Saturday, June 15, 2024

How To Get Into Solar Energy

How Does Weather Affect Solar Energy

How solar panels turn sunlight into electricity.

Weather conditions can impact the amount of electricity a solar system produces, but not exactly in the way you might think.

Perfect conditions for producing solar energy include a clear sunny day, of course. But like most electronics, solar panels are actually more efficient in cold weather than warm weather. This allows the panel to produce more electricity in the same amount of time. As the temperature rises, the panel generates less voltage and produces less electricity.

But even though solar panels are more efficient in cold weather, they don’t necessarily produce more electricity in the winter than in summer. Sunnier weather often occurs in the warmer summer months. In addition to fewer clouds, the sun is usually out for more of the day. So even though your panels may be less efficient in warm weather, they’ll still likely produce more electricity in summer than in winter.

You Get To Work In An Industry That Is Helping Combat Climate Change

The solar industry is creating a more prosperous future for generations to come. The average residential solar system offsets about 100,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide in 20 years the equivalent of driving a car for 100,000 miles. Working in the solar helps you leave work everyday feeling fulfilled knowing you are creating a world run on clean, renewable energy. The threat of climate change has increased significantly over the last few decades leaving us to take immediate action. Solar helps fight climate change by providing an alternative energy solution that is both clean and affordable.

Calculate The Roofs Usable Area And Type Of Panel Required

The roof size available for setting up the solar panel would need to be ascertained in square feet. Orientation plays an important role, especially if the roof size is small or not of a usable geometric shape.

The size available needs to be divided by the size of the solar panel that is going to be used. If the number of panels is too few due to the size of the roof then one needs to look at the wattage output. Possibly each solar panel will be uniform in size so then you’ll select the panel for its efficiency.

There are various kinds of solar panels available but the differentiating factors among them are the size, wattage, and efficiency of the panel.

Panel efficiency is the ability of the panel to convert sunlight into energy and is a key factor of the cell technology. Panel type will need to be taken into account as a factor to calculate a solar energy system output.

Read Also: Does My House Qualify For Solar Panels

Looking For A Job In Solar Energy

Solar Job Board

Manage your career online. Create an account to save jobs, store resumes and cover letters, search for jobs, set up job alerts and so much more. If you’re a hiring professional with solar industry positions, you can post jobs today! Find candidates and search the resume bank.

Solar Training Resources

The Solar Training Network, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative and implemented by the Solar Foundation, is a new resource for solar job seekers, training providers and employers to connect and grow the solar workforce. Create a profile and get connected today!

Solar Energy International – Founded in 1991, this non-profit organization’s mission is to empower people around the world through the education of sustainable practices. Through their Renewable Energy Education Program , they offer hands-on workshops and online courses in solar PV, wind, micro-hydro, solar hot water and natural home building.

Learn more about SEIA’s effort to promote workforce development for the solar industry.

Where Can Solar Take You?

Our friends at A& R Solar developed a handy flowchart that can help steer you in the right direction to find the career in solar that is right for you!

SEIA’s Installer Safety & Workforce Development Working Group

Training Sessions & Workshops at SEIA Events

Solar Professionals on LinkedIn

National Solar Jobs Census

DOE’s Solar Career Map

Jobs at SEIA

What Is The Investment Required

Solar Panel Diagram

If you want to become a huge solar panel manufacturer, you will require a substantial investment. On the other hand, if you want to start with mounting a solar panel, it does not require a high investment. For about a 5 KW system size, you would need to invest 35,000 – 40,000 depending on the manufacturer.

Also Check: What Are The Government Incentives For Solar

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The energy contained in sunlight is the source of life on Earth. Humans can harness it to generate power for our activities without producing harmful pollutants. There are many methodsof converting solar energy into more readily usable forms of energy such as heat or electricity. The technologieswe use to convert solar energy have a relatively small impact on the environment. However, they each have disadvantages that have kept them from being widely adopted.

In Canada, the use of solar energy to generate electricity and heat is growing quickly and is helping reduce pollution related to energy production. Despite Canadas cold climateand high latitudes , solar power technologies are used in many places, from household rooftops to large power plants. The Canada Energy Regulator expects solar power to make up 3 per cent of Canadas total electricity generation capacity by 2040.

What Are The Steps To Becoming A Solar Technician

There are different paths to becoming a solar technician. It is essential, however, to be aware that electronics are becoming more sophisticated and that equipment is increasingly complex, meaning that there is a higher threshold for expertise. Technicians must have more knowledge to obtain entry-level positions than in the past. Below, aspiring solar technicians can find the four most common steps towards this profession.

Step 1: Obtain a high school diploma or GED .

Aspiring solar technicians are advised to take shop classes and learn how to work with their hands from an early age. Since electronics are a growing component of solar installations, students should also take courses in science, math, computers, and electronics.

Students should maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and participate in extracurricular activities, which include physical education classes, sports clubs and teams, and volunteer work, internships or part-time jobs for solar or construction companies.

Step 2: Gain further education or training .

Prospective technicians who have worked for solar companies as high school students may be able to continue their on-the-job practice after graduating. Others may be able to find a company willing to hire them without further formal training.

Step 3: Acquire an advanced degree or certification

Step 4: Get licensed

Recommended Reading: Are Solar Panels A Good Investment

Setting Up Compensation Structures

Solar salespeople are usually paid by commission. Commission payouts are usually paid as a percentage of the total contract price or as a cut of the base contract price.

Commissions have various pros and cons. On one hand, they can motivate your teams to work hard. On the other hand, commissions may encourage your salespeople to sell more than a customer needs, take on cost-prohibitive projects, and inflate project costs above market rates.

Read more on common commission structures in the solar sales industry today.

Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

How does solar energy get into your home?

Using sunlight as a fuel source has several disadvantages compared to fossil fuels. Chief among these are low energy density and intermittency.

Energy density refers to the amount of potential energy a given amount of fuel contains. No technology can convert all the primary energy in a fuel into usable energy. Fossil fuels have very high energy density. They produce a lot of usable energy, evenif the conversion is inefficient. Solar energy has relatively low energy density, which conversion reduces further. The least efficient solar conversion technologies are those that produce electricity.Those that convert it into thermal energy are more efficient.

Sunshine is not constant. It changes throughout the day due to clouds and it disappears at night. Another word for the variable nature of sunlight is intermittent. The number ofhours and intensity of sunlight also changes seasonally in Canada. Since sunlight is intermittent, solar power cannot be generated as consistently and predictably as power from other fuel sources.

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States That Have The Highest Pay

The BLS reports the following states as having the highest average annual pay for solar photovoltaic installers:

  • Oregon: $58,180
  • Massachusetts: $53,180
  • Arizona: $51,840

The higher wages in these states are generally attributed to their primary industries. They all have economies based on tourism, government or military presence, and high-tech industries.

Please note that only twenty-three states and Puerto Rico have reported employment and wage statistics for solar technicians. Twenty-two cities and metropolitan divisions, and three non-metropolitan areas are all that have detailed employment and wage statistics. The states and cities that have not reported may have significantly higher or lower averages.

The reported salaries do not necessarily reflect the economic status of individuals because the numbers do not account for the differences in the cost of living. For example, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center , the cost of living index for Hawaii was 191.8. That is the highest cost of all the states, which some attribute to the Jones Act, and it means that Hawaiians paid $191.80 for what cost $100 in other states.

How Do You Invest In A Solar Farm Investment

The easy way to invest in a solar farm, or renewable energy company, is to just buy a stock of a company likeBrookfield Renewable Partners.

Brookfield operates one of the worlds largest renewable power platforms. Weve discussed Brookfield as a company and stock investment in other posts. The purpose of this post is to fill in the gaps and explain how to take advantage of the solar industry yourself by creating your own solar farm, and not to review how to invest in real assets from an investment perspective. You can read this article though: What are Real Assets, and How to Diversify Your Wealth by Investing in Them?

Before we dive into the solar farm business, perhaps you might like to hear Tom Mills discuss his 120 Acre Solar Farm in Camilla, Georgia. He definitely understands nuances of whats involved. This YouTube video is two-minutes long, and is worth the time:

Read Also: How Much Does Solar Panels Cost In Ghana

Your Incentive Is Calculated With The Following Maximum Rates Per Watt:

  • Up to 10 kW : $0.426/watt
  • Greater than previous 12 month utility electricity consumption up to 20 kW: $0.328/watt, .

Systems with a calculated design factor greater than or equal to 80% will receive the full incentive amount. Systems with a calculated design factor less than 80% will receive an incentive discounted according to calculated design factor. Please contact an Eligible Contractor for more information regarding design factor calculations. Qualify for a five percent bonus if your system includes major components principally manufactured in Connecticut, with an additional bonus if they are principally manufactured in a Connecticut distressed municipality.

2. Lease a system with little or no upfront costs

What Device Can Convert Solar Energy Into Electricity

How Solar Works

As we already can see, to produce electricity from the suns light we need some devices, but what exactly do we need and why?

1. A solar panel is the most prominent part of the whole system and is also known as solar module, which collects photons, and the components of the panel convert those particles of light into electricity.

The most common use of solar panels is by placing them on a roof, which is the most appropriate place for them because there is less possibility to shade the panels on the top of a building and produce the maximum of their capacity, such construction is called solar roof system.

However, not always it is possible to place a panel on the roof due to its form or shape, so any open land that is free form shading is an excellent choice for them.

Anyone who is planning to place a panel should remember to look for local and state regulations regarding solar panels or to consult their state authority to be sure it is not against the law to do so.

Moreover, there are various types of solar panels, for example, you may wish to put a fixed solar panel, which is placed under a specific angle to the surface and collects energy when the sunlight falls on it, or, alternatively, you may wish to place a tracking solar panel, which is moving itself according to the sunlight and thus receive more power than a fixed one.

2. Inverter

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Supervise Teams Of Basic Pv Installers At A Worksite Motivate And Coordinate Keeping Crews Focused And On Schedule Verifying Safety Procedures And Equipment And Providing Quality Assurance

The solar crew chief is an onsite supervisor who leads small teams of installers and helpers, and typically reports to a project manager or superintendent. Working alongside other team members, the chief reads specifications to determine work requirements, establishes the order of operations, checks tools, tracks installation progress, monitors safety, and inspects and documents work. The crew leader must communicate clearly with supervisors, peers and subordinates.

Ability to work outdoors in often extreme conditionsAbility to lift heavy equipmentDrivers licenseMay be required to pass drug test

Pv Installers Are The Solid Core Of The Solar Industry: They Set Up And Maintain The Sophisticated Equipment And Wiring That Connects A Solar Energy System To The Electrical Grid

Residential or small commercial installation professionals may design and prepare the system layout based on specific site characteristics obtain permits measure, cut, assemble, and bolt structural framing and solar modules, safely attaching panels to roofs or ground mounts wire and connect the system to an inverter inspect installed equipment, structures, or materials to determine code and safety compliance and, finally, commission the system, ensuring that it meets basic performance estimates. The size of the company will determine how specialized any given job is within that broad technical installation sequence.

Ability to work at heightsAbility to be in heat or cold for long periods of timeBasic math skillsGeneral electrical or plumbing a plusDrivers licenseAbility to work at heights

Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Battery Is Used For Solar Panels

A Utility Interconnection Engineer Manages The Interconnection Of Power Generation Equipment To The Electric Grid A Job That Involves Design Evaluation And Technical Or Material Problem

As part of a clean energy economy, Utility Interconnection Engineers: Oversee various project stages from initial site selection to power generation, including resource planning, consultant management, and overall quality of design Manage the interconnection application and agreement process Direct the technical evaluation and due diligence for utility interconnection Manage deliverables such as equipment specifications, concept design drawings, power flow analysis, site evaluations, interconnection budgets, single line and three-line diagrams.

Maintain licensesKeep up with rapidly changing technology

Tips For Becoming A Solar Installer

Want to get into the Solar Installation business? Contractors click here.

So you want to get a job as a solar installer, but dont know where to begin? Here are 4 tips to help jump-start your career.

1. Learn: Before you start your solar career, you must understand a few key concepts.

PV, short for photovoltaic, cells are made up of two semiconductor layers. As a PV cell is exposed to sunlight, photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the cell, causing electrons to be freed. These freed electrons naturally migrate to the positive layer creating a voltage differential. Each individual solar energy cell produces only 1 to 2 Watts, so to increase the power output, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module, commonly called a solar panel. Another important component is the inverter, the brains of a solar system, which converts the electricity from your solar panels which generate DC, or direct current into power that can be used by home appliances, which use AC or alternating current.

Net-metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backward to provide a credit for the electricity produced. Customers are only billed for their net energy use.

Also Check: Where Can I Buy Solar Batteries

What Is The Job Demand For Solar Engineers

The job demand for electrical and electronics engineers is projected to increase by 7 percent between 2020 and 2030. However, the BLS predicts that job growth for solar installers will grow a truly amazing 52 percent between 2020 and 2030, so job growth for solar engineers will likely reflect this growth.*

Use Best Practices In Roofing To Install Racking Systems Mount Photovoltaic Panels Or Thermal Collectors And Waterproof The Flashing Around Installed Components

As part of the clean energy economy, Roofers working with solar install, inspect, and repair roofs so that they can support a solar array ensure that any cuts or holes made in the roof during the installation of solar panels and mounting racks are properly repaired and sealed install mounting systems and structural supports for rooftop solar energy systems.

Facility with instrumentation and controlsUnderstanding of electrical systemsMechanical and electrical construction experienceExcellent verbal and written communication skillsTroubleshootingClean drivers license and reliable transportationNear vision

Also Check: What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of Solar Panels

Financial Benefits Of Community Solar

Community solar is made possible by a policy called virtual net metering . Like net metering for rooftop solar power, virtual net metering policies allow households or businesses to receive the net metering credits associated with a renewable energy project installed at a remote location.

The same way net metering allows you to use the solar produced on your roof to offset any electricity you pull from the grid when the sun isnt shining, virtual net metering allows you to use solar energy produced at a remote location to offset electricity you pull from the grid, hence virtual.

The end result of virtual net metering is that community solar participants are able to reduce the amount they pay for electricity every month, locking in savings for years to come.

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