Monday, August 31, 2009

Photovoltaic Solar System Components

Photovoltaic Solar System Components

When purchasing a photovoltaic solar system, make sure to ask the contractor about the components you will received. This includes the brand, price, warrenty, and utility solar rebates/goverment solar rebates. Certain brands do not qualify for the complete rebate.

A photovoltaic solar panel system require 2 components to operate. These include:

  • Solar Panel Array
  • Inverter

A solar panel array is made of multiple photovoltaic solar panels. They work in unison to create electricity for a home or small business. Solar panels are typically installed on roofs or the sides of large buildings to maximize sun exposure. The photovoltaic solar panels convert ultraviolet (UV) light into electricity. The electricity produced by the solar panels is direct current (DC), and must be converted into alternating current (AC), the type flowing through American homes.

Quality solar panels have a long warrenty period (over 15 years) and a good efficiency (8-20%).

Inverters convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). Inverters are the component of a solar system that require the most frequent replacement. Inverters last an average of 10 years, but compared with the overall cost of a solar system, inverters are relatively inexpensive. Since inverters are prone to replacement, make sure to purchase a quality inverter. A quality inverter will last the longest period of time.

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Choosing a Solar Contractor to Install a Photovoltaic Solar Panel System

Choosing a Solar Contractor 

What is the best way to install a photovoltaic solar panel system? If it work hiring a contractor and paying them to walk on your roof or should you purchase a solar-kit and perform a self-installation. If you choose to use a contractor, you must check the following:


  • A current, up-to-date contractor license
    • Make certain that the contractor is qualified to work on your home
  • Insurance
    • When working on your roof, you are responsible for the installers. You do not want to get sued if one of the workers is injured. Make certain that the contractor has the proper insurance
  • Experience
    • You want someone who has installed multiple solar systems. Do not make your house the guinea pig.
    • The contractor knows how to install to maximize your rebates. He most also knows how to apply for the rebates.
  • Price
    • If you find a contractor offering an extremely low price, chances are he is missing one of these pieces. Insurance is most likely the missing component.
  • Longevity
    • A low price might mean that the contractor is losing money while installing a photovoltaic solar system. You want a contractor that will be around in case you have issues with your photovoltaic solar panel system.
  • Quality
    • Research the contractor to make sure he has done a quality job in the past.

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Solar Financing

Due to the high initial solar system price, most homeowners need solar financing to be able to pay for their solar system. There are many options for solar financing, including:

- Bank Loans
- Contractor Solar Financing
- Federal Secured Solar Loans

Remember, when purchasing a photovoltaic solar panel system, there are numerous federal, state, local, and utility company solar rebates available. Right now, these rebates cover more than 50% of the">solar system cost.

These rebates are scheduled to run out as more homeowners install photovoltaic solar panel systems. The price of solar panels is decreasing, but with the current level of solar rebates available, the cost of solar panels will take years to reach the savings from the current solar rebates.

In addition, the government has mandated that 20% of electricity be generated through renewables by 2020. As utility companies install photovoltaic solar systems, the electricity consumers will pay for the installations through higher electricity rates. So either way, homeowners will be paying for renewable energy.

<More Solar Resources>

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prices of Solar Panels Fall

Prices of Solar Panels Fall

Great news for home and business owners, the price of photovoltaic solar panels is falling. Due to the deteriorating condition of the economy, solar panels have fallen 8-10% already with an additional 15-20% drop in price expected. WIth the best rebates available and the prices dropping at this rate, the time for mass implementation of solar is coming.

Most of the decrease in demand for solar panels comes from Spain and Germany, the two countries with the most photovoltaic solar panels installed. In addition, the price of silicon, the key ingredient of photovoltaic solar panels, has been decreasing. Since 2004, high demand and short supply of silicon has driven up its price, increasing the overall price of solar panels. 

The increase in price of silicon has pushed more organizations to produce it. An increase in supply, due to decreased demand for the solar panels, has also brought down the overall cost of a photovoltaic solar panel system.

The capacity to mass-produce photovoltaic solar panels is available, but due to the recession, it is on standby. As soon as energy prices increase and homeowners have capital to afford a solar system, the demand for photovoltaic solar panels will increase. 

In a recession, it is typically a buyers markets. But in the photovoltaic market of this recession, with decreasing prices and great rebates, it is definitely the right time to buy solar. <read more>

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

California Renewable Energy

As California looks to lead the world with green energy production, one of the major questions is how? California has a vast amount of natural resources from the solar and solar thermal of the southern California desert to wind in the Sierra Nevadas.

The only question: how to obtain the energy and transport it to California cities? The only way to do this is through utility lines. Utility lines are large, expensive, and ugly. One way to cut down on the quantity of utility lines necessary is to install photovoltaic solar panel systems on homes and businesses.

According to one report, this will reduce the number of transmission lines required, saving California a large amout of money. This will only be the case if roof-top systems are found to be equivalent to large-scale wind farms, photovoltaic solar farms, and solar thermal farms. California Renewable Energy>

Rich Hessler

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Green Energy Projected Market Growth

With all the hype about renenwable energy, the only question is how much is it going to take off. According the projection below, renewable energy is expected to multiply by a factor of 7. This means that the solar industry will increase from $13 billion in 2006 to more than $65 billion in 2016.

A large portion of the solar growth will come from federal funding. The government is currently using solar funds in a manner that fosters competition. Homeowners and businesses currently pay for half a solar system (with the other half payed for by the incentives and tax rebates). Since a typical solar system costs $20,000 or more, significant investment is required. <read more about green energy growth>

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Delaware Photovoltaic Solar Installation

Homeowners in Delaware may have to wait for their rebates for installing photovoltaic systems. Like many photovoltaic solar installation rebate programs, the Delaware photovoltaic solar installation rebate program ran out of money. As of May 1, 2009, there is a backlog of 1.5 million dollars for installed photovoltaic solar systems. 

Part of the problem comes from Delaware's plan to increase the implementation of solar. It offers a financial incentive to install solar and allowed Delmarva Power, the major electrical utility of Delaware, to change it rates (which increased 59%). This money was used to aid homeowners implement photovoltaic solar systems.

Before this year, the state was collecting more than it was giving out. The change came at the beginning of the year with the removal of the $2000 cap on federal tax rebates on a solar system. This allowed homeowners to receive as much as a 50% rebate on a photovoltaic solar system installation. 

As the program started to go backrupt, the rebate on a photovoltaic solar system installation was decreased because the federal rebate worked so well. This brought the number of new applicants back under control, but there is still a long list of homeowners waiting to receive their Delaware solar rebate. <read more - Delaware Solar Rebates>

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Solar Panel Prices Set to Hurt Small Players

According to a report by Green Sheet, solar panel manufactures have not slowed down production to meet the decreased demand for solar panels. This is creating a large supply of solar panels, much like what happened with the auto industry. To compensate, the price of solar panels should fall.

This year, demand for solar panels has fallen 17%, but due to the last few years of incredible growth, many companies have increases production capacity. As a result, solar panel production has increased over 50% and profits (along with solar stock prices) have fallen.

Where does this leave the photovoltaic solar panel industry? <read more about solar panel production>

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Friday, August 14, 2009

American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009

In order to get the American Economy back on track, the government started the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA). The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 was put into action by President Obama to create jobs and place funding into areas that desperately need it.

The funding of the American Recovery Act of 2009 provides $787 billion dollars to be spent by the government over the next decade in the areas of aid to unemployed workers, cash deposits for social security, infrastructure, healthcare, education, energy, homeland security, and law enforcement. Below are two graphs showing where American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 money will be spent. <read more about ARRA>

Rich Hessler

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Most Activity for Solar Training

According to web traffic and lead generation of our solar training website,, 80% of the traffic for solar training comes from the following states. 

If you are looking to start a solar industry, one of these states may be the best place to start. This is where professionals are actively searching for the front door to the photovoltaic industry through solar training. Since they are searching the hardest for solar training in these states, it might be due to the incentives. But these states do not necessarily offer the best solar rebates. 

For example, Pennsylvania’s new Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program is one of the best solar rebate programs available, but it is in a state with little activity. States such as Pennsylvania are prime targets for individuals who want to buy solar panel systems, they just need solar sales professionals to effectively sell the photovoltaic solar system. <read more about solar training>

Rich Hessler

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Labor Secretary Solis Says Renewable Jobs Hiring Set to Improve

Solis says that renewable hiring is set to increase in the next 12 months, but significant growth in the renewable industry will not happen for a while still as renewable energy requires a large portion of the United States labor market (Associated Press).

The reason for the number of jobs in the renewable market, according to labor secretary Solis, is the federal government's investment/commitment to renewable energy. As our economy begins to stabilize and people obtain jobs, we will begin to see more investment in renewables.

These remarks came from the second National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Senate Majority Leader Reid, an attendee of the conference, is hoping to incorporate some of the ideas into renewable energy legislation after the recess (

Rich Hessler

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Solar Panel System - 50% Off

One company,, is attempting to slash the price of a solar system in half. The leading issue most homeowners have with purchasing a photovoltaic solar system is price. By decreasing the price, more homeowners will actively pursue installing photovoltaic solar systems. This is the goal of cheap photovoltaic solar systems. is selling monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar panels with self-installation instructions. By building one's own solar system, he/she will inevitably save money. claims that many are searching to cheap photovoltaic solar products, they just need help finding a quality product to install.

While this is great, a cheaper, self-installed photovoltaic solar system, one key feature is missing, the federal, state, and utility company solar rebates. These solar rebates can save the owner of a professionally installed photovoltaic solar panel system 50%. Keep in mind, to obtain these solar rebates, the installation must be inspected by a NABCEP certified installed. De-rating on the solar rebates due to the angle of the photovoltaic solar system, the direction the photovoltaic solar system is facing, and shading can occur, reducing the total rebate, unless installed properly. <read more about Solar Panel Systems>

Rich Hessler

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Iowa Photovoltaic Solar System Prices and ROI

Wind is not the only renewable energy source that should be implemented in Iowa. Photovoltaic solar systems are also appropriate for homeowners in Iowa. First of all, Iowa receives more sun hours per day than Germany, the largest user of photovoltaic solar systems. Second, Iowa offers fantastic solar rebates. Iowa offers a Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit that applies to homeowners and photovoltaics at $0.01/kWh. 

Iowa also offers a Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems that applies to photovoltaics.  In Iowa, the market value added to a property by a solar energy system is exempt from the state's property tax for five full assessment years.

Iowa provides for a Solar Energy Equipment Sales Tax Exemption that makes a photovoltaic purchase 100% exempt from Iowa sales tax. Farmers Electric Cooperative has Renewable Energy Rebates for residential photovoltaic solar systems that offers $1,000 for each kW purchased up to 5 kW. <read more about Iowa photovoltaic rebates>

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program Guidelines for Residential and Small Business

On January 1, 2009, photovoltaic solar panel system installers received a break when Congress removed the $2,000 cap on the 30% solar rebate on approved photovoltaic solar panel systems.  Overnight, the solar rebate made photovoltaic solar panel systems a financially competitive investment by reducing the payback period of a solar panel system and increasing the return on investment (ROI) to 8-15%.

Following the United States federal government’s lead, many states and local utility companies added additional solar rebates. Pennsylvania released the Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program in May of 2009. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program offers $100 million in solar rebates to small businesses and homeowners installing a photovoltaic solar panel system between 1 and 10 kW. It costs $100 to apply for the solar rebate, requires a minimum $250 solar system deposit, and the photovoltaic solar panel system must be operational within 12 months. Homeowners and business owners must apply for the Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program solar rebate before purchasing a solar system because the solar rebate does not apply to previous costs. <read more about Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program>

Rich Hessler 

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

World Photovoltaic Solar Panel Market Share

German and Spain hold nearly 75% of the world's photovoltaic solar market output. This is due to aggressive plans by both countries to install remarkable amounts of photovoltaic solar systems. Catholic church leaders and the Pope recognize the need to install solar ( They see the financial benefic of solar and environmental benefit of solar, both of which have never been better and are encouraging investors in Germany to invest in solar (New York Times). 

Similar changes to renewable energy will happen throughout Europe, especially with countries such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece copying Germany’s solar rebate program. This is in hopes for European Union to reach their goal of generating 12.5% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, such as photovoltaic solar panel systems. As or right now, Germany appears to be the only country on track with 14.2% of its electricity coming from renewables. <read more>

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Average Photovoltaic Solar Panel System Cost

According to and, the average cost of a photovoltaic solar panel system depends on its size. A 5 kW photovoltaic solar panel system costs approximately $35,000 and an 8 kW photovoltiac solar panel system costs approximately $72,000.

This is the price of a raw photovoltaic solar panel system. Currenty, the government is offering solar rebates....<read more about photovoltaic solar panel system cost>

Rich Hessler - Solar Training

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