All Solar Q&A

Perovskite (calcium titanate) cells are a particularly promising new solar technology. Most conventional solar cells use crystalline silicon, but perovskite is the building block material for these new cells. They can be made into stand-alone solar cells...
Quantum dots are tiny crystals of semiconductor material, roughly 2-10 nanometers, containing only hundreds to thousands of atoms. They have the potential to capture energy from sunlight photons much more efficiently than conventional crystalline silicon...
As with any energy conversion process, there is a physical limit for the photovoltaic conversion process. The theoretical maximum efficiency for a crystalline silicon solar cell – a commonly used type of solar cell – is about 29 percent. The theoretical...
Passive solar heating, also known as passive solar design, takes advantage of a building’s architectural design to store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat. These buildings distribute heat throughout the structure in the winter months but...
Concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies convert sunlight to heat energy. Much like conventional power plants, CSP technologies then use heat energy to generate electricity. There are three main types of commercialized CSP plants, which primarily...
Photovoltaic (PV) systems directly convert sunlight into electricity. The PV effect is the process from which light (photons) is converted into electric current. Different PV technologies have different efficiencies. There are 3 main classes of...
Both solar air and solar water heaters convert sunlight to heat, and both can be divided into active systems, which operate with the help of pumps or fans, or passive systems, which do not.
Like other household appliances, solar systems are rated and certified for electrical safety. Solar panel certification labs across the nation certify electrical safety and performance of new solar panel technologies before they can be sold in the market...
There are a number of energy assistance programs already in place at the federal, state, and local levels designed to help low-income households afford their energy bills.
The 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for residential and commercial solar systems will expire on December 31, 2016, after which the ITC credit drops to 10% for commercial systems and is eliminated for residential systems. The federal tax policy is...

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