When Will a Solar Panel System Show an ROI for My Family?

Are lower (or nonexistent) utility bills, environmental stewardship, and energy independence enough to balance out an initial price tag of tens of thousands of dollars? Well, that depends on how soon your PV solar system starts to pay off.

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Real Goods Stands with Standing Rock and Will Provide Power

Real Goods is working with Michael Reppy, an activist with Earth Island Institute, to supply solar panels and a wind turbine to power a school at Sacred Stone Camp for pipeline protesters in North Dakota.

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Solar Farming and Solar Collectives: Will the Future of Energy Lie Within Communities?

The rise of affordable and attainable solar energy has been an exciting phase for environmental advocates as well as home and business owners seeking independence from utility companies. But working together to convert to clean energy can be even more effective — and cost-effective — than each of us individually making the shift to solar.

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Musings from the Solar Pioneer Party

Last weekend I attended the very fun and rewarding three-day Solar Pioneer Party in Grass Valley, California. This was the 2nd annual gathering of us "Solar Pioneers," loosely defined as those of us who have been promoting and selling solar PV since the late 1970s. It was inspiring to say the least to get most of us in the same room at the same time...

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Creating an Uninterruptible Power Supply From Your Solar PV System

Until recently, grid-tie inverters have been designed to perform only one function: to convert varying DC power from a solar array into an AC current source solely for the purpose of feeding into the grid to reduce your overall power bill. Since your power system will not be able to power up the whole grid, it must shut down when the grid is out – a concept known as "anti-islanding."

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Power Factor and Power Factor Correction

Power factor (PF) is a topic that has been understood since the advent of electrical distribution, due in no small part to Faraday's experiments and Maxwell's subsequent mathematical expressions. It is defined as the ratio of real power flowing to the load to the apparent power in the circuit.

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