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10.07.2014
I am sure that some of you are wondering how this happened?   Why did Pluto get demoted?   We can some this up in one word – ERIS.
If you like this post please hit the +1 button at the bottom of your page or the LIKE button.  We thank you! Learn how to use the power of astrology to transform your life from one with frustrations to one that works! In other words, the best solar panels for your home are not the best solar panels for a solar farm in the desert or even the best solar panels for a Walmart solar roof. In every application, you want to buy solar panels that provide the optimum balance between efficiency, durability, and cost per watt of power capacity. Other important factors to consider when trying to determine the best solar panels for your situation might also include the durability of the solar panels. In any case, I think the biggest factors to consider when deciding which are the best solar panels for your needs are simply cost per watt, efficiency, and the amount of free space you have on your roof for the solar panels. The first step in this process for most of you is probably getting connected to solar installers in your area.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. Zachary Shahan is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. I have experienced that shopping around for a good grid inverter is much more work than the panels. But my 2nd system was much larger so the Stecagrid 500 wasn’t really an option and it is getting outdated too. One of the major factors that many authors on solar articles do not consider is the cost of land in sunlit areas. Similarly, for satellites, they aim for the highest power generation capacity per unit weight of the panels. In markets with high soft costs (where solar panels form only a small part of the total array price), the installed cost difference between Sun Power and the rest may not be all that large in percentage terms – after all, it takes as much effort to get permission to connect a 10 panel solar array whether it is composed of 20% or 15% efficient panels, and as much effort to install the array. This being the case, levelised cost of electricity may be only very slightly different between the two even though the former panels are substantially higher priced per watt than the latter.
Consider also that SunPower is profitable unlike most solar manufacturers, and what this implies for the value of any warranty. Overall, higher efficiency panels offset at least some of their additional cost with savings in structure, installation, and soft BOS costs. Zac, while there isn’t a lot of data on durability for each manufacturer I think we are starting to see some general quality trends. Good point, I thought I make mention of this, you could also put into this voltages of solar panels, as this will determined the aspects of your system being on or off grid.
Bringing together business, government, NGOs, and academia, to examine the concept of sustainability.
Picture Note: At the top left of this page there is a random picture of something on this site.
To celebrate the Hive Overmind's Discover Magazine's new picture gallery software, I've collected my favorite pictures of all the planets in our solar system and put them together here for your viewing awesomeness. There are literally millions of pictures of our nearest star, ranging from images of it as a plain, spotless disk to incredible close-ups of the roiling, churning surface and explosive flares.
MESSENGER is doing a series of gravitational loop-de-loops to get to Mercury, and has passed the planet three times already. In 2004, I was able to witness an almost literally once-in-a-lifetime event: the Transit of Venus across the Sun. While I watched the 2004 transit myself with my own eyes, NASA's solar-observing TRACE satellite saw it as well.
At closest approach, Rosetta skimmed the Earth at a distance of just 6000 km (3600 miles) above the surface! The crater is about 10 km (6 miles) across, and is a candidate location for ice frozen under the surface. By now you've probably figured out that I'm partial to crescent and gibbous (that is, more than half full) planet pictures. The image above is from Hubble Space Telescope's NICMOS camera, which can see infrared light. Pluto crosses Neptune's orbit, but due to the timings of their motion they never get very close; Pluto is in no danger of crashing into Neptune. Either way, the image here was an awesome achievement: amateur astronomers on Earth were able to take pictures of Pluto that actually show its moon Charon! I love this picture (as well as another released at the same time of more planets orbiting a different star): it is solid evidence that we are learning more about our Universe everyday, and that questions we have had for centuries, for millennia, are answerable if we put our considerably clever minds to them. Phil Plait writes Slatea€™s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies! Solar panel direction explained – What side of the roof should I put my solar panels on?
If you have a summer vacation house for example that u use only during the summer months of the year you would benefit from angling the solar panels in a way that is optimal for exactly the summer months but maybe not as effective for the winter part of the year.
For panels that you will want to use all year and not have to touch once they are installed, you will want to install at a solar panel angle optimized for just that. As you can see you will need to know your current latitude to be able to count out the most ideal angle to position your solar panels in. If you would like to get the absolute best performance from your solar panels you should put them up on movable scaffolding on the yard, or on special movable panel holders or frames on your roof. The basic idea is to increase the solar panel angle in the winter raising them towards a more parallel inclination and decrease the slant during summer, laying down the panels more flat. If you live in a place that gets snow during the winter you would benefit even more by heightening the tilt angle of your panels. To know exactly how to lean your solar panels for each month you will have to consult an advanced Solar Angle Calculator to find the best solar panel angle.
With an automatic light tracking system your solar array will be pointed directly towards the sun all the time. How to clean solar panels the right way- Your Guide to solar panel cleaning : So your photovoltaic system is dirty and you are asking yourself how to clean solar panels without damaging them or getting yourself electrocuted. Power consumption of 101+ typical household appliances : How much energy do you use every day?
How to find the Best solar panel angle or tilt angle : What tilt angle should I install my solar panels in?
Types of solar panels- which one to chose : There are lots of different types of solar panels out there and to the unexperienced ones it may appear as a solar jungle. 6 disadvantages of solar energy : Everyone is rambling on about all the great assets of solar power, but what about disadvantages of solar energy?
Solar Panels Cost : If solar power is so inexhaustible and readily-available, why aren't more people using it to power their homes? New super efficient solar panels invented : Creating revolutionary new efficient solar panels that will change the photovoltaic industry for ever.
Never lose anything again with the worlds smallest solar powered portable GPS tracker : Hey! Looking for something?Use the form below to search the site:Still not finding what you're looking for? However, there isn’t a lot of information out there yet about the durability of different solar panels.


However, I assume that most installers have set which solar panels they purchase and would be limited in the options they’d check and recommend. See how much solar power is projected to save you by quickly filling out the questions on our homepage. After years of covering solar and EVs, he simply had a lot of faith in these companies and felt like they were good companies to invest in.
I have mostly cheap Chinese panels from a local guy who is married to a Chinese woman and travels to China regularly to select his suppliers.
When you can get land on the cheap, such as the dirt cheap leases of desert areas, you aim for the cheapest cost per unit capacity. Reputable manufacturers warrant the output of their panels for 25 years, much longer than the life expectancy of the firms.
When I had mine installed four years ago, I had a quote using efficient SunPower panels and I asked, what about the cheaper SunTechs.
How much does output drop off with higher temps and other factors that might mean the best desert panel is not the best panel for a cooler climate. Using a tier 4-5 supplier that saves you a penny a watt over a tier 1, might not save you in the long run.
I didn't just pick them for their beauty, but also for the story they tell, what happened behind the scenes, and simply because they're cool.
Those aren't sunspots: they're the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Atlantis silhouetted in front of the Sun!
Because it never strays far from our central star, Mercury is always low to the horizon at twilight and difficult to observe. Because of the odd geometry of our sister planet's orbit, it crosses the Sun's face in pairs: one transit following the other after a period of about 8 years, but then no other for over a century. Pictured above, you can see the transit in visible light (top) -- scattering of sunlight by the thick atmosphere of Venus makes it look like a complete ring -- ultraviolet (bottom left) and the far UV (bottom right).
This remarkable shot was taken by the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta, which will rendezvous with a comet in 2014.
It shows the rim of the crater Erlanger, located almost at the Moon's north pole at a latitude of 87A°. Scientists have recently discovered that the Moon has quite a bit of water ice trapped under the surface dust, and places like Erlanger -- which never see the warming rays of the Sun, even after billions of years -- may have huge reservoirs of water eternally frozen at their bottoms. The sand is made up of dark gray basalt, and is heavier than the much finer-grained red dust which covers it. To get there (like MESSENGER and Rosetta in the Mercury and Earth pictures in this gallery) it needed a little help. It took a 3x3 picture grid of the planet, then repeated it twice to get it through red, green, and blue filters. That's because from Earth, the only two planets we see as crescents are Mercury and Venus; the outer planets are always "full" because of the geometry of the way they're lit from our viewpoint.
At a distance of three billion km (2 billion miles) form the Sun, it's actually visible to the naked eye under excellent conditions. It shows the planet, of course, and its rings, but also 10 of the giant planet's moons, as well as an incredible band of storms raging across the cloud tops. While the one I decided to post here may not grab you as instantly as those would have, I wanted to use it because I think it's really cool. So this picture taken by New Horizons is from a long way off: 4 billion kilometers, in fact! Given that the moon wasn't discovered until 1978, by a professional astronomer using a big telescope, getting this shot really was an incredible accomplishment.
It was observing the bright star Fomalhaut, which you actually can't see in the image because its light was blocked purposely so that fainter material around it could be seen (just like when you look for an airplane near the Sun and block the sunlight with your hand).
A question many of us asks when the decision to finally install a solar system in our home is finally made. The low power output during wintertime won’t bother you because you won’t be spending time in your vacation house during that season anyway.
Showing with clear colored lines what your best solar panel angle will be depending on where on earth you live. This way you could adjust the tilt angle and direction of the solar panels to an optimal level.
This is because if the panels are more close to a vertical position aka 90° they will be more likely to shed the snow dropping onto them. This would be done automatic in realtime with the help of robotic scaffoldings of the same type as some of the large solar farms are using. The easiest answer to this question you will find at the bottom of your electrical bill or by contacting your power company. Already solar powering your home is profitable both for your wallet and for the environment.
With solar panels just becoming cost competitive, we definitely don’t have enough real-world data to make a conclusion on this matter for any of the solar panels on the market. So even though I suffer shading issues from 2 tall trees, I decided to make a single string and use a large, cheap inverter from Fronius that happens to have a 98% efficiency. Can the installer make a good calculation of how much energy you are going to lose because of that tree? Each picture has a brief description, a link to the original higher-res version, and also a link to a blog post I've written with more information.
That's why NASA sent the MESSENGER probe to the smallest planet: to get close-up images and take all sorts of data which will help us understand this hot, dense world. It shows two prominent fresh craters on the airless planet, but also a series of vast, world-spanning rays: plumes of material ejected from an impact. It needed a little gravitational assist to get there, so it swung by the Earth three times (and Mars once).
From that location the Sun is perpetually on the horizon, so the crater floor is never illuminated.
This would make Erlanger a good place to have a lunar base: water is abundant, and solar cells along the rim would deliver power 24 hours a day -- sorry, I mean 655 hours a lunar day. There's enough air -- mostly carbon dioxide -- to have a Martian version of weather and wind. So when a dust devil sweeps over the ground on Mars, it lifts up the red dust and blows it away, revealing the gray sand underneath. So in 2001 Cassini passed by Jupiter, stealing a little bit of Jupiter's energy and boosting itself to a higher speed. That way, astronomers back home could stitch them together to make this beautiful and moody true-color picture of the solar system's biggest planet. The rings appear darker than usual, and that's because on the day before this picture was taken, Saturn experienced its spring equinox. The colors of the clouds indicate depth: blue comes from deeper clouds (methane in the atmosphere absorbs red light-- the same reason deep water looks blue), yellow and gray from high clouds and haze, and the orange and reds from extremely high clouds. It was taken by the New Horizons probe, a relatively small but ambitious mission that is sending the probe flying past Pluto in 2015. Well, a lot of people still hold Pluto dear in their hearts so that's a good reason to include it. Amazingly, the telescope used for this image was a 35 cm (14"), far smaller than the one used to discover Charon, and in fact this image is far superior!
The ring is a vast torus of dust leftover from the formation of the system, and we knew from its shape there might be a planet near it.


Naturally you will get the most energy from your photovoltaic solar panels when these are pointed exactly towards the sun. And because of the summer optimized solar panel angle your power production during the summer months will be higher than if you would angle the panels to be mediocrely good the whole year round. These numbers are approximate but will still give you a god hum on what tilt will be best for you. A green arrow will then appear, if you click on that arrow you will get the GPS coordinates for that spot on the map. You could do this manually in witch case it would be advisable to only adjust the angle of the solar panels depending on if it is summer, fall, winter or spring.
If a solar panel is covered in snow the suns rays won’t be able to hit it and you won’t be getting any electricity from that panel.
This diagram is showing what inclination is the best for every specific month depending on the latitude your solar system will reside at. The price of a system like this is likely to be expensive and will probably not pay itself off with just a small number of home solar panels. I personally always wait for the day when you can call your keys to make them play a jolly tune. Using the best available information you can find on the recommended solar panels, you can then make estimates on long-term electricity bill savings versus long-term solar panel costs using different solar panels on your roof. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. Because there happens to be a very attractive small inverter from Steca that is a perfect fit for the panels. Some people have used Google Sketchup to find out themselves how much shade they get from the neighbours’ house. Because the Sun is so bright, the exposure time is very short, freezing out the usual atmospheric blurring. Their existence had been inferred from earlier observations, but this was the first time they had been directly seen.
Also, planets around other stars have been detected when they transit their stars, so observations like this in our own solar system give us insight into the physics of these events. When it was still over 600,000 km (360,000 miles) from Earth on the third pass in November 2009, it snapped this incredible picture of our home planet.
The rim, however, sticks out above the rest of the surface, and can be lit up by the low Sun.
When warm air rises off of the sunlight-heated ground there, it can punch through the cold layer and create dust devils, mini-tornadoes (the same thing happens on Earth, too). And when dozens of them do it in one region, you get this incredibly beautiful Martian calligraphy. It didn't get all that close to the big planet -- 10 million kilometers (6 million miles), or 25 times the distance of the Moon from the Earth -- but its powerful cameras were able to take this stunning half-Jupiter shot. The detail on the original are incredible; you can see hundreds of small storms raging across the planet, as well as subtle colors and other features. Its rings were discovered in 1977, and directly seen for the first time in 1986, by the Voyager 2 probe. Also note the angle of the planet: it orbits the Sun tilted over "on its side", so even from Earth we can trace the rings circling all the way around the planet. And if you prefer, then think of this entry as being an example of a big Kuiper Belt object.
But it wasn't until 2008 that we finally clutched the Holy Grail: a bona fide, 100% confirmed direct image of one of these planets. And sure enough, an image from 2006 was compared to one taken in 2004, and a moving dot was found: the planet Fomalhaut b.
But because the sun moves across the sky and will be higher or lower depending on the time of day an optimal tilt angle needs to be calculated. In general a steeper slope is preferable during the summer as the sun will be higher in the sky. To give you a point of reference a 0° tilt angle would mean that the panel is lying flat down on its back facing directly upwards.
This way you would only need to adjust the panels a couple times a year although still ensuring that you will get great performance out of your panels. You’d just need to include the number of solar panels you can fit on your roof, the efficiency of various solar panels, and the average number of sunlight hours per day in your region. That makes the picture extremely crisp and details easy to spot -- see for yourself in the super-high-res version. We'll learn a whole lot more about Mercury when MESSENGER finally settles into orbit in March 2011. It was still approaching at the time, coming in from an angle that made the Earth appear to be a thin crescent.
When it arrives, it will deploy a lander that will touch down on the surface of the comet and study it up close and personal, giving us our best view yet of these objects. It orbits the star at a distance of 16 billion km (10 billion miles), much farther out than Neptune is from the Sun. This is necessary for your panels to be able to catch the most sun during the whole course of the day.
During winter the sun is lower and to catch more of its light the best solar panel angle would be more tilted.
As the inclination increases the panel would be adjusted to face more and more to the front, just like a mirror or a painting would hang on a wall.
We still believe that the moving parts in the scaffolding would have a high chance to brake down a couple of times, during the 25 year old lifetime of a solar panel. So the rings appear dark, and with Saturn half-lit the way it is, this picture is more brooding than most cheery, well-lit pictures of the ringed planet. Pluto and Triton have quite a bit in common -- they're about the same size, temperature, and have the same atmospheric composition -- so this was a good practice shot for the mission.
That's why we could see it at all; had it been much closer it would be lost in the glare of the star, a billion times brighter. The best solar panel angle for you depends on where you live but it also is a matter on what time of year you will be using your solar panels the most. At some places as much as a vertical tilt of the panels is needed to get the maximum output during wintertime. Making the system more of a cost then what you will gain in having your panels tilt angle pointing towards the sun at all times.
That is about € 20 per year in electricity, definitely not worth spending a lot of money on. Sure, the famous shot of the back-lit planet with the Earth peeking between the rings is more famous, but this one has a depth and a color to it that really appeals to me. It also gives me a lot of confidence that when it does pass by Pluto, we'll get some amazing pictures. If you read on we will show you how to best find the most optimal angle for your solar energy installation. That energy will naturally have to be taken from the excess energy you make on moving the panels around in the first place.



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