How Does Tesla Powerwall Work?

May 29, 2020

Tesla Powerwall is a battery storage product that allows you to store energy generated by solar panels. It allows homeowners to continue using electricity generated by solar panels even during the night. Powerwall will also safely and seamlessly power your home in the event of a power outage—with no blinks or intervention needed from you. Here are the key things to know about Powerwall and how it may fit into your home’s energy-use portfolio. Tesla Powerwall Specifications Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that uses liquid to control heat. Tesla is one of the few companies in the world that produces residential energy storage products. The first generation of this product was released in April 2015. Powerwall 2.0 was released in late 2016. GVEC Home® is a South Central Texas contractor with offices in Gonzales, La Vernia, Schertz, Cuero, and Sequin. We’re a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer with years of experience installing and servicing solar panels. Residential Battery Size Tesla Powerwall only comes in a size of 14 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Each battery has 13.5 kWh of usable capacity. It’s a modular system, so you increase capacity by adding more Powerwall units. You ”stack” up to 10 Powerwalls. Managing Your...

View Article

Benefits of Maintenance for Your Solar Panels

May 10, 2020

Keeping your solar panels well-maintained is important in limiting costly repairs while also ensuring that your panels work efficiently. Reaching out to a professional on a yearly basis is a great way to stay proactive and ensure that your solar panels will last for many years. Here are a few of the main advantages of keeping your solar panels maintained: 1. Peace of Mind Choosing to have your solar panels maintained is essential in preventing small problems from developing into a large-scale issue. You will have the peace of mind to know that your system is in excellent condition by getting a professional inspection. These proactive maintenance services can play a key role in extending the lifespan of your solar panels and saving you a lot of money in the future. 2. Maximize Efficiency Over time, your solar panels may not operate as efficiently due to the buildup of dirt and grime. However, a solar panel technician can easily remove these particles to ensure that your system operates as efficiently as possible. Cleaning your solar panels on a yearly basis is a great way to maximize the return on your investment as it can greatly increase efficiency. 3. Improve Safety...

View Article

Earth Day Tips: How Solar Panel Systems Contribute to a Healthier Planet

April 20, 2020

Earth Day is celebrated every April 22. By some estimates, the event is marked by over 1 billion people from 192 countries across the globe, making it the most observed occasion on earth. We think a solar panel system from GVEC Home Solar services is a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Solar panel systems contribute to making Earth a better, greener place to live. Reasons to Celebrate Solar on Earth Day 2020 Here are some reasons to consider investing in an eco-friendly home solar panel system from GVEC Home for Earth Day 2020. Sun Power as an Energy Source The sun is a powerful source of energy. Depending on how your solar panel system is set up, including its direction (southerly facing is optimal), you can reduce energy bills by 70% or more. If you install Tesla Powerwall battery storage solution with your solar panel system, you can even use solar panel energy at night. Doing so will provide a round-the-clock alternative energy solution, helping further decrease energy bills through your GVEC Home solar investment. Reduce Reliance on Non-Renewable Energy Solar panel systems help reduce reliance across the grid on non-renewable energy sources like coal and natural gas. While...

View Article

Why Does My Power Still Go Out During an Outage if I Have Solar Power?

April 6, 2020

When there’s a power outage, your solar panels will stop working. There are a few reasons why, and there’s also a way to keep power flowing during an outage if you have solar panels installed. Technical Reasons Solar Panel Systems Stop Working in Outages The first reason your solar panel system stops working is technical. Solar panels adjust current and voltage as the sun moves across the sky, and output varies throughout the day. In a grid-connected system, any power produced by the panels must be a) used immediately; b) stored in a backup battery storage system; c) put onto the grid-at-large where it can be used by others; or d) wasted. If solar panels were connected directly to a home’s electrical system, it could cause problems such as blinking lights, damaged appliances and more. Safety Reason The other reason power goes out in homes with solar panel systems during an outage is related to safety. GVEC repair crews couldn’t safely work to repair damaged lines during an outage with power still flowing along the grid through connected solar panels. The reason is that these systems, if still powered up, can create a phenomenon known as backfeed. Backfeeds can cause...

View Article

Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days or at Night?

March 18, 2020

While the climate of South Central Texas is mostly warm and sunny throughout the year, we do have our cloudier and cooler days. If you have been considering going solar, you might be wondering if solar panels only work when it’s sunny and warm. Here is what you can expect from your solar panels, whether it’s sunny, cloudy or nighttime. Sunny Days Give the Best Results Solar panels are made up of numerous solar cells. Their job is to absorb light that will be converted into usable energy. They are most effective when there is plenty of sunlight available. When the sun shines on them, they produce the most energy. The electricity produced does not go to waste if your home cannot use it all. Depending on your solar system setup, the electricity is either sent back to the electric grid and bought back by your electricity provider or to a battery storage system, like Tesla Powerwall, for use when your panels aren’t producing. Solar Panels Don’t Take Cloudy Days Off You might be surprised to hear that solar panels continue to work on cloudy days. If you’ve ever gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day, you know that the...

View Article

How Long Do Solar Panels Last and When Should They Be Replaced?

March 10, 2020

When you’re considering going solar, it’s important to understand what’s involved with this process and what you as a homeowner can generally expect. As a rule of thumb, solar panels will generally last 25 to 30 years. Even after they have gone through that entire life cycle, solar panels will continue to produce electricity, but the amount they produce may be diminished from when they were originally manufactured. However, it’s not uncommon for solar panels to function for many decades as long as they aren’t damaged by the weather or any other external factors. This is possible because solar panels don’t have any moving parts, and they rarely break internally. Solar panels should be replaced when they degrade to a point where they no longer offer efficient electrical generation for your home. With a return on investment average of six to eight years, this is usually long after your solar panel system has paid for itself in savings on your electricity bill. At this point, you should think about replacing your solar panels. How Can I Ensure My Solar Panels Last as Long as Possible? Call GVEC Home® if you suspect your solar panel system is damaged or producing less...

View Article

Are Solar Power Stations in Space Really Possible?

February 29, 2020

Have you ever thought about what solar power would be like if we didn’t have cloudy days? Or what might happen if it became possible to generate solar power through the nighttime? Solar panels work by capturing particles of light from the sun’s rays to generate electrical currents that can be used immediately as electricity or stored in batteries (like Tesla Powerwall, now offered through GVEC Home) for later use. However, on cloudy or dark days, when the sun’s rays are slightly less powerful, solar energy capture is not quite as efficient. And of course, at night, it’s impossible for solar panels to gather sunlight. This is where the idea of space-based solar power comes into play. Space-Based Solar Power Systems: Revolutionary Potential Space-based solar power works by the same principles and using the same equipment that earthbound solar panel systems do: Photovoltaic cells absorb sunlight and convert it to electrical energy. At maximum efficiency, space-based solar power could yield two to three times the amount of electricity compared to land-based solar panels of the same size. This is largely because panels based in space—in contract to those on earth—don’t lose access to sunlight due to the sun’s rotation. As...

View Article

Will a Solar Panel System Cause My Roof to Leak? What Does GVEC Do to Prevent Leaks?

January 20, 2020

By installing solar panels on your roof, you could enjoy a cost-efficient and space-saving way of generating energy. However, many people are cautious about roof-mounted solar panels because they worry that the installation process may damage their roof and cause leaks. Here is what you need to know about leaky roofs and solar panel installations. Should a Roof Leak After a Solar Panel Installation? When done correctly, there should be very little risk of a roof leaking after a solar panel installation. A roof is one of the sturdiest parts of your home, and it can hold far more than the weight of residential solar panels. Most leaking happens when an unqualified installer punches holes through the roof. Keep in mind that even the best installation can cause leaks if you have the wrong sort of roof, though. Certain materials like wood or slate may not work with solar panels. Roofs over 30 years old may have dry rot that cannot stand up to installation without deterioration. How to Prevent Leaks From Happening GVEC Home’s solar experts will assess your roof condition and make sure you have the right type of structure for solar panels. All installations on angled roofs...

View Article

How to Claim Your 2019 Tax Credit for Installing a Solar Panel System

January 10, 2020

In addition to the free electricity, one of the big cost savings associated with solar panel systems is a federal tax credit. This money can help offset some of the price of installing your solar panels. However, it is only available if you take the time to ask for it. This guide will explain what the solar tax credit is and show you how to get it. Understand What Credit You Need to Claim The first step is figuring out just what tax credit you get for installing a solar panel system. The main one is called the Federal Solar Tax Credit. This credit can be claimed in the same year you finish installing your panels. It allows a credit for a certain percentage of your cost for installing solar panels. The government plans to phase out this credit, so the exact percentage slowly goes down for each year. The official form used for this credit is IRS form 5695. Keep Track of Your Expenses Since the tax credit you get is based on the cost of installing panels, you need to keep track of all expenses. Things you can include in your calculations include the cost of equipment, installation,...

View Article

Is a Solar Panel System Still a Good Investment if I Can’t Install it Facing South?

December 20, 2019

When choosing a solar energy system, whether for residential or commercial, prospective buyers naturally have many questions. What type and size solar panels should you use? What brand? How big a system do you need for your sustainable energy goals? Should you choose a ground- or roof-based system? One important factor many customers may not think of when purchasing a system is the orientation of the panels upon install—which direction should they face? What side of the roof should you place them on if you choose a rooftop system? You have choices regarding panel types and brands, and system size, of course, but what about the placement of the panels? Optimal Direction for Solar Panels Conventional wisdom holds that solar panels should always face south for maximum exposure to solar energy. It’s true that owning a solar power system in a generally sunny climate and that positioning the panels to face south may generate the greatest amount of power at one time. It’s also true, however, that factors like the cost of energy in your area and any financial incentives you may be eligible for will affect your actual solar energy savings more than placement alone. Positioning solar panels to...

View Article