Semper Solaris Blog
As one of the leaders of solar power usage, San Diego has added another piece of renewable energy infrastructure to the city. The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park began installation of a new 336,520-watt solar power system in January of this year and wrapped up the project by March, ahead of Opening Day for the team. This is just another example of the Padres commitment to leading the league in energy sustainability. The new solar polar system is now considered the biggest system in the Major League Baseball. Exactly how big was the project? To put it in perspective, more than 715 high-efficiency solar modules were used, each generating up to 470-watts of energy. It is projected to generate 330 kilowatts of solar power, which is sufficient to cover the energy needs of the whole front office for the Padres. In the next 25 years, the system is estimated to produce more than 12 million kilowatt hours, resulting in millions of dollars in savings throughout its years of usage. For San Diego, this is a great achievement in promoting energy sustainability. Petco Park is considered one of the top sporting venues in the city, making a serious statement about their dedication to promoting cleaner energy and capitalizing on the real savings offered by solar power. San Diego Leads the Way in Solar Power As the eighth largest city in the U.S., San Diego is poised to make a serious impact when it comes to renewable energy. The current population sits just around 1.4 million, with nearly 490,220 households - many of which are considering adding solar panels to their properties. The goal of the city to become more sustainable should come as no surprise after Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s words: “San Diego continues to lead the way on climate action as we march toward our ultimate goal of 100 percent renewable energy.” He hopes that Petco Park’s commitment to this vision will help spur other major business and homeowners to take similar action. The Mayor and all of San Diego are looking towards a future goal of cutting greenhouse gases in half by the year 2035. He also aims to have the city run on 100 percent renewable energy by this time. Though his goals are ambitious, it’s a vision that is resonating with more and more San Diego residents, especially considering the rising cost and impact of traditional electricity production. Join the Clean Energy Movement The great news about the solar movement? It doesn’t just benefit the environment and make San Diego’s energy consumption more sustainable -- it also makes it more affordable and can even put money back in the pocket of homeowners thanks to Net Metering laws. What more incentive do you need to join the clean energy movement? Going solar in San Diego can help you protect your beautiful city and your long-term savings all in one. Ready to join the movement? Start by learning how much going solar can save you. Give Semper Solaris a call today.
Living in San Diego means plenty of sunshine and year-round great weather. It also means going solar could be a great way to save on your electric bills. In fact, California comes in second rankings-wise in regards to the savings gained from residential solar panel systems. Further, San Diego is among the top 5 cities in California that are taking advantage of solar power. If you are thinking about installing solar panels on your home, you’ve probably got one major question on your mind - who should you hire to get the job done? The key is to find a local company that doesn’t just complete the job, but does the best possible job while providing you peace of mind along the way. So what should you look for in a San Diego solar company? Your Guide to Selecting a Solar Company We’ve outlined some of the top things you should consider when trying to select a solar company in San Diego. Review the guide below to help inform your decision! Quality of Materials One of the most important deciding factors of selecting the right solar company comes down to the quality of materials, equipment, and modules they use. This can impact the overall performance and success of a home’s solar panels. At Semper Solaris, we make sure our customers are informed of the best possible solar panel for their specific need and goals. Level of Service Not all solar companies provide the same level of service. While a company may utilize top-tier equipment, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be treated with respect and care along the way. Quality service and customer satisfaction is something we take very seriously. As a veteran owned and operated solar company in San Diego, we are committed to being reliable, trustworthy providers of solar services. We take pride in our work ethic and our customers’ trust in our work. Our installers know that the customer always comes first. Simply put, once a marine, always a marine. That means we approach every job with a focused, driven, and “mission” mindset. We make sure we complete that mission with the utmost skill, quality of care, and excellence -- and we also communicate clearly to you along the way so you are never left in the dark on your options or service provided. We are also backed by decades of collective solar panel installation experience, giving our customers confidence in our service. Affordability of Installation While solar power systems can pay for themselves in as little as 5 years (the average is 6.8 years for residential systems) for California residents, solar panel owners still have to consider the upfront cost of installation while taking all tax credits and incentives into consideration. That’s why our company aims to keep costs low and affordable for our customers, offering discounts for referrals and 0% down and zero payments until 2020. This helps our customers make the decision to go solar without the pressure of all the upfront cost. Essentially, they can start saving right away. We work hands-on with our San Diego customers to maximize their savings and help them take advantage of every rebate and credit available to them. With hundreds of solar panel installations completed in the area, we know how to optimize solar projects connected to the SDGE electrical grid. Make the Right Solar Decision Today We get it. Finding the right solar company in San Diego can seem overwhelming and intimidating with so many options to choose from. That is why we aim to set ourselves apart by our commitment to customer satisfaction and outstanding installation work. There is a reason we are ranked #2 for installers in San Diego with a 4.94 rating out of 260+ reviews. We know what our customers want and we strive to exceed their expectations with excellent service and support at every turn. Ready to make your solar decision? Call our San Diego solar company today or fill out a form online to get started!
Solar energy has become the leading source of renewable energy in the last couple of years. The scientific community acknowledges that the benefits of solar power heavily outweigh the drawbacks. However, the unfamiliar public is quick to point out the flaws of using this energy source and a lot of their arguments are tied to several myths that have been spreading like wildfire, especially across the internet forums. Experts from leading solar companies in Inland Empire have stepped up to discuss and debunk these myths once and for all. Cloudy Weather Renders Solar Panels Useless This one is a huge concern for Inland Empire locals during the May Gray and June Gloom, but the truth is that solar panels work in countries with a climate much more prone to cloudy weather. For example, Germany is one of the leaders in solar generation per capita despite the fact that their skies are often filled with thick clouds. The truth is that any sunlight that finds its way through the clouds to the solar panel is converted into electricity. While it is true that the clouds can lower their efficiency, solar panels will still convert any available sunlight into power. Solar Panels Can Damage Your Roof If the solar panels are handled and installed properly, you don’t have to fear any damage to your roof. On the contrary, solar panels often prolong the life of your roof. If you hire a professional company to install the panels, you don’t have to fear as they are ready for any complications and are familiar with all sorts of techniques to prevent causing damage to the roof and risk potential leaks. Solar Energy is not Sufficient to Power Your Home This is probably the myth that is the furthest from the truth. Using solar energy can save you a huge amount of money you would pay to cover the electricity bill each month. You will see a return on investment as soon as you install and activate the panels. Furthermore, the government offers a number of incentives that save the homeowners around 30% of the purchase and you can benefit from a number of local utilities willing to pay for any excess solar power your home produces. Solar Panels Require Regular Maintenance As the panels have no moving parts the maintenance they require is minimal. The panels are strong and you will only have to clean them once or twice a year so that they are at their maximum efficiency. If any heavy pieces of debris damage your panels you will have to replace them, but otherwise, maintaining the panels is rarely a problem. Thinking of Going Solar in Inland Empire? Now that you’ve realized that going solar has more pros than cons, you might want to consider installing solar panels in your home. There is no better place to turn to than Semper Solaris, your trusted Inland Empire solar company. For all your questions or a quote, reach us 24/7. Start saving today and switch to solar! Receive an instant text quote in seconds and see how much you can save on our highest efficiency solar panels.
As the first half of 2018 is over, the city of Los Angeles proved to be the best in yet another category. According to a report from Environment America Research & Policy Center, Los Angeles took the title of ‘Best City for Solar’, passing up neighbors in San Diego for the number 1 spot. “In a city full of stars, it’s the biggest of them all --the sun-- that is powering our homes, schools, stores, and studios with clean, renewable energy,” said Michelle Kinman, a Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. This was made possible by unveiling one of the largest rooftop solar projects in the city of Los Angeles. The new solar project is gaining interest because of the 2.2-megawatt array of solar panels being placed on the roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center. This installation was the largest solar panel system on any public convention center on the entire West Coast. The city of L.A. alone has a whopping 350 megawatts of installed solar panels, which provides approximately 82,500 homes with energy savings and a decreased carbon footprint. Want to know the best part? This was all made possible by the efforts of many people in Los Angeles, but mostly the utility. They allowed a streamlined process for permitting of solar installations in locations all around Los Angeles. This led to the creation of many solar programs, which provide incentives to those investing in solar energy. “The impressive growth of local solar is also a reflection of the improvements we’ve made to streamline all aspects of the solar programs, making it easier for customers to go solar,” explained General Manager of LADWP, David H. Wright. These incentives are a huge factor for those debating the investment in solar energy. Programs have helped provide over $314 million in incentives for the businesses and residents of Los Angeles. Coming in Close Second As Los Angeles took the top spot, cities like San Diego, Phoenix, San Jose, and Honolulu fall close behind because of their commitment to reducing their cities overall carbon footprint. San Diego actually held the first place spot until this Convention Center Project was concluded. Southern California has no short of sunlight, allowing for Los Angeles and San Diego to dominate the United States in solar energy production. As the twenty-first century kicks off, we will see a huge increase in solar energy installations. Especially with the implementation of the Paris Climate Accord, cities around the world will begin investing in these solar “farms.” These farms will allow for a huge reduction in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. As Los Angeles leads the way, other cities in the states hope to follow suit because of the great possibilities that Solar Power brings.
There’s nothing like watching your favorite sports stars sweat it out as they run, swing, kick, or dribble their way to glory. What you might not realize is that those lights could be powered by solar panels. In fact, many of today’s latest and greatest stadiums are joining the clean energy revolution by incorporating solar into their design. This environmental commitment makes a huge difference, not only because it lowers the carbon footprint of an energy-hungry stadium. Sports stadiums and facilities that adopt solar panels can also help normalize renewable energy and help make clean energy as American as apple pie and baseball! Under the Bright Lights – Sports Stadiums Are Embracing Solar Panels If you’re fortunate enough to snag tickets to a San Francisco 49ers game, you’ll get to join 68,500 of your fellow ‘Niners at Levi’s Stadium to cheer your heart out. It takes a tremendous amount of power to run the stadium, which spreads across 1.85 million square feet. Fortunately, the builders of the stadium made a commitment to clean energy. Keep your eyes open, and you might notice that the bridge you cross to get from the parking lot to the stadium incorporates hundreds of solar panels. Levi’s Stadium is only one example of how sports arenas across the country have come to embrace renewable energy as well as policies to reduce water usage and waste. The Solar Energy Industries Association found that sports facilities across the United States have collectively built up a capacity to generate 46 megawatts (MW) in renewable energy. That’s enough energy to power 8,000 homes. Additionally, The SEIA report noted that almost half of this capacity came online in just the past three years. This implies that the rate of solar adoption is accelerating. Soon enough, every new stadium in the United States may be powered by the sun. Is your favorite team playing in a solar-powered stadium? The SEIA reports that in 2017, more than 42 million Americans attended an event at a sports facility that received energy from solar panels. Unsurprisingly, California’s sports teams lead the solar sports pack. Here are just a few famous stadiums from California and beyond that run (at least partially) on solar. Find out if your team’s stadium made our list. Solar Powered Baseball Stadiums We have to start with America’s pastime. Baseball has been with us since 1869, but that doesn’t mean its stuck in the past. Today’s baseball stadiums are equipped with dazzling electronic scoreboards and glittering lights. That energy has to come from somewhere. In a growing number of cases, the lights showcasing that amazing grand slam are powered by solar energy. Chase Field – Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona may be infamous for its heat, but a sweltering day doesn’t scare off a dedicated D-Backs fan. Arizona is also famous for something else – lots and lots of sunshine. In a masterstroke, the builders of Chase Field built a 75-kWh (kilowatt hour) solar pavilion just outside the ballpark’s western entrances. D-Backs fans can catch some delicious shade while the pavilion overhead helps keep the lights on inside the stadium. The Chase Field solar pavilion is only one part of the stadium’s commitment to going green. A member of the Green Sports Alliance, Chase Field also features a vertical urban garden, chilled water loop air condition systems, and concession uniforms made from recycled plastic. In 2016, the stadium was able to donate 12,290 pounds of unused food. Safeco Field – Seattle Mariners Seattle isn’t exactly known for its copious amounts of sunlight, but as we’ve mentioned before, solar panels can still work on overcast and cloudy days. Safeco Field puts this theory to the test with its impressive 33-kWh solar system, which generates 40,000-kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That’s enough energy to offset 28 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Sadly, it might not be enough to power the Mariners to the playoffs this year! Solar-Powered Football Stadiums Baseball may be “America’s pastime,” but come Sunday, it’s all about the pigskin and the touchdown. While football has a reputation for appealing to our more basic instincts, you may be surprised to learn that it is leading the sports world when it comes to renewable energy. In fact, a full third of NFL teams play or train in stadiums that incorporate solar panels. Here are just a few. Levi’s Stadium – San Francisco 49ers 49ers fans should be proud of their stadium, which opened in 2014. Levi’s stadium is huge, gorgeous, and one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums in the country. Not only does it boast over 1,000 solar panels, which generates enough energy to power all of its home games, but it also irrigates its fields with mostly reclaimed water and has a beautiful, 27,000 square foot “green roof.” No wonder Levi’s was the very first stadium to earn a gold LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta Falcons The Atlanta Falcons may have seen their Super Bowl LI dreams crushed in a heartbreaking overtime loss in 2017, but perhaps they can take a small amount of solace in one thing. Their Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened the year after their Super Bowl defeat, incorporates a 1,300 kWh solar panel system. To churn out this much power, Mercedes-Benz Stadium needs the help of over 4,000 solar panels, which it uses to power both its stadium and nearby neighborhoods. Maybe that will make up for all the Sunday traffic it creates! Lincoln Field Financial – Philadelphia Eagles If you needed one more reason to love the Philadelphia Eagles besides the fact that they beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII last season, we’ve got it for you. Not only are the Eagles our current Super Bowl champions, but they are also solar champions. Lincoln Financial Field’s 11,000-kWh solar system installation has a capacity to generate a staggering 3,000 kWh of energy. That also makes it the largest solar panel system in the entire city of Philadelphia. Lincoln Financial Field has already snagged a silver LEED certification, but silver isn’t good enough for these champions. The stadium is currently pursuing a gold-level LEED certification. Solar-Powered Basketball Arenas Basketball tends to take a backseat to football in the American sports lexicon, but not when it comes to solar powered stadiums. The top basketball stadiums are outplaying and outshining all the rest. We bet you’ll never guess where the top solar-powered basketball stadiums are located. Oracle Arena – Golden State Warriors Okay, so technically, Oracle Arena doesn’t have solar panels, but we’ll give this mention to the Golden State Warriors anyway because they did put over 500 solar panels on their practice facility in downtown Oakland. This 164-kWh system was installed in 2010, making it the first solar panel installation at an NBA practice facility and one of the earliest solar systems at any sports facility. Golden 1 Center – Sacramento Kings If you’re ever at a trivia competition and have to name the sports facility with the greatest solar capacity in the United States, just think Golden, like the sun. The Golden 1 Center, home to the Sacramento Kings, is officially the “greenest” arena in the country, boasting a solar capacity of 11,000 kWh. It was also the first indoor arena ever to receive the coveted platinum LEED certification. In response to the certification, Governor Jerry Brown said, “California has more green buildings than any other state in the nation, and Sacramento’s new arena is an example of the elegant design and construction we need to meet our ambitious climate goals.” While the Kings had a dismal season last year, they’re still the country’s solar sports champions! Solar in the Other Major Sports We wish we could list all the solar-powered stadiums for all the sports in our country, but you don’t have time for that. So, let’s wrap up this article with a quick look at a few more environmentally forward arenas across a range of sports. Staples Center – LA Kings, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, LA Sparks Staples Center pulls quadruple sports duty, playing host to four professional sports team, including the LA Kings hockey team, and 3 LA Basketball franchises (LA Sparks of the WNBA). That’s a lot of energy to spend on lights, concession stands, and Zamboni machines. Fortunately, Staples Center gets a little help from almost 2,000 solar panels installed on its roof, which can produce up to 364 kWh per month. Rio Tinto Stadium – Real Salt Lake If you’re an American, we’ll forgive you for not knowing all the country’s professional soccer teams by heart. However, if you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City, go see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir first and then buy tickets to a Real Salt Lake game. You’ll be supporting a team that plays out of one of the most environmentally advanced arenas in the country. The Rio Tinto Stadium includes almost 6,500 solar panels placed on the stadium and on new parking structures. Together, these panels can provide over 2,000 kWh of energy, making it the largest solar system in the entire state of Utah. The Rio Tinto Stadium can claim one other important solar distinction. Its system provides 73% of its total annual power needs, making it the largest offset of any sports or entertainment venue in all of North America. Maybe it’s time we Americans paid a little more attention to soccer! Indianapolis Motor Speedway When you think of environmentally friendly sports, motorsports probably don’t come anywhere near the top of your list. After all, a central component of the sport entails burning huge amounts of fossil fuels. However, before you write off motorsports as remorseless polluters, take another look at one of the most famous racing venues. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, as well as a 9,000-kWh solar system installation. At the time it was built in 2014, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm was the largest sports solar array in the country (soon to be eclipsed by the Golden 1 Center). Still, its 39,312 solar panels spread out near the famous 2.5-mile oval are pretty impressive! Solar and Sports Make a Good Team As much as we like to trash talk our rival teams, sports have a way of bringing us together. We deeply understand the thrill of victory and the heartbreak of a last-minute choke. We idolize the great stars and wear their jerseys with pride. When sports teams embrace renewable energy, they send a powerful message to the public and all their fans. Also, it could just be a coincidence, but it just so happens that all the major sports teams that won championships in 2018 – the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Capitals, and the Golden State Warriors, play in solar-powered facilities. Does this mean that the universe rewards sports team that help protect the environment? Who are we to say? If you want to be like your favorite sports team and add solar panels to your home arena, contact Semper Solaris to schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation energy analysis.
When it comes to solar power in Orange County, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings floating around out there. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about this clean, renewable energy resource. If I go solar, I can live entirely off the grid: Well, not yet. Home solar panels still mostly deliver energy as it’s created, meaning that the storage of enough power to fuel a home without any dependence on an outside energy grid is still in the (not too distant) future. It is too expensive to install a solar system: Yes, there are definitely costs associated with going solar. But those costs can be greatly reduced by the many rebates, tax incentives both federal and local, financing options, and leasing possibilities available to homeowners seeking to reduce reliance on traditional energy sources. Plus, overall, the price of solar energy has dropped by 50% since 2010, with no reason to expect an end to that trend any time soon. I don’t live in an area known for sunshine: It’s a common misconception that solar power is only for those living in the brightest, hottest parts of the world. But actually, while it’s true that the sunnier the area, the more efficient the solar panels, it’s also true that even in a cloudy area like Seattle, solar panels will generate energy as long as there is daylight. Solar panels are ugly and don’t last long: Today’s solar panels are quite sleek and compact. They fit closely against the roof, making them reasonably unobtrusive. And modern solar panels are actually very durable, able to stand up to wind, hail, rain, and snow. Solar energy is just a passing fad: Clean energy from the sun isn’t just a passing trend, or an alternative energy embraced only by back-to-nature, tree-hugging fanatics. It’s an established, reliable source of energy that’s been around for over 60 years, and there’s agreement across all sociopolitical groups: solar energy is here to stay. It’s already providing energy for individual homeowners, neighborhoods, schools and stores, corporations, cities, and nations across the globe. There’s no advantage in producing extra solar energy: Actually, if your home’s solar panels produce more energy than your home can use, most states have programs allowing you to “sell” the excess back to the local utility grid, giving you credit for the energy your home will draw during the night. All solar panels are the same: Nope. There are many different solar panels on the market, and they aren’t all equal in terms of efficiency, durability, appearance, or design. That’s why we encourage you to give us a call first if you’re considering going solar. We work with the most respected solar manufacturers in the country, and our technicians can recommend the best panels for your needs. Receive an instant text quote in seconds and see how much you can save on our highest efficiency solar panels.
In this new age of solar energy, there is a lot of buzz around which type of panels are best for your needs. Living in Los Angeles has its perks but also its downfalls, one being small yards and tall buildings, which can sometimes put a limit on your solar options. But one thing that stands true is that Los Angeles never runs short sunlight. the But as you are researching into the solar panel options you will see that there are many different brands and types of panels out on the market. Today we are here to discuss two different types, the ground mount, and the rooftop solar panels. Ground Mount: Ground Mount Solar Panels come in two different types, typical ground mounts, and pole ground mounts, which both have their own use cases. Ground Mounts are driven into the ground at a fixed angle, while pole ground mounts usually come with a tracking system which adjusts the panel to the optimal angle for maximum sunlight. Ground mounts allow for homeowners to utilize the maximum area of land for solar energy generation. Ground Mounts allow you to determine the angle for your panels while roof panels are pretty limited to the contour of your roof. Ground Panels tend to be more efficient in capturing solar energy because of this factor. Roof Top Mount: Rooftop Solar Panels are also a great fit for most projects because of their ability to be installed on any roof! Some people do not have the land to use ground mounts, and this is why the roof panels are the more popular of the two for residential jobs. The roof panels are drilled into the roof and have other support structures to keep the panels set at a set angle. This is great for any areas that have high winds or any sort of unexpected weather. Which option is best for me? This is a trick question and doesn’t have one answer. It depends on your location in Los Angeles and if you have any sort of land for ground solar panels. Ground Panels tend to be better for people with plots of land because you can allocate certain areas to panel installment. Living in Los Angeles has its pros and cons but most people do not have big yards because of the close proximity to neighbors. The best bet for most residents of Los Angeles would be to invest in Roof Top Panels, this assures you are getting the best return on your investment. At Semper Solaris, we are committed to providing the best quality service no matter your needs. Reach out to a representative to discuss your options today.
To Solar or Not to Solar? Palmdale ranks number two in the nation for savings from installing solar panels on the home. Some people get scared away from investing in solar because of the high costs upfront but over the span of 25 years, the homeowner could save up to $27,000 in energy bill costs. If this isn’t enough incentive to buy in now, then keep reading. Saving The Planet, While Watching Your Wallet The residents of Palmdale have a few incentives to invest in solar energy that is provided by a few different entities. There is a Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit that is offered by the Federal Government. The typical credit is around thirty percent of the solar energy system, which is deducted from your federal taxes. There also is a rebate available offered by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This rebate is named “LADWP – Solar Incentive Program,” which helps by rebating a percent of your total solar system cost. In addition to saving a lot of money, you will be decreasing your individual footprint on the environment. As the world continues to grow in population, solar is becoming a more and more popular source of power. Buy in now, while the sun is still hot! Antelope Valley, Home of Renewable Energy Antelope Valley is known for its long summer and is also home to one of the biggest solar farms in California. It is no wonder that a 266-megawatt power plant, calls Antelope Valley home. This Solar Power Plant harvests energy, which is purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PG&E then powers up to 75,000 homes with this energy, in effect displacing 140,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide. As you can see, the Palmdale area is the perfect place for investing in solar! If big companies and corporations are investing right in your own backyard, then the time and place for you to invest are just right! You will see a huge decrease in just your first month's power bill. Eventually, you could even sell energy back to the Energy Company if you have an excess. Or invest in one of the great solar battery storage devices, and keep that energy until you need it! These devices are great for storing energy and using it when really needed. In emergency situations, solar battery storage can act as a backup generator and keep your power on and running, even in the craziest of power outages and weather storms these devices never falter. Time for Solar As 2018 comes to it final descent, it is time to invest in your home and take advantage of all the great sunshine that Palmdale offers. Solar panels are one of the best investments because you will see instant return when you receive the first power bill in the mail. They also add value to your home because who would pass on a home that already has solar installed? Palmdale residents are hopping on the solar bandwagon fast, your time is now.
There are many behind the scene aspects that go into the installation of a solar panel system that many people do not know of. At Semper Solaris, we assure that all laws are being strictly followed, and any necessary permitting is approved before the job is kicked off. Why Permitting Matters? Permitting allows for the city to keep a handle on the solar installation process. They can keep track of where and when units are being installed. This also allows the city to keep track of how many kilowatts of solar energy is being produced, as well as where these panels are located. The city sometimes comes off as the bad guy because of the regulations but without keeping a watch on these types of installations, solar panels would begin popping up everywhere. This would cause a huge issue with land usage for ground mount panels, also creating many eyesores for the residents of the city. Solar is a way to diminish our carbon footprint but rules must be followed to prevent solar chaos. Just as buildings must have permits to begin construction, solar energy systems do as well! Punishing Offenders The city of San Clarita can be a little harsh sometimes when it comes to the permitting of solar panels in the city. Just recently, The San Clarita Canyon View Estates were hit with a code violation for installing solar panels without a permit. Permits are one of the most important parts of the solar installation, without an okay from the city, you could be losing thousands of dollars by not following the code guidelines. This may seem like a harsh punishment but without permitting, solar farms would pop up everywhere and become a huge eyesore for the residents of San Clarita. “While the City supports efforts to move to renewable energy, the City takes seriously its responsibility to enforce conditions of approval designed to protect the quality of life in Santa Clarita, balancing the need for development with the preservation of open space,” an official stated. These panels that were installed above the Canyon View Estates have been criticized greatly by other residents… “Those panels are such an eyesore! I’m hoping they are ordered to eliminate them permanently! The city should not allow these to remain.” All of these issues could have been avoided if the proper permits were acquired at the beginning of the project. Commitment to Quality At Semper Solaris, we go up and beyond to assure that all guidelines are strictly followed. Each city has its own processes for Solar Photovoltaic installations and our staff goes to great measures to follow any codes or regulations that are enforced. You will be happy with the final product knowing that everything will be running smoothly with no issues from neighbors or officials. In addition to peace of mind, you will receive a great product that will bring your returns on investment for years to come.
Hard day at the office? Going through a break-up? Visions of packing a bag and disappearing into the great American landscape are quite appealing. Yes, we all have dreams of going off the grid sometimes. The more serious among us really make a plan to unplug and explore the world. Whether you’re looking for an unconventional way to spend your retirement or the means to explore the world each summer, RV life might be the answer. But what happens when you hit a roadblock, like the need to pull into a campsite every night to power up your generator or plug into an outlet? Camping with solar panels is the answer. Solar creates endless opportunities and lets you truly disconnect from the grid. When you don’t require a place to plug in you can make a temporary home anywhere under the sun. Solar means energy independence. Let’s look at what it takes to camp with solar panels and why being a self-sufficient camper is an incredible experience. Can I Really Use Solar on an RV or Camper? The short answer is, of course, “yes.” Solar panels can be installed on top of an RV or portable camper. Just as PV panels can power a home, they can supply your RV’s batteries with a reliable source of energy. Solar panels often replace generators for electrical needs on the road, and they afford even more freedom than their predecessors. With solar panels on your campervan or RV, you are free to explore untethered. Stops for gas are the only thing between you and unending, off-the-grid adventures. All you have to do is search blogs by people living the RV nomad life to see how many folks are making the leap to solar for self-sufficiency. What Components Do I Need to Go Solar on the Road? There are four main components needed to install and use solar on a camper or RV. Together, these components collect energy from the sun, regulate it on the way to storage, store it in battery form, and then convert it to the proper format for use inside your camper or RV. Whether you buy a complete kit or purchase parts separately, every camper solar system requires: Solar panels: Panels are available in many different sizes and storage capacities. The most important factor when choosing panels is whether or not the panels can capture enough energy to charge your batteries daily. Charge controller: This important component works between the solar panels and batteries. It regulates the energy storage and stops batteries from being overcharged. A charge controller may also shut down when it detects that your batteries begin to run out. Batteries: Most RVs already have one battery dedicated to powering the cab of your camper; when you use solar, you may want to add three additional batteries to ensure you have enough storage on hand. Inverter: When solar power hits your battery, it is stored in DC form. The energy must be converted to AC form to power most of your electronics. Larger inverters can power washing machines and other sizeable appliances, while an inverter that handles up to 1500 watts may suffice if you don’t have any big electrical needs. How Much Energy Can I Generate with Camper Solar Panels? The amount of energy that can be generated with a RV solar system is literally infinite -- or, at least, it is for the life of your solar panels. Your panels are constantly absorbing energy from UV rays, even on a cloudy day. The question of how much you actually need and can store at once. The average RV consumes between 75 and 150 amp-hours of energy each day, so three to six 100-watt panels will ensure you have enough energy to power your camper every day. If you have a lot of large appliances or you want the potential to grow your energy use in time, you may want to create a custom system with even more capacity. To figure out exactly how much energy you should aim for, use the formula Watts = Volts x Amps (W = V x A). Calculate the amps you use by dividing amp-hours by the number of hours you’ll use your appliances. For volts, use the voltage of RV solar panels, which is typically 18. Once you know the watts required to power your camper you can purchase solar panels accordingly. Remember: increasing the wattage of your solar panels is only helpful if you also increase the amount of battery storage in your vehicle as well. If you have 800 watts of solar potential but only one battery -- you’ll end up with a lot of wasted energy. How Can I Make Sure I Don’t Run Out of Energy? Even when you use a formula to calculate how many watts of solar you require, the possibility always remains that you could run out of energy if you don’t plan well. Learning which systems and appliances zap energy the fastest will help prevent you from going dark. While it’s always a good idea to have a backup generator on hand if you are diligent about understanding energy use you may not need it. Plan your energy use with the following facts in mind: Anything that heats up or cools down is a big leech on your energy reserve. The biggest leech, in fact. These types of units include air conditioning, heaters, and kitchen appliances. Consider propane stoves for cooking and mini-fridges with an Energy Star rating to cut down on your energy use. And never underestimate the power of a cross-breeze when your camper is parked. Your laptop can use between 7-8 amps an hour if left plugged in. Charge the battery when your device is closed, which will require fewer amps, and then run the computer on its own battery to save energy. Replacing your laptop battery more often could be cheaper in the long-run than plugging it in all the time. Just like in your house, appliances can use phantom energy when they’re plugged in -- even if they’re powered off. If you find yourself cutting it close on energy use, try unplugging all appliances when they’re not in use so you cut back on the amount of wasted amps. When in doubt, you can always measure the usage manually to see how much your appliances and electronics use. The process for measuring depends on the size of the device in question. For a large appliance, you can use a clamp-on meter on your battery cables. Test the amps being used before turning the appliance on, then re-test once you start running the appliance. The difference will tell you how much strain your appliance is putting on the system. For smaller devices, such as a radio or blender, you can leverage a usage monitor that plugs into an AC outlet. Once you plug your device into the monitor you’ll get a digital reading of its amp use. Can I Install PV Panels Myself? Solar panels are a powerful tool for freedom from the grid, but you want to get it right. Many RV owners purchase solar components and install the system on their own, but it never hurts to get input from a professional. A solar team can evaluate how many batteries you need, for instance, in order to maximize the potential of your new solar panels. Remember that it’s not just about bolting your new panels to the top of your camper: You will also need to properly wire the panels to the convert and on to the batteries. In most cases, it makes sense to seek outside help for installing a solar energy system on a camper or RV. Are you ready for life on the open road? Generators and campsites with electrical outlets may be enough for weekend warriors, but when you’re serious about going off the grid solar is the only way to go. Solar panels translate to total energy freedom and exponentially increase the possibilities for where you can travel. If you have questions about solar for your home or camper, contact Semper Solaris today for more information. We can customize a solar plan for your needs, and you’ll be supporting a veteran-owned business that puts customers first!