Solarize Greenville Explained

SGV Explained

Solarize Greenville wanted to bring the best possible product to the Greenville community. All of our main components are Tier 1 components to give you the assurance that your system will perform and last for years.
  • Premium solar panels. Whether QCell or Canadian Solar black on black panels, the selected vendor offers a 25-year warranty on the solar panel.  Reliable and efficient with an aesthetically pleasing panel frame and backing sheet, these are top of the line panels and the preferred aesthetic choice for home owners. The panels blend well into the majority of roof systems and are completely parallel to the roof deck
  • Enphase micro-inverters. Enphase provides exceptionally reliable inverter solutions with a 25-year warranty.  Plug and play cable management provides safe, tidy, and well-organized installations. The Enphase microinverter eliminates the need for a large string inverter to be installed in your garage or basement and provides a superior operational system.
  • Enphase MyEnlighten monitoring. Highly accurate reporting enables you to maintain real-time production and consumption energy values for your home, thereby providing the most accurate means to better manage your home, and your consumption of utility power.
  • RoofTech Racking. The racking system is developed to eliminate the need for unsightly aluminum rails on the roof providing a much more pleasing look on the home roof.  Providing the required roof clearance to ensure that all electronic components are adequately cooled, enable complete water drainage down the roof, and keep the roof clear of materials.  A simplified deck mounting system keeps the panels close to the deck surface and provides a clean installation.
Beth Bond, Administrator of Solarize GreenvilleBeth Bond, is the Administrator of Solarize Greenville. Bond is well known in the sustainability community because of her blog, Southeast Green. A self-professed solar geek, Bond brings a considerable amount of skills to the program including marketing, community-organizing and networking. Bond is honored to serve the Greenville community to help grow its sustainability goals through the deployment of more solar. "Solar is one of the most effective ways that citizens can take control of their own "Solar is one of the most effective ways that citizens can take control of their own energy while also helping their community be more sustainable," says Bond. "Southern communities that don't have natural resources like coal, oil or natural gas, always have plenty of sunshine that can be converted into energy. Bond serves on a variety of boards and committees in the sustainable community. In 2011 she joined the board at Georgia Interfaith Power and Light and started a second term in 2015. In 2009, Southeast Green, Bond's blog, won the Advocate of the year award from the Partnership for Sustainable Georgia. In 2010, Southface awarded her the Media Partner of the Year. In December of 2011 the Georgia Solar Energy Association awarded Beth with a Solar Advocate of the Year award. In 2014 Bond was a finalist for the Trident E3 Award presented by the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce. She has also served on host committees for This is Market, River Revival, Earth Hour, Green Law's Environmental Heroes and Get the Lead Out to name a few. Bond spent her formative years in Mobile, Alabama. She graduated from Florida State University and then served in Bouza, Niger as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She is active in her neighborhood and serves on Community Council for District 3, DeKalb County. When not working to better her community she participates in her church where she serves as Vice President of the United Methodist Women (UMW) and is a member of the Creation Care team. She is a certified teacher for the UMW Climate Justice program and was commissioned as a UMC Earthkeeper by the UMC Global Board of Missions in 2016. She is an avid tennis player and college football fan and dotes on her nephews and niece.
How does solar work? This video from the Department of Energy does a great job of explaining the technology of Solar Photovoltaic (PV). If you want to dive deeper here is more information from SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association). SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America through advocacy and education. As the national trade association in the U.S., they represent all organizations that promote, manufacture, install and support the development of solar energy.

How does PV technology work?

Photons strike and ionize semiconductor material on the solar panel, causing outer electrons to break free of their atomic bonds. Due to the semiconductor structure, the electrons are forced in one direction creating a flow of electrical current. •Solar cells are not 100% efficient in Diagram of a typical crystalline silicon solar cell. Solar cells are not 100% efficient in part because some of the light spectrum is reflected, some is too weak to create electricity (infrared) and some (ultraviolet) creates heat energy instead of electricity. Diagram of a typical crystalline silicon solar cell. To make this type of cell, wafers of high-purity silicon are “doped” with various impurities and fused together. The resulting structure creates a pathway for electrical current within and between the solar cells.

Other Types of Photovoltaic Technology

In addition to crystalline silicon (c-Si), there are two other main types of PV technology:
  • Thin-film PV is a fast-growing but small part of the commercial solar market. Many thin-film firms are start-ups developing experimental technologies. They are generally less efficient – but often cheaper – than c-Si modules.
  • In the United States, concentrating PV arrays are found primarily in the desert Southwest. They use lenses and mirrors to reflect concentrated solar energy onto high-efficiency cells. They require direct sunlight and tracking systems to be most effective.

History of Photovoltaic Technology

The PV effect was observed as early as 1839 by Alexandre Edmund Becquerel, and was the subject of scientific inquiry through the early twentieth century. In 1954, Bell Labs in the U.S. introduced the first solar PV device that produced a useable amount of electricity, and by 1958, solar cells were being used in a variety of small-scale scientific and commercial applications. Solar photovoltaic technology is growing rapidly in cities across America, including New York PV panels installed on a private home in Brooklyn Heights, New York (Photo courtesy of Alan Blake) The energy crisis of the 1970s saw the beginning of major interest in using solar cells to produce electricity in homes and businesses, but prohibitive prices (nearly 30 times higher than the current price) made large-scale applications impractical. Industry developments and research in the following years made PV devices more feasible and a cycle of increasing production and decreasing costs began which continues even today.

Costs of Solar Photovoltaics

Rapidly falling prices have made solar more affordable than ever. The average price of a completed PV system has dropped by 33 percent since the beginning of 2011. For more information on the state of the solar PV market in the US, visit our solar industry data page.

Modern Photovoltaics

The cost of PV has dropped dramatically as the industry has scaled up manufacturing and incrementally improved the technology with new materials. Installation costs have come down too with more expereinced and trained installers. However, the U.S. still remains behind other nations that have stronger national policies to shift energy use from fossil fuels to solar. Globally, the U.S. is the fourth largest market for PV installations behind world leaders Germany, Japan and Spain. Most modern solar cells are made from either crystalline silicon or thin-film semiconductor material. Silicon cells are more efficient at converting sunlight to electricity, but generally have higher manufacturing costs. Thin-film materials typically have lower efficiencies, but can be simpler and less costly to manufacture. A specialized category of solar cells - called multi-junction or tandem cells - are used in applications requiring very low weight and very high efficiencies, such as satellites and military applications. All types of PV systems are widely used today in a variety of applications.
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