Blog

Buildings that Incorporate Solar Panels in Creative Ways

October 4, 2022

Buildings that incorporate solar panels in creative ways

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics or solar electricity cells, are becoming an increasingly common sight in our environment. They capture energy from the sun and convert it into renewable electricity. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity the panels generate. While it is not uncommon for solar cells to be installed as an after thought, this roundup of structures demonstrate how architects from around the world are getting creative with the technology, making it a key feature in their designs without compromising on aesthetics. Here are 10 buildings completed and upcoming that incorporate solar panels in creative ways:

Music Complex in Paris

A wall of photovoltaic panels follows the path of the sun at La Seine Musical, a glazed musical complex near Paris designed by Shigeru Ban. 

Mounted on rails, the sail-like wall is designed to resemble a ship circulating the oval structure. This movement also ensures that the lobby behind is shaded from direct sunlight over the course of the day.


Australian studio Kennon is designing a commercial office tower in Melbourne called 550 Spencer that will feature more than 1,000 glass-like solar panels across its face. 

Set to complete in 2024, the eight story tower’s facade will harness sunlight to produce 50 times more electricity than a standard rooftop solar panel system used in residential projects.


A dragon scale like solar skin forms the roof of Google’s Bay View campus, which BIG and Heatherwick Studio recently completed in Silicon Valley. 

Located in the city of Mountain View, California, the Bay View campus contains two office buildings for Google alongside an events centre and 240 short-term employee accommodation units. 

In an effort to make solar panels beautiful, Marjan van Aubel has created transluscent, stained glass like photovoltaics, which have been unveiled as part of the Netherlands’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. 

The solar panels are installed on the roof of the Dutch Biotope pavilion, where they serve the dual role of powering the exhibition and allowing sunlight into the space. 

Architecture studio MVRDV  has released visuals of Sun Rock, a self-sufficient office and operations facility it has designed in Taiwan for the government-owned power company Taipower. 

Depending on the time of day, It’s rounded form maximizes the amount of sunlight that it can harness to create energy. 

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics or solar electricity cells, are becoming an increasingly common sight in our environment! 

Preparing your Home for a Renewable Energy System

September 20, 2022

Preparing your Home for a Renewable Energy System (Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Hybrid)

Planning for a solar energy system is a process that includes analyzing your existing electricity use, looking at local codes and requirements, and understanding technology options that you have for your site. Your solar system may be required to operate on the grid, which comes with its own challenges. Maybe you are considering purchasing a solar energy system to generate electricity at your home. It takes time and money to research, buy, and maintain a system – but many people enjoy the independence and knowledge they gain knowing that their actions are helping the environment. A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs depending on the size and type. Types of energy systems include:

  • Solar Panel Systems
  • Wind Electric Systems
  • Micro-Hydropower Systems
  • Small Hybrid Electric Systems

If you’re designing a new home, work with the builder or your contractor to incorporate your renewable energy system into your whole-house design. We consider this the best approach for building an energy efficient home.

Analyzing Your Electricity Loads

Calculating your electricity needs is the first step in the process of investigating renewable energy systems for your home or small business. A very thorough examination of your electricity needs helps you determine the size (and cost) of the system you will need, how your energy needs fluctuate throughout the day and over the course of a year, and the measures you can take to reduce your electricity use. Fortunately, as a solar energy installer – Solar Titan USA is able to gather this data and review it with you before making the decision to purchase a customized solar energy system for your home or business.

Conducting a load analysis involves recording the wattage and average daily use of all of the electrical devices that are plugged into your central power source such as refrigerators, lights, televisions, and power tools. Some loads, like your refrigerator, use electricity all the time, while others, like power tools – use electricity intermittently. Loads that use electricity intermittently are often referred to as selectable loads. If you are willing to use your selectable loads only when you have extra power available, you may be able to install a smaller renewable energy system.

To Calculate your Total Electricity Consumption:

Multiply the wattage of each appliance by the number of hours it is used each day ( be sure to take seasonal variations into account). Some appliances do not give the wattage, so you may have to calculate the wattage by multiplying the amperes times the volts. Generally, power use data can be found on a sticker, metal plate, or cord attached to the appliance. Record the time(s) of day the load runs for all selectable loads.

Considering energy efficient measures in your home before you buy your renewable energy system will reduce your electricity use and allow you to purchase a smaller and less expensive system. You can also request an overall energy efficiency assessment of your home.

Local Codes and Requirements for Small Renewable Energy Systems

Each state and community has its own set of codes and regulations that you need to follow to add a small renewable energy system to your home or small business. These regulations can affect the type of renewable energy system you are allowed to install and who installs it. They can also affect whether you have to connect your system to the electricity grid. A local renewable energy company like Solar Titan USA, your state energy office, or your local officials will be able to tell you the requirements that apply in your community. At Solar Titan USA, we help you navigate your power provider’s grid-connection requirements. Some of the state and community requirements you may encounter include but aren’t limited to; Building codes, Easements, Local Covenants and Ordinances, Technology-specific requirements, Building codes, and Permits.

Electrical and building inspectors ensure that your system complies with standards. Building inspectors are interested in making sure the structure you are adding is safe. Your system may be required to pass electrical and/or plumbing inspections to comply with local building codes. Many building code offices also require their zoning board to grant you a conditional-use permit or a variance from the existing code before they will issue you a building permit. Check with your building code office before you buy a renewable energy system to learn about their specific inspection requirements.

You are most likely to gain the inspector’s approval if you or your installer follow the National Code (NEC); install pre-engineered, packaged systems; properly brief the inspector on your installation; and include a complete set of plans as well as the diagrams that come with the system. In addition, you should be sure your system is composed of certified equipment, and that it complies with local requirements and appropriate technical standards. Some states permit easements, which are a voluntary, legally binding agreement between owners of adjacent land regarding use of the land. For example, you might seek an easement specifying that no structure which blocks the renewable resource necessary to run a energy system will be built. These agreements are binding regardless of changing land ownership. In addition, you may want to do a title research of your deed to determine if any prior easements or other agreements exist that could prevent you from adding a renewable energy system to your own property.

Some communities have covenants or other regulations specifying what homeowners can and can’t do with their property. Sometimes these regulations prohibit the use of renewable energy systems for aesthetic or noise-control reasons. However, sometimes these regulations have provisions supporting renewable energy systems. Check with your homeowners association or local government for details. In addition, you may want to discuss your intentions with your neighbors to avoid any future public objections.

Grid-Connected or Stand-Alone System

Some people are required to connect their systems to the grid and use them to reduce the amount of conventional power supplied to them through the grid. A grid-connected system allows you to sell any excess power you produce back to your power provider. Other people, specifically in remote areas, use the electricity from their systems in place of the electricity supplied to them by power providers. These are called stand-alone (off-grid) systems. For stand-alone systems, balance-of-system components include batteries and a charge controller in addition to power conditioning equipment, safety equipment, and meters.

While all of this information can be daunting, it is important to remember that a good solar energy or renewable system installation company, like Solar Titan USA, will do most if not all of this work for you. This way, you can properly determine if a renewable energy system will benefit you.

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit 2022

August 29, 2022

How Does the new Electric Vehicle Tax Credit for 2022 Work?

This bill has far-reaching implications – from renewable energy to healthcare, but one of the most talked about is the incentives for electric vehicles. People looking to switch to EVs can take advantage of the redesigned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit, or the brand new tax credit for used Electric Vehicles.

The Federal Electric Vehicle (EV) Tax Credit at a glance: 

  • The Inflation Reduction Act extends the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit for new cars until 2033. 
  • Electric Vehicles purchased between now and the start of 2023 will follow the criteria of the EV tax credit prior to the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, but must meet an additional requirement of being assembled in North America.
  • Car buyers can get a credit of up to $4,000 for used electric vehicles that sell for $25,000 or less. 
  • Cars and batteries must be assembled within the United States, and the minerals included within the battery must be mined in the U.S. or countries with free trade agreements.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

The recent Inflation Reduction Act will help the United States into a sustainable future, incentivizing things like clean energy, electric vehicles (EV), and sustainable infrastructure. One of the most talked about incentives are those for electric vehicles. People looking to switch to EVs can take advantage of the re-designed Clean Vehicle Tax Credit, but not all of the changes for EVs are going to benefit car buyers right away. It might take a bit for the electric vehicle industry to meet some rigorous requirements. Before the Inflation Reduction Act was signed, the federal EV tax credit was based on the size of the car’s battery, in kilowatt0hours, for a total incentive of up to $7,500. There was also a limit on what cars qualify, based on the number of EVs sold by the car manufacturer – only the first 200,000 EVs sold per manufacturer could take advantage of the tax credit. This was incredibly limited. 

For electric vehicles purchased after the signing of the IRA, but before the start of 2023, these same rules still apply. However, there is now an additional requirement. EV’s purchased between August 16th, 2022, and December 31st, 2022, must be assembled in North America. This is in addition to the existing eligibility criteria. Right now, some vehicles meet the current EV tax credit requirements and the assembly criteria. These are the BMW 330e, xDrive45e, certain Ford EV models, the Nissan Leaf, Mercedes EQ5, along with any pre-orders for the Lucid EV. 

New EV Tax Credit Requirements

The new version of the EV tax credit applies to electric cars put in service after December 31, 2022. The credit can be applied to your federal income taxes or be transferred to the dealer upfront to reduce the cost of an electric vehicle. You can potentially earn an EV tax credit up to $7,500, but it is limited to how much you owe in taxes. Any additional value of the tax credit cannot carry over to the next year. 

A majority of your car battery minerals must be sourced from and assembled within North America to get the total $7,500 credit. These guidelines are still being developed, and the metrics will be more challenging to hit year over year, as the bulk of minerals and metals for batteries are mined in countries that don’t have free trade agreements with the U.S. This makes it a bit hard to predict what cars qualify for the tax credit or that will in the future. 

How to Qualify for the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

To ensure that this credit is helping those that need it the most, there is an income requirement. For a single tax filer, you can not claim the Electric Vehicle credit if your income is above $150,000. Couples who file jointly have a cap of $300,000. For someone filing as head of household, who can claim dependents and earns over half of the household income, earnings have to be less than $225,000 to qualify. 

The credit is meant to ease the burden of buying an electric vehicle for everyday Americans. Because of this, the IRA put an MSRP limit to prevent the tax credit from being used to buy luxury electric vehicles, where the price wasn’t likely to be a deciding factor in the purchase. This means that the price of the car also determines if you can claim the tax credit. For SUVs, Vans, and Pickup Trucks, MSRP cannot exceed $80,000. For any other vehicle, MSRP cannot exceed $55,000. However, these additional requirements for luxury vehicles do not go into effect until 2023. So if you are looking to purchase a luxury EV, 2022 would be a good time to do it. This is also the case for those who exceed the income limit for the 2023 EV tax credit. 

For more information on the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit; Check out this article from PBS.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-electric-vehicle-tax-credit

July 29, 2022

How long does a solar panel installation take?

Updated 

Solar panel experts working on installing panels on a roof

Installing solar panels can take a few months, but the energy bill savings are well worth the wait. Image source: The Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

One of the first questions homeowners have when they’re thinking about installing home solar panels is “how long will the installation take?”. Believe it or not, the actual installation can take as little as six hours. But, going solar consists of a lot more than just getting contractors up on your roof. There are a few additional factors you need to keep in mind when trying to plan out how and when to complete your installation.

 

We’ll walk you through the solar installation process and determine how long it may take for your home.

 

Solar installation timeline at a glance

  • The total solar installation process will take somewhere between two and six months to complete.
  • Typically, contractors install a residential solar system in as little as 6 hours.
  • The longest part of the installation process is waiting for permit approval, which has the potential to take almost two months to complete.
  • Once the system is installed, you still need to wait for one to six weeks for your city and utility to inspect and approve the installation.
  • Waiting for the installation to be complete is worth the investment, as the system will provide you with thousands of dollars in electrical bill savings over 25 years.

On this page

  • Installation process timeline
    • Choosing an installer
    • Site assessment
    • System design
    • Building and solar permits
    • Ordering equipment and scheduling installation
    • Installation
    • City inspection
    • Utility interconnection and permission to operate

     

  • How long does it take to go solar?
  • Is installing solar worth the wait?

 

Solar panel installation process timeline

Diagram of how long a solar installation takes

Installation is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to switching to solar. Eight key steps make the entire process last anywhere from two to six months on average.

1. Choosing a solar installer (Time: 1 day to 2 weeks)

 

Choosing a solar installer is the first and most important step of your entire solar journey. What company you pick determines not only the price of your installation but the quality and timeline as well!

 

You want to make sure you’re picking a reliable company that’s been in business for at least 5 years, have a NABCEP certified installer, and has positive customer reviews. This step can take you just a few hours, but it’s important to take the time to not only find a few installers you like, but also get and compare quotes from them. You definitely don’t want to cut corners when it comes to choosing the right company.

 

Getting at least three quotes will increase your chances of getting the highest quality installation at the best price point. The easiest way to find trustworthy solar companies in your area is by using our state-of-the-art solar calculator, which lets you see your potential solar savings and can help you start collecting quotes.

 

2. Site assessment (Time: 1 week)

 

After you choose your solar installer, they’ll need to perform a site assessment to make sure your roof is suitable for a solar installation. Someone from the installation company will come out to your house and take a look around to check out the condition, shading, size, and direction of your roof. They’ll also make sure your roof can handle the weight of solar panels, and take a look at your electrical panel to see if it would need any upgrades.

 

The site assessment will take less than a day, just a few hours at most, but we give this a timeframe of about one week to take scheduling into account.

 

3. System design (Time: 2 to 3 weeks)

 

Once it’s determined that your roof is ready for solar, an engineer will get started on designing your solar system. Your electricity usage, roof characteristics, local building code requirements, and utility requirements are all taken into account when designing the system.

 

The design process can take anywhere from two to three weeks on average, but it may take longer if your roof is more complex. Still, the planning stage for complicated systems probably won’t take much more than four weeks to complete.

 

4. Applying for building and solar permits (Time: 2 to 7 weeks)

 

Adding solar panels is a construction project, so you need to have all of the proper permits before installation begins. Sadly, the permitting process is probably going to be the longest part of going solar. The exact permits needed vary from town to town. Some have very solar-specific permits while others have various building and electrical permits that need to be obtained.

Depending on the types of permits needed and the permitting processes in place in your municipality, it could take just two weeks to get approval – or almost two months. Let’s face it, having to wait that long for permits is annoying. But, the good news is your solar installer is the one who handles all the paperwork – you don’t have to worry about it.

 

5. Ordering equipment and scheduling installation (Time: 1 to 4 weeks)

 

When your permits are approved, your company can start making moves to actually install your system. Some installers have the equipment on hand so they can get started on your project ASAP. You won’t have to wait for equipment to ship, but you might have to wait for them to have time in their schedule for your installation. That’s why we give this stage about a week minimum.

 

If your installer doesn’t have supplies at the ready, it could take a few weeks for everything they need to get delivered, especially with the ongoing solar industry supply chain issues.

 

Attention battery buyers:You may have to wait even longer if you are pairing your solar panels with solar battery storage. Batteries are in high demand, and it can be tricky to get your hands on one in a timely manner. Some installers may have them in stock, but don’t be surprised if the battery adds a significant amount to your wait time.

 

6. Installation (Time: 6 hours to 3 days)

 

As we said earlier, the actual installation of your solar panels is going to be the shortest part of the process. For most residential solar installations, it’ll take just about 6 hours to complete!

 

Just like with the design of the system, the more complex it is, the more time it will take to complete. In general, your solar installation won’t take more than 3 days unless unforeseen issues arise during the installation. But, those worst-case scenarios are few and far between.

 

7. City inspection (Time: 1 to 2 weeks)

 

Your installation may be complete, but that doesn’t mean you can generate electricity just yet. You need a few more stamps of approval before you’re really up and running.

 

First, a local inspector will likely come out to make sure the system was installed properly and meets all of the correct building requirements. This serves as a safety measure, so any issues can be identified before the system is turned on.

 

Like the site assessment, this inspection will only take a few hours maximum, but it might take a week or so to schedule the appointment.

8. Utility interconnection and permission to operate (Time: 2 to 6 weeks)

 

You’re also going to need to wait for permission to operate from your utility company before you can start using your solar panels. It should come as no surprise that waiting for utility approval can take a while.

 

Usually, the utility will come to your property, install a new electrical meter that can properly message your solar energy production, and do a quick inspection. Once this is complete, your interconnection agreement will get the final stamp of approval and you’re officially ready to power your home with solar!

 

So, how long does it really take to go solar?

When you consider everything you have to do in order to get solar on your roof, you can typically expect it to take as little as two months to as long as six months. Keep in mind that this timeline is an estimate, and it can vary greatly depending on your specific circumstances. Your solar installer will give you the rundown on what the timeline usually is in your area.

 

Installing solar is worth the wait

 

We get it, six months is a while. But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. Even though it takes a few months to get the installation completed, in many cases it will take only 9 years (or even less!) for the solar panels to pay for themselves. Then, you’ll get over 15 years of completely free electricity. Plus, it’s good for the planet – who doesn’t love that?

 

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you want to invest your time and money into a solar installation, you can use our free solar panel calculator to get insight on the number of solar panels you need, what incentives are available, how much you can save, and how long the payback period will be.


5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar

June 16, 2022


 
 
5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Alternative energy brings benefits not only to our environment, but also Solar energy provides great benefits towards your bill
 
 
[TRANSCRIPT]
 
 
5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar. Alternative energy would be all the latest craze and, understandably, so fuel-produced energy is mostly not beneficial to the environment. However, the attraction of avoiding high electric and gas payments is undeniable. Our bright blazing sun is a fantastic alternative to relying on the electrical grid. Unlike most other intermittent power alternatives, solar energy does not harm the environment. Adopting renewable electricity for your household requires a very discreet system that can, potentially, drastically, reduce your dependence on regular electricity, or even meet all of your energy requirements.
 
 

These are the benefits you can get if you switch to using solar panels:

 
 

5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: No additional charges.

 
 
Power generation is scheduled to meet with peak usage. The peak hour rate increases significantly between the hours of 2 PM to 7 PM or 3 PM to 8 PM depending on your utility provider. During this time, electricity users could experience a, nearly, 300% increase in their utility bills. Energy production from solar panels, on the other hand, produces the most energy during these peak hours of the day when consumption is highest. In the power industry, with massive solar power generation. The extra power consumption throughout peak times may drop electricity costs even during mid-day periods.
 
 

5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Protection from rate increases.

 
 
One of the most significant benefits of switching to solar is that you are protected from the increasing rate of energy utility companies, plus, an instant decrease in your monthly utility bill. What will happen if ever your electricity provider suddenly decides to shoot up their rates again? Yours will not be affected. Your solar panels are now your source of electricity. This is what we call, energy dependence. This advantage is enough for you to go solar. Your expenses in purchasing the solar panel installation will be much less than what you are paying your electricity provider. The rising cost of electricity has resulted in high consumer expenses in almost all of the world’s major economies, because oil is commonly used in several industries across the world to power equipment and vehicles. All increases in oil prices impact production.
 
 

5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Government subsidizing and incentives.

 
 
This is the most important benefit of going solar. If you buy a solar panel, you are eligible for a solar tax which is a 26% tax credit [2021] for the overall expenses of a solar panel installation. So if you bought $25,000 worth of solar system, you can save approximately $6,500. Solar renewable energy credits as well as state and federal credits (SREC) will help to reduce expenses further. These SREC’s are produced on a yearly basis allowing you to exchange them with electric utilities for even higher profits.
 
 
Solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25 years or more with a payback period of only about three and a half years. Therefore, this financial investment can save nearly 22 plus years in savings on electricity. The pace at which solar panels lose efficiency over time is called the degradation rate and is a natural consequence of their exposure to the elements. According to a 2012 study by the national renewable energy laboratory, panels lose anywhere from 0.5 to 0.8 of their production capacity each year.
 
 

5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Improves value of your home.

 
 
For example, you are considering acquiring a house and you found two house prospects. The only difference is that the other house has solar panels installed, enough to reduce $200 in your electric bill and the other one doesn’t have a solar panel. What would you choose? This is a no-brainer. Properties with solar panels make much more money than those without and it’s simple to see why when you take into account that the PV system enables you to reduce your electricity bills monthly, drastically. Would you rather live somewhere where you have to pay for energy utility bills.
 
 

5 Financial Benefits of Going Solar: Major long-term benefits.

 
 
Suppose your panels produce more energy than you require to run your house. In that case, you may receive compensation instead of a bill via your municipal utility provider for the excess energy generated by your solar panels. Net-Metering is when an electricity provider tries to negotiate with you to compensate you for the surplus energy you produce. This might build up to vast sums of cash over time allowing your solar panels to pay by themselves. Finally, let us all explore paneling our homes for environmental and economic grounds we will, undoubtedly, benefit.
 
 
Thank you very much for checking out this video!
 
 
Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.
 
 
Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.
 
 
Click Here To Get Started
 

Is Going Solar In 2022 Worth It?

June 12, 2022

Is Going Solar In 2022 Worth It?

Is Going Solar In 2022 Worth It? Everything you should know before purchasing solar for your home in 2022 from a sustainability expert. We review cost and environmental benefits of home solar panel installations, financial incentives the keep costs down, new technology, and increasing electricity costs.

[TRANSCRIPT]

 

Many people know solar power can save you money

Many people know solar power can save you money in the long run, but did you know it could start saving you money immediately? As well, in addition, solar power lowers your impact on the planet. To find out if solar is right for your home, keep watching this video. At first, purchasing solar panels may seem like an unaffordable expense; however, many solar companies structure the payment such that the amount you pay each month is less than what you would pay each month on your electric bill. That means if you can afford your electric bill, you can afford to go solar.

How do they make that happen since your new solar installation is providing much of or all of the electricity for your home? Your electric bill will be much lower or even non-existent. Your solar provider is able to take that new lower number, as well as, break out the cost of your solar installation over an amount of time to determine an amount to be paid back each month, so that you can start saving money right away.

On the other hand, if you don’t go solar, you can end up paying the electric company well over $50,000 over 20 years. Electricity prices are fairly high in areas across the united states and only increasing. Of course, if you wanted to pay for the entire installation up front, most solar companies would be happy to do that as well. Also, many utility companies use a program called net metering.

Your solar installation

Your solar installation will be designed such that it can meet most of or all of the electrical demands of your home. This means, some months you’ll generate more power than you can use. Your utility company can store this additional amount as a credit. Then, in other months, for example in winter or on cloudy days, you’ll generate less than you use. Net Metering allows you to use these credits to make up for the difference. That way, you’re not paying high electric bills in the winter.

 

This also means, you don’t have to install batteries to smooth out the highs and lows throughout the year or worry about cloudy days; however, if you are interested in batteries for your home, most solar companies can help you with that as well. So how long does it take to pay off a solar system? Well, it’s a tough question to answer because the amount of energy you can harness from solar depends on many different property characteristics, but on average, four to eight years should be expected. Some people may need a new roof or upgraded electrical system; however, most solar companies can help you with that as well.

Positive financial impact of going solar

Is Going Solar In 2022 Worth It? One other positive financial impact of going solar is, it can increase the value of your home. According to one of the most popular home real estate platforms, Zillow. Homes with solar power are worth about four percent more than houses without solar. Some people may not care about the cost and want to go solar for the environmental benefit.

So how much better is solar for the environment? Solar power does have some environmental impact initially because the solar panels need to be manufactured shipped and installed. However, as you can see here, one study shows that all of the impacts caused by solar power are much less than that caused by coal or natural gas with the exception of depleting metals needed to create solar panels.

If you compare greenhouse gases between solar and fossil fuels, you can’t even use the same scale to show the comparison and, according to a different study, it only takes about 2.3 years for solar panels to create enough clean power that they offset the negative impacts caused. Which is faster than the amount of time it’ll take you to pay off the system. There is a federal tax credit you can get to reduce the system cost. The tax credit is now 26% in 2020, and will continue to drop to 22% in 2021 and expire in 2022.

 Now is a great time to go solar!

So now is a great time to go solar! If you wait too long, you’ll miss out on a huge cost savings, which means, it’ll take longer to pay off the system. Also, some states are offering additional tax credits and incentives to help you save even more money.

One reason people hold off on going solar is that there might be better technology coming out; however, while solar panels are becoming more efficient, they aren’t becoming more efficient fast enough to make waiting the best option. For example, if you compared a solar panel today, that is about 25 percent efficient, with a solar panel in just one year from now, that is 27% efficient. Which is a huge and unlikely jump in efficiency for a single year would result in about a two percent energy gain. However, at the same time, the tax credit would decrease by about four percent.

To give you an idea of what this means in dollars, an average 300 watt panel would increase to a 306 watt panel, which you can generate about six dollars worth of electricity with across the year, but if you wait until 2021, that six dollars will cost you hundreds of dollars, and if you wait until 2022, it’ll cost you thousands. So the best move is to go solar now if the conditions are right for you.

Is Going Solar In 2022 Worth It? – In Summary

In summary, solar panels may seem like they don’t make financial sense for you right now, but for many people, now may be one of the last best times. Electricity prices across the country are increasing, tax incentives that help reduce the payback period are disappearing, and the efficiency of new technology isn’t increasing fast enough to make waiting worth it. Given all of this, doing nothing is likely the most costly option on your wallet and on the environment.

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

Click Here To Get Started

The truth about solar panels

June 12, 2022

The truth about solar panels

[TRANSCRIPT]

Solar power has seen record growth over 10 years, created incredible number of new jobs, and is one of the most affordable forms of generating energy. But with all of those solar panels popping up across rooftops and open areas, what happens when time comes to replace them? And does the environmental impacts of manufacturing solar panels outweigh the benefits?

The truth about solar panels. I’m Matt Ferrell, welcome to Undecided. We take solar power at face value that solar power is cleaner and better than the alternative of burning fossil fuels. Is solar power cleaner? We don’t often look at what kind of impact and the cost of making solar panels or what will happen to solar panels at the end of life. Take a step back and you can see how quickly things are shifting in favor of renewable energy generation.

Solar has a 49% average annual growth in the US

There’s enough solar panels installed today to power almost 16 million homes and still growing. The largest portion of that growth has been in utility scale. Solar installations at around 60 MW of capacity. Meanwhile during this boom, coal jobs have been shrinking dramatically, by almost 50%.

During 2012, there were almost 90,000 coal jobs, however, today there are around 46,000. Further, solar industry had around 250,000 jobs in the fall of 2019, doubling what the industry was around 2012. This massive growth in solar has been a huge boom to the economy and helped to drive solar panel prices down. While same story is true in every industry: economies of scale drive down prices. Cost of installing solar has dropped by 70% of the past decade, and is still dropping.

If you haven’t seen my recent video on Tesla’s incredible per watt pricing here in the US, I’ll included a link in the description. We’re around $1.50 per watt right now for installation. Still higher than countries like Australia and areas in Europe, but solar is heading in the right direction. Those dropping costs have pushed solar to one of the cheapest forms of energy generation today. Utility scale solar is somewhere between $32-$44/MWh, unsubsidized in the US. Compare that to coal, gas, or nuclear and you can see why more and more utilities are canceling plans for building out new gas plants in favor of solar. Again, just look at the solar drop in per MWh pricing since 2009.

This news shouldn’t be surprising that 40% of new electric generating capacity built out in 2019 in the US was solar. And many companies have stepped up their own solar installations to reduce costs and be more self-sufficient when it comes to power. By 2018, commercial solar installations were at around 1.1MW between companies like Apple, Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Google.

The truth about solar panels – Dropping cost of solar

Why is dropping cost of solar important when thinking about solar’s green credentials? This type of cost analysis is called a Leveled Cost of Energy comparison (LCOE), which creates an apples to apples comparison between different energy sources. Analysis takes into account cost of building out a facility, cost of sourcing materials, and keeping production running. As well as, cost of dismantling and disposing of the plant at end of life. So solar gets the nod from a cost perspective, but how does solar look from an environmental impact perspective?

Well, there’s another form of apples to apples analysis for that, too. This is called a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and looks at everything from manufacturing to disposal. This assessment is the same thing as an LCOE, but looking at environment instead. Solar panels are made up of components like silicon, metal framing, glass sheets, wires, and plexiglass. Nothing particularly shocking.

You’ll find things like hydrochloride acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, acetone, and a few others when making a typical panel. But this process depends on the type of panel being manufactured. These chemicals take a lot of care when handling and need to be disposed of properly. But their cost gives manufacturers a big financial incentive to recycle and reuse them whenever possible.

The truth about solar panels – Reduced impact on the environment

Manufacturing process of solar panels is where the bulk of solar panels impact is on the environment; between 0.07 – 0.18 lbs of carbon dioxide equivalent per KWh. For a point of comparison, lifecycle emission rate for natural gas is 0.6 – 2 lbs of CO2E/kWh, and coal is between 1.4 – 3.6 lbs of CO2E/kWh.

What about the energy it takes to manufacture the panels?

A common statement I hear a lot is that it takes more energy to manufacture a solar panel that it will every produce over solar panels life, or energy pay back time (EPBT). This statement depends on what type of panel you’re talking about and where the panels are getting used. But, in general, a standard multi-crystalline solar panel will pay itself off energy-wise in 4 years. Considering that the expected lifespan of a solar panel is 30 or more years, that’s 26+ years of net positive energy production. And thin-film solar panel modules pay themselves back in energy production after 3 years.

The estimates get even better when you take into account future solar panels that are coming which will have payback periods around 1-2 years. That means between 87%-97% of a solar panels energy production is net positive. And that brings me to end of life, well, not me, at least I hope not, wait, what have you heard?

The truth about solar panels – Disposing of solar panels

Anyway, this brings us to disposing of solar panels once they reach the end of their usable life. We’re talking about 30 or more years of expected time for the average panel. Not a lot of time to kick the can down the road. There is a common belief that solar panels can’t be recycled, but that’s not true. After all we’re talking about silicon, metal framing, glass sheets, wires, and plexiglass as the bulk of a solar panel.

80% of a typical solar panel is glass and aluminum, which are easy to recycle. The basic process involves separating the aluminum frame, which is 100% reusable. Then separating the glass along a conveyor belt, which is about 95% reusable. The smelting process and etching away the silicon wafers results in about 85% of reusable product. Solar panel manufacturing can be an expensive process, but there’s a financial incentive to go down this path anyway. Let’s continue to find the truth about solar panels.

The truth about solar panels – International Renewable Agency

Government policies can play a major role in making sure we’re setting ourselves up for success here too. The EU has been more aggressive in their solar recycling and end-of-life policies than we have been here in the US. The IRA defined solar panels as e-waste, which puts them under the [Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive]. This requires solar manufacturers to meet certain recycling standards, which has created a marketplace for panel recyclers. Viola has partnered with the non-profit PV Cycle in Europe to collect the panels and recycle them in a plant where robots separate the components. More of the truth about solar panels.

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has created a working group for recycling providers, and offers benefits and discounts to SEIA members. One example of that is Cleanlites, which isn’t a dedicated solar recycler, but can handle recycling solar equipment. And solar companies like SunPower and First Solar have their own recycling programs. These programs allow customers to return old panels through groups like PV Cycle to the manufacturer for recycling or reuse.

The truth about solar panels – US Environmental Protection Agency

The risks from lead in silicon PV panels is about 1/10th below the risk levels set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. And for cadmium, it’s even lower. Again, this isn’t an excuse to just dump them in landfills, but the exposure to some of the heavy and toxic metals isn’t as great as you might think. When you take the full picture of solar power into account from cost to manufacturing and disposal, the costs are undeniable that solar is a dramatic improvement over fossil fuel forms of energy generation. There’s a good reason why so many people, companies, and governments are pushing into solar energy.

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

Click Here To Get Started

Energy 101: Solar Power

June 12, 2022

Energy 101: Solar Power

Energy 101: Solar Power. Our animated correspondent, ‘Little Lee Patrick Sullivan,’ continues our “Energy 101” series with an inside look at solar power technology. He breaks down the different types of solar devices and how they work, detailing the pros and cons of this renewable energy source.

[TRANSCRIPT]

Hi, I’m Lea Patrick Sullivan with energy now, and today I’d like to talk to you about the power of the Sun. Solar power is the most abundant most renewable resource we have. If we could collect 1/100 or 1% of the sun’s energy reaching the earth, it would be more energy than all humans use today. Just outside Yuma, Arizona is the sunniest place in the world. Ninety percent of the year the skies are clear and these southwest deserts have enough suitable land to supply 80% of the entire planets current use. The Sun has produced energy for billions of years and naturally energizes all of the plants on the planet. These plants give energy to animals and power the human body. This is done by a process called photosynthesis.

Energy 101: Solar Power: the secrets of how a plant creates energy

For decades now, scientists have unlocked the secrets of how a plant creates energy through photosynthesis, and can duplicate that process using modern technology in silicon. This process of creating electricity from the Sun can power our homes and cities. There are two ways of capturing the power of the Sun. First is, photovoltaic devices, more commonly known as solar cells, they change sunlight directly into electricity.

Energy 101: Solar Power: Solar thermal electric power

Another way to capture the sun’s energy is by capturing its heat. Solar thermal electric power plants generate electricity by concentrating solar energy to boil water which then produces steam. This steam turns a turbine which moves a generator to produce electricity. Solar thermal electric plants consist of fields of mirrors to reflect the concentrated sunlight onto a receiver. The receiver then collects the solar energy and converts it to heat. The production of energy from solar thermal plants work essentially the same as fossil fuel power plants but, instead of producing steam from burning fossil fuels, the steam is made by the Sun. The only downside to this source of technology is that the power only exists as long as the Sun is up. To help solve this problem, other forms of solar technology have been explored.

Energy 101: Solar Power: energy for cloudy days and night time

Scientists are currently working on methods to store this energy for cloudy days and night time. One way to conquer this problem is building new power plants that combine a multitude of renewable energy sources using solar power and wind power, and biogas could do this. When one method is not creating electricity, the other could take over. Other methods such as storing excess power and batteries could also be a possible future for solar technology.

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

Click Here To Get Started

How Does Solar Energy Work?

June 10, 2022

How Does Solar Energy Work?

[TRANSCRIPT]

How Does Solar Energy Work? Every day the sun shines more than 3 trillion watts of free energy on the earth. That’s enough energy to power over 3 million homes for an entire year. Being produced every day, solar panels harness the energy and convert it into clean electricity to power our homes, businesses, and lifestyles. Light from the sun stimulates electrons on a solar panel.

Like having your own power plant

These electrons create DC or direct current electricity. Solar electricity travels from the panels on your roof through an inverter to the circuit breaker panel of your building. An inverter changes DC electricity into usable AC or alternating current electricity before sending it to the breaker panel of your building. Your home uses that electricity to power the electronic devices we use every day. It’s like having your own power plant on your roof with an endless supply of clean energy. Let’s continue to find out How Does Solar Energy Work?

Buy back your excess electricity

Anytime the panels are producing more energy than you are using, like sunny days when you are on vacation, the excess energy is sent back to your utility company where they are required to buy back your excess electricity at the same rates they would normally charge. A concept called Net-Metering. The utility company purchases your excess solar electricity and sells that energy to homes and businesses in your neighborhood. Even homes in businesses that do not have solar panels are still buying your excess solar electricity. Let’s continue to find out How Does Solar Energy Work?

Free abundant energy of the sun

When the sun goes down, your home or business purchases electricity from your local utility company the same way. It has, in the past. However, credits from your excess solar energy, produced during the day, will offset nighttime charges which are much cheaper than peak daytime rates. This maximizes your savings through Time Of Use billing. Where you are selling energy to the utility during daytime peak hours while buying energy during night time off-peak hours. Instead of buying electricity from a power plant that burns coal and other pollutants, you are taking advantage of the free abundant energy of the sun. Let’s continue to find out How Does Solar Energy Work?

For as little as $0 down

As energy rates continue to go up, your system produces clean renewable energy at no cost to you. Now you get to choose how much to spend on electricity. Imagine if we could do that with gasoline prices today. There are some incredible incentives and rebates to help pay for solar installation. Finance programs can help you install panels for as little as $0 down. Increase the value of your home or business by reducing your energy costs. Businesses will increase profits while homeowners will increase their homes market value, help save the environment, and reduce global warming. Start producing your own clean energy. Now we’ve learned How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

Click Here To Get Started

How solar energy got so cheap, and why it’s not

June 10, 2022

How solar energy got so cheap and why it’s not

How solar energy got so cheap and why it’s not. A lot speaks for solar energy. It’s clean, renewable – and now even cheaper than energy from fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. Sounds pretty great, right? But it only makes up a tiny bit of global electricity production. Why don’t we use a lot more of it yet?

Are you wondering how solar energy got so cheap and why it’s not? We’re destroying our environment at an alarming rate. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Our new channel Planet A explores the shift towards an eco-friendly world — and challenges our ideas about what dealing with climate change means. We look at the big and the small: What we can do and how the system needs to change. Every Friday we’ll take a truly global look at how to get us out of this mess. So now you can learn How solar energy got so cheap and why it’s not.

Solar Titan USA is certified by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners, Certified LG Chem Installer, certified Generac Installer, and a certified SolarEdge Installer.

Are you still not sure about solar panels but would like more information? Here is our FREE eBook titled “A Complete Guide On Solar Power”. Now you can learn more about solar energy and if and how it can help you. This eBook covers everything you need to know about solar power including information about Solar Titan USA.

Click Here To Get Started