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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How Much Solar Is Needed To Power My Entire Home?

July 20, 2020

Every year, more people are having solar panels installed on their roofs. The cost of panels has come down significantly, meaning they pay for themselves far faster than in years past. Here’s what to consider when figuring out how many solar panels you need to supply 100% of your home’s energy usage. The Size of Your Home Isn’t Important The size of your house isn’t necessarily relevant to how many solar panels you need to completely power your residence. Rather, what matters is how much energy you use per year. To figure this out, you need to look at a year’s worth of energy bills and add up the kilowatt-hours used each month and find out how much wattage the panels you’re purchasing produce. The Direction of Your Roof Which way the solar panels are pointed will also determine how many you need. Southern-facing roofs receive more sunlight than ones facing north in South Central Texas. Where You Live While solar power is viable across the contiguous United States, it’s more efficient in the southeastern states than in areas like New England. This means that you don’t need as many solar panels if your house is in California as compared...

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Science Project: Make Your Own Solar Panel From Soda Cans

July 10, 2020

Looking for an innovative science project? Below is a DIY solar project featuring empty soda cans that might fit the bill. Having photovoltaic (PV) systems installed at your home is the simplest and most effective way to harness solar electricity, and GVEC Home® offers professional solar installation services. But if you prefer building something from scratch, you might love this practical approach to generating heat with a central solar thermal panel. Using scrap parts and empty soda cans, you can create a solar panel capable of heating a small area. Here’s how it’s done. Assemble and Prep Your Cans Here is a list of materials you will need for this project: Aluminum/soda cans Silicon adhesive Plywood (15mm/0.6in) or sheet metal to make the frame Matte black spray paint Polycarbonate sheet (3mm/0.12in) or tempered glass Tubes for air intake and output Exhaust fan(s) and/or air pump(s) Depending on the size of the unit you want to make, you may need to cut up between a few dozen to hundreds of soda cans. The cans are your solar panel cells. Start by cutting the top off of each clean, dry can with a hole saw or a can opener. Then, cut a...

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Deconstruction of a Solar Panel

June 20, 2020

To many people, solar panels may seem magical. You install them on a roof or on the grounds of your property, and they supply your home with of electricity for day-to-day use. Understanding the materials used this magical tech is pretty fascinating in its own right. Let’s deconstruct a solar panel to see how it works. Photovoltaic Cells Photovoltaic or PV cells are the most important part of a solar panel. These critical components absorb photons from sunlight. PV cells work in conjunction with semiconductors built into the panel to transform those photons into electrical energy. PV cells form a central layer of the solar panel, and it’s important to make sure they aren’t blocked by debris atop the panel. The more direct sunlight photovoltaic cells harvest, the more efficient they are and the more they can save you on electric bills. Toughened Glass A layer of toughened glass covers the PV cells to form the outermost portion of the panel. This layer of glass is designed to protect photovoltaic cells from elements such as rain, sleet, snow and even hail. If cracks form in the glass portion of a panel, it’s time to seek professional repair. Aluminum Frame An...

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Interesting Items that Run on Solar–Or that Will in the Future

June 10, 2020

Renewable energy is hot—hotter than it’s ever been and among products in current energy markets. In this dynamic environment, no product is more on-the-move than solar. This amazing form of power is widely regarded as essential to the future of the renewable sector. Solar is abundant, readily available and powering a greater share of the market—of life—every year. Solar-power technology is also surprisingly versatile and adaptable for a range of products and uses beyond electricity generation. Here are some interesting items that run on solar or may in the future. Solar Powered Keyboards, Laptops and More Some keyboards are already powered by solar and available for purchase. It’s a good bet these products will become more sophisticated and numerous as time goes by. And although solar-powered laptops aren’t quite a thing yet, they very well could be in the future. But how, you might wonder, could solar run such a complicated device if users usually sit indoors while using it? Admittedly, solar technology isn’t quite to a point where it can power an indoor laptop on its own, but research into and development of power-generating solar materials continues in a never-ending cycle; don’t be surprised if such products start popping...

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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...

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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...

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