget solar panel, let’s begin with the best solar panel for those with a limited budget, the astronergy chsm 6612m365 compared to other models within the same price range.
The solar panel has a pretty solid, build weighing about 48 pounds or 106 kilos. In terms of efficiency, expect it to be somewhere between 17.7 percent to 18.9 percent, one of the great things about astroneergy, a brand that belongs to one of the biggest electronic manufacturers in china, is the 12-year product warranty in comparison.
The affordable models from other companies tend to have 10-year product warranties. Only for the performance warranty, the company guarantees their product to retain its efficiency after 25 years of usage.
Moreover, astronergy has partnered with australia’s clean energy regulator in 2019. This means that their products undergo strict quality validation before being released in the market next would be the best us-made solar panel in the u.s. Some homeowners believe that locally made solar panels are more affordable than imported ones because of the taxes and import fees involved. The thing is, the price gaps between the local and imported solar panels have been shrinking in the past few years.
What sets support the american based manufacturers, however, is their accessibility. They produce and assemble the solar panels and factories within North America. So you can easily order a unit and have it delivered immediately in case you need to have the solar panel repaired or replaced the processing time tends to be shorter too.
So if you’re looking for the best North American made solar panel, that is price competitive, we suggest the Helene 320 black mono perk. The company itself is in Ontario Canada, but it has some factories in the us too.
This model features a 60 cell monocrystalline panel. The power rating for the solar panel is 320 watts, with an efficiency rating of 19.26 for the degradation state. Helene states that it’s negative 0.7 percent per year, as you can see, even though clean is priced a little bit more than astronergy. It makes up for it with a higher efficiency rating of its solar panels. For the customer’s peace of mind, the company also offers a 10-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty and now for the best premium solar panel.
This specific model has a 60 cell mono crystalline black panel and a power rating of 375 watts. It weighs almost 40 pounds or 18 kilos with physical dimensions that are a lot more compact than most of the lower priced models, which typically have 72 cell panels.
According to lg, the efficiency of the solar panel is 21.7 and their performance warranty is set at 90.8 percent after 25 years of usage, given that the industry standard is somewhere around 80, only for the same period, you’re truly getting your money’s worth with this model, and Now, for the most efficient solar panel, despite the premium specs of a recommended lg solar panel, it still isn’t the most efficient model in the market.
Today, with the advancements in cell technology, some new releases have crossed the 22 mark for efficiency if you’re after the most efficient model. The best solar panel for you is the sun power sbr max 3 400 or better known as the maxeon 3., with a 104 mono crystalline panel and a 400 watt power rating. It promises to convert a lot more solar energy into electricity using less space compared to other models. Your long-term savings will also be maximized, since its module efficiency is rated at 22.6 to 22.8 percent, similar to lg sunpower offers a 25 year warranty period for both the product and the performance. The degradation per year is also quite low. So, by the time you reach the end of the warranty, the retained power output of the sun solar panel will still be 90 or even higher and now for the best mid-range solar panel, looking for something in between the affordable and premium solar panels.
At the moment, the best mid-range option is the Panasonic hit n300, though it has less power than the most expensive n340 model from the same manufacturer. This 300 watt solar panel makes up for it with its efficiency rating of 19.5 percent. For the first year of use, the n300 will have a performance degradation of around 3 percent. This doesn’t mean it has a poor system, though, because the degradation rate will drop to 0.5 percent for each succeeding year.
Furthermore, panasonic offers a 25-year performance warranty for this model and now for the best portable solar panel. The solar panels aren’t just for the typical home settings. If you live in an rv or a boat home, you can power things up with the use of compact solar panels for mobile applications.
Like these, we highly recommend the sol go: xg flex 115 sx. The team behind salgo consists of former sunpower employees who dealt with specialty products. That’s why the design for this portable solar panel makes it quite easy to install the materials used for its construction.
Are waterproof lightweight and can be bent up to 30 degrees weighing only 4.8 pounds or 2.2 kilos? The 115 watt class has a high power density that would likely meet the electrical requirements of your rv or boathouse, since it is designed for non-typical living conditions.
The 5-year power warranty has no salt water exclusion and, last but not least, the sturdiest solar panel. If you live somewhere with strong winds, though, we believe that the Peimar sm325m solar panel is the best pick for you in case you’re not familiar with this brand Peimar is an Italian company that focuses on manufacturing, solar panels with high efficiency.
The majority of their products feature sleek black cells and panels. What makes the sm-3325m ideal for rough weather is its maximum wind load at 5,400 pascals. The capacity of the solar panel to withstand windy conditions is more than twice the majority of mid-range models.
The Peimar solar panel has a 325 watt mono crystalline panel and an efficiency of about 19.5 percent. Another reason to pick this model is the extended warranty periods that the company offers to its customers.
The product warranty lasts for 20 years, while the performance warranty is up to 30 years, while it’s important to consider your budget and the specs of the solar panel models, you must also think about the return on investment going for affordable options will reduce your upfront expenses.
If you pick the ones we’ve recommended in this video, then you can expect great performance and stellar customer service from the manufacturers. However, compared to the premium models, the degradation rates of the cheaper solar panels tend to be significantly faster.
Typically, the chance of technical or performance issues occurring would surge up after five to eight years of usage in comparison. Solar panels on the higher end of the market would prove their value in the long run by the 10th year of operation.
Premium models would likely be generating 10 percent more power each year than the more affordable options. So what do you think of our suggestions for the 7 best solar panels for home use? Did you find one that matches your needs comment below and let us know your favorites on the list or if you have other recommendations to share with your fellow homeowners, if you enjoyed this video, make sure to subscribe to our channel and hit the bell to get Updated when we release more videos, just like this one, thanks again for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.
If the current pace of growth of industrial-scale renewable energy projects coming online continues, wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy could surpass coal and nuclear in the amount of energy supplied to the grid in 2023.
A recently released report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), estimated that renewable energy provided 22.6% of U.S. electricity over the first 10 months of 2022, outpacing both coal and nuclear.
The EIA figures indicate that solar output surged by 22.6% for the first 10 months of 2022, as compared to the previous year. In October, solar energy output was an impressive 31.2% greater than the year before.
Solar demand is skyrocketing, and forecasts project significant growth rates for many months to come.
A new analysis of federal data shows that wind and solar alone could generate more electricity in the United States than nuclear and coal over the coming year, critical progress toward reducing the country’s reliance on dirty energy.
The SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable energy development, highlighted a recently released U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) review finding that renewable sources as a whole—including solar, wind, biomass, and others—provided 22.6% of U.S. electricity over the first 10 months of 2022, a pace set to beat the agency’s projection for the full year.
“Taken together, during the first ten months of 2022, renewable energy sources comfortably out-produced both coal and nuclear power by 16.62% and 27.39% respectively,” the SUN DAY Campaign noted Tuesday. “However, natural gas continues to dominate with a 39.4% share of total generation.”
The new EIA figures show that electricity output from solar alone jumped by more than 26% in the first 10 months of last year. In just October, the SUN DAY Campaign observed, “solar’s output was 31.68% greater than a year earlier, a rate of growth that strongly eclipsed that of every other energy source.”
Ken Bossong, the campaign’s executive director, said that “as we begin 2023, it seems very likely that renewables will provide nearly a quarter—if not more—of the nation’s electricity during the coming year.”
I’m Warren. – And I’m Larry, and don’t forget to like and subscribe so that you’ll receive notifications for future videos, just like this. – So Larry, why don’t you tell us what is virtual net metering or meter aggregation? – Meter aggregation is a really neat concept, which allows you to build one system tied into one meter and then use the overproduction from that one system to virtually supply kilowatt hours to another meter.
And the benefit of that or an ideal case study use case for that would be a farm or a business that has a perfect location for solar, but they have multiple meters and they don’t want to have to trench or try and connect that solar array to multiple different meters.
That’s correct, so now instead of building multiple systems which take multiple designs and multiple installations, you can now do one big system on one meter and virtually aggregate that power to all the other meters.
And it also saves money on fees associated with each of those meters as well. – Correct. – So not everybody qualifies for meter aggregation in states it’s a little different in each state and it’s also a little different between each utility.
So maybe why don’t you give us an example Larry of Pennsylvania and how meter aggregation is handled in Pennsylvania. – So here in Pennsylvania, meter aggregation is allowed. However, there’s a requirement that all your meter that you’re aggregating to are in the same utility and also that they’re all within two miles of the host meter or the meter where you’re tying your system into.
In addition to that different utilities do handle the crediting of kilowatt hours a little bit differently, – But anybody can qualify if they meet those qualifications. – Correct. – And so that’s a little different Larry compared to Maryland.
For example in Maryland, you have to be a farmer or
nonprofit or a government entity in order to take advantage
of virtual net metering. – Yeah that’s great
Warren, and so in summary, virtual meter aggregation is a great tool if you have multiple meters and wanna save costs by
installing just one system.
However the key is to check with your installer to make sure that your local utility and your state allow you to virtually meter aggregate in your area. – Thanks for watching. If you found this content helpful, don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to our channel for future releases
Welcome to the Solar Energy Channel, where you’ll get an honest inside look at all things solar. In this video, we’re gonna talk about solar inverter clipping. I’m Warren. – And I’m Larry, and don’t forget to like, and subscribe so that you’ll receive notifications for future videos, just like this.
So, Larry, what exactly is inverter clipping? – So inverter clipping, Warren, happens when your solar modules are producing more DC power than what your inverter can actually harvest. – And when would you choose to start clipping? – Yeah, so there’s a couple of situations where you might design so that your inverter clips more often.
One would be, if you have a limitation like a transformer size or
maybe utility size limitation, where you’ll build the
inverter to match that size, and then you’ll have a
much larger DC system size. So even though you’re clipping
during the highest production times of the day, during
those shorter times, you’re still producing the full amount of what that inverter
can actually produce.
So in summary, your design team may choose to use inverters that will require some clipping to in order to either save you money or to meet the requirements of the utility company, their transformer sizes, et cetera.
Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed this content, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for future releases.
Economic analysts of every persuasion rarely agree. However, on one point they are nearly unanimous in agreement: the Ukraine conflict has added to the global energy crisis.
And it is the global energy crisis that is powering strong demand for a solution. The solution being a more rapid transition to green sources of energy.
Singularity Hub reports:
In its latest assessment of the state of renewable power, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the global energy crisis the conflict has caused is driving a significant acceleration in the roll-out of green energy projects as governments try to reduce their reliance on imported fossil fuels.
The upshot is that global capacity is expected to grow by as much as 2,400 gigawatts (GW) between now and 2027. That’s equal to China’s total power capacity today, and more renewable power than the world has installed in the previous 20 years.
It’s also about 30 percent higher than the agency was predicting last year, making this the largest-ever upward revision of its renewable energy forecasts. The report predicts that renewables will make up 90 percent of all new power projects over the next half-decade, and by 2025 solar is likely to overtake coal as the world’s single biggest source of power.
“Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalize on their energy security benefits,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “This is a clear example of how the current energy crisis can be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system.”
Nowhere has the energy crisis spurred a bigger reaction than in Europe. Much of the continent has long been reliant on Russian fossil fuels, with the EU importing nearly half its natural gas from the country. Given the growing rifts with its neighbor, the bloc is keen to rectify this situation.
In May, the European Commission released its REPowerEU plan in response to the Russian invasion, which outlines how the bloc plans to reduce its energy use, boost renewables, and diversify the sources of its fossil fuel supplies. This includes commitments to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027 and boost renewables’ share of the energy mix to 45 percent.
Gigawatts upon gigawatts of clean, green solar capacity is being churned out by high-tech factories all around the world. But how are solar panels actually made? Join us now on a sun-seeking sojourn as we look inside a solar panel factory.
Last month the Indian government announced it had reached the psychologically important milestone of 100 gigawatts in nationwide renewable energy capacity. India, eager to develop its renewable infrastructure, may yet reach its ambitious target of 175 gigawatts on-stream in the year 2022, and 450 GW overall renewable energy capacity by the close of this decade.
To do that, Indians will need to make solar panels. Lots of them. Vikram Solar is one of a few big players in the field vying for a slice of this lucrative growing market. And Vikram recently expanded its own capacity by a not-insignificant 1.3GW through the opening of its new 130,000 square feet plant in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. So let’s see what goes down inside. Solar panels, also called solar modules, are made up of a number of individual solar cells.
These cells can trace their origins back to simple silica sand, from which silicon is extracted. Silicon is the second-most-abundant element found in the earth’s crust by the way. So we’re not likely to run out any time soon.
Cooked at 2,000 degrees Celsius in a furnace along with a source of carbon, the raw element is then cooled to create metallurgical grade silicon. This is usually liquified again in order to remove remaining impurities.
It’s then blended with a pinch of boron and a dash of phosphorus, molded into ingots then sliced into tiny wafers less than 0.2mm thick. These wafers are then coated with silicon nitride and roughed up a bit to create texture and reduce reflectivity – any light that bounces off a solar panel is wasted, of course.
A silver paste is then applied to the front and rear surface and, pretty much, that’s your solar cell. At Vikram Solar’s new Tamil Nadu facility, these incoming cells are visually inspected to find any obvious cracks or breakages.
Cracks in the solar cells render them useless for large modular applications like solar panels. But more often than not, smaller sections of solar cell can be cut away and used for smaller, less intensive off-grid applications, like solar powered toys.
After this manual visual inspection, the first of several tests under blasts of artificial sunlight, to check they work, is undertaken. Then a hydraulic conveyor system introduces a layer of EVA – that stands for Ethylene-vinyl acetate – to a flat pane of tempered glass.
This EVA layer serves as an adhesive to hold fast the rows of solar cells that are automatically laid on the pane in a careful tile pattern, by this six-axis robot arm that can move 12 cells at once.
The cells are connected to each other, and ultimately the grid, via a criss-cross pattern of narrow metal ‘fingers’ and fatter ‘busbars’ . These carry electrons generated from the activated cells to the tab wires and beyond, to whatever the panel will ultimately power.
Engineers looking to maximize efficiency of solar cells have debated whether its better having more busbars – conventional wisdom says 5 is a good upper limit – because resistance is lowered, although the additional hardware inevitably shades parts of the solar cell.
More fingers and busbars can also mitigate the risk of micro cracks appearing in the cell, or at least prevent cracks spreading too far across the cell. Once all the cells are in place, another layer of EVA is laid over the panel and an additional backsheet is added to encapsulate the cells and internal wiring.
The next stage is called ‘pre-lamination electroluminescence’. Exploiting one curious property of photovoltaic cells – that they light up whenever a current is passed through them – inspectors can look even closer for microcracks that might render the final panel inefficient or at worse useless.
All they need to do is identify the dark spots. These microcracks, incidentally, can creep in at any stage of the process. Silicon wafers are notoriously brittle, and mishaps during the manufacturing or transportation phase are common.
Wild fluctuations in ambient temperature can also cause irreversible damage. After this pre-lamination electroluminescence phase comes – you guessed it – lamination. An industrial laminator applies heat and vacuum pressure to the ‘sandwich’ of glass, EVA, solar cells and wires, bonding everything together in a taut, weatherproof panel.
Following this stage, circuit ribbons are attached to the edges, and an aluminum frame placed around the edge. This aluminum frame offers the panel sturdiness, which helps prevent nasty cracks.
These frames also make the panels much easier to handle and store, as well as offering some resistance to the day-to-day mechanical loads the panel will be subjected to, like heavy snow or gale-force winds.
Another electroluminescence test follows, and the installation of a so-called ‘junction box’ on the backside of the module using strong silicone adhesive. This junction box serves not only as the collector of electricity, but its diodes ensure power only ever flows in one direction.
This is important, because solar panels by their very nature generate differing and unpredictable amounts of electricity throughout their working lives. Final testing looks for weaknesses in the panel’s weatherproofing.
Next, the completed panel is subjected to a final blast of artificial sunlight. And now our panel is ready to ship. Vikram Solar’s shiny new Tamil Nadu facility is part of a wider drive within India to achieve what prime minister Narendra Modi has called his ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.
As Vikram Solar’s managing director Gyanesh Chaudhary puts it. ‘This is an extension of our endeavor to provide high quality, reliable, technologically superior products and timely delivery to our customers.
It will further contribute as an R&D platform for next-gen module technology’. Talk about sunny optimism. What do you think? Is solar still exciting? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe for more utterly illuminating tech content.
Welcome to the solar energy channel where you will get an honest inside look at all things solar. So in this video, we’re going to dive into the pros and cons of solar leases.
I’m Charles. And I’m Warren. So Warren help us understand what are solar leases. Sure, so solar leases take on a variety of different forms.
Sometimes they’re called power purchase agreements and sometimes they’re leases but either way structured slightly differently but they are where another company or entity owns the solar system and you basically rent or you pay for the electricity that’s produced from those systems.
So one of the pros of that is then that I don’t have to lay out the cash to buy the solar array. – Correct. The great thing about solar leases is that you don’t have to come up with an upfront investment.
Somebody else is going to pay for the solar on your roof. And another approach to that is that they’re also responsible for the maintenance and the insurance of that solar array, while you should still have insurance on your property to cover you, the company who owns or installs that a solar system for you is going to maintain it and insure it as well.
Yep, so there certainly are some cons though, to giving up that right of ownership. And one of those is you do not get the incentives. Yes, so over the long-term, you’re better off owning the system from a financial perspective.
However, if you’re not in a situation to invest or to buy solar, you might be able to save money from the get-go. One of the great things about leases is that many of them offer you an introductory rate that is lower than what you’re currently paying for electricity.
Yeah the reality of that is if you look as a industry standard on the lease, we are seeing 3 to 4% inflation rates on that lease rate over the life of the lease, which may be 10, 15 and 20 years. – And that’s the true trap with leases is that you’ve got to look for, is what is that escalator? You might be starting off with the slightly lower introductory rate, but it’s going to increase at 3 or 4% a year.
And then in five or 10 years from now, you might be paying more for your solar than you would have had you stayed with your utility company. Yep, so the thing again you want to look for is what is that inflation rate per kilowatt hour year over year? Because you do not want to be spending more in 10, 15, 20 years than you would need to, if you were purchasing your power from the utility.
Absolutely and there’s another very important point that you need to be aware of with solar leases is that if you want to sell your home or your property, you need to find a buyer that’s willing to assume that lease.
And so realtors might find that to be a burden or a liability on the sale because you got to find a very specific buyer for that property. And the reality is if you have a lease and you want to move, you’re not going to take that solar array with you and keep paying your lease payment and put it on the new property.
The leasing company is not going to want to pay, to remove and reinstall it. Absolutely, and it’s usually cost prohibitive and they won’t let you get out of those contracts. But if you’d like to learn more about the real estate side of things, we do have additional videos and blogs on that.
So in summary, if you’re looking to save the most amount of money over time, buying your own solar project is going to be the best way to go. However, if you do not have the money to make that purchase, a solar lease could be a good option for you.
You do want to, however, make sure that you’re aware of those pitfalls that we discussed in this video. – Thanks for watching. If you enjoy this information, be sure to like this video and subscribe to our channel for future releases.
Both options are similar to renting. With a solar lease, you pay a monthly fee for the system and get to use all the electricity the solar panels produce – for free. With a PPA you agree to purchase the electricity the system generates at prices that are lower than what you would pay your utility.
Most leases and PPAs have $0 down options
so you won’t pay anything upfront. Your monthly payments for a lease or PPA is
usually less than your current electric bill so you begin saving right away. A solar lease or PPA will help you to save
10%-50% over your utility’s electricity bills, without making any upfront investment.
And, over time, as electricity prices continue to rise, your savings will continue to grow. Although solar panel systems require little to no maintenance, if something were to happen, the lease or PPA company would be responsible for any repairs since it is the owner of the system.
Securing a lease takes less time and effort than securing a loan. Generally, you sign a 20 year contract with the leasing company and they will install the panels at your home. You will need to have a credit score of more than 700 to qualify for a solar lease or PPA.
Today, these options are only available in a limited number of states. Where they are not available, you always have the option to get a solar loan. Since the leasing company owns the solar panel system, many of its financial benefits – things like rebates, tax credits and incentives – would go to them.
They are also a good option if your tax bill
is less than the tax credit you would receive. If you decide to sell your home before the
end of the contract period, you can do one of two things. Option 1: You can work with the new buyer
and the lease or PPA company to have him or her assume the remainder of the contract.
In this instance, the company would verify
the buyer’s credit worthiness, but this is generally not an issue since they already
needed to qualify for the mortgage used to purchase the home. Option 2: you can buy the system from the
lease company at fair market value and then include it in the price of your home at the
time of sale.
Now that you understand your options, you’ll need to choose the one that’s best for you.
We have a world population expected to grow by 1.2 billion people within 15 years, coupled with a growing demand for meat, eggs and dairy, which soak up over 70% of fresh water for crops, plus electricity demand that’s growing even faster than population growth … what are we supposed to do about all of that? Well, we can combine two of my favorite things: technology and food.
Both of which I’ve been accused of having too much of. But, could combining solar panels plus farming be a viable solution to all of those problems? Let’s take a closer look at electrifying our crops … not literally electrifying crops … never mind … let’s take a closer look at adding solar to our farm land as well as some of the side benefits … and challenges … it creates.
Solar parks in rural areas have been around for almost two decades. The major problem with this type of solar installation is that the ground beneath the panels can’t be used, mainly due to the small spaces between the rows of panels which aren’t large enough for modern farming equipment to pass through.
It is possible to convert a typical solar park into dual land use when it’s designated as a living area for grazing by small livestock like chicken, geese, and sheep, as well as for beekeeping.
These animals are beneficial to solar farms because they reduce the cost of maintaining vegetation growth and don’t introduce any risk to the panels themselves. The same can’t be said of something a bit larger like pigs, goats, horses, or cattle … it’s a known fact that cattle hate solar panels.
When more space is allowed in between the solar panel rows, crops can be grown there. However, the space beneath the panels still isn’t usable and needs to be maintained. This is considered alternating land use instead of dual land use because there are areas of the land that are one or the other, not both solar and crops at the same time. The land between the rows will be shaded during some hours of the day, meaning you’re altering the characteristics of the land and the types of crops that can be grown.
So what if we started to go vertical with our solar panels? That’s where we start to get some interesting alternatives to standard ground mounted solar park style installations. Using vertically mounted bifacial modules allows for more arable land.
And if you don’t know what bifacial solar panels are, they can collect solar energy from both sides of the panel. This type of installation would work particularly well in areas that suffer from wind erosion, since the structures reduce wind speeds which can help protect the land and crops grown there.
The bifacial panels also can generate more power per square meter than traditional single faced panels and don’t require any moving parts. Then there’s also the option of mounting panels on stilts, which allows farming machinery to pass underneath.
In this design you have to maintain a certain clearance between rows to protect the stilts from the machinery, so there is a modest arable land surface loss … usually 3-10%. Many variations on this theme are currently under active research.
Instead of fixed panel mounting, panels can be mounted with actuators, allowing the panels to tilt in one or two directions, which allows for both solar energy and plant growth optimization.
This can be particularly important during the initial stages of growth for some crops. But what about growing crops … UNDER … the elevated panels? You’d think that solar panels casting shade on plants would be a bad thing, but the way photosynthesis works makes things interesting.
Plants grow their mass out of CO2 with the help of sunlight. They literally are growing from the air … BUT … not all available sunlight can be converted into biomass. After a certain threshold, which is called the light saturation point, plants can’t absorb any more energy, so they need to get rid of that excess energy by evaporating water.
If we oversimplify this, we can divide the plants into two groups: “I’ll have my light supersized” plants and “can I order my light off the kids menu” plants. That group, the so-called shade plants, are particularly useful in combination with solar panels, since the panels obviously block some of the available sunlight.
Now sun plants are sometimes referred to as shade-intolerant plants, which makes them sound like jerks. This is a slight misnomer, since these plants just require more sunlight than shade plants but can also suffer from too much sunlight.
When any plant reaches their threshold, they can suffer from ‘sunburn’ and heat stress, just like me, causing increased amounts of water evaporation … just like me. According to a report from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy, nearly all crops can be cultivated under solar panels, but there may be some yield loss during the less sunny seasons for sun hungry plants.
In the RESOLA project conducted between 2016 and 2018 in the German area of Lake Constance or the Bodensee as the Germans call it, they demonstrated that during a relatively ‘wet and cold’ year in 2016 APV-crop yields were 25% less than the non-solar reference field, but in the ‘dry and hot’ years of 2017 and 2018 the APV-crops yields exceeded the reference field.
That’s a sign that APV could be a game changer in hot and arid regions. The amount of experience with agrivoltaics is still fairly limited and the big successes have been mainly with shade tolerant crops like lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Which leads us to some of the super promising examples that make a compelling case for agrivoltaics. But before I get to that, I want to give a quick shout out to today’s sponsor … me! Seriously though, be sure to check out my follow up podcast based on your feedback and comments on these videos, Still To Be Determined, which you can find on all the major podcast services out there or at stilltbd.fm, as well as a video version here on YouTube. I’ll put all the links in the description. It’s a fun way to continue the discussion on these topics. Let’s switch over to The Netherlands. Tiny as it is, it is the second largest exporter of food in the world! The company “GroenLeven”, a subsidiary of the BayWa group, which is headquartered in Munich Germany, has started several pilot projects with local fruit farmers.
Their largest site is in the village of Babberich in the east of the Netherlands, close to the German border, at a large 4 hectare raspberry farm, which is about 10 acres for those of us not on metric.
They’ve converted 3 hectares into a 2 MW agrivoltaics farm. The remaining part was left in a traditional farming setup. Raspberries are a fragile, shade tolerant fruit that’s typically grown in rows covered with plastic to help protect them from the elements and ensure high yields.
In this project the raspberry plants are grown directly under the solar panels, which have been placed in alternating rows facing east and west. This maximizes solar yield, but also protects the plants from the prevailing winds.
They did test traditional solar panels in this project, but they took away too much of the available sunlight, so they switched to panels with a larger spacing between the solar cells to let more light through.
The amount and quality of the fruit produced under the panels was the same or better as the fruit produced under the traditional plastic tunnels. One big benefit for the farmer was the amount of work saved from managing the plastic tunnels, which are easily damaged by hail and summer storms.
In those cases fruits may become unsellable from the damage, but they still have to be harvested anyway. During the last summer storms, the fruits under the panels didn’t sustain any damage, while the harvest from the reference field was destroyed.
Another major difference between the agrivolatic test field and reference field: the temperature was several degrees cooler under the solar panels. Not only is it more pleasant for the farm workers, but it also reduced the amount of irrigation water by 50% compared to the reference field.
Even cooler is how the crops affect the solar panels. The crops and their limited water evaporation actually keep the panels cool. Solar panels actually don’t like to be hot, since it reduces their energy efficiency; the cooler a panel can be, the more energy it will provide.
And with the added benefits in reduced water consumption, agrivoltaics can also be a game changer in hot and arid regions of the world. So what’s keeping us from rolling out this dual-purpose, game-changing system at a massive scale? What’s the catch? Energy production is a different ball game from agriculture, which can slow down farmers from embracing the technology.
But the actual obstacles are sadly … mundane … and some frustrating. It boils down to the the not-in-my-backyard effect (NIMBY), bureaucracy, and the free market. So let’s start with the NIMBY crowd.
Not all renewable energy solutions are receiving a warm reception. Prime example is obviously the sight and sounds of a giant wind turbine in the vicinity of your home. Community pushback from the residents of Reno County in Kansas killed a proposed NextEra Energy Inc. wind farm. Also in agriculture, there are examples where current laws enabled building giant biogas plants that weren’t always welcomed by the local communities. No matter the reason behind the community outrage and pushback, it’s this type of reaction that has killed or delayed many projects, as well as made many local governments gun-shy on pushing them forward.
So in order to prevent communities turning against agrivoltaics it’s important to control its spread, especially pseudo-agrivoltaics (a practice to build large solar farms under the guise of agriculture).
In protecting the people’s interest it helps to build community support, which is essential. The Fraunhofer institute recommends that 1. Agrivoltaics should be deployed mainly where synergistic effects can be achieved, for instance by reducing the water demand for crop production.
And… 2. To maintain proper local support, agrivoltaic systems should preferably be operated by local farms, energy cooperatives or regional investors. With these guidelines in mind, community resistance against agrivoltaics can be kept to a minimum.
Next, rules, regulations, and bureaucracy can also hold it back, which varies from country to country or even from city to city. “As part of its agricultural policy, the EU grants direct payments for land used primarily for agriculture. So, an important question is whether farmland loses its eligibility for financial support due to the use of agrivoltaics [….] … Whether the land is mostly used for agricultural purposes is decisive here”.
In the EU, agrivoltaic systems are usually considered to be physical structures in terms of the building regulation laws, so they need a building permit. In Germany for instance, it’s usually prohibited in rural areas unless it doesn’t conflict with a list of public interests.
Agrivoltaics, however, isn’t on the list of public interests yet. Lastly and maybe most important is the free market, which is pretty easy to wrap your head around because it all comes down to costs and investment.
Just like putting solar on your home, the big number to look at is cost per kWh. Because agrivoltaic solar doesn’t yield as much energy per square meter compared to a traditional solar park, on top of the construction costs, the cost per kWh can be 10-20% higher.
And there’s the big question of who owns the solar panels. In the Dutch example, the farmer wasn’t the investor or owner of the installation. A farmer’s willingness to participate all comes down to avoiding negative impacts to the crop yield and having lower operational costs from the solar panels.
In this case the solar array owner was able to demonstrate those benefits. The Fraunhofer institute found that farmers are only willing to engage in a project if the crop yield never falls below 80% of the reference field, but … that’s only if the farmer owns the solar array. That’s because the farmer can make up the crop shortfall from the energy produced. But that also raises the question, if they own the array, how are they going to optimize the solar panels … for solar energy production or for crop yield? For the highest energy production per square meter, solar parks win out.
For the highest guaranteed crop production, dedicated farming wins out. It all comes down to costs and investments. Without government intervention through subsidies or price guarantees, agrivoltaics may not stand a chance against other solar initiatives.
Agrivoltaics is a very promising concept that has the potential to kill two birds with one stone: helping our food supply and transitioning us to a cleaner energy source. The main benefit comes from the fact that solar panels are great at reducing GHG emissions, without sacrificing arable land.
Especially if we can convert land that’s currently being used to grow biofuel crops, like palm oil and corn farms, into land for actual human food production and consumption … or even reforestation, that would be a huge win! Looking at the big picture and deciding where we want to go can help us find ways to overcome the difficulties along the way.
Dave Borlace over at the ‘Just Have A Think’ YouTube channel created an incredible introductory video on the agrivoltaics concept as well, so be sure to check out that video too. But what do you think? Should we be trying to use agrivoltaics everywhere? Are there any other dual use renewable energy examples that you know about? Jump into the comments and let me know.
And a special thank you to Patreon producer Rob van der Wouw for all his help on pulling this script together. Thank you, Rob. And thanks to all of my patrons for helping to make these videos possible.
If you liked this video be sure to check out one of the ones I have linked right here. Be sure to subscribe and hit the notification bell if you think I’ve earned it. Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.
And please be sure to subscribe to this video to be notified when we release future videos, just like this. – So, Warren help us understand briefly what is community solar? – Sure, community solar are large solar arrays that are put in place to serve the community.
Primarily for people who don’t have the roof space or who don’t own their home for them, give them the ability to go solar. Yeah, so it’s a hybrid approach between something behind the meter where it could go on their roof or on their ground to say a utility scale, something in between that.
That that’s exactly right, Charles. If you think about solar for people who put solar on their homes, it’s behind the meter versus these large farms that you see out there. It’s, in-between those to serve those people who can’t otherwise go solar.
So, someone who is enrolled in a community solar project, do they actually own a part of the solar system? – They do not. So that’s one of the downsides to community solar is that you don’t get to own it.
And along with that, you don’t get to take advantage of the incentives that come along with solar. Yeah so definitely one of the pros of ownership is getting the incentives. What is one of the pros of going with the community solar subscribership? – Yeah, one of the pros is that you don’t have that initial outlay or the expense of going solar.
You get to participate and use renewable energy without the initial expense. In addition, if you happen to be a renter, or if you don’t have roof space or a ground space for solar, you can still use renewable solar energy by exploring community solar.
One of the other reasons for community solar is the idea that as the project grows in size, it gets cheaper per panel. – Correct. – So therefore I can be buying power from renewable sources that may be a little bit cheaper per se, than if I went and bought it myself.
Yeah, it should be said that there’s quite a few states that do not have the opportunity for people to buy into this community solar idea. – Community solar is new, solar in itself is new, but community solar is just starting to take off in most of the states around the Mid-Atlantic region.
So you may or may not have it in your state just yet. – Thanks for watching. If you enjoyed this information, be sure to like this video and subscribe to our channel for future releases.
A lot of people wonder whether buying a Tesla Powerwall, is a good investment. Well, we recently spoke to Angela, one of our recent customers about what she’s getting from her Tesla Powerwall. So when the installation happened and part of that sort of sign over process was like, Okay, now we’re gonna show you what it would be like, in a blackout and obviously, nothing happened for me.
It was an experience because
my fridge kept being on, I think that was all that
was running at the time. But you know, that’s probably
the most important thing. For me, is probably only the kettle cause I love a cup of tea.
My computer – I could probably do without it because you know, as long as I can charge my phone, I can run my business. But my children would probably argue that they would need every powerpoint for their … To charge their devices. But for me the kettle is the most important thing we moved from a very small property, like 90 square meters to now sort of a two story house with a pool. So I thought oh my gosh, like, we’re gonna use power a lot more.
I could see it
only being an advantage. And in the end, it has been. No one actually said to me, you’re going to get 99%, and I think on a yearly
average I’m I think I’m at 96% self sufficient every day.
But that’s because there
are some days in winter where you know, you might have rainy days, so that brings the
average a little bit down, but really in the last
two or three months, I’ve been 99% every day.
I was at $600 per quarter. And my last bill, which was the first bill with a fully installed Powerwall was minus, I think minus $45 But that was sort of running at the end of spring. So now summer I can see I have contributed a significant amount more of energy or kilowatts.
Back to the grid, so I’m expecting a little bit more. And, I actually put that towards my gas bill. This is no surprise to anyone we mean we’re putting a big pressure on Mother Earth. And I really feel you have to start with yourself.
It takes a huge amount of energy to keep the modern world running. And given that there will likely be another two billion people on this planet by 2050, and we would like them to all have good qualities of lives, our energy demand is only going to go up. Unfortunately, the challenge of meeting this demand is also growing.
Even now, nearly 13% of people don’t have reliable access to electricity. And the fossil fuels we still rely on for most of our energy are not only catastrophically heating up our planet, but also they will eventually run out.
Luckily, there could be a solution, literally on the horizon, in the form of solar panels launched into space! Solar panels have long seemed like a promising solution to our energy problem. After all, they convert basically endless radiation from the Sun into electricity that we can use, without polluting our planet.
But the world hasn’t really gone solar yet. And that’s partly because there’s a limit to how much solar energy we can collect on the surface of the Earth. Solar panels can work well at low latitudes or during summer seasons, whenever the Sun is out and directly shining onto those panels.
But if the weather, the season, or the location aren’t ideal, solar panels aren’t that efficient. Plus, they only work during the day. And they can’t even make the most of the Sun’s energy, because about 30% of the sunlight that shines on Earth gets reflected by the atmosphere.
The best place to harness solar power would be somewhere free of all these limitations, and nowhere is freer than space! The idea of solar panels in space actually started out as sci-fi. In 1941, the author Isaac Asimov dreamed up the idea for a short story he was writing.
But around twenty-five years after that, scientists started thinking seriously about the prospect. In the late 1970s and early ’80s, the U.S. invested quite a bit of time and money into researching how these so-called satellite power systems might work.
The basic idea was to build satellites with huge mirrors, which would collect as much high-intensity sunlight as possible, and redirect it into some kind of solar panel. This light would then be converted into another form of electromagnetic radiation, like microwaves or infrared laser light, and beamed wirelessly back down to Earth.
The benefit is that beams of light at these wavelengths would pass through the atmosphere much better than ordinary sunlight. But wireless energy transfer from space: still a little bit tricky. For one thing, beams spread out and dissipate over long distances.
Also, the transmitter and receiver would be constantly moving relative to one another. Still, scientists have come up with two possible
ideas for how to make this work. The first is to beam down the collected energy
with microwaves, which can pass easily through the clouds and
storms in Earth’s atmosphere.
And this would happen from a specific spot
in Earth’s orbit. Scientists noticed in the 1960s that satellites
in high orbits that kept pace with Earth’s rotation spent almost
no time in Earth’s shadow.
So one of these so-called geosynchronous orbits would be an ideal place for solar power satellites. This would also solve the issue of sending a beam to a moving target, since satellites in geosynchronous orbits stay roughly in the same part of the sky as the Earth rotates.
Unfortunately, this solution comes with a
new challenge: Geosynchronous orbits are really high up,
like, 35,000 kilometers above Earth. We do have some satellites there… but this
wouldn’t be just any satellite.
To deliver a worthwhile amount of energy in
the form of microwaves, these satellites need a huge antenna and massive
mirrors. According to some designs, they’d weigh
about 80,000 tons, with mirrors three kilometers in diameter.
Just getting a single satellite of that size
up to a geosynchronous orbit would take several rocket launches, and it would be almost
impossible to maintain or repair. Plus, over such a long journey across space, the beam would spread out significantly, meaning
the receiver on the ground would have to be several kilometers across
to intercept it.
Still, the rewards could be enormous. A single low-intensity beam of microwave energy
from this type of satellite could supply several gigawatts of power, which
is enough to fuel a large city. Fortunately, if the hurdles do end up making
this one impractical, there is another option, and this one might
be a little more feasible: small, laser power satellites orbiting much
closer to Earth.
It’s much easier and cheaper to get a small
satellite up four hundred kilometers into a low-Earth orbit. So engineers have come up with a small design
that uses an infrared laser, rather than microwaves, to beam down their
Compared to microwaves, these specific wavelengths
of radiation wouldn’t pass as easily through thick clouds and storms, but
they’d come with a lot of other benefits. Like, at just ten tons each, they could easily be deployed with a single rocket launch.
Plus, they’d be much easier to assemble
and repair. Also, lasers naturally have super narrow beams, which would stay fairly narrow over the much
shorter distance to Earth. That means they could work with a smaller
receiver on the ground.
The catch is, because of their smaller mirrors,
and the fact that they’d pass in and out of Earth’s shadow, individual
laser satellites could only deliver a few megawatts of energy. So scientists think it would take an entire
array of laser power satellites working together to make a significant impact
on our energy needs.
So for now, there are still some challenges to work through before space-based solar power can become a reality. But it’s not really the technology that’s holding us back, it’s more the cost and the commitment.
At the moment, several countries are actively trying to get solar power satellites off the ground, including the U.K. and Japan. And in 2020, the U.S. conducted the first solar power experiment in orbit.
Engineers put a solar panel on board a highly classified military drone that orbits three hundred kilometers above the Earth’s surface, to see how this tech would fare in space. Today, it may still be some time before we can charge our homes wirelessly from space as easily as we charge our phones.
But the sci-fi future Isaac Asimov imagined
80 years ago isn’t that far beyond our grasp. And speaking of creative people, this episode
of SciShow Space was brought to you by Skillshare, an online
learning community where creative people can grow their skills.
If you’re an artist, you might enjoy Nikkolas
Smith’s class Artivism, about using art to heal systemic injustice. Skillshare is curated specifically for learning,
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My name is Charles Fox. – And I’m Warren Miller. – And in this video, we’re gonna talk about how to choose solar panels. There are a lot of different panel manufacturers out there. And so we’re gonna talk to you briefly about what you should be looking for when you look at different solar panels.
Yep, so there’s not only a lot of different solar panel manufacturers, but there are different types of solar panels. There are the monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. And you may have heard those terms, but I’d say don’t get caught up in whether or not you’re looking for a monocrystalline or polycrystalline panel.
They have similar efficiencies. Just be aware that the monocrystalline panels typically have a darker, blacker hue to them, and the polycrystallines have more of a blue hue to those panels. – That’s right.
Yeah, good point, Warren. The other thing you should
consider is the panel production. So each panel’s going to produce
a certain amount of watts. And what we’re seeing is that over time, panel manufacturers are producing panels that are incrementally
getting more efficient.
What that means is with the same amount of space that panel is able to produce a little bit more solar power. So over time we’re seeing panel efficiencies increase. And so if you’re looking at solar, you want to make sure you have something that’s kind of within the market range at the time you install.
Absolutely. And I think one of the most important aspects when picking out a solar panel is to look for the warranty and the company behind that warranty. – Yeah. And it should be stated that most panel manufacturers, at least the mainstream– – Yeah.
They’re going to have a 25-year warranty. And that is typically just the panel itself. Then they have an output guarantee, so there’s typically two warranties that come with every panel manufacturer, or the panel manufacturers apply to their panel.
And we often attribute
the overall warranty to the production warranty. And your production warranty
is much more important than your panel warranty. So Warren, help us understand a little about the differences
of those two in more detail.
Sure. The production guarantee guarantees that that particular solar panel will continue to produce electricity for 25 years. Most solar panels have a 25-year production guarantee, meaning that in 25 years, it’ll be producing what it’s guaranteed to produce, which they do degrade slightly over time.
But most panels should be producing about 85% of their initial output by the 25-year mark. The warranty or the hardware warranty that comes with it is typically 10 or 12 or 15 years. And that’s to cover the physical components of the solar panel.
And you want that panel company, that panel manufacturer to
be around in future years, if you would ever have
an issue with a panel that is no longer operating as it should. So they need to be there to
stand behind their warranty.
So if they’re not making money today, that’s a good indication or it should be a red flag that they may not be sustainable over the long-term. – Yeah. I would argue, Charles, that that’s probably one of the most important features.
It is. – Obviously you want to pick a high quality panel that’s efficient, but you want to make sure that the company that manufacturers that panel is gonna be around in 25 years to support those warranty claims.
Yep, and a lot of that data’s public. If a company is publicly traded, you can do your own research. You can call us. We’d be glad to look at that for you. Thank you so much for watching this video.
Over the last two decades, solar technology has grown to become one of the great weapons in the battle of climate change, but they do require one key ingredient in order to reach their full potential. That’s of course, sunlight.
Any home solar panel owner can tell you that cloudy days are no bueno when it comes to solar production, but what if there was a solar technology that could function even without direct sunlight, sounds like a contradiction right.
Well, it turns out a really clever kid came up with an idea: he calls the aria solar panels that can actually do just that. So how do these panels work exactly and what sets them apart from solar panels that we have on the market today, we thought these questions deserve deeper dive today on tupa davinci.
Like so many of history’s great creations, AuREUS’ technology wasn’t developed by some mega tech conglomerate or some mega billionaire.
It came from this guy Carvey Aaron Meg, an electrical engineering student from Mapua University in the Philippines. Meg’s inspiration literally fell from the sky. It was a rainy afternoon. A common occurrence in the tropical Philippines meg was wearing his sunglasses, which had lenses that darkened when exposed to sunlight.
Also very typical, however, on this gloomy overcast afternoon, meg noticed that, even though the sun was obscured by clouds, his lenses were still darkened see. Even though clouds covered the majority of sunlight, there were still tiny light rays that were able to get through.
One of the main drawbacks of conventional solar panels is that they don’t absorb ultraviolet light, which is why their efficiency drops unless they’re in direct sunlight with no shading. So with this combination of rainfall and transition lenses, an ultraviolet light bulb went off in meg’s head.
One major benefit of ultraviolet light is that it can shine through even on a cloudy day. This is one reason why it’s common for people to get sunburns on a cloudy day, not thinking they need sunscreen, because it feels like the sun isn’t shining. AuREUS stands for aurora, renewable energy and uv sequestration? Well, I got ta handle the kid he’s got a future in marketing. You might recognize that first word aurora from the natural occurring phenomena, aurora borealis or the northern lights during naturally occurring aurorae, that’s more than one aurora.
Apparently, electrical charged particles emitted from the sun during solar storms collide with the earth most of these particles simply bounce away, but some are trapped inside the earth’s magnetic field, speeding toward either the northern or southern pole.
Remember the earth is just a big magnet. These high energy particles, usually gamma or uv radiation bash into luminescent atoms and molecules in the atmosphere causing them to heat up a process called excitation they’re, then re-emitted as low energy particles, visible light due to their internal reflectance, which then moves them in a wave pattern.
Throughout the magnetic field, creating the stunning curtaining effects, we know as the northern and southern lights. So what does any of this have to do with solar panels? Well, because the aureus panels capitalize on this exact process, it begins with luminescent particles derived from the planet’s original solar energy producers, fruits and vegetables.
That’S right: meg’s, invention, utilizes, discarded crop waste that has the natural ability to transform uv rays into electrical energy. Meg tested nearly 80 different compounds from local crops before landing on nine, which showed the greatest potential for long-term use.
Next luminescent compounds were combined with a resin and poured over a thin solar film, creating strong, translucent yet easily multiple glass-like panels. The first products looked almost like stained glass, not like your typical photovoltaic panels.
So how exactly do these panels work? Well, just like in naturally occurring auroras, it begins with stray uv light hitting the resin panels, which are packed full of high energy particles. Remember photovoltaic panels.
Can’t use raw uv light, but once the panels absorb the invisible radiation, they re-emit them as low energy particles, aka visible light due to internal reflectance, just like those particles in our atmosphere that visible light then strikes a solar film laced along the panel’s edge, where it Is converted into dc electricity regulating circuits process, the voltage output to enable battery charging storage or direct utilization of electricity may compares the process to how mammals breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
In that this panel takes in ultraviolet light, then sheds out visible light. The prototype panel, a three by two foot lime green translucent panel, was able to generate enough electricity to charge two cell phones per day.
That may not sound like much, but this is only the beginning.
When scaled up meg says these panels could enable entire buildings to generate their own electricity, while solar produced energy has proven a vital role in the fight against climate change.
Some suggest that today’s solar technology may be reaching a bit of a saturation point in terms of efficiency. Aureus panels could be an excellent addition to a solar energy system by stepping into some of the gaps left by current solar technology, because the release panels don’t need direct sunlight to operate, their applications could be limitless sure they could definitely excel in locations with more cloud Cover and less direct sunshine, but more than just adapting to the weather areas panels could find homes in more densely populated urban environments.
Instead of taking up acres of land, oreos angles could be used to create vertical solar farms. Think about the sides and windows of your home or even better the sides of buildings and skyscrapers covered in these ultra violet absorbing panels, because they don’t rely on direct sunlight aureus panels could increase solar harvesting density exponentially best of all the panels.
Utilize crop waste creating much more of a closed loop system that benefits the environment as a whole. Meg even suggests that the material could be used on various surfaces, including cars, walls, airplanes and clothing fabrics.
The hope he says is to encourage consumers to adopt renewable energy solutions with a technology that can better adapt to people’s lives and interest. As of right now, the panels aren’t quite ready to hit the marketplace, but this innovation was enough to win meg the james dyson sustainability award, which came with a handsome 35 000 prize with that money.
Meg hopes to continue to invest in research and development. For this really promising technology, he also hopes to increase manufacturing right now. The current production rate is about 30 panels a month.
Meg hopes to use some of his prize money to create a production, team and facility. This is pretty interesting, clever and ingenious technology, but of course this is years away from being anywhere near commercialization, ready starting with sourcing materials.
It’s not exactly clear how easily you can scale up discarded fruits and vegetable matter to produce these panels, and if you make enough of these, do you have to start throwing crops away that were perfectly good, not really clear, plus the resin panels still need to prove they can withstand the harsh rays of the sun for decades, without yellowing, fading cracking or otherwise falling apart, plus there’s still the very important question of how efficient they can be and how much more they’ll end up costing to manufacture the dream of draping the skyscrapers of tomorrow with something like, this will only make sense if it’s worth the added cost so yeah.
This is super super early and much remains to be answered. But that being said, this story really got me excited. I would love to meet carvies. He seems like an absolutely amazing dude, so carvey, if you’re, watching, give me a call covering these great innovative ideas that just might put a dent in the energy needs of the future is literally the mission statement of this channel this whole.
The future is going to be awesome thing yeah. This is what we’re talking about. So what do you think could aria’s panels be the next major movement in solar technology? What creative applications could you see for these panels? Let us know in the comments below thanks so much for watching if you want to be a rock star supporter of this show, please join us on patreon as a patron or a youtube channel member come join our discord.
You can chat with us pick future scripts and, just generally be a part of the team. We’D appreciate you. We appreciate you now anyway, take a look around there’s some videos, i think we’re going to like i’m ricky, tuba, davinci and just remember the future is going to be awesome.
In recent years, more and more people have been able to buy flexible panels on the internet. There are a lot of choices available, so picking which is the best can be difficult at times. We are here to facilitate your selection between the most powerful, efficient, and valuable solar panel technology options in 2021 by reviewing the best flexible solar panels.
This list is based on my personal opinion and research and lists them based on random numbering if you want more information and updated pricing on the products mentioned be sure to check the links in the description below.
A solar panel that weighs no more than four pounds can give you the power and energy you need. This lightweight, flexible, and pliable material makes the Renogy Monocrystalline easy to transport, transport, and affix to uneven surfaces.
Since it is made of polymer, it handles well.
Its waterproof design makes it even better. The airstream, the yacht, the truck trailer, and
the boat are all ideal for using this product. Flexibility on this panel is 248 degrees.
In terms of solar panels, this is as flexible as they come. A panel with a 248 degree tilt can be used for a wide variety of applications. In comparison with other solar panels, this Monocrystalline panel is 95% thinner.
Kingsolar’s products are among the best when it comes to enjoying the benefits of flexible solar panels. Solar panels made of these materials are flexible, reliable, and have a higher efficiency than common solar panels.
In terms of solar technology, DOKIO can provide a high level of energy output. By connecting multiple DOKIO panels in parallel, an off-grid, high-power system can be created. DOKIO panels make it possible to live outdoors with renewable energy supplies.
A solar inverter, solar generator, and more can be used with this product.
SunPower monocrystalline solar cells are responsible for this. Connecting two of these panels to a 200-watt flexible solar panel will enable much more energy to be drawn from the sun. Unlike monocrystalline or polycrystalline 100W solar panels, SunPower 110W flexible panels offer a greater wattage.
Instead of the plastic sheet used in conventional solar panels, the SunPower panel is constructed of high-quality polymer. It can be installed on RVs, mobile homes, boats, and yachts, and other places where it may be exposed to harsh weather conditions, as it is rugged, weather-resistant, and made from high-quality materials.
On Number 2: XINPUGUANG 100w Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panels Another brand that’s growing on the market is XINPUGUANG 100w Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panels. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are used in the panel to provide a 19.6% solar conversion efficiency. Whether you’re camping, or even installing a solar panel in your RV, a 100w panel can be used. In some cases, foldable panels are exposed to salt water, high temperatures, and extreme conditions while on flat surfaces.
Xinpuguang’s marine solar panels are the best, making them durable at the time of installation on a curved surface. Additionally, this product can provide 100W of power for the same price as a traditional 100W polycrystalline panel.
Its plug-and-play design enables it to be installed without the need for solar installers.
On Number 1: HQST 100W Solar Flexible Panels Solar flexible solar panels are important to look for when using renewable energy on a boat to power electrical devices.
With a 22% energy conversion rate, 22% heat resistance, and a waterproof design, HQST 100W Solar Panels are perfect for high-temperature applications. Among the best marine flexible solar panels available online, it is ideal for yachts, boats, and more.
Genssi products feature outstanding efficiency,
high-reliability, and versatility. Camping, installing on a roof vehicle, or simply using
them as a backup generation system for the home are all possibilities.
With Gennsi panels and an inverter or backup solar generator, it can produce a lot of energy for home or office use, or simply charge phones and laptops while on the go. So guys this was the video about the best flexible solar panels .
If you enjoyed the video be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to our channel for more videos. Thank you!