How to Get the Most Out Of Your Solar Power System

So you made the environmentally and financially sound decision of going off the grid, now what? If you’re wondering how to make the most of converting to the wonderful renewable resource that is solar power then you’ve come to the right place. Solar power is a fantastic and eco-friendly alternative to using fossil-fuel-based electricity but it does take some work to get it running optimally. If you didn’t know this then don’t feel bad, consumerism is largely based on overconsumption and, ultimately, wastage – that is what has been drilled into us over the years. Here are a few tips for getting the most from your new solar power household or workplace.

1. Reduce Your Consumption

It’s no good converting your home or office to solar power if your appliances are electricity guzzlers. Start by replacing the most power-hungry models first, these will be a massive drain on your power supply and that is simply not sustainable when you’re running off of solar power alone.

refrigerator-recycling

An old refrigerator uses almost four times the electricity of a new one

If you can’t replace those older appliances for their newer and more energy-efficient counterparts then you should at least only be using them once a day and one at a time.

2. Replace Obsolete Lighting

Do a lighting audit on your solar-powered home, vacation home or office and replace all of the lights that use the old type of energy-hungry bulbs, or if you can, replace just the bulbs with more energy-efficient ones.

solar-powered-lights

Lighting is one of the biggest contributors to power consumption when the bulbs are all filament globes. Filament globes produce heat as a by-product of creating light and this heat accounts for almost 90% of the total energy wasted by these bulbs. Take advantage of solar incentives in Oregon and get rewarded for living more responsibly.

3. Invest In a Gas Geyser

Your solar power system was not cheap but it will never be able to keep up if it is expected to run your electric water heater all day, every day. Invest in a gas geyser that will not use the stored energy from your solar panels but instead use gas.

The other benefit of gas geysers is they give you instant hot water so you will reduce your water consumption at the same time as reducing your power consumption.

4. Take Advantage of the Daylight

Use appliances that require the most energy during the day when your solar power is in full swing. Stagger the usage of these appliances because if you try and use them all at once they will drain more power than your solar power system is capable of producing because your energy requirements will be too high.

5. Invest In Solar Batteries

Installing solar power is just the first step in investing in a total solar energy system. The best way to make the most of your solar system is to buy solar batteries to go with it. These batteries will maximize your solar consumption by reducing the amount of electricity you will need to purchase from the grid.

solar-battery-storage

They do this by providing a safe place in which to store the solar energy collected during the day for use later in the evening. Solar batteries are a necessary upgrade for homeowners with solar-powered systems.

6. Cancel Standby Modes

A lot of electrical devices like TVs, laptops and Wi-Fi’s use electricity even when they’re not in use. It might not seem like much at the time but all of that extra power consumption adds up every year and it is completely wasted. You can save on the power drawn from your solar-powered system by unplugging those devices when they are not in use.

The same applies to charging your devices, make the most of the sunlight hours by putting these devices onto charge during the day and unplugging them in the evenings. You can also charge things like power banks during the day so that you can use them to charge your devices at night instead of conventional electricity.

7. Get a Gas Stove

Cooking is one of the biggest power-draining activities around, especially with a fully electric stove and oven. Switch to a gas-powered stove and watch your electricity consumption drastically reduce.

natural-gas-applications

Gas stoves, like gas water heaters, provide an instantaneous flame, so your pots and pans will heat up so much quicker than a conventional stove. This will save your solar power system from the massive evening drain that comes with making dinner, as well as have your dinner cooked much faster than normal.

Considerations When Buying a Vacation Rental with Solar Panels

It’s possible that one of the properties you’re considering for purchase as a vacation rental will have solar panels already installed. This can be a positive marketing point for your property in today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world.

Installed correctly, solar panels can be aesthetically pleasing. Their presence is also one of the first things people will notice about a property. So, when you get to the stage of when you’re ready to start the financing process of investing in a particular vacation rental property with solar panels, here are a couple of things you’ll need to consider as a part of your vetting process.

vacation rental with solar system

How Were They Financed?

Your first consideration will be how the panels were financed. The easiest scenario is when the owner of the property financed the panels themselves. Solar panels can add a lot of value to the property. Although the value of the panels decreases with the age of the installation, newly installed panels can add up to nearly $30,000 of value to a home.

If possible, see if you can get an idea of what the previous owner’s utilities ran prior to installation of the panels, and after. This will give you concrete information about how much the panels are saving on the electric bills.

What is the Size of the System?

You’ll also want to have an inspector give you an idea of the size of the solar system. If the previous tenants worked from home and had several family members, the installation is probably more than adequate for a vacation rental property. A smaller system for one or two people might need enhancements. Lower utility bills will allow you to charge less for your property.

What if the Panels were Leased?

Sometimes the property owner doesn’t have the money upfront to pay for the panels, so they finance them by leasing. This situation is not necessarily something that should cause you to automatically pass on the property. It’s important to find out the age of the lease. It’s possible the finance period is almost over. In this case, the cost of taking over the lease will be minimal.

There are a couple of points open for negotiation here. You can work with the finance company to see if you can reduce the amount remaining on the lease. Or you could have the remaining amount on the lease included in the selling price. The cost of solar panels is expected to go down by as much as a third by 2024, so the amounts under consideration can be expected to be less as time goes on.

Have the Panels Inspected

As in any potential property purchase, having the panels inspected prior to signing on the dotted line is mandatory. You’ll want to get an overhead inspection of the panels, which can be done by drone. Make sure the drone has a thermal camera to check for an initial check for defects.

You’ll want to perform the solar panel inspection on a sunny day. This way any defects, such as hot spots, will be more easily detected. The optimum time for such inspections is in the morning or late afternoon, to reduce glare off of the panels. If the sun is directly overhead, you may get too much glare off them and the inspection won’t be able to show you anything.

If possible, do a second drone inspection with an RGB (visible light)  camera. This inspection will turn up the presence of debris on the panels. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It can simply mean that the panels are due for a cleaning, something that hopefully has been a part of the regular maintenance of the panels.

Is There Enough Sunlight?

Another aspect of existing solar panels to consider is whether there is adequate sunlight to support them. If the panels were installed in an area shaded by trees, you not only may not be getting the full benefits of them but may have more cleaning costs associated with them.

If they are shaded because of geographical features on the property, you also may not get the full benefit of the panels.

Previously installed solar panels are not necessarily a negative when considering investing in that property as a vacation rental. They can be a great marketing point for your property as well as aesthetically pleasing. Just be sure to look into how they were financed, and get them inspected for general condition. This will ensure the panels are in good working order prior to you taking over the property.

A Complete Guide To Setting Up A Solar Power System In Your Home

Using solar energy systems for power isn’t exactly a new concept by now. It lets people cut down on electricity costs, and its renewability makes it more eco-friendly.

Solar power works by capturing sunlight through mirrors, lenses, and photovoltaic panels. The concentrated energy gets converted into a current, which is then stored in batters for later use. You can use that to supply power during certain times of the day or a whole day, when it’s dark, or when you can’t use your current power system. For this reason, it’s quite accessible as a source of power, especially in underserviced areas.

how to set up a solar power system at home

Although it has these benefits, the rate of people adopting it for their households is still quite low. For one thing, solar panels require some considerable investment for buying and maintenance. And, of course, there’s the claim that other energy producers are trying to curb its usage to keep themselves in operation.

Nevertheless, people nowadays have more opportunities to switch to solar power thanks to advancements in photovoltaic technology. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of this renewable energy source first-hand, look up reliable solar power system installers like Impact Energy Solar In Colorado and similar providers in your area to ask questions and get started.

But before you get ahead of yourself, you should know that switching to solar energy takes a few key steps. Preparing your household for installation is one of them. Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Here’s what homeowners like you should do to set up a solar power system at home.

1. Calculate Your Household’s Approximate Energy Consumption

Before installing solar panels, assessing and knowing your energy needs is essential. You can do this by summing up all the power that your home requires.

A common way to go about this is to look at your monthly electric bills for a whole year first. List down the total number of watts you consume. Then, you get the average. While it may not represent exactly how much energy you use, it should put you in a safe range for how much you’ll need to keep your daily routines.

You can also make a list of the appliances you use daily. These may include:

  • Clothes irons
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers and dryers
  • Fans
  • Lights
  • Televisions
  • Microwaves
  • Electric cookers
  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Heaters

You might add more to the list depending on what you have in your home. Once you have everything down, the next step is to add the approximate time you use them daily and their power rating.

Then, you calculate the watts per hour. Multiply each appliance’s power rating by its run time. After doing this for every device and appliance, you can add all the individual figures to get the overall ‘watt-hour.’ This figure helps you determine the size of the solar power unit you need to keep everything running in your household.

As a rule, the size of the system and your estimated consumption are directly proportional. The greater your energy needs, the bigger the solar power system you have to get. So, make sure you have this down to make your search for the ideal system much easier.

2. Check If You Have All The Components That Make Up The Solar Power System

The second step to setting up a solar energy system is gathering all the parts of the power unit. Regular ones usually include the following components:

  • Solar panels
  • Inverter
  • Charge Controller
  • Battery Pack
  • Fuses
  • Meter
  • Breaker
  • MC4 connector
  • Electrical safety equipment, like surge protectors

When buying these parts, make sure they’re compatible with one another and suit your installation needs.

Once you’ve purchased and confirmed that you have all the necessary parts, read through your user manual and module instructions that come with the solar power system unit. Take your time to understand the instructions.

different surveys when building a new home

3. Find The Ideal Location To Set Up Your Solar Panels

While it’s true that most people install solar panels on their rooftops, it’s not mandatory. There are other factors to consider before deciding where to set up your system.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the panels must have full access to sunlight. So, avoid placing them somewhere on the roof surrounded by tall trees. These can cast shadows on the solar panels, affecting their ability to capture as much light as possible. Also, their twigs, leaves, and other detritus may cover the surfaces of the panels, making them even less efficient. Other tall structures around your home do the same thing, as well.

With this understanding, always make sure you place your panels at a location and position primed for maximum exposure. If you can’t find a good enough space on your rooftop, the ground is always a good option. Just keep it protected from foot traffic or debris by putting up a fence.

There are also more creative ways to put up the panels. For those, consider working with a professional solar power installer to get the best advice on what to do.

4. Make Stands For The Battery And Inverter

Depending on the layout, it’s a good idea to have stands for the inverter and battery; otherwise, the setup may look flimsy and incomplete. You can either make one from scratch or purchase a completed stand, preferably from the same set as the components you bought.

Before getting the stands, you should first know where you’re going to place the inverter and battery. They should have enough space for the stands you’ll purchase. Once you got that down, you’re ready for the next step of the setup.

5. Set Up Your Battery

Speaking of which, you should place the battery in its rightful position according to your layout.

You’ll also need a power controller to monitor how your battery is charging. This small device has a LED light that acts as a signal to indicate the battery’s current status. Aside from that, it controls the power the battery receives and adjusts it if necessary.

 

The battery serves as the conduit for storing the power solar panels generate throughout the day. Whenever you need solar power, you simply channel the battery to discharge the energy it collected.

It’s crucial to have a battery with optimum storage to have a steady energy supply and to run your electrical appliances normally when there’s no sunlight.

6. Then, Place The Inverter

Solar panels produce electricity in the form of direct current (DC). However, electrical appliances can only use power alternating current (AC). Instead of using adapters when running your devices, inverters simplify the task by converting DC to AC.

Much like the inverter, you also need to set up the inverter correctly. They can also come in different power capacities. So, it’s important to get one that matches the needs of your household.

Note that not all inverters work for every device or appliance in your home. Check out your user’s manual or talk to an expert if you need to learn more about this.

7. Put Up The Solar Panels

Once all the other components are set, you can get to mounting the solar panels at the best spot. Again, you must place them somewhere with the optimal exposure. A professional can help you find that position and even help you with the placement. Ensure that your mounting stand is the same as the location’s latitude angle for maximum energy efficiency.

solar-battery

8. Work On Wiring The Components

You start by connecting the battery to the inverter. Next, wire the charge controller to the solar panels. Then, you connect the direct current load with the solar charge controller.

When connecting the charge controller and solar panel, it’s best to use an MC4 connector to get better results, especially if the panels are large. Once you connect the charge controller to the battery, you should see the LED lights lighting up.

If you are wiring smaller solar panels, try tracing a junction box at the back with a positive and negative terminal. Use the red wire for the former and the black one for the latter to connect everything.

After everything is put in place, give the solar power system a test run. The battery should start charging within a few moments. Then, pause and check if any problems pop up, like overheating, smoke, or odd smells. If everything goes without a hitch, you can now enjoy your new source of energy.

As you’ve seen throughout the article, the whole process is best done with the help of a professional solar panel installation crew. Don’t hesitate to look up the best ones in your area.

Time For You To Go Solar

Due to its many benefits for your budget and the environment in the long run, relying on solar energy may be one of the best investments you make. This guide should give you a good idea of how to properly set up a system. Of course, you should turn to professionals to make sure you did everything right. Here’s to more sustainable homes.

What Determines the Price of Home Solar Panel Installation?

People are leaning toward installing solar panels to have a “green” source of energy that would eventually cost them nothing. However, the price point is one of the major concerns that worry homeowners. People feel more inclined to check the price tag on home solar panels to decide whether they are going to go for them or not. Just like any renewable source of energy, the initial cost may sound very expensive, however, afterwards, the fuel price comes down to zero. The average cost swings between $15k and $25k, this gap in the range of prices depend mainly on the solar panel size.

But other than the size of solar panels, what other factors affect the price of home solar panel installation?

1. The Size Of Solar Panels

The cost of solar panels is calculated by dollar per watt depending on how much electricity you need to generate. A bigger system requires more work to install and that’s how the size affects the cost of installing solar panels. 2kW would averagely cost around $4k, while solar panels that would generate 25 kW costs $53k.

Crunching the numbers, it does sound that solar panel cost a lot more than average electricity bills paid per month, thanks to low-interest solar installment plans, buying big solar panels won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

2. Variation Of Price Between States

Solar panel prices may seem like they’re all the same across all states, however, you can use the same exact solar panels at two different states and you will get different costs. The reason behind these variations depends on the cost of electricity in every state. Let’s take Washington, for example, the cost of 6kw generated from a solar panel will cost around $9k, while the same in New York will cost $12k.

Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

The prices definitely seem costly, however, if one thought about the overall cost of electricity from solar energy and normal sources, solar is definitely cheaper.

3. The Quality

Prices differ according to the manufacturer brand; prices can range from $13k up to $17k. The local Sandbar Solar not only provides high-quality panels, complex commercial and residential setups, but also cares about the community by sponsoring many events with their eco-friendly Solar Trailer.

Other than the panel brand you are going to choose, other factors must be kept in mind; the experience of the installer, racking equipment, cost of electricity by state and the location also affects the prices. So, when you are choosing the brand for the solar panel installation project, you need to be careful and consider all the factors and aspects.

Clean Energy

Choosing a renewable source of energy is the best thing one can do these days. The greenhouse effect that is caused by coal, petroleum, and gas will put an end to the earth at some point. It’s our responsibility to go “green” to save the Earth for a better world.

Other than that, even if you don’t care about the environment, a clean source of energy that depends on wind or the sun, would definitely cost you a big amount at the beginning, but in the long run, they are cheaper sources of electricity.

3 Things To Think About When Installing Solar Panels

If you’re looking to join the green movement and install solar panels on your home, we’ve got the perfect article to share and help you learn if you should make the solar investment.

1. The cost of installing solar panels

Installing solar panels is going to be slightly costly. One of the reasons behind this is that scaffolding will have to be placed around your home, and roofers will need to attach fixings to your rafters.

It’s important to discuss with your solar panel installer before proceeding with the installation. Still, a surveyor should visit your home to help you understand all the costs associated with installing solar panels.

electrical-engineering

The size of your home will also change the price of solar panels as a larger house tends to use more electricity and will require more panels. This increases the costs, and your solar panel installer will explain any extra hidden costs behind the solution.

Once installed, solar panels do not require much maintenance and should last for a long time. However, you may run into problems over the years and need pigeon proofing solar panels to avoid birds from nesting underneath and a general clean every few years, adding some maintenance costs.

Our recommendation is to contact as many solar panel installers as possible and ask for quotes from all of them. Then, compare the quotes you have received and a breakdown of the expected energy savings from your solar panels and make an educated decision if solar panels are the correct solution to your energy problems. The initial investment can be costly, but over time you should make that back with savings.

2. Is your home suitable for solar panels?

Depending on which country you live in and the angle of your roof, your home may be more suitable for solar panels than others. However, you should never install solar panels on a home that receives relatively no sunlight due to shade caused by trees, buildings and any other object.

solar-battery

Other factors to consider is that if you work in an office, you will not receive the full benefits of the panels

Some countries such as the UK require planning permission for solar panels to be installed on listed buildings or buildings within conservation areas.

3. Problems with your solar panels

Commonly, you may run into a solar panel problem during the time you have them in your home; the most common problem highlighted tends to be the inverter which causes no usable energy to be transmitted from your system.

solar-panels-pigeon-issue

Other common solar panel issues include birds nesting under solar panels, panels building up dirt, electrical problems and isolator problems.

Most issues can be resolved by yourself, but the main problem is finding out the cause of the case. Which usually means you have to call in a solar panel installer or expert.

If you’re still undecided on solar panels for your home, don’t feel pressured; solar panels are a costly and lengthy investment, and you have to be sure that you want to go ahead with the acquisition.

7 Key Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Home Solar Panels

Installing solar panels in homes is becoming more popular due to increase in the efficiency and availability of solar panels, besides the public concern for environmental preservation. According to experts, “green” energy should eventually replace the traditional sector of the world economy. Solar panels for the home combines several modules of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electrical energy.

different surveys when building a new home

The excess energy generated by solar panels during the day is stored and used when needed. Batteries can be used as a backup power source in the absence of a centralized power supply. They allow significant cost savings when utility rates are too high. For example, the price of residential electricity in 2022 averages 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up 6.1% from 20211.

Solar energy accounts for 3.7% of global electricity production and this figure will steadily increase over time2. According to statistics, every second buyer of solar panels is interested in purchasing them in addition to the system already working in the house. These energy sources are a long-term and significant investment in home improvement. Therefore, the service life of a home solar panel is an important factor for manufacturers and buyers. Manufacturers must ensure that their products are reliable and durable.

Most homeowners prefer power system brands that supply the best solar batteries with a guarantee of reliability and durability. The service life of home energy storage is 5 to 15 years. Solar panels are made from recyclable materials with a guarantee of their operation for 25 years. They can be replaced after the warranty period of use.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Home Solar Panel

The service life of solar panels is an important factor for both manufacturers and owners. It shows how the modules are durable, reliable and make it easy to produce power when needed. The lifespan of solar energy storage devices is affected by the following factors:

1. Degradation of panels (gradual loss of efficiency of modules)

The duration of their operation depends on the degradation factor of the solar energy storage. This indicator is influenced by the manufacturability and quality of the manufacturer’s products. The best manufacturers estimate the annual power loss of the solar panel in the amount of 0.8-1%. This guarantees the buyer that in 20-25 years his solar installation will produce at least 80-85% of the originally installed power rating per year of production.

2. Features of the operation of the solar battery

The life span of a solar panel depends on the cycle of use. The solar panel is a deep cycle unit that can discharge up to 80% of stored energy before recharging. Batteries charge level depends on characteristics such as model and size, which increase their potential. When buying a device, you should pay attention to the manufacturer’s depth of discharge (DoD): the larger it is, the longer the battery will last.

solar energy diy

3. The impact of adverse environmental factors

The relevant environmental factors include difference in night and day temperatures, the influence of ultraviolet radiation, overheating in the daytime, strong gusts of wind. When the air temperature rises, the material of the battery expands, and when the ambient temperature drops, it contracts. Such a temperature difference leads to the formation of microcracks on the panel, which reduces its performance. The air temperature and excessive ultraviolet radiation eventually destroy the hermetic elements of the module, causing loss of their elasticity and mechanical damage.

4. Properties of the material from which the module is made

Polycrystalline systems wear out more than mono crystalline modules. The payback period for batteries made from polycrystalline modules is much faster. However, they also require replacement faster after 25 years of operation. This is especially true for solar panels of the middle and low price segment. Therefore, polycrystalline modules are not recommended to buy and install.

5. Type of solar battery

According to the chemical composition, lead-acid, lithium-ion, salted (with sea water) batteries are distinguished. Among them, lithium-ion panels are characterized by greater depth of discharge (DoD), durability, lightness and compactness3.

6. Heating temperature of the solar battery

The battery pack lasts longer in moderate ambient temperatures. In this case, it is better to install it on the roof of the house. At low temperatures, the battery will work fine if it is operated in a garage or basement. The higher the air temperature, the more the solar panels power generation performance decreases in summer.

7. Quality assurance and regular maintenance of the solar battery

They play a leading role in ensuring the durability of the device. Manufacturers must guarantee the performance and life expectancy of a solar power system. Regular maintenance always costs less than replacing or buying a new battery. For example, maintenance of a battery costs between $150 and $300 per year, but you can spend $100 to $3,200 to repair it4.

In addition to these factors, the performance of a solar station is affected by the presence of a shadow, the orientation and angle of inclination of the batteries, the quality of design and installation work carried out by the installer. When choosing a contractor who will mount your station, you should contact companies with experience in the field of solar energy. A professional installation company will offer you solar energy system maintenance and repair service.

How to extend the life of solar panels

The owner of a home power plant himself can extend the life of solar energy system if he observes the following rules:

  • timely cleaning of panels after snow sticking to them;
  • avoid damage or scratches to the module;
  • protection from strong winds by barrier structures;
  • regular cleaning of panels from dirt and dust with water from a hose;
  • continuous battery charging, as a battery that is not charged for a long time wear out prematurely;
  • regulation of the optimal number of batteries in the solar system, which contributes to its uniform charging.

The solar company Aion.solar offers a full range of services from materials for the production of home energy systems to their installation. Convince yourself of the efficiency and quality of home solar installations offered by this company.

Sputtering Target: An Overview

Thin films are required for several processes—from manufacturing touch panels and glass to solar cells and displays. These layers are manufactured using a process called sputter deposition. The sputtering target is a vital piece in the procedure.

This article will cover all you need to know about sputtering targets.

Let’s dive right in.

What is a Sputtering Target?

A sputtering target is a raw material that helps produce thin films used in sputtering deposition/coating. It helps to coat different materials called the substrate. Substrates can be glass, displays, solar cells, etc.

Sputter targets can be circular, like the one shown below. Similarly, they can come in powdered form.

what is sputtering target

Source

Sputter coating occurs in a sputtering system. The image below shows what this system looks like. The sputtering system is a vacuum chamber with a controlled pressure of 0.5 to two pascals. 

applications of sputtering target

Source

The coating process begins with the introduction of argon gas until the system attains a low-pressure argon-filled environment.

Sputtering targets are usually negatively charged. Since argon has a positive charge, it is attracted to the target. When it collides with the sputtering target, it ejects atoms from the target surface. There is also a magnetic material/array in the system that reinforces the ejection of these atoms.

Then, the ejected atoms travel opposite the target to coat the substrate layer-by-layer until they form a uniform thin film.

One of the most popular target materials used as sputtering targets, especially for semiconductors, is aluminum. This is thanks to its versatility and superior heat resistance. However, you still need a certified aluminum powder supplier to get the best possible coating quality.

4 Uses of the Sputtering Target

The sputtering target is a vital piece for coating most of the materials you use today. In this section, we will discuss the four popular uses of the sputtering target.

1. Semiconductors

The sputtering target is necessary to create several thin layers in semiconductors. These include microchips, flat panel displays, etc. The target is an integral part of the wiring and barrier layer of the semiconductor.

Besides, in wafer manufacturing, these targets are necessary to produce conductive layers and metal grids. The importance of the sputtering target further extends to chip packaging, where it is used to manufacture the wiring layer and metallic layer just below the bump.

The targets used for semiconductors are the most demanding when it comes to purity and technology. They will not meet the required electric performance if the impurity level is higher than required. This can lead to circuit damage. Metals such as Aluminum, Tantalum, Titanium, Copper, etc., are recommended for the process. A mil-spec supplier can help ensure this purity.

2. Solar Cells

The sputtering target is an integral part of thin film solar cells, which is the second and one of the most efficient generations of solar cells. With the target coating, this generation promises 10 to 20 years of lifetime with the best payback time.

There are many targets used for solar cell coating. The first is cadmium telluride (CdTe) sputtering target. This target works with the least carbon footprint and water usage during the sputter deposition process. With CdTe, you also don’t have to worry about energy deficit in the short term. However, cadmium is a component of the target, which can be toxic.

Another target used is the CIGS target. CIGS is the combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium. Films prepared using CIGS show superior light absorption and power-generating potential.

You can also use the gallium arsenide target, which maintains its efficiency even at overly high temperatures. It is most suitable for solar cells used in areas with high radiation and ultraviolet rays, such as aerospace.

3. Low Radiation-Coated Glass

Energy-saving glass or low radiation-coated glass is replacing the traditional glass today. This is partly because of its aesthetics and its energy-saving and light control capabilities. The magnetron sputtering technique is used to manufacture this low radiation coated glass.

Silver sputtering targets are very popularly used for energy-saving glasses. This is due to their elevated conductivity, ductility, and malleability. Another material is chromium sputtering target. This target can make a film as tiny as 2 to 10 micrometers. Chromium is hard, doesn’t wear off easily, and can resist impact. These are the features you want in your glass.

Titanium sputtering target is perhaps the most versatile choice. Whether you’re using it for semiconductors or low radiation-coated glass, it slots in seamlessly.

Other important target materials to note are the zinc tin target, silicon aluminum target, and titanium dioxide target.

4. Optical Glass

Sputtering targets are also necessary components for making coatings of sunglasses, optic filters, eyeglasses, and other optics glasses. You can superimpose these thin films on these optical components. These thin films further optimize how light is transmitted or reflected in the optical glass. In essence, sputtering targets are responsible for the anti-static safety property of lenses and other visors.

Coating with the target material can help you elevate the luster and lifetime of the optical glass. It also minimizes abrasion and increases the glass’s thermal conductivity.

The targets used in this case are similar to the ones used in the energy-saving glass coating. Their difference lies in their manufacturing procedure.

There are two popular sputtering processes for optical glass coating. The first is ion beam sputtering. This involves bombarding the target with high-energy ion beams. This will help eject the target atoms and form a hard, dense, and smooth film on the optical surface.

The other sputtering process is advanced plasma sputtering. This process uses a hot cathode to eject the atoms instead of high-energy beams. This process gives you smooth and hard coating on the optical surface, reinforcing its stability. It is a very versatile process. Thus, it is the preferable choice for high-volume and more demanding coating processes.

In Conclusion

From automobiles to electronics and other applications that require thin films, the sputter target is integral. It helps you add more functionality and durability to the substrate. There are various types of target materials, each suitable for various purposes. Some of them include zinc, titanium, CIGS, CdTe, and others.

These targets have various applications. You can use them to make components of semiconductors and solar cell coatings. They also come in handy when you want to coat energy-saving and optical glasses.

Going Green with Solar Power

There is no question about it; fossil fuels are still prevalent today. However, when it comes to long-term power and energy solutions, there are other viable options. Although many countries, businesses, and households have adopted renewable forms of energy such as wave, wind, and solar, there is still ground that needs to be covered. Additionally, there are plenty of benefits to adopting solar power.

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Doing Your Part for a Healthier Planet

Solar power, which we can harness thanks to the ingenious invention of the solar panel, is a renewable form of energy that never runs out (unless there are extended periods of cloud cover). If you are a homeowner or company and wish to do your part in being a part of the solution, consider installing solar panels.

One thing you are more than likely pondering, however, is the cost of implementing solar power in your home, business, or in aid of your community. And this is a definite factor when deciding how and where people acquire their electrical needs. However, over time, the panels pay for themselves, which ultimately leads to saving money.

In the end, the importance of using renewable energy cannot be stressed enough. People can quickly reduce their carbon footprint by opting for this form of power, which has a ripple effect. If more people choose to install solar panels to supply their electrical needs, the demand for the burning of fossil fuels will decrease drastically.

Solar Power and the Upliftment of Communities

Other benefits and subjects of importance for this energy source are that it can lead to community development and upliftment. Those living in urban areas with electrical infrastructure may take this for granted. Many communities do not possess the luxury of tapping into this, and this is one-way solar can be of immense help.

It leads to schools being able to offer access to electronic means of learning and access to resources, such as children being able to utilize the internet and engage with computer programs.

People in rural areas are allowed to do everyday tasks. These may include cooking, lighting their homes, washing and ironing clothing, watching television, communicating with people via the internet, and using appliances such as fridges to keep food fresh.

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What is Reaped from Solar Power

This is but the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous reasons to consider solar power. Leading on from the previous points, you will play your part and may wear the badge of honor that you are socially and environmentally responsible.

After the initial payout, solar panels only rely on the sun to generate electricity. Your electricity bill will lower or potentially even allow you to go entirely off-grid, leading to years of future savings. The best solar panels last an incredibly long time, some even up to 25 years. The batteries where the power is stored may need replacing more frequently, but they also have good lifespans.

The price of installing solar is on a general downward trend, which is more than likely due to an increase in demand, allowing suppliers to sell them at a cheaper cost. When it comes to producing solar panels, you will be glad to hear that the energy used to make them is far outweighed by their eventual output.

Consider Joining the Solar Revolution

Humanity has long had to be coerced into doing things that are good for our planet, our home.

Earth is still the only habitable planet we know of. It deserves care and a dedication to seeking viable options to ensure that future generations are left with a healthy and sustainable world. And to top it all off, solar power can supply communities with off-grid electricity where they would not have had it before.

5 Solar Panel Facts You Might Not Know

Over the last decade, it seems that the cost of electricity has risen in most areas. This is one of the reasons why so many people are getting solar energy systems installed in their homes. Due to its rise in popularity, we have seen prices for solar panels and other equipment needed to make your home more eco-friendly decrease.

Because solar energy is still fairly new technology, many people still know very little about the industry. To help you out, we have compiled a few interesting facts about solar panels which you might find interesting.

As the industry grows, you will probably be hearing much more about solar panels and the benefits of using this eco-friendly method to provide energy for your home. Below are solar panel FAQs to remember:

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1. The First Solar Panel Cell was Discovered in 1941

Although it seems like solar panels have only been around for the last few decades, the world’s first solar panel cell was invented by Russell Ohl in 1941. Shortly after the invention of the first solar panel cell was invented, Bell Laboratories came up with the world’s first commercial panel in 1954.

Although it seems we are still at the stone age of solar power, photovoltaic (the conversion of light into electricity) was discovered by French scientist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel in 1839.

2. In the Long Run, Solar Power can help Save you Money

Although the initial cost of installing a solar system in your home might be frightening, the overall running cost of the system can save you a lot of money. Although prices of installation and equipment are becoming more affordable, it still is expensive for the average household.

However, try to keep in mind that you won’t ever have to pay to heat or cool down your house again (assuming your solar panels power system can provide enough energy throughout the year for your home). The average household spends $1,300 annually on their electricity bill.

Throughout the world, it seems more and more governments are trying to encourage homeowners and business owners to invest in solar panels. Lots of governments have offered people incentives and tax breaks in the hope that the number of households using this eco-friendly method will increase. In some states in America, people who purchase solar panels are eligible for a 30% tax break. Also, some states allow those who own solar power to sell their excess energy, so they can make some profit from their system.

3. A Communal Effort

Community solar systems are becoming more common these days. Instead of just having an individual solar system in your home, more communities are investing in community solar systems instead.

Over the last 15 years or so, instead of each household having individual systems installed, whole communities are getting together and investing in a system that will provide energy for the entire community. If you are considering making your home more eco-friendly, why not speak to others in your community to see if everybody on the block is interested in getting a communal solar system installed instead?

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4. The Industry is Growing Extremely Fast

Between 2018 and 2010, the number of households and businesses having solar power installed in their buildings grew 23 times in the United States. Solar power is not only becoming more appealing to homeowners in the United States, but it seems like people all over the world are deciding to go green and install solar power systems into their homes.

China uses more solar power than any other country on the planet. The Chinese government has been offering the residents of the country plenty of incentives that has resulted in many people installing a solar power system in their home.

If you are thinking about installing a solar power system inside your home, check out Solar Panels Network USA for more information. If you are still on the fence about joining the solar power movement, ask them for advice.

5. Maintaining a Solar Power System

Maintaining your solar power system tends to be fairly cheap too. In fact, once the system is fully installed there is actually very little maintenance needed. Apart from cleaning the panels now and again, and making sure that it’s getting sunlight and not shaded, it should work smoothly. You may have to trim some trees at times but that’s about it.

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Most solar panels have been installed on a tilted roof, so when the rain hits it will clean any dust and dirt from the panel so you won’t have to clean it too often.

Most solar power system suppliers offer 25 year warranty, but it is not too uncommon to see a quality solar power system last for 40 years. If your system does manage to last for that length of time, you can imagine how much money you will save on electricity.

5 Things You Can Do About Pigeons Under Your Solar Panels

Solar paneling has changed the way we look at renewable energy sources today. In addition to the increasing power charges, solar paneling provides a workable solution with a one-time investment. Like everything, there are pros and cons attached with solar panels. Birds are attracted to solar panels that act as a source of shade and protection. Being a bird lover, I would have been happy about it. However, that is not the case here. Bird droppings can cause a lot of damage to solar panels over extended periods of time.

We list some of these damages below:

  • Bird dropping deposits eat on the solar panels’ surface.
  • The accumulation of bird droppings over time can cause a lot of damage.
  • It blocks sunlight and reduces the overall efficiency of panels.
  • Nesting materials deposited under panels can hinder airflow, causing it to overheat and cause more damage.

How to Keep Solar Panels Safe from Pigeons?

So how do we deal with this problem? There are several ways to take care of this. We list 5 things you can do about pigeons under your solar panels below:

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1. Meshing or netting

Meshing or netting is a very convenient way of keeping the solar panel safe from pigeons. All you need to do is first have the area under the solar panels cleaned. After that, it’s as simple as putting the mesh clips onto the solar panels. The meshing runs over the edges and seals off the way for the pigeons to enter.

The meshing or the netting serves precisely the desired  purpose–it keeps the pigeons out of the area below the solar panel. Also, it provides enough ventilation for the solar panels to dissipate heat.

However, one essential thing that you need to keep in mind is not damaging the panels during the mesh installation. In case the panels get damaged, the warranty would be void.

2. Roof spikes

Installing roof spikes around the solar panel is another way to keep the pigeons at bay. The logic is to make the birds so uncomfortable so that they do not dare to sit long enough to make nests on the solar panel.

3. Plastic predators

The birds cannot distinguish between an actual bird or an artificial one. Setting decoys on your rooftop is like having scarecrows in the field. Set up a bird of prey on the rooftop, preferably like a weathervane, so that it moves. The movement of the bird gives an impression of another bird being present. Plastic predators is a very traditional, however, effective method to keep pigeons and other birds away.

4. Cleanliness

We always talk about cleanliness and how important it is to maintain hygiene. Here is a perfect example of the same. Most of the time, the primary reason for the attraction of birds is if they find food. Hence, keeping away all sources of food makes the place inhabitable. Keep the rubbish bins covered with lids.

If there are pets in the house, ensure that all the pet food is being cleaned. Use tightly sealed plastic bags wherever possible. The cleaner your yard and roof is, the lesser is the chance of bird inhabiting the place. Also, with regards to the a flat roof, ensure that you don’t have any edible garbage lying around.

5. Solar panel maintenance

And finally, let’s come to the last part, which is the maintenance of your solar panels. Cleaning up the panels regularly and taking care of any cracks or any mountings issues is extremely important. Ensure that you get the solar panels cleaned and serviced correctly at regular intervals. Clean solar panels don’t attract a lot of birds.

Conclusion

It is extremely crucial to maintain clean conditions around the panels and even around your house. Cleanliness ensures that pigeons or other birds are not attracted to your home. Along with cleanliness, regular maintenance of the solar panels will ensure that fewer birds inhabit your home. Also, it ensures that the efficiency of your solar panels does not dip. There are various companies that offer solar panel pigeon proofing. It is advisable to get a professional maintenance of the solar panels done once a year to ensure maximum efficiency and long lifespan of your home solar system.