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Month: May 2020

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The weather said “Not today” to the SpaceX launch on May 27, but the mission is rescheduling Demo-2 to launch May 30, from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

Did you know SpaceX operates from four different locations? Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex and Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex both located in Florida, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and South Texas Launch Site in Texas (approximately 22 miles was of Brownsville).

SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk, whose mission on the SpaceX website states, “You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than in the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.” Musk founded SpaceX in 2002. 

So, why are we telling you about SpaceX? 

On April 10, 2020, South Texas Solar Systems, a Tesla Energy affiliated sub-contractor finalized the expansion of a 149kW photovoltaic (PV) ground mount for SpaceX at the South Texas Launch Site. “The system serves as an addition to an existing 450kW PV ground mount. The output from both systems is used to power the SpaceX facility in this area,” said South Texas Solar Systems Commercial Project Manager, Daniel Hudson. 

The finalized expansion of the commercial solar panels included, 422 Trina 345 Watt solar modules, 1 SMA peak 125-kilowatt inverter, and Solarflex racking. 

The solar industry and Musk are aiming for the future and that means commercial solar panels can help us get there.

Once the SpaceX mission launches this month (hopefully), the thought of knowing what type of technology took place to get us there is extraordinary. 

The company STSS, has been installing commercial solar panels all throughout south Texas for more than 11 years. Solar panels for businesses continues to grow in popularity, due to the federal incentives and utility rebates (if any).

Installing solar panels in your home is a worthy investment for the future.

With everyone trying to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to saving our planet, this is one of the best approaches you can take. It helps you not only reduce energy consumption but also lower your monthly utility expenses.

However, one of the more important tasks that people sometimes forget is to take care of their solar panels by doing regular checkups and fixes.

Maintaining solar panels is essentials if you wish to use them in the most productive and efficient way, especially if you want to save money on unnecessary repairs.

With that in mind, let’s see how to take care of your solar panels, so that they can take care of you!

Do weekly or biweekly checkups

The number one strategy to prevent larger issues with solar panels is to do regular checkups. It can be on a weekly basis or every two weeks, but it is important that you keep them in check. If needed, you can keep notes for easier tracking.

Possible issues with solar panels

It is true that solar panels are placed high above the ground so technically they are protected from any possible damage. Nevertheless, there are things that can affect the effectiveness of solar panels:

  • pollen buildup
  • tree debris
  • accumulated dust or dirt
  • insects or birds
  • possible damage after a storm or hail

All of this can be easily discovered if you are regularly checking the general condition of your solar panels.

Cleaning solar panels

The most essential way to maintain your solar panels is to clean them from time to time. It is good that there are no movable parts you can break, so you can give them a good rinse when needed.

However, keep in mind that it is vital not to scratch the glass, as it could affect the amount of gathered energy.

The best way to clean solar panels is to wash them down with a hose. One of the best things about solar panels is that you don’t have to clean them if there was rain, especially if the angle is steeper.

Rain will remove any dust or pollen that can build up over time. However, if it is a dry season, make sure to wash your solar panels often.

How to monitor sun and shade

One of the crucial steps in maintaining solar panels is to always monitor sun and shade levels. Even though these panels are usually placed where there is a lot of direct sunlight, sometimes the surroundings change. A tree might grow taller than your house and completely block your solar panels.

Since we said that solar panels can reduce your bills, this step is important if you wish to save some money.

Manual checkup

The easiest way to monitor shade and sun exposure is to look at the solar panels yourself. It is quick, and you can easily tell if there is any shade on top of your home.

Install a monitoring display

A more modern way to check sun and shade statistics is to install a monitoring display in your home. With it, you can track any possible data available from solar panels. Within a matter of seconds, you will get correct data about productivity and effectiveness.

Energy usage statistics

Another important piece of information you can check with a monitoring display is energy usage statistics.

Have in mind that, even if you have an arrangement with your local company, you will not always get the correct data. That is because you are not measuring direct energy output. That’s why having a monitoring display in your home is a good idea.

Basic inverters measure current power output and some additional data. More advanced inverters can translate kilowatt-hours to pounds of CO2, so you can always know how much you are saving.

Furthermore, not only can you install a monitoring device in your home, but there are also numerous apps for mobile devices. This way, you can always check solar panel information in just a few seconds, even if you are away from home.

Keep a journal

While it is always a good idea to use your free time to handle tasks you’ve been postponing, it’s not always easy to remember everything. A good way to keep track of when was the last time you performed a maintenance checkup on your solar panels is to keep a journal.

You can document all issues and solutions, and over time, find a better way to take care of any future problems.

What to do when relocating solar panels to a new home?

Maintaining solar panels doesn’t only mean checking them every few days or weeks. It is also important to check if they are installed properly. If you are relocating solar panels to a new home, a preliminary inspection is necessary.

Installing solar panels is not a task that anyone could complete, so it might be a good idea to reach out to professionals who can do the heavy work for you.

Maintaining solar panels during winter

When winter comes, there will be a lot of snow and ice. It is not that uncommon that a solar panel gets frozen due to low temperatures.

What you should do during winter is protect your solar panels from frost and ice, since that can compromise the integrity and reduce effectiveness.

A good idea is to install heaters and clean any snow from solar panels.

Tips for maintaining solar panels – delivered!

We hope that these tips for maintaining solar panels gave you an idea about what to expect and how to properly take care of any issues you might have during the year. If you don’t have the time to do weekly or biweekly checkups, try to do a monthly and yearly inspection.

Solar Installations

How do you know you have hired good installers for solar panels? There can be a few ways to feel good about who is installing your solar panel system. Start by asking to see credentials. Next, if you are on-site as they arrive, take a look at their uniform and vehicle. 

Remember, this blog is called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Things About Solar, but let’s face it there are also good, bad, and ugly uniforms for installers for solar panels. 

Consumers can feel more at ease with a uniformed worker working on top of their roofs. 

Then again, you usually won’t see the installers on the installation day, but there are other ways to know if you have good installers. Check to see if the installers cleaned up any mess in the work area. Trash and equipment should always be picked up and disposed of by the solar installers. This is important to know if you have good installers for solar panels. If installers did not pick up after themselves, you should report them to their supervisor or general manager. 

Another efficient way of knowing you have good installers for solar panels is by taking a look at the complete installation. A good solar installer is only as good as the way he leaves his work. A good installation will look clean, straight, and with no wires hanging out. 

Good installers for solar can also be noted by references with residential or commercial. Most solar installation companies will have a reference to confirm credibility or a portfolio of completed installs to view. 

There are many ways to scope out good solar installers for solar panels. 

Now you know there are good installers for solar panels available. 

Beware of the bad solar installers and the ugly solar installation uniforms

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