Solar Panel Awning and Solar Canopy Systems

Surely you have seen and heard about solar systems, solar panels and other things powered by solar energy such as portable battery chargers, backpacks that have a solar panel integrated to charge a laptop, certain movable traffic warning signs as well as solar powered street lights. Most likely you have seen solar panels on rooftops, you may even have seen a ground-mounted solar system. Have you ever seen or thought about a solar panel awning or a solar canopy? You may wonder why you would mound solar panels on a canopy or awning, let’s look at why these types of solar systems would be of interest.

Solar systems can have all different sizes depending on the intended purpose. While rooftop or ground-mounted systems are designed to offset a family’s electricity usage a canopy or awning system can have the same or other purposes. Have you looked into going solar just to find out that your roof is not positioned ideally to fit enough solar panels on it to offset your annual electric usage, or maybe your roof is not solar friendly, maybe it has a lot of shading or a lot of small spaces rather than one big area.

Solar Panel Awnings and Solar Canopies Explained

Rooftops are the traditional way to install solar panels for homes, which is also why rooftop solar systems are usually the first thing people think of when they think of solar systems. However, there are several other spaces that can be utilized for solar. Here at Solartime USA we have installed several solar systems on rooftops, we have also used carports, awnings, canopies and gazebos to place solar systems or complete solar systems. Solartime USA has also built stand alone gazebos for customers that wanted to use the solar panels to heat their pool, in conjunction build a beautiful outdoor living space with seating, tables and maybe a grill that will heat their pool. Some build awnings or canopies to help add electricity to their existing system or they used the smaller system as sort of an entry system to going solar and plan to extend it at a later point.

We have customers that have a solar system installed already and look to add to their system because their family’s electric needs have changed, they may have had relatives move in and they now need to offset more electricity, but they have no room left on their roof. Maybe there is shading on the remaining roof or the positioning of the roof is not ideal for solar panels, this is where utilizing awnings, carports, canopies or even a stand-alone gazebo come into play and offer a great addition or alternative to traditional solar systems.

Solar Panel Awnings

Solar panel awnings can serve a dual purpose, they can help with providing shade to the side of your house that is too hot to use as an outdoor space around your house, often, especially here in Texas the sun beams at a side of your house during the day and makes that space unusable for outdoor activities, it also creates a challenge to keep your house cool. A solar panel awning is a great addition to your home, it can be a beautiful structure added to the side of your home that now shades the house from the sun, keeps the house itself cooler and provides an outdoor space that can be used for entertaining and family gathering and to make it even better the solar panel awning can produce plenty of solar power to help offset your electric needs.

Solar panel awnings or canopies can be a great addition to your home. They can easily add a fantastic looking outdoor living space, providing both shade and an aesthetically pleasing structure to your property, increasing your property’s value as well.

Solar Panel Canopies

Solartime USA has built some great looking solar canopies where the structure itself is made of great looking and sturdy wood posts with solar panels as roof, providing shade but still letting light through. Solar canopies can be placed anywhere you have room on your property, some solar canopies are also used to heat pools, or in addition to a solar system that may not have enough room on a roof. Some people also have extra buildings such as shops or guest houses that they want to have solar powered which is where you can see how versatile solar installations can be.

What are Solar Carports?

Since more people are purchasing electric powered cars, some may already have a solar system installed and decide to build a solar carport as a charging station for the electric car. Often carports provide a great space for additional solar panels, or as an integrated space for a complete solar system. Even people that don’t yet have a solar system can benefit from a carport with solar when they purchase an electric car, the solar system can provide the electricity needed to charge the car without adding additional cost to their energy costs.

 

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Installation 

When you are considering solar panel installation in Dallas, TX, either as a complete system or as a stand-alone for electric car charging or pool heating be sure to check with our experts here at Solartime USA. We have plenty of options available for you and the expertise to build and install your awning, canopy, car port or gazebo. Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation for Dallas solar installation.

The Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy

Solar energy (or green energy) is a renewable energy source, such as wind and hydroelectricity. We’ll dive deeper into pros and cons of solar energy. As we all know, nothing is perfect. So no matter how great something is there may be at least a couple of not-so-great points about it – even if those points are just a matter of opinion. 

The most basic level of solar energy is (of course) energy from the sun – hence “solar” energy. Here in North Texas, we get an average 234 sunny days a year! What can we do with all that sun? Does it make sense to go solar? How do you use solar energy? How much will it cost? Is it difficult to “go solar” and how much effort will it take on my part?

With that in mind let’s discuss solar energy. Since you are reading this blog post, you obviously want to know more about solar energy, which is very exciting for us here at Solartime USA. We have a passion to help people understand solar, and we want to help you go solar as well. 

What are the Disadvantages of Solar Energy?

So, are there no disadvantages of solar energy? While there are many, many advantages to going solar, there are also some drawbacks of solar energy. Like with anything, no matter how great something is there are always downsides and it’s the same for solar energy and solar systems for your house.

Not All Roofs Are Created Equal

The space needed for a solar system is a disadvantage for some people. You do have to have an adequate roof, or space on your property for a ground mounted solar system. 

Shading can be a disadvantage as well, if you have too many shade trees and don’t want to trim them, it may not make sense to install a solar system. However, talking with one of our specialists may result in finding a solution around your roofing or space challenges.

Can Be Pricey Without Financing

One main concern for many people when considering whether to go solar or not is cost, and that could be seen as a disadvantage for some. Let’s dive into the cost issue a little deeper. 

While the cost of solar systems has come down drastically and continues to become more and more affordable, there is still some cost involved, of course. This is where it is important to deal with a local solar company that you can trust, like Solartime USA. 

We are knowledgeable about both Federal and potential local credits/rebates and will ensure you can take advantage of all the tax credits and rebates available for you. 

It is also important to realize that when you do go solar, you can control your energy costs. Solartime USA offers $0 down and financing options that allow you to keep your monthly payments about the same or less than your current electric bill. 

Materials to Make Solar Panels Are Not Always the Safest

There is some concern over the hazardous and toxic materials that go into solar system manufacturing. In the long run, the smaller carbon footprint outweighs the impact of solar manufacturing on the environment.

Solar energy is a clean energy, meaning there is no pollution involved in converting solar energy into usable electricity. It is also a renewable, natural, and clean resource. We will not run out of sunlight and it is always available at no cost to us. Pollution does not come from solar energy harvesting and use. 

Weather Based Intermittency

One main disadvantage is that you cannot use your solar system at night. When there’s no sun shining you can’t use solar energy. This should not necessarily deter you from going solar. 

You are still connected to the electric grid through your electric provider so you can use your electric company’s energy when solar energy is not available. Then during the day if you produce more electricity with your solar system than you use, you can send surplus energy back to the grid to receive credits for that energy and help ease the demand on the grid as well. 

Considering location as it relates to use of solar energy, the more sunny days the better. However, going solar is still a great choice, even in “wetter climates” where it rains more (and is more cloudy). We are in a good location here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for going solar as we can really benefit from all the sunshine. 

In trying to list the pros and cons of solar energy, the amount of sunny days in our area is certainly on the “pros” side. Other locations in the country and in the world are not quite as sunny as the Dallas-Ft. Worth is. However, even places that don’t get as much sun as we do can benefit from using solar energy. While bright sunshine allows solar panels to harvest the most solar energy, the sun’s rays can still be harvested on cloudy days. 

It Can Be Hard To Find Quality Installers

Once the installation process is underway, people might worry about what could go wrong. Solartime USA offers professional installation followed by a final inspection to make sure everything has been properly secured and configured. 

What are the Benefits of Solar Energy?

When weighing the pros and cons of solar energy, the benefits are substantial. Along with feeling great about doing something to improve the air quality for our planet, you also have economic advantages such as saving money on bills and increasing your property value.

Reduces Carbon Emissions For a Greener Planet

The benefits of solar energy to the environment is something that Solartime USA is proud to be a part of. With growing concern over global warming, it’s becoming more and more important to reduce our carbon footprint. Going solar helps reduce those carbon emissions that scientists believe to be contributing to climate change. 

Huge Impact On Your Electric Bill

While with some utility companies you see an increase to your electric bill, with solar your payments stay the same. You take control of your energy costs and you are no longer tied to rising energy costs – this leads to energy independence. 

Which leads to the next point, going solar can be a very simple process with the right local and honest solar company such as Solartime USA , the process is very simple. You simply give access to your annual electric usage graph, your address and our experts can draft up a proposal for you that we will then go over with you to find out your ideas, desires and energy needs for your home. All the paperwork and permitting will be taken care of by our experts, so essentially all you have to do is decide you want to go solar and we can take care of the rest. 

Increases Your Homes Value

Home buyers know that when they buy a home with a solar panel system already installed, they stand to save lots of money on electricity. For this reason, installing solar panels is like putting a pool in the backyard. It’s a positive feature that adds value to your home.

Protection Against Rising Electric Bills

As stated previously, one of the good things about solar energy as a source of electricity for your home is more independence. You won’t have to worry about spikes in your utility billing. Also with solar, you can sell your surplus energy for credits.

Low Maintenance Costs

With solar energy systems, you can expect little to no maintenance.  Just sit back and enjoy the savings.

What We Have Learned About Going Solar

So, in summary, there are more advantages than disadvantages to solar energy, and even the few disadvantages can easily be overcome and are minor.

All these are good points on the advantages column for solar energy. So how complicated is it to use all that beautiful sun to power your home? Is that where all the disadvantages to solar energy usage lies? 

Well, no, of course there is cost involved in going solar, and it can be confusing to think about going solar. However, our experts here at Solartime USA can make the process of going solar very easy for you. You can find out more from our Dallas solar experts here at Solartime USA with a free, no obligation consultation.

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Questions and Installation

Let us help you go solar, or at least figure out whether going solar is a good option for you. We are located right here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and have the expertise to secure all rebates, refunds and tax credits for you. Our professional installers are guaranteed to install a beautiful solar system for you. 

We handle the entire process for you, from finding the right financing, dealing with HOA, getting permits, arranging appointments with the electric company (to name a few).  All you have to do is decide to go solar and we’ll handle the rest. 

For professional installation of solar panels in Dallas, call (972) 675-7725 to set up an appointment. Or fill out the contact form.

What Are Bifacial Solar Panels And Should I Install Them?

solar panels in field

Due to a constantly changing climate, shrinking glaciers, and rising energy costs, people are looking to alternative or green energy to produce the electricity they need without impacting our world negatively. 

When considering your eco-friendly options, solar panels are by far the most efficient and affordable way to produce electricity for your home. Solar panels have been around for years and have become more popular and affordable as time goes on. 

Here in North Texas and the DallasFt. Worth area more and more people are looking to become energy independent and want to have a positive impact on the environment. When you drive around and see solar panels they are pretty much all the same, either mounted on rooftops, or on the ground. Some are even mounted on carports and pergolas. 

There are many options and even more companies installing solar panels even here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, but not all are truly local. With so many different solar panel companies and installers out there, it may be overwhelming.  Which ones are trustworthy? 

solar panels in a field

Consider Solartime USA as your local source for solar panels in Dallas. Located in Richardson TX, our experts pride themselves on ensuring you get the best deal, professional installation, and any available tax credits and rebates. 

Let’s learn a bit more about solar panels, what they are made of, how they are put together, and the bifacial solar panel differs from the traditional solar panel. Why would you choose to install bifacial solar panels over traditional solar panels?

Solar panels contain photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert light energy into electricity. These PV cells are made up of two layers of silicone which are either monocrystalline (higher quality silicone) or polycrystalline, depending on the type of solar panel. The PV cells are held together by a metal connection and then framed to form a PV module (more commonly known as a solar panel). These are called monofacial solar panels – traditional solar panels. Several solar panels connect to create the solar system. 

How do solar panels work from here? When sunlight strikes, the light energy (containing photons) hits the solar panel. Electrons are activated to move around to produce direct current (DC). This direct current is sent to the inverter to convert the energy to AC which powers your household appliances. This is how all solar panels create electricity. Let’s take a look at what is different about Bifacial solar panels. 

What are Bifacial Solar Panels?

Bifacial solar panels use both sides of the panel to harvest energy from the sun, while traditional solar panels only use a single side to do so. This makes them unique and beneficial at the same time. The traditional solar panel harvests energy when sunlight strikes one side of the panel. The backside of the traditional solar panel is covered with a black/opaque sheet that allows the solar panel to only produce energy from one side of the panel. 

However, with a bifacial solar panel, the backside of the solar panel is covered with a transparent sheet or set in tempered glass. Because the entire panel is held together by tempered glass, it does not require the PV to be held in metal.  This eliminates the need for a frame and allows the harvesting of energy through reflection with PV cells located on the back of the solar panel as well. Clearly, this makes a bifacial solar panel more efficient and versatile than a traditional solar panel. 

Monofacial or Bifacial Solar Panels?

So, how does that make Bifacial solar panels better, and why aren’t they used all the time in place of the traditional solar panel? Well, Bifacial (as the name implies) can harvest light energy on both sides of the solar panel, taking advantage of the ability to harvest reflection. Now, in order to use reflected sunrays (light), the surface behind the Bifacial solar panels has to be reflective and the solar panel has to be raised. Optimal situations would be where there’s snow or sand, white tile, or light reflected from the grass as well. So the less reflective the surface is behind the solar panel, the less use of the reflected light of course. 

Should I Install Bifacial Solar Panels?

Space is a major factor when installing any solar system which is why a lot of solar systems are installed on rooftops. In this case, the use of bifacial solar panels would not make much sense since the very aspect that allows these panels to be more efficient by using reflection would be useless since the solar panels are installed too close to the roof to allow reflection behind the panel. 

Location is a very important aspect of bifacial solar panel installation. Without sufficient reflection, the efficiency of the panel is about equal to the traditional panel. Space is another major factor, the bifacial solar panels have to be installed on racks, so adequate space between the racks is crucial to allow for reflection. Furthermore, shading also diminishes the efficiency of the bifacial solar panel. 

How can these panels be installed then? One way is to install them horizontally and straight to allow them to provide partial shade for a house (like on a pergola). Another way is vertically where the sun can be absorbed multi-directionally. For instance, east/west, or on a tall structure where the reflection of the sun from other buildings and/or sky can be used. 

There is much to say for bifacial solar panels. They are even more durable than traditional solar panels, and thus usually carry a 30-year warranty. They are more efficient, although this depends on several factors (such as a lack of reflection). They contain better quality silicone (monocrystalline). There’s no need for grounding the frameless panel, and aesthetically they are more pleasing (looking slim and sleek). The factors against choosing bifacial solar panels for private installations are primarily cost and space. For these reasons, most bifacial solar panels are used commercially.

So, when considering if bifacial solar panels are a good idea for you and your home, the answer boils down to location and cost more than anything else. Would your location allow you to install bifacial solar panels, and does the location allow adequate use of reflection? Would the cost difference between bifacial and traditional solar panels make sense for you? 

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Questions and Installation

The best way to get help with the answers to these questions is to have a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experts. We will provide you an honest quote and will tell you if the extra cost of bifacial panels benefits you or not. You can set up a consultation easily by calling (972) 675-7725 or go to Dallas Solar to fill out the form to set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you go solar!

A Beginner’s Guide To Solar Panels: Size and Dimensions

solar panels in a field

There’s a lot of buzz about solar energy here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and that’s a beautiful thing! More buzz means more people are joining the solar power movement and making a difference for the planet and for their pocketbooks. 

solar panels in a field

If you’re interested in this eco-friendly power source for your home and are trying to learn more about it, the amount of information on the subject can seem a little bit overwhelming at first. We’ve created this beginner’s guide to help you learn about one of the most important factors in designing your solar system: solar panel size. 

How Big is a Solar Panel?

Is the size and dimension of a solar panel just a matter of preference, or is it an essential aspect? Are they sized differently? How do you know which size is right for your home?

There are several smaller sized panels used for a solar-powered entry gate, solar-powered road construction signs, and backpacks with built-in solar panels to power small devices. Solar energy applications are everywhere. Of course, larger panels are needed for bigger demand such as a house or building. The size corresponds to the quantity of energy needed. 

There are a variety of solar panel sizes, but there are also different types of solar panels.

While there are several solar panel manufacturers with different quality solar panels, residential product dimensions are according to standard solar panel size.

The difference in dimension and sizing of solar panels is really a matter of residential or commercial solar panels. Each residential panel is made up of 60 individual solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. The standard size of a PV panel is 156 mm by 156 mm, which is approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches wide. So residential solar panel dimensions are 5ft long and 3ft wide. =

The size of a typical solar panel used for commercial purposes is 72 PV cells (can go up to 98 cells or more) which makes the standard commercial solar panel about 13 inches longer compared to residential. 

How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?

Knowing the size of a residential solar panel, you may wonder how much a solar panel weighs. Will your roof be strong enough to support a solar system big enough to power your house? 

A residential solar panel weighs an average of 40lbs. These weigh between 33lbs and 50lbs depending on the manufacturer. A 6kw solar system takes about 20 average-sized panels, which translates to 800lbs added to a roof. 

What Size Solar System Do I Need?

The number of solar panels you’ll need depends on the orientation of your roof and how many hours of sunlight the roof gets per day. 

You can calculate this by dividing your average hourly wattage requirement by the number of daily peak hours in your area. This tells you the amount of energy your panels need to produce every hour. For instance, the average U.S. home (900kWh/month) is in an area that sees five peak sunlight hours per day. So, this residence would require 6,250 watts.

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Questions and Installation

If you’re not a fan of math, Solartime USA will do these calculations for you and take the guesswork out of your quest to go solar. We calculate the system size according to your expectations and energy needs. 

Choosing which Dallas solar panel company to go with should be a well-informed decision. Take the opportunity to learn more about how long solar panels last and how many solar panels it takes to power a house.

We have the expertise to determine which Dallas solar solution is best for your specific needs. We’re happy to help you with optimal solar panel placement, financing options, and so much more. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to answer all of your questions. Call us at (972) 675-7725.

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Texas?

house with solar panels on roof

So you are pondering the question of whether or not solar panels are worth it in Texas. After all, it’s a big investment and you want to make sure that your hard earned money is well spent. So, are solar panels worth it in Texas?

house with solar panels on roof

There’s a lot of sunshine in the great state of Texas. But, with North Texas being a little cooler than the southern parts of the state at times, it can make you wonder if solar panels are worth it. The short answer is: yes! Solar panels are absolutely worth it in Texas! 

Truth be told, solar panels are worth it just about anywhere, since the sun shines everywhere. However, having solar panels in a sunny state like Texas, California, or Florida makes it that much better as we are able to convert that much more sun into electricity. 

In Texas, we have an average of 234 sunny days. That is the perfect setting for solar panels! Solar panels are good for the environment, they don’t emit any carbon, and help reduce our carbon footprint. If you are worried about your impact on the environment, then solar panels are definitely worth it for you.

Benefits of Solar Panels

More and more people in Texas, the US, and around the world have come to understand the great benefits of having solar panels, and demand is steadily rising. 

Some of the many benefits of solar panels include:

  1. Renewable Energy – Going solar is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Since solar panels don’t rely on fossil fuels to create the energy that powers your home, they don’t create harmful emissions and are better for the environment. 
  2. Huge Cost Savings – Kick those monthly electric bills to the curb for good! Because solar panels use the sun to produce energy, there’s no need for you to continue paying for non-renewable energy for your home. 
  3. Return on Investment – There are many variables that go into determining how long it will take to pay off your solar system but, with tax credits and other incentives, it’s not unusual to break even long before the lifetime of your solar panels ends. Solar panels can also make you money! Not only can you sell back your unused excess solar energy, but solar panels also increase the resale value of your home!
  4. Solar Tax Credit – The state of Texas has made a great effort to help promote the benefits of using renewable energy for our electricity needs by offering a 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit for installing solar panels. Find out more about this below.

Here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, we have seen a steady interest in solar panels. Everyday, more people are finding out that with solar panels, they can control their energy costs, become energy independent, and even sell their unused solar energy back to the electric company. Even with all the benefits, are solar panels worth it in Texas based on the cost?

Cost of Solar Panels in Texas

Before factoring in cost-saving incentives, the average cost of solar panels in Texas breaks down to about $17,700, based on a cost of $2.95 per Watt for a typical 6 kilowatt solar system. However, this is an average and not every solar system is the same. Your cost may differ depending on your unique solar needs. 

Factors that Affect the Size and Cost of Your Solar System

Solar panels aren’t right for everyone, and before installing solar panels, it’s important that each homeowner’s needs are taken into consideration to make sure that a solar system makes financial sense for each individual homeowner. 

  1. Energy Consumption – To determine if going solar is right for you, Solartime USA looks at your overall energy consumption as well as your energy needs and costs. During this process, we look at your energy bills to see what the average cost of your electricity is to determine how big of a system you would need. We also take into account how much your energy provider charges for the electricity they provide for you, and if they have any incentives for going solar. We also consider whether you want to off-set part or all of your energy consumption with solar and what your ideas are for your solar system. 
  2. Cost Saving Incentives – Something else to consider is whether or not your city or county has any incentives that can bring the cost of your solar system down even more than the 26% Federal Tax Credit.
  3. Location – Your home’s location and where on your property would be the best place for the solar panels can also affect the size and location of your solar system.
  4. What You Plan to Power – We also take into consideration any other things that you want to power with your solar system such as a solar pool heater, or an electric car. 
  5. Financing vs Cash Payment – Were you looking to finance your system or pay for it in cash? Would you prefer to pay for part of it upfront or would you rather get your solar system with zero out of pocket costs?

So, are solar panels worth it in Texas? As you weigh out the pros and cons of the cost of solar panels, don’t forget to also factor in the effect they will have on the value of your home.

Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value in Texas?

Owning solar panels actually increases the value of your home! According to an article in Money Magazine, home value increased by an average of 4.1% with solar panels. Considering the cost of an average home, that is a lot of money!

Texas Solar Incentives – The Solar Tax Credit

In an effort to encourage the use of solar energy, the federal government is currently offering a 26% Solar Tax Credit through December 31st, 2020. In January 2021, this tax credit will drop to 22%. 

There are also different solar incentives offered by some cities and energy providers in Texas. The professionals here at our Dallas solar company know all of the Texas solar incentives available and will make sure that you benefit from as many as possible. 

We’ve Helped Homeowners All Over TX Convert to Solar Energy – Are You Next?

Are solar panels worth it in Texas? We certainly think so! Now is the perfect time to schedule a free consultation! We offer consultations via phone or video and we’re happy to help you find out if solar panels are the right choice for you. Call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online today! We look forward to hearing from you!