California Recognized for Another Solar Power Record

February 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

California has been recognized as being one of the most solar energy-friendly states in the country, and it is making a name for itself yet again. According to ReWire, the California Independent System Operator recently discovered that California broke a solar energy record. The source reported that more than 1,300 megawatts of solar power was delivered to the state’s energy grid for a period on February 6, which is most likely an all-time record. One of the more unique aspects of the feat was the fact that it took place in February, which is known for being one of the least sunny periods in California.

ReWire contributor Chris Clarke wrote that the reason for the large amount of solar energy going to the grid might be due to the fact more people were installing solar panels in the state within the past few months.

‘This record has to be the result of a rapid increase in installations of solar panels since August, which means that as the sun arcs higher in the sky as we approach summer, that solar energy output is only going to grow – even if Californians continue to install more solar panels, which we assuredly will,’ he wrote. ‘In other words, 2013 is going to be a year of one record after another for solar energy feeding into the grid. We may be forced to decide only to report the records when they pass multiples of 1,000.’

Although some people may not think the winter months are not ideal times to generate solar power, that is not the case. In fact, the holiday season is one of the best times to reap the benefits of photovoltaic electricity. One of the more significant issues homeowners have during the holiday season is the fear of rising electric bills, which can definitely be lowered by using solar energy, according to a study conducted by researchers at Michigan Technological University.

One of the researchers involved in the study said snow can benefit solar energy consumers because an ‘albedo effect,’ takes place, which is when sunlight reflects off snow. When this happens, a solar panel can potentially generate more electricity similar to how skiers get sunburn on winter days, according to the study.

Tips For Gaining the Most Benefits Out of A System in the Winter

In order for consumers to gain the most benefits from their solar panels year round, a group of solar experts provided some tips. One of the suggestions the solar professionals had for consumers was to make sure the panels are installed on a slant. If they aren’t on an angle, some of the snow might not be able to slide off the panels. Even if the snow is piling up on a roof, it will eventually melt and slide off, the experts assured consumers.

Some of the snow will most likely melt off as the solar cells warm up as they are exposed to sunlight. If people get anxious about the snow on their roof, the solar professionals suggested they could wipe off the snow. They stated that if an individual is impatient and doesn’t feel like waiting for the snow to melt, they should use a snow rake with a rubber scraper. It would be beneficial to take some of the snow off, however, not all of it because the sunlight will be able to melt off the rest. In addition, homeowners might want to invest in something called ‘grid-tied system,’ which will still enable the panels to generate electricity through the grid without interruption. 

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