More and more middle and entry-level home buyers are considering living in manufactured homes. These prefab structures cost less and can be as energy efficient, if not more, than their than stick-and-mortar counterparts. The lure of increased energy efficiency has prompted many who've gone this route to ask: Can I use solar technology to power my new home? Absolutely! Solar energy is an ideal way to heat these new cost-efficient homes, making them a marvel for environmentalists everywhere. Check Wind Loading Requirements When installing a solar panel system on a manufactured home, it must be done by a professional to ensure the installation meets state and local wind loading requirements. In some cases, these homes need to be modified to provide a secure enough attachment to meet specific codes. In these instances, ground-mount and pergola installations can be used to supply energy for the home. Calculate Your Energy Needs Your professional solar panel installer can recommend the size and number of solar panels you’ll need to meet the energy needs of your manufactured home and its appliances. The PVWatts Solar Calculator… Read more

Look on the rooftops of some residential neighborhoods and you’re likely to see solar panels. In the last few years, solar panels have become increasingly important in offsetting the rising costs of electricity. If you haven’t considered installing solar panels in your home recently, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn just how low prices have gone. Competition & Economies of Scale Reduce Costs Remember economics class? As technology changes, industries change, and as it becomes easier to produce items at a larger scale, their production actually becomes cheaper. This is called economies of scale. Much like big screen TVs, producing more solar panels over time reduces production costs. Competition among solar panel providers is also driving costs down. But, more than that, competition is also leading to innovation within the industry. Now, greater, more powerful, more efficient solar panels are becoming available at a lower cost. The overall improvement in solar power technology and the manufacturing process is making solar power more widely available, a great thing for the environment and for our wallets. $53 Million for Next Generation Technology… Read more

Many homeowners faced with ever-escalating electric bills have decided to go solar, and for good reason. Solar energy is clean, renewable and growing less expensive as new technologies bring down the cost. If you’ve decided to go solar, there are a number of things you can do make you home solar ready. Taking these steps will ensure that the installation of your solar system will be as easy and inexpensive as possible. 1. Make Room for Your Solar Panels You’ll need several solar panels to provide enough electrical power to offset their cost in the long run. Typically, you’ll need about 260 square feet (24 square meters) of sunlit space on your roof. This area should be unobstructed by TV antennas, trees, chimneys and other buildings or structures for most of the day. If you lack roof space, you can opt for fewer, more efficient solar panels. Also consider mounting some of your solar panels on your patio cover, if possible. 2. Choosing the Right Roof Direction Solar panels need to face the sun directly to most efficiently turn sunlight… Read more

If you’ve recently had solar panels installed on the roof of your home or are considering installing them, there are some things you should know about their care. But first, a little background on how they work. Converting Photons to Free Electrons Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic (PV) cells, are usually made of semiconductors like silicon and convert sunlight directly into electricity. The solar modules placed on your roof are merely groups of electrically connected cells packaged into solar panels. When sunlight strikes these cells, they absorb some of the light. This dislodges electrons in these semiconductors so they can flow freely. The electric field in each PV cell forces these freed electrons to flow, creating the electric current that powers the various devices in your home. The more direct sunlight each PV cell can absorb, the more power you get out of them. The Good News Solar panels have no moving parts, so they don’t require a lot of maintenance. Once properly installed, solar panels will provide years of service, rain or shine—yes they even work on overcast days,… Read more