We’re back, and Wow what an exciting month it’s been! If you’ve been following along with the blog this year, Thank you so much! I sincerely apologize for our delay. We’ve finished making changes to the website and I’m happy to report, we’re back with new and improved content. So feel free to check out the site, or feel free to reach out directly via phone, email, or using our new online chat feature if you’ve got any questions for us regarding solar panels, roofing, insulation, window repair, gutter installation, or if you’ve got questions about our wide range of Smart Home services. We’re happy to help walk you through an energy analysis on your home, and just need your energy bill to get started on a free consultation – so don’t wait any longer, give us a call today!
While not everyone will be interested in the literal nuts and bolts of a project, in case you are curious just how a solar panel is mounted to a roof-top shingle, feel free to check out our Racking Manufacturer’s website. UNIRAC is an industry standard for Solar racking equipment (the part that will attach solar panels to the roof top). To learn more about UNIRAC products, see here:
Just a few years ago, Micro-inverters were used almost exclusively with commercial projects. Their job is to optimize the amount of sun from each solar panel, convert the energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) that can be used in your home. It’s easy to confuse microinverters with power optimizers, so here’s a quick post from Energysage on the key similarities and differences between the two: https://www.energysage.com/solar/101/microinverters-vs-power-optimizers/.
Today however, microinverters and power optimizerrs are becoming more of an industry standard because of their increase in efficiency, and to some extent for their sleeker style as well (as compared to a string inverter system). Solar panels may be the most visible item, but it’s the inverter that does all the real work. Choosing the right inverter technology for your project is a critical decision you make when going solar. Luckily, there are a few products in the solar industry that make it easy on us, and our Company-favorite is the Enphase Microinverter. These microinverters offer the most advanced inverter technology on the market, which means higher production, greater reliability, and unmatched intelligence. Below are links to the Enphase Energy Microinverter website (along with the spec sheet for reference) that we use for solar installations:
ENPHASE COMPANY INFO: www.enphase.com
ENPHASE MICRO-INVERTER SPEC SHEET: https://enphase.com/en-us/support/enphase-iq-7-and-iq-7-plus-micro-data-sheet
Product quality is important to us, and luckily in the solar market, it doesn’t always counteract Product Cost. Using locally sourced materials and products are part of our company fiber.
Thus, we proudly use Mission Solar panels for most of our Solar-Panel System installations and we have provided their website for more information on how these panels are manufactured, with a special video featuring how they’re built with Texas weather in mind.
- MISSION SOLAR WEBSITE: www.missionsolar.com
- MISSION SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING: https://youtu.be/LQHEqyVMI88
When Mission Solar Panels are not available however, we will substitute for other high-quality panels that are not manufactured in Texas, such as REC Alpha solar panels, or Hanwha Q-cells. For more information about these specific panels, please check out the following links from Solar Electric Supply:
- REC ALPHA SERIES: https://www.solarelectricsupply.com/rec360aa-360w-rec-alpha-black-solar-panel
- HANWHA Q-CELLS: https://www.solarelectricsupply.com/q-cells-q-peak-duo-g5-320-watt-solar-panel
If you’re curious to learn more, you know what to do – ask us for a free quote for your home, today!
We’ve discussed roofing in prior blogs so you know what to look for, how to look for it, and why when it comes to roofing – but there are a couple of key facts that bear repeating: 1) According to https://roofingcalculator.com a typical roof lasts about 30 years, while https://www.consumerreports.org states it’s anywhere from 10-90 years depending on the quality. That’s the difference between replacing a roof in your lifetime or not – so quality is a pretty big deal. 2) Roofing improvements are essential for home value, and can have long-lasting impacts to everything inside your home as well as heating/cooling, so it’s important to consider whether your roof needs replacing at least once in your lifetime, per home – if you move, you’ll definitely want to check out the roof before you make a purchase!
Here are a couple of quick reference points on what to look for if you need to replace your roof – especially if you’ll need a new roof prior to making a solar-panel system investment (otherwise, you’ll just have to remove the solar panels to install the new roof when applicable, and then re-install them later). Check out the following video from Consumer Reports which discusses a few things to look out for, and discusses different asphalt shingle roofing styles and different features of each: https://www.consumerreports.org/asphalt-shingles/best-roofing-shingles-from-consumer-reports-tests/.
If you’re interested in hearing a roofing quote or a roofing + solar quote, please pick out your favorite Owens Corning roofing style here – https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/shingles – and let us provide a free quote that you can compare to other contractors in the area.
With years of industry practice in residential construction, we’re poised to help you answer questions you have regarding both small and large-scale projects, and specialize in saving energy. This is a top focus for us because it can truly help, and has helped, our customers save money both short and long-term. Solar energy is an investment, but if you’re able to find a solar payment that’s less than the average monthly cost of your energy bill, and offset your energy usage by 85% or more, it’s likely that you’ll see some real savings by going solar, with or without our company. The reason you choose us is our dedication to you, the consumer, and our superior products and workmanship.
SUNTEX is committed to the quality of their products and services. We utilize industry-standard practices and tools to help our customers analyze their energy consumption and cost reduction goals – from the initial energy audit, to project financing products – to solar panels and full system monitoring. Because of this focus, we seek the best quality products to exceed customer expectations and anticipate their needs.
Innovation, as well as information and technological knowledge, are the core competencies of the company, and are essential for current business progress. This innovation refers to the continuous improvement of all products and processes, not just technological ones. This week we’ll do a product deep-dive so you can check them out for yourself!
Everyone wants to build their own home, or must, to survive the earthly elements – try being in a hail storm, for example, without even a tarp over your head. When we ask ourselves what our ideal homes would look like, how many of us ask what the ideal energy solution would look like too? For example, you might want vaulted ceilings and marble flooring – and all of the latest Energystar rated appliances, of course – but how many architects are ensuring that these tall-walled rooms are bright and warm in the winter, and lit but cool in the summer? By design, and perhaps a couple of windows/sky lights in the right place, and you’re set! When you apply then the carbon footprint cost, how many of us decided to build our homes with locally-sourced materials?
Some people are clearly making this connection, like the woman in Kenya who created her own recycled bricks using locally sourced materials. Nzambi Matee’s buildings are not only structurally sound, but installations of art as well: “Kenyan woman’s startup recycles plastic into bricks that are stronger than concrete”(https://www.designboom.com/technology/gjenge-makers-recycled-plastic-bricks-kenya-02-08-2021/). According to the article on Designboom.com, “before creating gjenge makers ltd, nzambi matee majored in material science and worked as an engineer in kenya’s oil industry. in 2017 she quit her job to start creating and testing pavers, which are a combination of plastic and sand. she gets the waste material for free from packaging factories and also buys it from other recyclers. through experimentation, she understood which plastics bind better together and then created the machinery that would allow her to mass produce them.”
For another example of a local innovation, check out the young entrepreneurs featured (right) – whom created a solar-powered cooking station! According to his account on Twitter, Mr. Usman Dalhatu and partners had this to say of the collaboration, “We met with Dalsman Technologies Limited, creators of the iCart Solution. We explored areas of mutual interest, and avenues to empower petty traders in Kaduna. iCart is a solar powered, compact kiosk targeted at small businesses including Shayi, Suya and Kosai vendors,” and also the following: “The journey from ideation to final development of products is a truly fascinating one. It was delightful to discuss with @KadunaMarkets, our dev’t vision for Kaduna through deployment of the iCart. Looking forward to the exciting implementation journey that lies ahead.” https://twitter.com/UsmanDalhatu5
What’s in your area, or in your home, that could be re-purposed into something sustainable? It could be something as complex as designing a brick for a home using locally sourced materials and keeping natural heating and cooling elements in mind, or a solar-powered food-cart instead of using a gas or electric-powered stove – to something as simple as a dish-rack, for example – which is a much more sustainable way to dry your plates and dishes, and costs little to nothing to purchase and use. What else will make a difference in energy consumption in your home, your schools, in your business?
Perhaps you’re not the type of person that just does something because “everyone else is doing it,” which is of course smart, but you might be interested to know that celebrities aren’t just sipping cocktails by the pool, they’re also going solar! It’s no surprise that California has lots of sunshine, making it a very appealing place for solar panels, in fact it’s the #1 state in the US in solar production according to the Solar Energy Industry association, or SEIA (https://www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states-0). While it pains me to write this, at least in this race, Texas came in second. Even though their careers have taken them in some very funny/dramatic turns, celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Scarlett Johansson, and Jim Carrey decided to invest in this renewable energy source, see the full list here: https://www.purepointenergy.com/blog/2016/may/10-celebrities-who-support-solar-panels/.
For some odd reason, Texas has decided to really show out this year and give us not just one, but three or four possible days of snow! While in years past this knowledge may have seemed irrelevant for us down here in the lone star state, this year we will need to equip ourselves with hats and gloves and new skills to deal with sub-freezing temperatures. The good news is that your solar panel production should remain largely unimpaired by the snow, according to Simpleray, and since Iowa gets more snow than Texas annually, I will defer to their better judgment on the subject: https://www.simpleray.com/resources-and-informations/solar-panels-after-snowstorm. The short story is that due to the heat produced by the silicone tiles, and the angle at which they’re installed on your rooftop (or in a ground-mounted system), snow should melt off of them relatively quickly, and even if it stays for a few days, winter days are not as important for solar production as summer days, which we all know will be here before we know it! So go out there and have some fun – or stay inside and enjoy the warmth – but whatever you do, don’t worry about your solar panels. The snow will melt soon enough, and that Texas summer heat will be here to make up the difference in your energy production.