Grossmont Solar Panels

So, what exactly is involved in calculating solar panels cost in Grossmont? When thinking about solar power very few people know the way the cost of solar panel systems is actually measured. Or even, for that matter, do we automatically grasp the connection relating to the cost of solar power and the value of solar power. We all know that gasoline prices are in dollars per gallon. We likewise are all aware of approximately how far we’ll be able to drive after spending 40 bucks for a tank of gas. In contrast to a tank of gas, the value of which can be consumed pretty much instantly, solar panels deliver their value across a period of time.

Cost Of Solar Power

Grossmont 3 Undervalued Solar Leaders

Solar Panel image by kuhar from Fotolia.com Although it comes with a steep price tag, building your own solar energy system comes with many benefits. Depending on how much installation you do yourself, your payback period can be dramatically reduced. Building your own system requires advanced knowledge of home-improvement techniques, including electrical, circuitry and roofing. This project may take four to five full days of work, depending on how large of a system you are installing. Things You'll Need Pen Paper Solar panel kit Mounts Silicone with caulking gun Power drill Heat gun Charge controller Deep cycle batteries Insulated electrical wire AC inverter Wire strippers Soldering iron Adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing Electrical tape Write down on a sheet of paper the appliances that you are desiring to operate with solar power. Write out the total amp rating of each appliance as well as the number of hours that each appliance will operate throughout the day. Multiply the the amp rating for each appliance by the number of hours you plan to operate it. This number will indicate the total amp hours that you need to provide through your solar power system. Generally, the total amp hours from your appliances should equal no more than 50 percent of the total capacity of your battery bank. For example, if you plan to use your appliances for 200 amp hours on a daily basis, your battery bank should a charge up to 400 amp hours. This will help to determine the number of batteries that you need, however, the amperage on deep cycle batteries vary depending on which product you purchase for your system. Mount the solar panels on the south-facing portion of your roof-top by using a power drill and the mounting kits provided with the solar panels. Solar panels should be angled so that they match the latitude of your location, plus or minus 15 degrees depending on seasonal adjustments for the height of the sun. For example, if you live at a location where the latitudinal coordinate is 30 degrees, the panels should be mounted 30 degrees from horizontal. If your kit includes the ability to change the angle at which the solar panels are mounted, you should add an additional 15 degrees during summer months and subtract 15 degrees in the winter, when the sun's height is lower in the sky for a shorter duration of time. Solder 12 gauge electrical wiring to the two output terminals found on the side of the solar panel. The black 12 gauge wire should continue from the positive terminal of the solar panel and the white wire should connect with the negative terminal. Use the green wire to connect to the solar panel's frame as a way to ground the wire. Expose at least one inch of the copper wire by stripping the sheath of the two wires you are joining together. Twist the two wires being joined together into an "X," wrapping the first wire's end along the length of the second wire until the first wire's end is completely wrapped around the second wire. Repeat the same process for the second wire. Heat the joint by holding the soldering iron beneath the wire joint. Apply the soldering iron and solder to the top part of the joint, adding more of the soldering wire until the joint is completely covered with solder and the exposed wires are no longer visible. Wrap adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing around the newly soldered joint, heating it tubing with a heat gun until it covers the solder. Connect the ends of the extended wiring coming from the solar panels to a charge controller, which has screw-on connections for input wires. The charge controller prevents the deep-cycle batteries from becoming overloaded, thus reducing the maintenance and cost of your solar power system. The charge controller should also be stored adjacent to the batteries. Wire the deep-cycle batteries together so that they form a circuit by using either a parallel or series pattern. Use 8-gauge wire to connect the batteries. To connect the batteries into a series circuit, which doubles the voltage of the system, wire the negative terminal of one battery to the positive terminal of its adjacent battery. Continue this pattern until all terminals are connected. To connect the batteries into a parallel circuit (which doubles the amperage of the system) connect the positive terminal of one battery to the positive terminal of its adjacent battery. Do the same for the negative terminals on your deep-cycle batteries as well. Install the input wires from the AC inverter, which are equipped with screw-on joints to mate with the battery terminals. The inverter will change the Direct Current from the batteries to Alternating Current, which is a usable form of electricity that home appliances utilize. Connect the ends output cables of the charge controller to the deep-cycle battery circuit. The charge controller's output cables, black for negative and red for positive, also screw onto the battery terminals with a screwdriver. Other People Are Reading How to Get 48V out of a 12V Solar System How to Self-Install Solar Electric Plug your appliances into the outlets of your AC inverter and turn the inverter on. Tips & Warnings Currently, the 3-stage charge controller is the industry standard, however, using a Maximum Power Point Tracking controller will provide greater efficiency, especially if you are installing a larger system. Although a solar system is quite complicated to build, thinking of it in terms of "layers" may be helpful. The sun powers the solar cells, which are connected to a charge controller, which connect to the batteries, which connect to an inverter. Related Searches References Solar 4 Power: Solar Power Don Rowe: Power Inverter FAQ Green Living Tips: Solar Power Basics Photo Credit Solar Panel image by kuhar from Fotolia.com Promoted By Zergnet Comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Resources Aaron Cake: Soldering Electronics Solar 4 Power: Batteries Free Sunpower: FAQ You May Also Like How to Build Solar Panels for Electricity With energy rates on the rise, building your own solar panel is an economical, smart, and rewarding way to produce your own... How to Understand & Install Your Own Solar Electric System The most visible components of a photovoltaic (PV) energy-generation system are the solar panels. You usually don't see the devices that convert... How to Build Your Own Solar Energy You can harness the energy of the sun to use at home through solar panels. Commercially available solar panels are expensive, and... How to Build Cheap Solar Energy Systems You may have been considering solar power for some time but have been putting it off because of the high initial investment.... Solar Energy For Home

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SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) is a global solar energy solutions provider. It operates in the specialized semiconductor industry and was incorporated in 1985. It is headquartered in San Jose, California and has offices in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The company's operating activities include designing, manufacturing and supplying solar panels and solar systems to a wide range of clients. SunPower's customers range from residential to utility customers, including businesses and the government. The company also offers different products related to solar systems that include inverters and control chargers. SunPower Corporation reports its revenues based on geographical segmentation. The company generates about 70% of its revenue from America, 20% from EMEA (Europe) and 10% from APAC (Asia Pacific). The revenues from Europe and Asia have been decreasing over the years partly because of the growing American demand and partly because of the recent economic conditions of Europe. NRG Solar is a significant customer of the company, being responsible for 35% of the revenue generated from America or in aggregate terms 24.5% of the entire revenue. SunPower is backed by Total S. A., the fifth largest publicly-traded energy company in the world. Total has a controlling interest in the company and holds around 66% shares of SunPower.

Market Performance

SunPower Corporation is listed on NASDAQ and is currently trading around $30. 2013 proved to be a good year for the company as far as market performance is concerned. Shares of the company appreciated consistently during the year. In the first week of January, shares were trading at around $6 but now they are touching $30. The solar industry has been facing difficulty in the past two years but now it seems that the market is regaining confidence in the solar industry.

EPS of the company also improved during 2013 which caused the share price to increase. Revenues have also been improving over time and SunPower has posted a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.95% since December 2011. These growing financial figures were responsible for the positive trend of the share price.

Industry Profile

It appears that the solar industry is starting to recover. The recent years have been rough, especially for American solar businesses because of the dumping exercises carried out by China. The subsidizing of solar companies by the government of China enabled them to sell below their production costs. This forced the American companies to cut prices and suffer losses. Oversupply in the industry was also a major factor in the reduction of prices and diminished earnings. The sales of Chinese solar firms in Europe are capped now due to limitations imposed by the European Union. Once the US and Europe have settled the Chinese solar panel issue, profits in the industry will begin to grow. Furthermore, China has banned the construction of any further solar panel factories. All these developments enhanced the investor's confidence in the solar industry which in turn is reflected in the market performance of the American solar companies. "We're at a point now where demand starts to be driven by cold, hard economics rather than by subsidies and that is a game changer," says Jason Channell of Citigroup.

The solar industry is poised for future growth. According to IEA, renewable electricity will surpass output from natural gas and double the generation from nuclear plants by 2016; becoming the second most important source of energy after coal. It is worth noting that the growth of renewable energy has always been underestimated in projections. For instance, in 2003, IEA predicted that non-hydro renewable energy would represent 4% of the global generation by 2030 but the industry reached that figure in 2003. According to BNEF, renewable energy will account for around 69-74% of new capacity added by 2030. Estimates by HIS predict the global PV (photovoltaic) market to grow by 17% in 2014. All of this points toward the fact that the solar industry will grow in the future.

BNEF also projects a 20% increase in PV installations by 2017. The emerging markets are USA, China and Japan, accounting for 52% of the solar demand in 2013 compared to 13% in 2008. Overall, the industry is set for growth but the question is, on whose expense? China and the US are the two main competitors in this industry. The relative strategies and actions of their governments could affect the companies based in both countries.

Global Production Leader

China is the largest supplier of PV modules. It plans to add 10 GW of solar capacity to the system each year until 2015, aiming for 35GW by 2015. The current capacity is 5GW. Chinese companies like Trina Solar, Yingli Solar and Hanergy have low production costs and are offered subsidies by the government. Therefore, they manage to compete on very low costs, rendering the US based suppliers unprofitable.

The excess production and oversupply of solar panels by Chinese manufacturers reduced the price margins in the industry. This oversupply has been adversely affecting the global solar industry for the past few years. The capping of Chinese solar panels by the EU and the restriction of the Chinese government on the establishment of new solar panel installations has helped in improving the conditions of the industry globally. This, however, presents a problem for the American solar companies because the Chinese suppliers are likely to converge upon the attractive US market. This development could pose a serious hindrance to the growth of US based companies. China still produces the cheapest cells and the efficiency of the cells is also competitive. American companies need to find a way to produce cost effective cells to counter China's competitive advantage. To encourage competition, The U.S. Commerce Department set anti-dumping duties ranging from 18.32% to 249.96% on solar-energy cells imported from China in 2012. This provides a level playing field as far as the American market is concerned. In Europe, the market is equally competitive for both US and Chinese firms because China's sales have been capped. In Asia, as expected, Chinese companies have a clear advantage over their American counterparts.

Catalysts

Residential Leasing Program

SunPower's leasing program is a competitive advantage for the company, as it allows the consumers to install their energy systems without paying all charges upfront. Consumers can save up to 10% or 15% on their electricity bill and be eco-friendly at the same time. SunPower is trying to bridge the gap further by lowering the costs of the system and improving the efficiency. It is aiming to enhance efficiency by 10% and reduce panel costs by 35% in 2015. The residential lease program has attracted 16,200 customers since 2012. "Our residential lease business remains strong, with demand outstripping our financial capacity in the first quarter," said Tom Werner, SunPower's CEO, during a call with analysts to discuss quarterly earnings. The company has been fuelling its finance requirements from Citi, Credit Suisse and recently from US Bancorp. These leases are a competitive advantage for SunPower because they help in reducing the overall energy costs of the consumer.

Differentiated Products

Maxeon cells that are being manufactured by SunPower are the most efficient cells to date. They are 24% efficient. Provided the company manages to reduce the production cost of the cell, they would be every one's first choice.

SunPower's Oasis C7 is a solar photovoltaic tracking system that concentrates the sun's power seven times to achieve the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants.

The leading technologies offered by SunPower are its differentiated strength and can help the company to grow.

Research and Development

SunPower is involved in research with King Abdullah University and the French Laboratory of Interfaces of Physics and Thin Films. Total S. A. is also working in solar R&D which could also benefit SunPower. Total is working in collaboration with:

LAAS: (Laboratory for Systems Analysis and Architecture - Toulouse, France) to enhance the efficiency of photovoltaic modules using a systemic approach.

IMEC: (Interuniversity Micro Electronics Center - Louvain, Belgium) to decrease the amount of silicon needed for cells and improve their efficiency

LPICM: (Interface and Thin Film Physics Laboratory - Saclay, France), a joint research facility of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Ecole Polytechnique's engineering school with a combined team working on crystalline silicon thin film technology.

SunPower's exposure to extensive R&D is reflected in its technologically advanced products.

Valuation

P/E ratio of the company stands at 26.8x and PEG ratio at 0.76x. This indicates that the company's growth would be higher than what market is paying for a dollar of earnings. In simple terms, the market perception is not in line with future growth and we can say that the price is not perfectly correlated to the anticipated growth. Industry growth estimates are 17.09% but the street expects SunPower to grow by a staggering 30%.

With growth estimated at 30% for the next 5 years the multiplier to value the company should be higher than its P/E. That is why we are taking a relatively higher multiplier of 35x.

The mean price target is $35.7, using an average multiplier of 30x which is also above the current price. However, we will use a higher multiplier of 35x and a target price of $42. These estimates give us a 25% upside on SunPower.

Conclusion

SunPower Corp. is well-positioned in the solar industry. It has highly advanced and differentiated products, which, despite their high costs are capable of competing with the low cost and less efficient solar modules. With its intense exposure to R&D, we believe that the company will be able to compete on the cost basis in the near future. It has the potential to become the leader in the solar industry. With the anti-dumping legislation enacted in the US, cap on China's sales in the EU and plans to initiate global leasing, SunPower has an opportunity to penetrate these markets. The top quality cells, Maxeon, enable the company to compete with other American counterparts like First Solar. As far as Asia is concerned, the market will continue to be influenced by China until the solar giants of America can develop a cost effective solution.

Overall, the future of SunPower Corp. is bright whether fueled by their differentiated technology or by the backing of Total S A. The target price of the company indicates further price growth. So, our call on the shares of SPWR is a BUY.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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