Why Graphene Offers Exciting Possibilities for Future Solar Panels

November 9, 2019

Solar technology is improving at rates rarely seen in the energy field or any other industry. Panels are becoming less expensive, and new advancements are happening all the time. Among the major recent developments is the potential for creating solar panels out of a revolutionary substance called graphene. The professionals at GVEC Home® can evaluate your home anywhere in south-central Texas and install solar panels and battery storage systems that reduce your reliance on other energy sources while lowering your utility bills. What Is Graphene? Graphene is technically just carbon, but carbon arranged in a particular way. It is a single layer of carbon atoms, bound together in a honeycomb lattice structure. Graphene is the thinnest compound currently known; it is only one atom thick. It is also the lightest material yet to be discovered, with a square meter of graphene weighing less than a milligram. It is six times lighter and 200 times stronger than steel. How Do Graphene Solar Panels Work? The properties of graphene make it one of the most exciting materials ever to be developed. It is likely to change many industries from building bridges to manufacturing clothing, but one of the areas in which it...

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How Do I Decide What Size Solar Panel System I Need for My Home?

October 21, 2019

Solar photovoltaic technologies are becoming more appealing to many homeowners as the equipment costs continue to drop and the potential for long-term savings continues to rise. However, many homeowners wonder how to size a solar panel system for their particular homes. Assessing Your Energy Consumption GVEC Home is a leading solar solutions provider serving the Guadalupe Valley and surrounding areas. Depending on your situation, an energy audit may be a good starting point in determining which solar panel system is right for you. GVEC offers a free Home Energy Audit for members. Auditing your home’s energy efficiency will help determine where the inefficiencies and trouble spots lie, and what steps you can take to improve overall efficiency. You can also determine and assess how much electricity you’re consuming on a daily basis. Determining How Much Solar Energy You Want Once you know how much energy you consume each day on average, you’ll want to determine how much electricity you want to generate from a solar panel system and how much will come from the grid. Determine Peak Sun Hours and Number of Panels Next, you’ll need to determine which solar panel system is best suited for your individual needs. How...

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Which is Best, a Roof-Based or Ground-Based Solar Panel System?

September 8, 2019

Once you decide that solar panels are right for you, your next decision will usually be where you want to install them. The two most common locations for solar panels are on either the roof of your house or the ground near your home. Both of these spots come with their own unique advantages. Here are some things to consider when figuring out which one is right for you. Ease of Access and Installation Since ground mounts are not placed at dangerous heights and technicians do not have to worry about damaging your roof, they are easier to access for installation and maintenance. However, it takes longer to install a ground-mounted solar panel system because there are more parts involved. For Lower Installation Costs, Roof-Mounted Solar Wins the Day When it comes to cost, roof-mounted panels are usually better. If you choose to have GVEC Home install solar panels on the roof of your South Central Texas home, it could be less expensive because our technicians don’t need to build a support structure for roof-mounted panels. For Greater Versatility, Opt for Ground-Mounted Solar Ground-mounted solar panels can be placed almost anywhere on your property, giving you more options for positioning...

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How Do I Sell Surplus Solar Power Back to GVEC?

August 19, 2019

When it comes to saving energy, we firmly believe that the old saying “every little bit helps,” couldn’t be more true. If you do a Google search for “how to save money on electricity bills,” you’ll be flooded with tips like “turn off your lights” and “close your drapes on hot days.” Depending on your general usage habits and the size of your home, these excellent suggestions can have varying impact on your electricity bill. That’s why we regularly offer such tips on helping homeowners cut electricity usage. Saving Energy the Sunshine Way What if you could harness the sun’s plentiful, free energy to make a much larger impact on your bill? What if you could use solar energy to generate even greater savings for you and your family? You can with a solar panel system from GVEC Home. All-in-One Solar Solutions: An Efficient Way to Start Your Solar Journey At GVEC Home, we work hard to deliver an all-in-one, second-to-none solar experience for every customer. Our goal is to deliver a top-notch, cost-effective solar panel system, with installation, for your Texas home. Generate More Energy Than You Need In order to sell energy back to the grid, you must...

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How Does Extreme Weather Impact My GVEC Solar Panels?

August 5, 2019

Anything placed on your home’s roof could be impacted by extreme weather—hail, lightning, storms, and more. The good news is that solar panels are built to withstand harsh conditions. How Temperature Impacts Solar Panels While solar panels are designed to physically withstand the Texas summer heat, the output can potentially be diminished as temperatures rise. Extreme heat won’t change the amount of light your panels absorb, but it can affect how much of that light gets converted into usable electricity for your home. Basically, as a solar panel is subjected to extreme heat, its efficiency decreases. In Texas, rooftop temperatures can reach up to almost 200 degrees on a hot summer day; it all depends on outside conditions, the time of day and the type of materials a roof is made of. It’s not unrealistic, then, to expect slightly lower output from your solar panels in extreme heat. Extreme cold can also affect solar panel efficiency, but winter temperatures in South Central Texas don’t usually reach the sustained extremes required to have much if any, noticeable impact. As a result, don’t be surprised if your panels are more efficient in cooler months of the year. Panels Are Made to Withstand...

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How Does GVEC Attach a Solar Panel System to My Roof?

July 15, 2019

If you’re looking for an experienced solar panel installation company in Gonzales, Seguin, Schertz or surrounding areas, GVEC Solar Services has the expertise and experience you need. We’ve developed a very specific process for selecting solar panels and installing them for our customers. Buying the Right Solar Panels When you call GVEC Home for a consultation, we’ll assign one of our energy solution specialists to visit your site and evaluate it for free. The specialist will create a custom solution by considering factors like these: The slope and direction of building rooftops Your electric service and wiring Amount of power generation desired Cost of possible solar power solutions Professional Solar Panels Installations GVEC Home has developed a safe and professional method of installing solar panels to various types of rooftops. We mount solar panels onto metal racks, which is more secure than attaching them directly to roofing materials. We also house electrical wiring and cables in conduit to protect them from the elements. Our solar panels are durable enough to withstand the impact of large hailstones, wind, and downpours. A Smooth Process from Beginning to End Our transparent, dependable process for the purchase and installation of solar panel systems has...

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What You Need to Know About Maintaining Your GVEC Solar Panels

July 5, 2019

Many homeowners in South Central Texas choose to install solar panels on their property to lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Although solar panels are known to be low maintenance, they still require care from time to time to ensure they continue to operate efficiently each season. Proper maintenance will increase their lifespan and avoid repairs that may be needed in the future. Here are a few tips you can follow to maintain your GVEC solar panels. 1. Clean Your Solar Panels Dusty areas can affect the quality and function of solar panels, which makes it necessary to clean the surface to remove dirt, grime and bird droppings that accumulate over time. Excess dirt that builds up can block the rays of the sun and prevent as much energy from being produced. If your panels are installed at ground level, you can use a standard garden hose to rinse off debris. If your garden hose can’t reach roof-mounted panels, it’s probably best to leave the cleaning to professionals. 2. Remove Ice or Sleet from Your Solar Panels South Central Texas rarely gets significant snowfall during winter, but we’re not immune from sleet and freezing rain. If ice...

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When Will I See a Return on My Solar Panel Investment?

June 19, 2019

With advances in technology and manufacturing processes, solar panels are now relatively affordable compared to the steep price tags they carried 10-15 years ago. Although the up-front cost for panels remains somewhat high, these systems are ultimately a cheaper long-term option for electricity generation. What is the Estimated Time to Payoff for a Solar Panel System? How long will it take until your solar panels pay for themselves and start paying you back? The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. Those factors include how much your solar panels cost, how much energy they generate, and how much you receive in rebates and tax incentives. Although we don’t give tax advice, GVEC will work with you to make sure you understand every rebate and credit on you qualify for on your solar purchase. In general, the less expensive the system and the more electricity it generates, the faster solar panels pay for themselves. The Solar Panel Industry Has Made Huge Strides Many people hesitate to invest in a solar panel system because they believe the payback period is too long. This is not uncommon. Ten to 15 years ago, when prices were far more expensive and the technology and...

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How Clean is the Solar Panel Manufacturing Process? How Much Carbon Dioxide is Produced?

June 1, 2019

Solar energy is currently seen as a far greener alternative compared to electricity generated from traditional sources. For most people, getting electricity from the sun — a completely renewable resource available for at least the next 5 billion years — seems like a much better prospect than drawing energy from fossil fuel sources. Environmental Concerns About Solar Panels Solar panels are made primarily of silicon. This material requires high levels of heat for proper shaping. Therefore, the solar panel manufacturing process does release a certain amount of CO2. The question is, does the process release enough CO2 to be considered an “unclean” source of energy? How Much CO2 Does Solar Panel Manufacturing Release? Accounting for the amount of CO2 produced during solar panel manufacturing, solar panels generate, in effect, around 50g of CO2 per kilowatt hour during their initial years of operation. This is about 20 times less than the carbon output of coal-powered electricity sources. Your panels will require about three years of operation to pay off their carbon debt and become carbon neutral. As we mentioned, however, your system’s effective carbon debt is 20 times less than that of coal-powered electricity sources. This means you’ll immediately reduce your...

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Comparing Solar Costs to Other Energy

May 23, 2019

Solar power is regarded as a way that you can save money in the longer term. However, many people do not understand how they end up saving money with solar. Here’s what you need to know about using this resource to help save on your electricity costs. When it comes to saving on energy costs, solar power is a great long-term investment. Many people don’t understand, however, that it takes time to achieve the full financial benefits of going solar. Here’s what you need to know about investing in a solar power system to help save on electricity costs. Solar Power Requires an Upfront Investment The most significant costs of going solar will be those required at the outset. These costs result from the purchase of solar system. You can reduce this expense through federal and state tax credits, though. GVEC will help you understand what credits you’re eligible for and make sure you receive them all.  After the upfront investment, the costs of operating a solar panel system are low. Homeowners can save even more on a solar purchase by selling excess power generated by the system back to GVEC. The Costs of Solar Panel Systems The cost of...

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