Solar Articles

  • Deck Monitoring Online Energy Management
One of the most enjoyable aspects of having a solar PV system is tracking how much energy the system has generated over time. There are many pv monitoring options available in the market, but in all...
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  • Mounting Solar Modules and Estimating Parts
Some of the most important questions for most installers and DIY solar enthusiasts concern mounting solar panels. There are many high quality mounting solutions on the market such Unirac, IronRidge,...
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It may seem counter-intuitive, but solar panel efficiency is affected negatively by temperature increases.  Photovoltaic modules are tested at a temperature of 25 degrees C (STC) – about 77 degrees F...
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  • Home Solar Panel charge controller and inverter
Dave shares his experience with solar through this video. His cabin system is powered by two 80 watts solar panels, via a Blue Sky 2012i charge controller; this system charges a 12 V battery pack. He...
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  • line side tap
PV Interconnection The majority of US residential and commercial PV systems are grid-interactive (or grid-tied), which means that they are designed to be able to export excess power to the utility...
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  • Standing Seam Metal Solar Roofing Application
I rebuilt my roof for 150 MPH winds, or for the zombie-near miss tornado.  It is 22 gauge steel, white color with 85% reflectance.  The seam is H150, 1.5" tall seam, folded over.  The hold down clips...
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  • SMA Sunny Boy Transformerless Inverter
What is a transformerless (TL) inverter? Transformers The differences between standard or conventional inverters and transformerless inverters are: Conventional inverters are built with an internal...
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  • Solar Shading, Free solar module Sketchup drawings, PV shading, self-shading
Many people are users of Google's 3D drawing tool, Sketchup. What many solar designers don't know is that Sketchup can be used to draw a solar array, place it in a specific geographic location and...
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  • Solar Arrays and Lightning Protection
Photovoltaic arrays are typically installed on rooftops, near power transmission lines, constructed of aluminum frames, and must be free from objects that shade them. Optimum exposure to sunlight...
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  • Choose String Inverters Utilizing Sizing Tools
Most home-owners and installers start designing (or defining) their solar PV systems by measuring their roofs and finding out the available space for the solar modules. They've already determined...
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  • Sun Energy Output Solmetric Insolation Tool: Honolulu
Azimuth is the array’s east-west orientation in degrees. In most of the solar PV energy calculator tools, an azimuth value of zero is facing the equator in both northern and southern hemispheres....
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  • Solar Array Tilt Angle and Energy Output
  The array’s tilt is the angle in degrees from horizontal. A flat roof has a 0-degree tilt and a vertical wall mount has a 90-degree tilt angle. Whether you are installing a solar panel on a flat...
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  • Inverter Heat
Inverters, like all semiconductor-based equipment, are sensitive to overheating and, in general, operate best at cooler temperatures, while suffering power losses and damage at higher internal...
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  • solar panel dc disconnect switch
A solar PV system typically has two safety disconnects. The first is the PV disconnect (or Array DC Disconnect). The PV disconnect allows the DC current between the modules (source) to be interrupted...
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  • Enphase D380 Twin Pack Micro Inverter Installation
Enphase Energy D380 Twin Pack micro inverter is the "dual" version of the Enphase Energy M190 Micro inverters. The main advantage of the D380 Twin pack is that it is capable of cabling both in 240V...
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  • Mounting Solar Panels on Shingle roof 1
The racking and mounting system of a solar PV installation normally consist of 10% to 25% of the total cost of the installation. However, the related roof maintenance costs are rarely included in the...
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