ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "solar panels"

Observations

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: From the Big Bang to the Big Controversy (aka Climate Change)

The first morning lecture series for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, which is focused on physics for this, its 62nd anniversary year, got off to a cosmic start, tracing the origins and evolution of the universe, before crashing back to Earth with a discussion of climate change. (You can read all our coverage this week, [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Save the Earth, Save Money—There’s No Need to Choose

Earlier this year, I blogged about a new website set up to ease the chore of shopping for solar panels, EnergySage, and since then the company’s own blog has described two financial benefits of solar which I hadn’t thought about before. First, solar panels can help you save for retirement; in fact, it’s hard to [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

It Used to be a Super Pain to Shop for Solar Installers, but No Longer

Whenever a dinner party has an awkward pause and could use a horror story to liven it up, I tell my story of shopping for solar panels. My wife and I started in 2008 and spent months finding an installer. Some never returned phone calls. Estimates ranged over a factor of two. It was hard [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Should You Add Backup Batteries to Your Grid-Tied Solar Array?

My neighbors took a newfound interest in my solar array after Hurricane Sandy. Most of our town in New Jersey lost power for two weeks, and everyone who knew about my panels was asking: Did they keep my lights on? Alas, no. When the grid goes down, our array goes down. The inverter mounted on [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Caveat Emptor, Solar Homeowners

Comly Wilson at CleanEdison, which runs training and certification programs for green-tech installers, has put together a list of five things homeowners should know before buying solar. Definitely worth reading, but don’t let them scare you off. Our solar panels are going strong after three years and we’ve already paid off half of our out-of-pocket [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Clouds Over the Solar Industry in Britain [Guest Post]

A couple of years ago, I reported on the experiences of a solar homeowner in England, and I was curious how the situation in Britain has evolved since then. Alex Hole, owner of Strenson Solar, a British firm which provides solar panels in Sussex, recently approached me and I invited him to write the following [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

My Electric Bill Was WHAT?!? Analyze Your Power Use with These 3 Web Sites

In one of the best quips I’ve ever heard at a scientific conference, cosmologist Max Tegmark complained about a lecturer’s vagueness and pleaded for some quantitative predictions: “numbers—you know, the kind with decimals in them.” Like Tegmark, I love data. Concrete information beats hand-waving speculation any day. So it’s awfully fun to use a home [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Can You Really Get Solar Panels Installed for Free?

It sounds too good to be true: you can go solar without paying a cent. I first mentioned this proposition, known formally as a power-purchase agreement, two years ago: a company such as SunRun or SolarCity installs panels on your roof at its expense and, in exchange, collects the government subsidies. But I never really [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

How to do an ongoing energy self-audit

Editor’s Note: Scientific American‘s George Musser will be chronicling his experiences installing solar panels in 60-Second Solar. Read his introduction here and see all posts here. I mentioned in my last post that you really need to do energy audits on an ongoing basis. Luckily, you can, without hiring a consultant each time. Fellow solar [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

Finding more ways to conserve energy, where the wind blows

Editor’s Note: Scientific American‘s George Musser will be chronicling his experiences installing solar panels in 60-Second Solar. Read his introduction here and see all posts here. Maybe I spoke too soon in my last blog post about having picked all the low-hanging fruit in home energy conservation. Last Friday our local home energy auditor, Tom [...]

Keep reading »
Solar at Home

How to become more energy-efficient once you’ve picked the low-hanging fruit

solar panels, solar installation, water heater

Editor’s Note: Scientific American‘s George Musser will be chronicling his experiences installing solar panels in 60-Second Solar. Read his introduction here and see all posts here. As we continue to wait for our solar paperwork to go through to receive the subsidies and loans, I’ve kept looking for ways to save energy, and I’ve come [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American MIND iPad

Give a Gift & Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now >>

X

Email this Article

X