solar panel installation

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels?

It isn’t a secret that the main selling points of switching over to a solar-powered lifestyle include 1) savings on your energy bills, and 2) decreasing your carbon footprint. Irrespective of the reason you choose to go solar, one thing’s for certain: by appreciating these solar energy benefits, you help to preserve the environment and encourage global sustainability, one ton of carbon dioxide at a time. Lower your carbon footprint, and operate your house — and even your vehicle — on emission-free, clean energy.

Impact and Environmental Benefits of Solar Power

Using systems that are solar powered is one proven method of reducing the quantity of electricity that is drawn from fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas. The renewable, clean energy that is harnessed from the sun makes for a much more appropriate alternative for your house, which as a result, significantly reduces the overall quantity of energy your energy company once had to have to meet your household’s energy demand.

Solar panels boast cumulative and social benefits. The more folks see their family, friends, and neighbors using solar, the more likely they will be to convert then become users of solar themselves. Then, this leads to lesser consumption of fossil fuels, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a smarter and safer planet.

Consider the Following Facts

In 2008, the United States EIA ( Energy Information Administration) stated a total of 30.2B mT (metric tons) of world energy-associated CO2 emissions. That statistic is predicted to increase all of the way to 35.2B metric tons in 2020 and in  2035, as great as 43.2B metric tons. It also is predicted that those emissions will grow at 16 percent over the following 22 years — it ought to be a massive cause for concern.

On the flip side, solar panels and energy don’t produce CO2 emissions and offer your household clean power. What’s more, solar manufacturers are using greener practices and methods as each day goes by, to substantially lower the quantity of resources that are used in making solar products and materials. That move only furthers the immense benefits provided by solar panels.

For more information on solar energy, contact our Solar Division team at Tri-State Electrical Contractors in Chattanooga, TN at (423) 800-2134.

alternative energy sources

3 Alternative Energy Sources

Here’s a look at three of the most prominent sources of alternative fuel, the benefits they provide and the possibility for increased uptake in the near future.

Hydrogen Gas

Unlike other natural gas forms, hydrogen is a fully clean burning fuel. When produced, hydrogen gas cells only emit warm air and water vapor when used.

The main problem with this type of alternative energy is that it’s mainly derived from the use of fossil fuels and natural gas. As such, it might be argued that the emissions that are created to remove it counteract the advantages of its use.

The electrolysis process, which is critical for the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen, makes it less of a problem. But, electrolysis still ranks under the aforementioned method of obtaining hydrogen, although studies continuously make it more cost-effective and efficient.

Tidal Energy

Tidal energy utilizes water’s power to produce energy, similar to the hydroelectric method, but its application, in many cases, really has more in common with wind turbines.

Although it’s a pretty new technology, it has incredible potential. Research generated in the U.K. estimated that such energy might meet as high as 20 percent of the United Kingdom’s present demands for electricity.

The most common tidal energy generation form includes the usage of Tidal Stream Generators. They use the ocean’s kinetic energy to power turbines, without generating fossil fuels’ waste or being as vulnerable to the elements as additional alternative energy forms.

Solar Power

When the majority of people imagine sources of alternative energy they usually utilize solar power as an example. This technology has massively evolved over time and is now utilized for both large-scale energy generation and single home power generation.

Numerous countries introduced initiatives that promote solar power’s growth. The UK’s ‘Feed-in Tariff’ is one of the examples, as is the ‘Solar Investment Tax Credit’ in the United States.

This source of energy is fully renewable and the expenses of installation are outweighed by the money that is saved in utility bills from traditional suppliers.

For more information on solar energy please feel free to get in touch with our Solar Division team at Tri-State Electrical Contractors in Chattanooga, TN at (423) 800-2134.

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Powerwall: Is it Worth the Investment?

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Powerwall coupled with solar panels will enable your house to go fully off grid and completely operate on your own energy or utilize a lot less energy from the grid. During the day, the panels will capture electricity from the sun then convert it to energy. Your house will operate off that energy and the excessive energy that isn’t being used is stored in the solar storage system. When the sun sets, your house still will be running off of green, clean solar energy.

Solar Battery Benefits

The most notorious Tesla Powerwall benefit includes producing all your electricity without having to use energy from the energy company. Solar panels oftentimes produce more electricity than a house will use during specific times of the day. With a Powerwall, it’s possible to store this energy for later usage, rather than letting it be wasted.

More importantly, energy providers frequently increase their prices at specific points of the year and the price of energy is consistently increasing. With the Powerwall it’s possible to avoid those peak charges and rates. Even when the solar panels aren’t generating energy your house still will operate on stored energy from the Tesla Powerwall.

The most enticing and final benefit of the Powerwall includes protecting your property when disaster strikes. When your community is struck with hurricanes or winter storms and is out of power, the Tesla Powerwall gives you the capability of powering your residence’s essential electronics with its stored energy.

Why Should You Get the Tesla Powerwall?

If you want to be energy independent, this is what you need. With the combination of your solar panels and Powerwall solar batteries, your house will be pulling much less electricity from the grid than ever before. Fewer fossil fuels will need to be utilized to produce that power, which means less pollution. So, the Tesla Powerwall helps keep the environment green while giving you the benefit of reducing your monthly energy expenses. Contact our team today to learn more!

Solar Panel System

Solar Panel System: What Size do you Need?

Solar Panel System

You made the decision to switch to clean, green, solar power, and are considering installing a solar panel system. There are some questions you can ask which helps you determine what you would like out of your solar system.

Do you want to lower your electric bill or go off grid?

If you really want to reduce your energy bill, the quantity of solar panels is determined by precisely how much you wish to reduce it by. If you simply want half of your energy usage to be lowered, the solar panel system likely will be smaller. If you wish to cover all of your energy needs, you probably will require a larger solar system in order for it to capture all of the solar power your house needs. Also, you might want to think about buying a solar energy battery that stores all excessive energy the panels will deliver. It’ll permit your house to operate on renewable energy even during the night.

How much energy are you consuming?

If your electric use is fairly low even without panels, it might mean the size of the panel system does not have to be that big. If your panels generate more energy than your house uses on a routine basis, you probably also would want to look at either net metering, or the installation of a solar battery in order for excess energy not to disappear.

How many kilowatt-hours can your panels generate?

The answer to that varies- that is because, like vehicles, solar panels are available in different brands and generate different electricity levels. For instance, a bifacial solar panel that generates electricity from both sides- naturally will produce more energy than single-sided solar panels.

What size system should you get?

The answer to that varies from one house to another, and depends mostly on the aforementioned factors above. If you wish to cover all of your energy needs, you probably will require a bigger solar panel system, meaning of course, more panels. But, if there’s limited space on the roof you might instead utilize higher efficiency panels. It’d mean fewer panels, but more production rates.

With 50 years of experience in commercial, industrial and residential work, trust Tri-State Electrical Contractors for your solar panel system needs. Call 423-823-5158 to request for a quote.

solar modules

Farmer’s Go Solar

Solar modules
Farmer’s Go Solar

An increasing number of agricultural businesses and farms are considering solar as a means to power their day-to-day operations. Thanks partially to the SETO (Solar Energy Technologies Office’s) investments, the price of implementing solar has declined, allowing more installations around the country. Consider the following insight to assist you in determining if this option could be a good fit for you and your farm.

Advantages of co-locating solar & crop production

There are various advantages of co-locating solar & crop production for farmers and solar energy developers.

Advantages to solar developers include:

● Decreased installation expenses – The usage of already tilled land might prevent the necessity for costly grading that is often required for panel installation.
● Decreased upfront risk – Geotechnical risks may boost the price of solar installation because of increased testing requirements. Previously tilled land was marked as the “least risk option” within a sequence of surveys with solar installers.
● Decreased legal risk – In utilizing previously disturbed agricultural land, solar installers may decrease the risk of upfront litigation within the environmental assessment process.
● Possibly increase PV performance – Vegetation beneth modules may increase solar performance and contribute to lower soil temperatures.

Advantages to agricultural land managers include:

● Marketing opportunity to sustainability-mindful audience
● Decreased electricity expenses
● Revenue stream diversification
● Increased capability of installing shade- resistant, high-value crops for brand-new markets
● Capability of maintaining crop production within solar generation
● Permit nutrient and land recharge of degraded agricultural lands.
● Possibility for water usage reduction
● Possibility to prolong growing seasons

Will solar modules dry out and heat up crops or vegetation under these modules?

Solar modules actually will cool vegetation and crops situated below them during the daytime since they offer shading. They have the ability to keep plants warmer in the evening. Research has proven that those temperature variances cancel out and that means day-to-day crop temperatures were similar underneath modules, as compared with full sun crops and there wasn’t any impact on rates of crop growth. Modules may give farmers the capability of growing shade-tolerant crops and diversify crop selection, while simultaneously prolonging growing seasons and decreasing water requirements. A study discovered that shading from solar modules generated lettuce crop weight that was equal to or greater than lettuce that was grown in full sun.

Have questions about solar panels for farms and agriculture use? Our Solar Division at Tri-State Electrical can hope you understand today’s options and even develop a custom configuration to suit your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Solar Energy

No Concern with Power Loss with Solar Energy

Solar Energy

No matter what is going on in the world or where you live, during some point you have likely encountered power loss concerns.

Whether the cause of the concern is a torrential downpour, natural disaster, or squirrels chewing on cables, everyone cares about their access to energy.

You can set your worries aside. “This too shall pass,” as the saying goes. Energy companies are operating, and they don’t have any intention of slowing down.

While power loss is unlikely at this time, it does not hurt to be prepared. That is where solar panels shine. Each day, your solar panels can bring peace of mind as they capture and then convert sunlight to electricity which will immediately be utilized to power your home and appliances.

Now, renewable, clean energy isn’t just in the daytime. With the Tesla Powerwall, it’s possible to save the excessive energy your solar panel systems produce. So, as the sun sets, your house can pull from the solar battery, allowing your home to still operate on solar power from earlier that day!

This is particularly helpful during brownouts or blackouts. Rather than suffering power loss, with this system in place, your house still will be operating on green, clean energy. Once again, the likelihood of power outages during this time are very unlikely. Although, if you install a solar storage battery and solar panels, you can avoid power loss not only in the short term, but for years into the future, too.

Your solar battery and solar panel system will just rely on a single thing to work- the sun. So long as the sun shines, you will have the ability to store and use renewable solar energy. You will not need to rely upon your energy company to send you electricity in the instance of power loss- you will be making your very own with your own solar panels.

At Tri-State Electrical Contractors, we are here to help. Our Solar Division can help you understand information on changing to solar power and incorporating the Tesla Powerwall. So, if you would like to learn more, do not hesitate to reach out! Call us today at (423) 800-2134.

industrial roof mounted solar panels

An Increasing Amount of People Are Going Solar Each Year

In the early 2000’s, using solar power was often seen as something only millionaires were able to do. In less than two decades, that has completely changed. In the year 2000, the cost per watt for solar panels was about $10. These days, it’s reduced to $2 to $3. Solar panel efficiency has also increased. In 2012, the greatest efficiency was a little over 17 percent. Five years later in 2017, researchers created a prototype cell which could reach a little over 44 percent efficiency. The intrigue of clean energy such as solar, has led to many local governments, states, and even electricity providers providing financial incentives designed to help more homeowners and business owners invest in solar systems.

industrial solar panels

This increasing trend of folks using solar is having a significant effect on the general electrical production for the United States, as well. Renewable energy, in 2010,  accounted for fewer than 5 percent of the electrical production for the U.S. Nowadays, less than a decade later, it is nearly 15 percent. Plus, utility-scale generation alone is predicted to increase by an additional 17 percent in 2020. Most utility providers who traditionally utilized fossil fuels are now changing over to renewable, clean energy due to the sizable financial savings they’ll bring. Renewable industries such as the solar sector aren’t just booming in the United States. One Bloomberg report claims that by 2050, it is predicted that 50 percent of electricity produced worldwide will come from renewable sources like solar.

It is estimated that the United States will be producing its share of that 50 percent. Currently, 37 states possess renewable portfolio goals or standards for its electricity providers to meet. Thirty-eight states possess net metering, or likewise programs. And it is expected that by the year 2025, state standards are going to support 103GW of renewable energy. By going solar, owners of homes will have the ability to save cash and reduce their utility bill, instead of worrying about increasing electricity rates because of the rising price of fossil fuels. Want to learn more about options involved in changing over to clean, green solar power? Call us at Tri-State Electrical Contractors today!

ground mounted solar panels

The Twenty Six Percent Federal Solar Tax Credit

Technological advancements and rapidly growing interest are giving way to solar panels that are more efficient and less expensive. They are an excellent investment, whether you need them for your business, or your home. However, like with any investment, you want to ensure you are receiving the perfect deal for the perfect price. If you are searching for an incentive to try solar, search no further than the twenty six percent Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit.

ground mounted solar panels

This credit, also referred to as the Federal Solar Tax Credit, or ITC, is an incentive that is available to everyone. Whether you are a homeowner, operate a small business, or operate a large corporation, it is possible to take advantage of the incentive. Here’s how it works:

As you invest in solar panels, it’s possible to utilize the Federal Solar Tax Credit to receive 26 percent of the overall expense of the system back in tax credits. This means that more than 1/4 of the price is decreased from the beginning. Plus, if you do not use all of your tax credits in the first year, do not be concerned- they will simply roll directly on over to the next.

Therefore, if you invested in a $20,000 solar panel system, which includes installation, you would receive $5,200 back in tax credits. It would decrease the price of your solar panels to $14,800. Plus, with other potential local and state incentives, you could further decrease the price of your system.

The 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit is an excellent method of getting solar panels for an outstanding cost. But, if you want to take advantage of that incentive and change to solar, you will need to act rapidly. The twenty six percent credit is only available until the end of 2020. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the credit will decrease to twenty two percent. Plus, in 2022, it will be fully unavailable for homes. If you would like to talk with someone about solar integration, contact our team at Tri-State Electrical Contractors.

solar panel roof

Could Solar Panels Soon Generate Power at Night?

solar panel roof

As advantageous as existing solar panel technology has been in our search to switch over to renewable energy, historically, these types of panels cannot generate electricity in the evening. New studies now suggest it might be possible to make panels capable of working around the clock.

Below optimum conditions, in the evening, these uniquely made photovoltaic cells might generate 1/4 of the energy they generate in the daytime.

Integration of thermoradiative cells (devices which produce energy because of radiative cooling, in which heat or infrared radiation exits the cell and generates a small quantity of energy within the process) would be needed to accomplish this.

Such cells already are being tested in fields like manufacturing, where they’re utilized to convert waste heat, like the high temperatures produced by an engine.

In the instance of a night-time panel, pointing this type of a cell at the cool night sky is one method of harnessing this process.

According to computer and electrical engineer Jeremy Munday, from the University of California, he was thinking, what if we took one of those devices and placed it inside a warm area then pointed it at the sky?

To accomplish this effect using infrared radiation, it would require various types of materials, similar to standard solar panels, which usually focus on visible light.

Step two includes figuring out what mixture of electronics and materials may generate an efficient panel that may utilize the night space and sky as a heat sink. The underlying math checks out.

Munday adds that a standard solar cell produces power by absorbing sunlight, causing a voltage to appear across the device, as well as for current to flow. In those new devices, light, instead, gets emitted and the voltage and current run in the opposite direction, yet you still produce power.

Under ideal conditions, solar farms might generate as much as 50 watts of power/ square meter, according to the scientists’ calculations – increasing energy generation by around 12% overall in arid, open environments in which many solar farms already are based.

It is a concept that several groups are analyzing. In 2019 we saw an experimental system, established by Stanford University researchers, which additionally utilized the heat imbalance between the night sky and Earth to produce electricity from infrared radiation.

While there is still a long way to go to correctly scale up the technology so that it is useful – currently Munday and his co-workers only have prototypes in development – it’s potentially a fairly inexpensive method of keeping solar cells working 24 hours per day.

The researchers concluded in their published paper that deep space provides an interesting low-temperature thermal sink with the possibility of helping to offer electrical power at day and night through the use of materials science, optics, and photonics.

tesla storage certification

Tesla Storage Certification

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’s Solar Division has received the Tesla Storage Certification and are now Tesla Charging Certified. This means that we will now be able to offer a solar plus battery solution customized for your specific needs.

Our certified installers are trained to install Powerwall and adhere to strict inspection, permitting, and quality standards. When a Powerwall is installed by a certified installer, you will automatically get access to support and software updates.

As a certified installer, we’re able to help you harness solar energy in an effective manner. The solar battery backup system is beneficial to both businesses and homeowners and helps in energy savings.

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Powerwall enables you to store solar energy for later use. Energy produced during the day charges the batteries, this happens as sunlight shines on the solar panels. So,at night or during outages, you will be able to draw electricity from the battery, enabling you to power your home with clean and sustainable energy 24/7.

Benefits of Tesla Powerwall:

  • Use More of Solar Energy – Powerwall will help store solar energy. The surplus solar energy is utilized later when the sun is not shining.
  • Load Shifting – The unit charges during a low rate period. This is when the demand for electricity is low. It discharges when the electricity demand is higher and expensive.
  • Back-Up Power – Even if you have a grid failure, you are assured of power.

Powerwall AC Version

The Powerwall AC version consists of lithium-ion (13.2 kWh) battery pack, an integrated inverter, liquid thermal control system, and software that sends electricity when it is needed. The unit can be mounted indoors or outdoors on the wall or ground.

With Powerwall, you can reduce reliance on the grid and even keep the lights on even during a blackout. Our Solar Division at Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands how to fully leverage this innovative solar power system. Installing Tesla Powerwall is easy as we take care of everything from system design to installation and permitting. Want complete control and energy security? Contact our team today to learn more about battery storage that keeps energy needs clean and independent.