Solar Panel Inverters – A Quick Guide

Solar Edge Inverter Installed to Houston Home
Solar Edge Inverter; Houston Texas

Solar Panel Inverters – A Quick Guide

Solar panel installations for your home or business can be an overwhelming process. There are so many factors to consider during the solar panel installation process. From solar panels to battery backups to solar panel inverters, the research can be endless. Solar panel inverters are a necessity and here you will find a quick guide for solar panel inverters.

A solar panel inverter is a critical piece of equipment in a PV system. The inverters job is to take the DC power from your solar panel and turn it into AC power. The inverter will connect directly to the inverter which will tie into your household electrical panel. The power is sent to the home to run appliances and will even turn back the meter with excess energy. You can check out tax savings as well. Inverters come in a few options: sting inverters, central inverters, and microinverters.

String Inverter Solar Installed Set Up for Buisness
Commercial Install of Solar Panel String Inverters; Katy Texas

Solar Panel String Inverters

String inverters are a tried and true answer to solar panel installation without shading issues and where solar panels are positioned in the same direction. It is important to emphasis that not even one solar panel can be shaded if you want your solar panel system to run at full capacity. This is due to the fact that if even one solar panel is shaded that all panels will suffer. Even though they can’t handle shade, they are a less expensive solution than systems with microinverters. String inverts are used in both residential and commercial solar panel systems. In addition, the string inverter can be paired with optimizers.

Large Central Solar Inverter Business Set Up
Central Inverter for Solar Panel Farm

Solar Panel Central Inverters

Central inverter works similarly to string inverters but at much larger capacity.  These are used for large solar panel installations, as they can support more strings of solar panels.  You will typically see a central inverter at a commercial solar panel project.

Micro Inveter Set up on Katy Texas Home
Installed Microinverters

Solar Panel Microinverters

Microinverters are module level electronics. That means one will need to be installed on each solar panel. The microinverter converts the DC power to AC power at the panel level so there is no need for a string inverter. So, this is a great option if one or more of the solar panels are in a shaded area. The panels in the sun will still operate at full capacity. Another positive with microinverters are their monitoring capabilities. They monitor each individual solar panel. If you have shaded areas and/or multiple solar panels on different angles, microinverters may be the best solution for your solar panel installation even know they maybe a more expensive option.

Depending on the solar panel installation site and budget one of these inverters will be mandatory when developing your system. Sunshine Renewable Solutions offers complimentary on-site consultations. This will help you better understand the equipment that will be mandatory in the solar panel system. After the consultation, you will be presented with options that will help meet your goals of going solar.

Contact Sunshine Renewable Solutions today!

A Guide for EV Chargers

EV Charger Guide - Chevy Volt Charger Set Up
Home Installation of EV Charger

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for your home

You have decided to purchase an electric car, now there are so many questions going through your mind. Where do you start? What do you need to do to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success? There are 4 different types on chargers, residential charging stations, charging while parked, fast charging at public charging stations and battery swaps. Although there are 4 different types of charging stations, this guide will focus on EV Chargers for your home. EV charging stations for your home will be the charger you make use of the most, so let’s start with home charging stations.

EV Charger Guide - Garage Installation for EV Charger
EV Charger Installed in Home Garage

These 5 questions will cover EV charging station basics for your home:

1. What is an EV Charger?

An EV charger is a charger used in an EV charging station. The charging station becomes the infrastructure to produce energy for electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The station provides electrical conversion, monitoring and safety functionality.

2. What are the different levels of EV Charging Stations?

There are typically only 3 types of chargers, Level 1 EV Chargers, Level 2 EV Chargers, DC Fast Chargers.

  1. Level 1 EV Chargers – This charger provides charging thru a 120 V AC plug and does not require installation of addition charging equipment. This will provide 2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging.
  2. Level 2 EV Chargers – This charger provides charging thru a 240 V AC plug and requires installation of addition charging equipment. This will provide 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging.
  3. DC Fast Chargers – This charger provides charging thru a 480 V AC plug and requires installation of addition charging equipment. This will provide 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging.

The chargers and vehicles will have a standard connector and receptacle, called the SAE J1772. This is so nearly all non-fast charging workplace and public chargers will work with your electric vehicle of choice. Fast charging does not currently have a standard connector.

3. Why have an EV Charging Station at your home?

If you have to solely rely on electricity to power your car, it is imperative to have a home charger installed at your home. This charger will be used every day, ensuring your electric vehicle is ready when you are to hit the road. The charging station is usually installed in your garage. If you do not have a garage, there are outside charging station options as well. Charging can range from 30min to 10hours based on factors such as the type of EVSE, type of battery, how depleted it was and the capacity of the battery. So, depending on the type of charger you choose for your home, you can always have some type of charge for your electric vehicle.

4. What EV Charging station features are important to consider?

There are many factors to consider when choosing your EV charger for your home. Sometimes there is more research done on the charger than on the electric vehicle you purchased! Here are the factors we believe you must take into consideration when looking at charging stations.

a. Charging Times – How fast do you want your electric car to charge? What are the cars capabilities?

b. Cost – What is your budget for the EV charging station for your home?

c. Safety – What safety precautions are important to you when installing a home EV charging station?

5. How do I get one installed in my home or office?

Now that you understand why you need an EV charger for your home and features to take into consideration, it is time to find an EV charger installer. Hiring a professional EV charging installer is critical to the success of this project. There are companies that provide a turnkey solution for EV charging station installations. Solar panel installing companies such as Sunshine Renewable Solutions will help you thru this entire process. They take a no hassle approach. You will receive a complimentary consultation at your home where they will assess your property and offer their expertise advise on where to place the EV charging station. In addition, they will review the options you have available for EV charging products. From there they will have their licensed professional installers come out to install the charging station so you can begin charging your new electric vehicles at your home!

Take the first step to get your EV charging station installed at your home now!

The History of Solar Energy

The History of Solar Energy

Solar energy has a long history dating back to the 7th century B.C. but was not where we know it today until the 1950s. The first signs of solar energy being put to actual use was to make fire. Although the technology has evolved from humans using sunlight to light fires by magnifying glass to the advanced solar panels we know today, the history of solar energy is an interesting story.

There is not one society that can be credited for the use of solar energy, there were a number of contributions from early civilizations. Many early civilizations are credited to using the sun to cultivate fire. In addition, they used solar energy to create sunrooms in buildings. These rooms used windows to direct sunlight to a specific section of the room. In Roman times, there were called bathhouses. From there, in the 1700s, scientists began harvesting the suns power to run ovens for long voyages as well as steamboats.

From the longtime of societies utilizing the sun to harvest solar power, scientists were able to start the development of solar panels in the late 1800s. Here is a list of the contributors to the creation of solar panels:

  1. Edmond Becquerel – He was a French scientist that invented the solar cell. He determined light could increase electricity generated when two metals electorates were placed into a conducting solution.
  2. Willoughby Smith – In 1873, he discovered that selenium had photoconductive potential
  3. WIliam Gryalls Adams and Richard Evans Days – In 1876, they discovered that selenium created electricity when exposed to sunlight.
  4. Charles Fritts – In 1883, he produced the first solar cells.
  5. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearsons – They created silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell in 1954.

It is notable to say that the first silicon solar cell could only convert sunlight at 4% efficiency. By 1960, the efficiency rose between 8%-14% with the next major achievement in 1985 when the efficiency became 20%. By 2016, we were operating with a 34.5% efficiency.

As you can see, there were many contributors to solar energy history. Starting by making fires, to creating bathhouses, all the way to the solar energy panels we know today. Solar panels will continue to improve and create the clean energy that is sustainable for our planet.

Sunshine Renewable Solutions, headquartered in Houston, TX, provides residential and commercial solar panel installations to cities all over Texas. We have offices in Dallas, Amarillo, El Paso, Austin, and San Antonio, TX. Take the first step and become a part of the amazing rich history of solar energy by allowing us to offer you a complimentary consultation. Here we will explore together if solar panels are right for your home or business.

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Is Solar Worth It?

Is Going Solar Worth It Yet?

Updated August 22nd, 2021

Is solar worth it? Many homeowners like yourself are now wondering “is the technology generating a sufficient return?.” It’s no secret that solar power has become increasingly more popular, but is it merely trendy or is it now a smart decision? Has solar panel cost come down far enough to make the expense of installation worthwhile?

Homeowners in Houston, Texas and throughout the United States are increasingly investing in renewable energy. The US has added more solar power (75,900 megawatts to be exact) than every other country, except for China, for the generation of electricity in 2021. Solar-generated power now accounts for around 39% of all new electricity produced. Wild, we know!

The current trend in the US is only a reflection of a broader global shift when it comes to using solar power as a source of energy for homes and businesses. According to data collected from the United Nations Environment Program, solar energy attracted $303.5 billion in investment last year, and has now become the fastest growing electricity source globally. So, is now the right time to join the green revolution in Texas? Let’s find out.

State Of The Art: Photovoltaic Modules

Solar technology has grown to heights unimaginable by its inventors, but never since its inception has photovoltaic technology advanced at the rate that it is today. Luckily, the wait is over and the it has finally plateaued. Some of the first solar panels installed in the 1980s are still going strong. It’s truly incredible. Today’s solar panels operate at an efficacy of 15 to 22 percent. While you will pay a slight premium to install panels with an efficacy on the higher end, it easily pays off. You can get a quick peek into the current state of the art solar panel technology here.

Solar Panel Cost Today

Is rooftop solar within reach today? More importantly – does it finally cost less than the value of the energy it produces?

Solar energy is more cost-effective, accessible and prevalent in the US than ever before. Since 2015, the average solar panel cost has dropped by 70%, while the cost of a full solar panel installation has fallen by 20% in just the past five years. Since the solar energy markets are maturing rapidly in the US, and the world, going solar has now become more economically viable than ever, especially in states such as, California, Texas, Minnesota and Hawaii.

Apart from being the cleanest energy source available, using solar power is also leading to better economic growth, job creation, and mitigating the effects of climate change, making it an appealing solution to meet the rising energy demands of modern society.

Also, you can get some more insight on this topic here.

Is Solar Worth it?

Yes, yes and yes! Solar panel cost is at an all time low and the cost of installation is so reasonable that you can be cashflow positive on day one. The return on investment is 20 percent for a typical solar system, which is double what you can expect from investing your money conservatively in the stock market. Like real estate, you are quite literally making money while you sleep.

While we can’t guarantee that your home is ideal for solar, our job is to do that work for you. We use the finest technology available to evaluate your roof and its ability to offset your current energy production. We factor in all aspects of your current and future energy production (do you plan to install a pool or purchase an electric vehicle you’d like to charge at home?) to provide a turnkey solution to meet your needs.

If you have been watching and waiting for the right time to pull the trigger, we can confidently tell you that the time is now. The federal tax credit is currently 26%, and has been extended through the end of 2022. As it stands, it will decrease to 22 percent in 2023 and then disappear, which is another major reason to pull the trigger soon.
Pro Tip: You can find a wonderful wealth of information on the benefits of going solar and ways to get discounted rates while vetting reputable installers here.