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PacificSky Solar
Instead of relying on shaky third-party installers like many other companies, PacificSky is an all-inclusive solar agency, which means its installers are trained in knowing exactly what your home will need to cut…

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While many homeowners are generally aware of PV solar systems, questions still remain about how they work and the many benefits these systems offer—both short and long term. Below are six of the most common questions homeowners have asked bout PV solar systems. The System in a Nutshell Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems are not that complex. They consist of solar panels, installation racks that keep the panels sturdy on your roof, electrical wiring, and an inverter that converts the DC current generated by the panels into usable AC current to power the lights and devices in your home. Soft Shade vs. Hard Shade Anything that blocks the sun’s rays from your solar panel will affect your solar system’s performance.  But realize that there are basically two different types of shade—Hard and Soft. Each affects a PV solar array differently. Hard shade occurs when a solid object or obstacle obstructs the array, blocking the sunlight with hard shadow lines. The current output of a PV cell is proportional to the surface area exposed to the sun. The hard shadow’s shape is… Read more

Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panel installs went through the roof this year—at least in the U.S. residential market. The remarkably consistent incremental growth of solar can be attributed to better homeowner financing options (leases, loans, and PPAs), a continued decline in system costs, and technical innovations. First quarter installations posted a record 11% growth rate—the biggest gain to date. Home PV installs rose over 75% compared to first quarter of 2014, according to a U.S. Solar Market Insight report—the quarterly publication from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which draws data from nearly 200 utilities, state agencies, installers and manufacturers. Capacity Going Up In terms of capacity, the report also noted that the U.S. solar market installed over 1.3 GW in the first quarter, marking the sixth straight quarter of at least 1GW solar power capacity growth.  In the U.S., PV installations are expected to reach 7.9GW in 2015, well over 27% of 2014’s capacity. Costs Going Down Installation costs for residential solar fell to $3.46 per watt of installed capacity in Q2 of this year.  This represents a… Read more

With subsidies for residential solar quickly running out, more people are rushing to install solar PV systems on their roofs and garages. To assuage the guilt of those who have installed PV systems in areas where major state and federal subsidies have run out, and to add a soothing balm to those considering installing solar PV systems afterward, there is Net Metering. Net Metering in a Nutshell Net metering lets residential customers who generate their electricity from solar PV systems return unused electricity back into their electric grid. It’s a billing method that credits owners of solar PV systems for any electricity they add back to the grid. Homes often generate an abundance of solar electricity during the day – if they don’t “burn it up” in air conditioning use or other high amp systems. In such a Net Metered home, the electric meter will literally run backwards to provide a credit. This credit can then be drawn against the electricity the home uses during nighttime. Typically only 20-40% of the electricity a solar energy system generates is ever returned… Read more

The world is going solar in a big way. Utility scale PV projects are increasingly being developed and one such mega project recently went online. Delivering an impressive 579-megawatts of solar-generated electricity, BHE Renewables' Antelope Valley Power Plant is finally fully connected to California’s ISO grid. "Solar Star" now has bragging rights to the largest operational solar project on Earth. According to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) website, the plant went online June 19th. The huge photovoltaic project is co-located in Kern and Los Angeles Counties and will provide enough electricity to power 255,000 homes. Installed over 3,230 acres, the projects employ 1.7 million SunPower monocrystalline silicon PV panels. While BHE Solar, a subsidiary of BHE (Berkshire Hathaway Energy), owns the projects, SunPower Corporation provided the engineering, procurement and construction, and will continue to provide operations and maintenance services for the plants via a multi-year services agreement. A Model of Efficiency SunPower employed its “Oasis Power Plant” technology to leverage large-scale plant economies and a modular, rapid deployment approach. This approach not only saves time but money and land resources.… Read more

Could solar energy someday power our commercial aircraft? Can the critics and pundits be wrong that such an aircraft would be too impractical? All eyes are on a new, specially designed aircraft that powers its engines with nothing but solar energy. Designed to circumnavigate the globe using nothing but the power of the sun, the Solar Impulse 2 is expected to complete its mission in multiple legs. The only airplane able to fly day and night on solar power, without a drop of fuel, the revolutionary single-seat aircraft has a huge 72-meter wingspan (wider than a Boeing 747-8I).  Next Generation of Solar Aircraft Solar Impulse 2 is the next generation of Solar Impulse aircraft. The Solar Impulse 1 managed a 26-hour flight in 2010, proving its ability to store enough power in lithium batteries during the day to keep flying at night. Initially ridiculed by aviation pundits when it was first unveiled, the solar powered aircraft has since earned the respect of critics. Made of carbon fiber, the Solar Impulse 2 weighs 5,070 lbs. or 2,300 Kg, about as much as a… Read more