Solar Panel System or Home Renovation: Which Will Increase My Property Value More?

December 20, 2020

If you’re thinking of selling your home in Moulton, TX, or anywhere else in South Central Texas, now’s a great time. It’s a seller’s market, and homes are selling for excellent prices and in record time. But we all want to get the most from selling a home; making upgrades in preparation for a sale can really boost profit. Use these details to decide whether to invest in solar power panels or a home renovation. Return on Investment for a Solar Panel System In a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an analysis of homes sold in 2017 and 2018 showed that those with solar panels sold 20% faster and for 17% more than homes without solar panels. Solar panels add more value to homes in states with high energy costs. These include California, Arizona, and Florida. Solar panels tend to produce more power in these sunny climates. Consequently, although energy costs aren’t as high in the lone star state as those three, our area of Texas enjoys, on average, more than 300 sunny days a year. A solar panel system can be a valuable add-on for homeowners here. The number of solar panels also affected the resale value....

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What Is Utility-Scale Battery Storage? Why Is Important to the Future of Solar Power?

December 10, 2020

Once electricity is generated, it must be used immediately or stored for later. Electricity’s “use it now, store it or lose it” nature has helped contribute to the rise of battery solutions as an option for storing the excess power generated by solar panels. Additionally, in the past decade, the cost of battery storage solutions has declined dramatically, while the technology has improved, making battery storage more viable and more affordable. The current preferred technology for grid-level or “utility-scale” battery storage in both the United States and the world is lithium-ion. From the small home solar panel level to the large grid level, consumers, industry and power distributors alike are adopting battery storage solutions in greater numbers—especially as costs come down and system efficiency goes up. Where Is Utility-Scale Battery Storage Used? Currently, in 2020, there are 1,355 electrical energy utility-scale storage projects around the world. Eleven additional storage facilities are being built. Approximately 40% of all the online storage operations are in the United States are spread across about 40 of the 50 states. Why Utility-Scale Battery Storage and Solar Electricity Go Hand in Hand Peak electrical supply and peak demand rarely, if ever, occur at the same time....

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Why Would Solar Panels on the North Side of My Roof be Less Efficient?

November 20, 2020

Adding solar panels to your South Central Texas home can be a great way to significantly reduce your home’s environmental impact while enjoying savings on your utility bill. To maximize the amount of energy you collect while minimizing the impact on your property, many homeowners opt to install their solar panels from GVEC on their home’s roof. While this is a good option, it’s important to note that not all roofs are created equal when it comes to energy collection potential. What Is An Ideal Solar Panel Orientation? Although the sun likely illuminates all of the sections of your home during a typical sunny day, there are some sections that receive more solar energy than others. In the Guadalupe Valley region, the portion that receives the most sun exposure is usually the portion facing south, making this the ideal location to install solar panels. South-facing solar panels can receive more sunlight due to your home’s orientation to the equator. Since the earth is tilted on its axis, the angle at which the sun strikes your home is more direct on the south side. What About A North-Facing Roof If your roof is constructed in such a way that it has...

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Can Solar Cell Technology Be Used to Power Automobiles?

November 5, 2020

Since automobiles can be a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions, it makes sense to dream about a day when cars in South Central Texas will be powered by something other than gasoline. Given the abundance of sunshine in the big Texas sky, solar power is one of the more intriguing options. The big question, though, is whether solar cell technology can be adapted for use in cars that people will actually want to drive. Plenty of Prototypes The idea of mass-production of solar-powered cars isn’t just intriguing to science fiction aficionados. Scientists and engineers also want to see this dream become a reality, which is why countless prototypes for solar-powered vehicles already exist. In fact, the concept is so popular that there are races featuring solar-powered vehicles to allow various universities to show off their engineering prowess. Challenges Although many prototypes exist, it is difficult to turn these concepts into anything more than a cool science project. One of the biggest limitations is the design of the vehicle. Most current solar-powered vehicles are designed to maximize the number of solar cells that can be installed on the vehicle’s exterior. While covering a large space with solar cells isn’t a...

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What Are the Financial Benefits of Solar Energy?

October 20, 2020

Incorporating solar panels into your home electrical system could help reduce your monthly electric bills, while also saving energy and decreasing the overall load on the electric grid. In some cases, you may be able to profit from the amount of energy your home panels generate. Let’s take a look at some of the specific financial benefits of solar energy for homeowners. Protection Against Rising Energy Costs Over time, the cost of electricity can rise due to many factors. You can help protect yourself from some of the impacts of electricity costs with a home solar panel system. Typically, these systems will last for decades, too. In fact, GVEC Solar services warranties each of our systems for 25 years on parts and 10 years on labor. Just because the warranty on our systems expires after two-and-a-half decades, though, doesn’t mean they’ll stop generating electricity at that point. So protection against rising electricity costs over the long haul is one of the many financial benefits of solar energy. Credit for Excess Power and Home Battery Solutions If you’re a GVEC electric member, and your home generates more power than needed, you have the option of selling any excess power back to...

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Is My Roof Suitable For Solar Panels?

October 10, 2020

Solar panels have become extremely popular over the last decade for homeowners who want to conserve energy, achieve greater energy independence and save money on electric bills. Before installing solar panels on your roof, though, it’s important to consider whether it’s suitable for panel installation. Read on to explore what makes a roof properly suited or unsuitable for the installation of a solar panel system. Roof Type and Solar Panel Installation Solar panels work well with most roofing materials used in South Central Texas homes. Two roofing types occasionally found in our region that can make panel installation more challenging are slate and wood. Slate tiles and wood tiles can break easily. For this reason, rooves made of these materials require special mounts. Another consideration when installing solar panels on a wood roof is this material’s greater potential for fire. Standard solar panel mounts may be used for the following roof types: Metal standing seam Asphalt Clay tiles EDPM Spanish tiles Roofing Shape and Size and Solar Panel Installation An average solar panel in the U.S. generates 5 kW of DC power. In general, you should allow 100 to 300 square feet of roof for every 5 kW. Turrets, dormers...

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When to Operate Large Appliances for Maximum Efficiency from Your Solar Panel System

September 22, 2020

Solar panels are revolutionizing how the world uses electricity. They are also helping people save on the costs of utility bills. We’d like to offer some tips when it comes to using solar panel systems efficiently. Knowing when to operate your large appliances can help you to maximize the solar panels’ efficiency. Operate One Large Appliance at a Time Just because you want to use the solar panel system’s energy to a maximum doesn’t mean you have to operate large appliances all at the same time. To ensure that the solar energy is well utilized, have one appliance on first, then another. For instance, ensure the washing machine finishes its cycle before you start using the dishwasher. Find Out When Your Solar Panels Are Most Efficient Depending on the direction your solar panels are facing when they’re installed, they will be most efficient at different times. For instance, your solar panel will be the most efficient in the morning if they are connected facing the east. They will be more efficient in the afternoon when facing west and more efficient from mid-day to the afternoon when the solar is facing north. Know When You Should Use Solar Energy Know when...

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How Does a PV Solar Cell Generate Electricity?

September 10, 2020

Being connected to the local power grid isn’t the only way to send electricity to your home. Solar-powered systems allow you to grab the energy of the sun to power things like appliances, lights and outlets. In fact, a properly installed solar panel system and battery storage can save you money on your monthly energy bills. What Is a PV Solar Cell? PV stands for photovoltaic. A PV cell is also called a solar cell. A PV solar cell includes a layer of semiconductor material that’s designed to absorb sunlight. Sunlight contains photons, which are energy particles. When passing through the semiconductor, these particles transfer their energy to electrons. The electrons then flow as electricity or an electrical current. Solar Panels and PV Cells A solar panel contains dozens of PV cells, each generating electricity. The total amount of power created by a cell or a panel of cells depends on several factors. These factors include the quality or intensity of available sunlight and the materials used to make the cells. GVEC Home® has qualified technicians available to help you install the right number of solar panels in New Braunfels, Seguin, Gonzales and the surrounding areas. Our customers can rely...

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Do Solar Panels Work During Cloudy Weather?

August 20, 2020

As more people learn of the cost-saving and clean-energy benefits of solar power, more solar panels appear on homes. Homeowners considering a solar panel purchase have understandable questions. Some wonder, for example, if solar panels perform well on cloudy days. The short answer is, cloudy skies aren’t a huge detriment. Not the Absence of Sunlight Don’t confuse cloudy weather with the absence of light. When skies become cloudy, there’s still sunlight available for panels to absorb and convert into electricity. Obviously, the amount of available light drops under cloudy conditions, and panel output will decrease somewhat, as well. However, it’s important to stress that solar panels do still harness light under cloudy conditions and continue producing significant amounts of electricity for use in the home. In any case, the issue of panel output on cloudy days is largely a minor concern for solar buyers in South Central Texas. Why? Because on average, our region enjoys over 300 days of sunny skies every year. Most homeowners who purchase solar panel systems in the Guadalupe Valley and surrounding areas, then, will notice little, if any overall impact on panel output due to cloudy days. Efficiency and Investments Quality means a lot with...

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The Progression of a Solar Panel Lifespan

August 10, 2020

As more homeowners turn to solar power to save money and reduce their use of nonrenewable energy, many have questions about the longevity of solar panel systems. One of the most common concerns among South Central Texas homeowners who contact GVEC Solar services is how long solar panels last. In answering this question, the primary consideration revolves around the natural degradation of solar panel cells. GVEC Solar Services: Industry-Leading Panels and Warranties Before delving more deeply into the lifespan of a solar cell, it’s important for potential solar buyers to understand that GVEC Solar services offers only the highest quality systems. Our photovoltaic (PV) panels are locally sourced and go through multiple checks on quality during the manufacturing process. They are designed for maximum weather resistance and durability and undergo stringent quality and reliability testing. We stand behind each system with a 25-year warranty on parts and 10 years on installation. When you purchase a solar panel system from GVEC Home, you’re getting not only the best products available, but also warranties that help ensure reliability and durability for the long-haul. Why Do Solar Panel Cells Degrade? The two biggest drivers behind the degradation of solar panel cells are exposure...

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