Solar Panels San Diego

What should you consider before having solar panels installed in San Diego ? How should you decide which installation company is right for you? What type of solar should you choose? photovoltaic or solar thermal? Are there upkeep or maintenance costs?

All of these are valid and common questions when considering solar panels. It’s a big investment and so it’s understandable that you will have questions and concerns. I’ve collated some basic knowledge, tips and advice on how to ensure you find a good company to install your solar panels and highlight some of the points you should consider when having photovoltaic panels installed at your property.

Solar Roof Cost

1. MCS Approved Installers

Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your chosen installer is an “MCS approved installer”. MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and it is an indication to consumers that the installer has been assessed and adheres to standards and regulations that are set by the MCS.

MCS Approved Installers are awarded certification as a result of a thorough assessment of the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies, solar panels.

2. MCS Approved Solar Panels

Alongside MCS Approved installers, make sure that your panels are also MCS approved. MCS Approved Solar Panels also undergo rigorous standards.

To receive certification, MCS Approved Solar Panels not only receive product testing, but the manufacturing processes, materials, procedures and staff training also undergo assessment. Certification is only awarded if every step and stage meets the criteria.

3. NIC EIC Certification

All electricians who provide services in the UK should be NIC EIC certified. Solar installers are no different and you should make sure the company you choose has received certification. You will then be safe in the knowledge that your system complies with national safety requirements as stipulated by the governing body responsible NIC EIC certification.

4. Solar Panel Quotes

Don’t rely on the first or cheapest company you find – ask for quotes from a number solar installation companies, and let the companies know that you plan to do this. This should help ensure that you receive competitive quotes and it also gives you a benchmark from which you can compare quotes against quotes. It might give you some leverage to “play” companies off against one another to get that quote figure knocked down a little. Companies only exist to make money, so they won’t want to lose a potential customer.

Talk to companies who visit your property to provide you with quotes and ask plenty of questions. This will give better understanding and knowledge of what to expect and what you are told. Consider all your quotes before committing to any one in particular.

5. Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best

As with most things in life, the cheapest quote you can find won’t necessarily get you the best end result. That doesn’t mean you should opt for the most expensive solar panels either. Find a quote which you feel is fair and just as importantly, choose a company that you feel comfortable about dealing with, a company who answers your questions and takes time to explain the technical side of things in a manner that you understand.

This doesn’t just apply to the company’s bottom line figure, but also the individual materials and equipment the company quotes for. If you haven’t been provided with a detail or itemised quote, ask for one. This way, you will know what equipment and materials you are paying for, and you can compare this to your other quotes.

Solar Installation Cost

6. Research!

The technology is constantly evolving and in terms of energy generation for the masses, it is still quite new so there will always be improvements and enhancements being made. Ask your company what products they will be using for your install and take some time to do some background research on them: Are there any problems with the panels? Are there newer versions? Is the price about right? Are there any forums which advise for or against them? Learn about solar panel technology and the terminology used, this will help you avoid being “blinded” by jargon.

7. Calculate Potential Feed in Tariff Earnings

The Government’s Feed in Tariff has been extremely influential in the popularity of solar panels. You get paid for all electricity generated from your solar panels, even if you consume it personally. As a general overview, from 3rd March 2012, the rate is 21p/kWh and then from 1st July 2012 the rate of return will be between 16.5p/kWh – 13.6p/kWh. This rate will depend on the number of panel installations completed between March and April 2012. You can also use one of the many online calculators to see how much money you could be earning on your potential investment.

The Feed in Tariff means that whilst your initial investment may be a big outlay, not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you will also generate an income. This takes the investment in solar panels way beyond most returns from other “normal” monetary investments. If you have money invested in savings accounts, maybe consider solar panels.

8. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels

Take some time to decide whether solar thermal or photovoltaic systems would be more beneficial to your property. Solar thermal generates hot water, whilst photovoltaic panels will generate electricity.

If you are unsure as to the system you want, contact companies and ask which system they would recommend. There’s no reason why you cannot have both systems installed and if you decide that solar thermal panels are your best option, still consider photovoltaic panels, if for no other reason than it could in theory pay for itself and your solar thermal panel system.

Solar Panel System Cost

9. RHI – The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive does not provide such a good return on your investment as the Feed in Tariff, but it is still a good incentive that deserves careful consideration. The scheme’s aim is to encourage property owners to reduce their heating energy consumption and carbon foot print by providing the following benefits:

0.085p per kWh return for 20 years
energy consumption reduction
A Government payment contribution
10. Maintenance Costs
You will undoubtedly be told that there are no upkeep or maintenance costs involved with solar, and throughout life expectancy of a solar panel installation, there should in fact be little maintenance or upkeep in regards to the panels themselves. However, the inverter, which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), will, at some point in the 25 years, need replacing. The cost to replace your inverter will be somewhere near 1000, and so this should form part of your calculation and consideration for solar panels.

Solar Price

Normally, solar systems will be installed on rooftops or high up above the ground in order to get the best exposure to direct sunlight especially in San Diego. The result of this is that less able-bodied people may require assistance to have the solar panels cleaned or to clear any fallen leaves or debris from on and around the panels to keep them working at their maximum capacity.

How to Hook Up a Wind Turbine and Solar Panels to a Battery

Cost To Install Solar Panels Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images If the power goes out at your home for a significant period of time, or if you have a home that is beyond the reach of the power lines, heating and lighting your home without electricity may be a bit more difficult, but it can be done using alternative energy sources. For heating and temporary lighting, appliances that burn kerosene, propane, wood or other fuels are a viable option, but for long-term lighting, battery or solar-based technologies may be safer. Wood A fireplace or a wood stove is a reliable way to provide both heat and a small amount of light for your home, as long as you have a steady supply of wood available. Harvesting, cutting, splitting, transporting and storing enough wood for a season can be a lot of work, and it may not always be possible, such as for those who live in cities. Many wood stoves can also be used for cooking and heating water, and newer models are both much safer for your health and much more efficient. Kerosene Kerosene heaters are a popular way of heating homes in many areas, especially for emergency or supplemental heating purposes. While kerosene burns relatively cleanly, it still has the potential to produce carbon monoxide, so proper ventilation and a working carbon monoxide detector are recommended. Local building codes may forbid or regulate the use of kerosene heaters, so check with your city building and permit department before buying one. Kerosene is also commonly used as a fuel in oil lamps for lighting. Propane/Natural Gas Many propane or gas-fired forced-air furnaces will not run without electricity, even models that use pilot lights, as they require the blower fan to distribute the heat. Some steam or hot water boilers will run without electricity, but in many cases, you will need to rely on alternative heating sources. Wall-mounted space heaters are available in versions that burn either natural gas or propane. Most models do not require electricity to operate, though some may have optional fans for distributing the heated air that require electricity. Externally vented wall heaters are the best choice, because they allow the combustion gases to exit the home through the flue or vent. Models without external vents, also called ventless heaters, are available, as well, but you must ventilate the room properly to avoid excessive carbon monoxide buildup. Check your local building codes before installing either type of heater. Solar Photovoltaic panels, also called solar panels, can be used to generate your own electricity during the daytime and, by storing it with deep-cycle batteries, that power can be used for lighting purposes at night. Automotive-style 12-volt light fixtures can be connected directly to the battery bank, or regular 120-volt household lighting could be used through an inverter, which converts the 12-volt DC current from the battery into the 120-volt AC current a typical house uses. Solar energy can also be used to provide supplemental heating for your home. Simply opening the curtains covering south-facing windows during the day can allow heat from the sun to warm your home, but you can also build or buy passive solar heaters to increase the heat output. Materials like stone and concrete used indoors can regulate your home's temperature. Because such materials are so dense, they take time to adjust to temperature changes. During the day they absorb heat from the sun, then slowly release it at night. Other Candles and lamps fueled by lamp oil can be used for lighting, as well as rechargeable solar lights or lights powered by disposable batteries. Both lamp oil and batteries may get expensive in long-term situations, however. For temporary situations, portable generators can be used for lighting and for powering the central heating system in some cases. Related Searches References EPA: Does Your Wood Stove Have A Dirty Little Secret? Web MD: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Topic Overview CSPC: CSPC Stresses Kerosene Heater Safety Fairfax County, Virginia: Ventless Fireplace Saftey Department of Energy: Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems Home Power Magazine: Solar Electricity Basics Department of Energy: Passive Solar Home Design Photo Credit Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Promoted By Zergnet Comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. You May Also Like How to Heat Your House Without a Furnace With heating bills rising all the time, it’s no surprise that people cannot longer afford to keep their furnace on like they... How to Live Without Electricity When most people enter a dark room, they reach for the light switch automatically. It's second nature. A 1-year-old can figure out... How to Heat a Greenhouse During the Winter With Water You can heat your greenhouse at night without using electricity. Lining one wall with blackened, water-filled jugs or barrels will keep your... How to Light a Gas Fireplace Without Electricity One advantage to having a gas fireplace is the ability to manage the unit in the event of a power failure. Electricity... Lighting Methods Without Electricity Lighting methods that don't require electricity are invaluable whether you're planning to live off the grid, preparing for a power outage, reducing... How to Light Your Range Without Electricity If the power goes out, an oven cannot be used, but the surface burners can still be used. Find out how to... How Do I Set Up a Generator?

San Diego Solar Panel Installation Companies

So, what exactly is involved in calculating solar panels cost in San Diego? 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.

Best Solar Panels For Home

San Diego 3 Undervalued Solar Leaders

Science Fair Projects for Kids and High School Students

These 12 sites have hundreds of science fair projects, experiments, and advice to help you create the best science fair project you can. They suggest easy projects for kids and more challenging award-winning science fair projects for high school students. I've used many of them with my daughter and students.

Some of the sites provide ideas. Some give you step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments. Some provide kids advice on creating projects for science fairs. And some have forums where kids can get help when they're stuck. Many of these websites have videos to illustrate their experiments.

Note: Some of these sites have forums, which require registration with an email address. Children under age 13 need parent approval to register and submit questions to these forums.

#1 Science Buddies

Strength: Detailed science projects and advice for kids

I most often recommend Science Buddies to students and parents starting work on a science fair project. This is an award-winning site was created by the Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation, and has a wealth of resources.

First is the Project Ideas section where you can browse a list of projects by area of study. Or try the Topic Selection Wizard. You answer a series of questions about your science interests and grade level, then you get a list of projects best suited to your situation.

The projects are very detailed. Each includes the background, questions to consider, a list of required supplies and equipment, and step-by-step instructions for the experimental procedure.

The next helpful resource is an extensive Science Fair Project Guide. Here you'll learn more about how to use the scientific method to build your project, how to write your report, and how to display your work. There is also advice on safety procedures, selecting supplies, and techniques.

Finally, you can go to the Ask an Expert Forum if you need more assistance. Look to see if another student has asked a similar question that answers yours. If you've been unable to resolve your problem with the help of a teacher or parent, this group of volunteer scientists will do their best to help you.

The Science Buddies site is easy to navigate. And and the extent of their resources is incomparable.

#2 Cool Science Projects

Strength: Tips for creating award-winning science fair projects

The folks at Cool-Science-Projects.com will walk you through all the steps of creating a science project. You'll find advice and resources for simpler projects for a homework assignment, as well as advice on creating show-stopper competition projects.

There are lots of ideas here by grade level. A few of the ideas have step-by-step instructions for carrying them out. The site's biggest strength is the section it devotes to advice on creating a winning science fair project.

#3 Steve Spangler's Science Experiments

Strength: Entertaining videos of experiments to spark you own project ideas

Steve Spangler's Science Experiments is a particularly useful website for science teachers and homeschool parents. Steve is a teacher's teacher who is televised weekly in Denver and who has appeared on nationally televised shows, demonstrating experiments and explaining the science behind them. He also conducts teacher training seminars throughout the country.

On this site, you can access his collection of science experiments, recipes and projects. His library of projects is accompanied by videos of how to use materials and equipment to conduct experiments. He also has an online store of supplies and equipment.

Steve's delight in science experiments is entertaining, and he'll get you and your kids excited about their experiments too!

#4 Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab

Strength: Advice for creating a successful science fair project

Reeko is passionate about science. His passion is contagious at Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab. Reeko takes a humorous and engaging approach to getting kids interested in science.

Reeko's focus is science experiments. He does not provide guidance for school science projects. But his experiments are a breeding ground for science project ideas.

This award-winning site has games, puzzles and quizzes. And there is a new forum where you can ask a question if you're having problems with your experiment or science in general.

#5 DragonflyTV

Videos of experiments with accompanying variation ideas for home experiments

DragonflyTV delves into experiments conducted by kids. The folks at PBS Kids Go! offer up plenty of videos of kids conducting experiments.

Then they provide ideas of variations your children can pick from for their own experiments. Or kids can give the Super Science Spinner a whirl until they find an idea they like. DragonflyTV also offers their 12 steps to science fair success.

#6 The Science Club

Strength: Detailed instructions, videos and illustrations of projects

Science Fair Ideas Exchange provides dozens of ideas for projects and experiments. If you need more than written explanations and illustrations, look here. The site is hosted by Bill Beaty of The Science Club.

Many projects are accompanied by a video that shows the key steps in creating your experiment or device. Projects are categorized as simple, medium and advanced.

Some of the video-taped experiments are hazardous, and should be supervised by an adult or conducted only by science teachers.

The Make It Solar Science Fair Information provides detailed information on carrying out a project using the scientific method and steps illustrated here. For teachers who have a website, Make It Solar provides the code to put the illustration at the right into your site with a link to its science fair info.

You'll also find planning guides, research tips, illustrations of display layouts. The site's focus is solar energy, so they furnish details on how to create several solar energy science projects.

#8 MadSci Network

Strength: Answers to your science experiment and project questions

Created by MadSci Network & Third Sector New England, MadSci Network is a great place to get answers to your science questions. Their extensive questions and answers archive can help you as you build your project.

The MadSci Library provides links to other resources by topic area. Look for answers to common science fair questions at the MadSci FAQ page.

If you can't find an answer in their archives of past questions, submit your own question.

#9 ZOOMsci

Strength: Kids' comments on how the experiments worked for them

ZOOMsci from by PBS Kids & WGBH has dozens of science activities for children in grades K-8. The emphasis is on having fun with science experiments, as opposed to a rigorous scientific method.

Pick an activity, carry it out, then record your observations and comments on the ZOOMsci site. Personally identifiable information is not collected here.

#10 Scientific Methods at pppst.com

Strength: Lessons to help kids learn the scientific method

Teachers and homeschool parents can make use of the resources for elementary and middle school students at Scientific Methods at pppst.com. There are presentations to use when teaching the scientific method, as well as printable materials.

For kids, there are links numerous resources to help them learn and remember the steps contained in the scientific method.

One of Mr. Donn's greatest strengths is that his material is readable at the upper elementary age level. So adults don't have to do a lot of interpretation.

#11 Hands-on Activities

Strength: Detailed instructions for experiments

At Exploratorium's Hands-on Activities page, you'll find lots of ideas for experiments and science projects. Activities are grouped by topic such as food, living things, or sports science.

Each activity provides a list of needed materials and step-by-step instructions. Illustrations and photos accompany the instructions. A few even have videos.

Note that some of the activities are not true "activities" but rather information on how something, like cycling, works.

If you are making a model of the solar system to scale, you have to take a look at the Build a Solar System activity. There is a scale calculator that uses the diameter of the sun you plan to create to calculate the dimensions for all of the planets and orbit radius of each planet.

#12 Step-by-Step Science Fair Success

Strength: Advice for teachers and schools on organizing a successful science fair

Step-by-Step Science Fair Success is a guide for teachers and schools to use in planning a science fair. Lily Ning, a middle school teacher, discusses:

  • Preplanning, sending out letters, and rules for group projects
  • Creating guidelines, submission categories, and scientific methodology to be used
  • Student tasks in proposing, planning, carrying out, and displaying project results
  • Assessment using a rubric and grading sheets for the notebook, paper, and display
  • Judging rubric

Directory of Science Project Websites

from LearningReviews.com

There are more than 30 science fair project and experiment websites listed in LearningReviews Directory of Science Project Websites. Some of the sites have simple experiments for kids to carry out at home. Others have more sophisticated projects for high school students and science fairs. Kids, parents and teachers write reviews about the sites they like best.

Other Science categories on the site help you to learn more about chemistry, astronomy, biology, etc., as you prepare for your science project.

Get Ready for Your Science Fair with Janice VanCleave

Janice VanCleave is a teacher, scientist and author of award-winning science books for kids. This virtual field trip is hosted on Meet Me at the Corner.org, where you can find more science fair project ideas.

Cost To Install Solar Panels

Ways to Save Mother Earth

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....

San Diego

How to Build a Solar Energy System


Solar Panels San Diego