Solar Solutions: Solar Panels Help Fight Impact of Methane Leaks

The impact methane leaks have on the atmosphere is catastrophic – and the US just experienced the worst leak in its history. The natural gas leak that occurred in Aliso Canyon, Los Angeles caused damage to the climate that was even worse than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. On October 23, 2015, the leak was discovered from one of the 115 wells connected to SoCal Gas Company’s massive underground natural gas storage system. The gas storage system is the largest in the Western US, and the leak persisted after the first 7 attempts to seal it. The leak was permanently sealed on February 18th, 2016.

Methane is one of the strongest pollutants and has 84 times the global warming power of carbon dioxide.

  • The leak has released 150 million pounds (72,000 metric tons) of methane into the environment, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
  • Enough methane poured into the air every day to fill a balloon the size of the Rose Bowl.
  • The leak led to more than 11,000 nearby residents being evacuated.
  • The environmental impact is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from over half a million passenger cars.
  • Two Los Angeles Unified School District schools have closed in response to the methane leak.
  • 8,156,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide released
  • 917,790,000 gallons of gasoline burned
  • $19,193,700 dollars worth of natural gas wasted

Solar power does not expel toxins into our environment and combats the greenhouse gas buildup. Not only can solar save the environment from global warming, it is the reliable and endless resource that has fueled the existence of life since the beginning of time. In a single day the amount of sunlight that hits the United States is more than 2,500 times the entire country’s daily energy usage. Yet, solar photovoltaic panels produce less than two percent of the national electricity.

Using clean renewable energy to power our homes, businesses, and cars would eradicate the demand for methane. Becoming apart of the solar movement, using clean energy, and pushing legislation to cut methane uses are some of the immediate solutions to prevent methane environmental disasters and reduce the rate of climate change.

Become a part of the solar movement and start saving the environment and your energy costs today!

Call to get your Action Air Solar System installed in your home or business – our professionals are guaranteed to provide quality installation, professionalism, and efficient service.

GET YOUR FREE SOLAR QUOTE Resource Environmental Defense Fund edf.org

Solar Solutions: Solar is the Most Reliable and Sustainable Form of Energy Production

Quality Commercial and Residential Solar Panels Residential and commercial solar panels are becoming the most reliable, sustainable, and economical form of energy production. With the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, individuals and governments are finally being forced to pursue alternative energy production solutions. The solar solution has taken hold, in the last decade the solar industry has had a compound annual growth rate of nearly 60% – and still rising. 

On a basic level, solar power is so reliable because it comes from the sun – an endless supply of energy that has fueled the existence of life since the beginning of time. Even when there is a black out on the grid from weather or an utility company mishap, solar-powered homes and businesses will still be able to have electricity.

Solar power is also the most reliable from a financial standpoint considering the continuous rise of utility costs and the decreasing amount of fossil fuels available. Having a solar powered home or business relieves the financial obligation of keeping up with fluctuating utility costs. Solar users can see a full return on investment in as little as 3 years from utility cost savings alone.

The demand for renewable energy will continue to growth rapidly, and now is the time to join the solar movement while there are so many federal and state incentives, rebates, and financing (HERO) options available.
With the rapid growth of the solar industry, SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) and the government are at work to optimize the sustainability of solar PV panels through the manufacturing practices, technological advances, and recycling of the panels.

Solar panels are highly sustainable, especially compared to the process of energy production with fossil fuels. The majority of solar panels are warranted for 25 years or more, giving home and business owners peace of mind when it comes to their investment. EU Energy Institute found that 90 percent of solar panels last for
30 years or longer. Even the world’s first modern solar panel is working after 60 years.

Not only do solar panels have a long life span, they are also very durable products. Their robust nature allows the panels to withstand almost any element Mother Nature can through at them – from bird droppings to hail. Solar panels are generally maintenance free, and are ‘cleaned’ naturally every time it rains.

The sustainability and reliability optimization of solar energy is also being accomplished with the solar market itself to insure it’s continued growth. This will be achieved through feasible supply-chain, workers rights, progressive environmental legislation, and staying green with the manufacturing and production of solar panels.

Sustainable Residential and Commercial Solar Panels The Solar Experts at Action Air are here to guide to your Solar Solution. We are here to help you find the best solution for your home and budget – and our certified technicians are guaranteed to efficiently install your new solar panel PV system. We will provide a free consultation including a quote. Contact us and become apart of the Solar Movement today!
Source: GTM research and SEIA

Why Solar Backup Batteries are a Good Idea

Much like your investment in solar PV panels, the overall return on investment for solar back-up batteries far outweighs the initial cost. Although solar PV most definitely save owners in energy costs when the power grid is up and the sun is shining, unpredictable power outages and natural disasters will cause your solar PV system to disconnect without a battery back up. This leaves unused solar energy sitting on the roof – unable to be sold back to utility companies or converted into power during an outage. Solar back-up batteries offer protection against outages, increase your savings and give you more independence from utility companies.

solar-battery-backup-system-california Off-Grid Independence

With tiered rates under the current net-metering system, there are ideal times to sell back solar produced energy to the utility companies. Backup batteries and bi directional inverters give you the freedom and flexibility of when to sell or buy power from the utility grid. There is also technology available to alert you when to utilize your battery back up for optimal savings.

 

How It Works

The majority of existing solar PV systems do not protect you against power outages, or increased utility grid rates. Fortunately, the upgrade to a battery backup system called AC coupling will give you security when the grid is down, and savings when utility rates fluctuate.

The AC coupling is a hybrid-type system that ties your energy storage system to the existing grid-interactive one. Throughout the day, the solar energy powers a home or building while simultaneously charging the backup battery. During a power outage, the bi directional inverter will convert the stored energy from your backup battery to your home to keep things running smoothly.

Solar Solution solar-battery-backup-system-in-california

Grid stability has already declined with the rise in renewable energy and distributed energy generation. Battery backups systems are the solution to the imbalance in power swings.  The good news is nearly every home or business with a grid-tied solar PV panels is eligible for a battery backup system upgrade.

With increased grid imbalances, federal and state tax incentives, and affordable financing options available, now is a great time to upgrade or install solar PV panel systems with backup batteries.

Solar Federal Tax Incentives Extended

The federal government recently passed a spending package allowing solar tax incentives to be extended for another 5 years. The solar tax incentives allow taxpayers to receive a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is great news for the renewable energy industry and the solar movement! The new legislation has created a boom in the solar industry by effectively encouraging residential and commercial property owners to use solar technology in their homes and businesses.

Now is a great time to transition to solar – not only does the current legislation makes it an affordable and economical option, photovoltaic panels will also increase the value of your home or commercial building. The solar usage in the US is expected to triple within the next 6 years – and has already nearly doubled since 2014. With solar panels steadily becoming mainstream, the economic value of properties with photovoltaic panels will increase substantially.

Since the Solar TAX INCENTIVE was implemented in 2006, solar installation has increased over 1,600 percent.*  The extension for solar tax incentives insures the industry’s growth, and when the amount of solar installations increase, the price per solar pv panel decreases.

From an environmental perspective, the projected growth due to the solar ITC extension will offset 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

“There’s no way to overstate this — the extension of the solar ITC is the most important policy development for U.S. solar in almost a decade,” said MJ Shiao, Green Tech Media’s director of solar research.

The experts at Action Air are here to help you get the maximum return on your investment. Call us today for a free consultation. Our team will get you on your way to an environmentally friendly solar panel system, increased property value – and energy savings!
*Resources

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/breaking-house-passes-1.1-trillioun-spending-bill-with-renewable-energy-tax

http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit Solar Energy Industries Association

Solar Rooftops in California Improve Economy

California continues to be the leading solar market in the US. Solar has been on the rise in recent years, and has substantially improved California’s economy. Solar production is increasing which creates lower product and installation costs for consumers. The California state incentives to transition to solar have also helped drive it’s increasing economic influence. In order to sustain growth in the solar industry, legislation needs to maintain long-term policies that encourage renewable energy production. The good news is that the majority of upcoming California representatives hold strong bipartisan support for solar.

Going Solar enables home and business owners become independent from utility companies. Using solar power protects individuals from the rising utility costs, and with fossil fuels becoming more scarce, utilities prices will only continue to increase. The sun cannot be taxed or tariffed, and its energy has fueled the existence of life since the beginning of time. Using the sun to our advantage will not only help protect our precious planet, but it also allows individuals to become less reliant on the finite supply of fossil fuels.

With solar on the rise, production must meet the demand. This means more systems will have to be designed, more materials will need to be manufactured, and installations will increase. This creates jobs within the solar industry and boosts the employment rate within the renewable energy sector. The solar industry employment growth rate has already surpassed the national average.
According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association):

  • There are currently more than 2,336 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in California, employing 75,600 people
  • In 2015, California installed 3,266 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it first nationally
  • The 13,243 MW of solar energy currently installed in California ranks the state first in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 3,319,000 homes
  • In 2015, $7.268 billion was invested on solar installations in California
  • Installed solar photovoltaic system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 6% from last year and 48% from 2010

The Solar Experts at Action Air are here to help you transition to a renewable, sustainable source of energy.

Resources

“California: Renewables Portfolio Standard”. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-11-01.

http://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/california. Retrieved 2016-05-27.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Southwest Heat

Summer is approaching! Here are some tips from our team at Action Air to help prepare you for the Southwest heat.

1. Get an AC Tune Up

It’s important to get your AC serviced before the southwest heat hits – an overwhelming amount of home and commercial building owners don’t realize their HVAC system needs to be repaired until it breaks down. Preventative Maintenance is the best way to prevent this from happening to you during the months when you need your AC the most. For the small cost of a tune-up, it can save you big in the long run.

Action Air FACT: 90% OF ALL FURNACE & AIR CONDITIONING BREAKDOWNS ARE DUE TO LACK OF MAINTENANCE

Schedule an AC Tune Up or become a member of Action Air Rewards Club and enjoy the benefits of our Precision Tune Up Program!

 

2. Stock Up on HVAC Air Filters

It’s important to check and replace your air filter regularly, especially during the months when your AC in constantly running. A clean air filter is essential healthy indoor air quality. Timely replacement of your air filter will prevent expensive repairs, improve indoor air quality, increase HVAC lifespan, and keep your system running smoothly.

 

3. Get an Energy Audit

SDG&E and other California utility companies offer great rebates for energy audits and preventative maintenance. Getting a full diagnostic report of your HVAC will help you decide if now is the right time to upgrade your system, or what repairs are necessary to prevent costly utility bills and keep your home comfortable.

 

4. Purchase a Humidifier

The summer heat in the southwest is notoriously dry, and the best way to keep a secure amount of moisture in your home is to get a humidifier. Putting moisture back into your home’s air has proven to decrease risk of infections, improve sinuses, help your body heal faster, improve sleep and even keep your houseplants healthier!

 

5. Switch to Solar

With the sun’s rays strongest in the summer, spring is a great time to get your solar PV panels installed and start getting the most from your renewable energy source. It is also an ideal time to receive maximum tax rebates (30%) and financing for owners. The solar movement is on the rise with the great incentives in place and it’s many benefits:

Become apart of the solar movement and call the Solar Experts at Action Air (800-400-4152) or contact us online to schedule your commercial or residential solar installation!

US Locations That Are Best For Going Solar

As a homeowner with solar, or considering going solar, you most likely recognize the importance of clean energy how beneficial it is for the environment, the economy, and homeowners alike.

Although solar panels can essentially be utilized in any location where the sun shines, there are certain climates that are ideal for harnessing solar power. In addition to federal tax incentives, certain states offer even more incentives to go solar through rebates, funding, and tax breaks.

Solar capacity and state incentives are the two of the most important factors when evaluating which US locations are best for solar panels. The following information seeks to advise you on the US locations that benefit most from a photovoltaic panel system.

In general, areas closer to the equator have far greater potential for producing solar electricity than areas closer to the poles, and areas with consistent sun have greater solar potential then areas that are frequently overcast. Since there are few clouds in the desert and plenty of sunshine, making Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, and Southern California some of the best states for solar energy production. Hawaii and Florida also have the potential to make solar the biggest energy source. All these states’ climates are uniquely suited to take on solar as the main source of renewable energy. Unfortunately, some of these states are lacking the RPS, or renewable portfolio standard, to make this a real possibility. Having a RPS in place requires that a certain percentage of all energy produced is renewable. An RPS is the best way to motivate utility companies and homeowners to go solar. Florida, for example, has no RPS in place but is one of the states that has the greatest potential for renewable energy.

Unlike Florida, other states with the greatest solar capacity such as California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Texas have a RPS in place and are taking advantage of the opportunity to make solar power the main source of renewable energy.

Solar capacity is important in terms of the amount of energy that can be produced from photovoltaic panels, however, ‘going solar’ is still an attractive option for locations that receive less solar irradiance (brightness) and insolation (strength of sun when it reaches ground). Surprisingly, states without high solar capacity have proven to be the most committed to solar energy through their respective legislation. For example, New York legislation leads the nation in the best rebates and tax breaks for residential solar. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Vermont are following New York’s lead and also offer brilliant incentives for homeowners to go solar.

As a whole, the United States has terrific solar resources, geographically and financially. Call Action Air today to take advantage of Southern California’s high solar capacity, tax incentives, and financing options!

How Weather Effects Solar Energy Production

Temperature, air density, precipitation, pollution, fog, and wind can disturb solar energy production, but should not be considered ‘deciding factors’ when assessing your climate for solar power use. If these conditions are prominent in your geographic location, solar is still a viable option considering battery back-up can always get the job done in the absence of beloved sunny days. 

Sunshine Exposure for Solar Power

The length and strength of solar power received are the two most important factors in producing electricity through photovoltaics. As such, regions that receive the most sunshine per day will produce the most energy. Solar tracking can off-set the decrease in energy production when days become shorter and the sun is not at an ideal angle for maximum insolation.

Wind

Wind damage to your solar panels is unlikely considering they are specifically designed to withstand wind speed up to 80 mph or more. However, solar PV systems are subject to the same laws of physics as any other electrical circuit. The behavior of the electrical circuit in terms of voltage, resistance and current are governed by other effects, like air temperature and wind speed. Since wind speed influences air temperature, it is a piggy-back factor of how temperature can affect a solar PV system.

Temperature

Solar panel power production is the most efficient when temperatures are low in sunny environments.

  • High temperatures: Field and laboratory experiments (Rivers State University of Science and Technology at Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2008) have revealed a drop of solar energy output for every increase in degree of a home photovoltaic solar panel once the panel reached 42 degrees Celsius, or about 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Low temperatures: The angle of the sun determines irradiance (brightness) and insolation (strength of sun when it reaches ground) which both determine the amount of energy production photovoltaics. Locations closest to the poles, and/or during winter seasons, the angle of the sun is low and temperatures decrease, causing solar panel energy production to also decrease.

Air density

Thin air is ideal for solar power for the simple fact that when the air is thicker, it scatters more sunlight. Typically, the higher the elevation, the thinner the air is. Locations at or below sea level tend to have higher air density.

Snow / Rainfall

A thick layer of snow on your solar PV panels will affect the production of energy entirely. However, panels naturally give off heat and are purposely installed at an angle which will prevent the accumulation of thick layers of snow. During rain or snow, the length and strength of the sun is minimal and will decrease energy production as a result.

Pollution

Pollution, much like clouds or fog, diffuses sunlight so the strength of the of sun will decrease in highly polluted areas.

Cloud Cover / Fog

If you live in an area with dense cloud cover or fog, like San Diego, your solar power output will decrease but the solar PV panels will still produce electricity. Clouds/fog diffuse (spread out) sunlight, so the angle of the sun and/or panels are not as critical. The amount of solar energy produced in these conditions depends on the thickness and duration of the fog or cloud cover. A single cloudy day will not affect the amount of power coming into your home, it is more important on the amount of sun that your panels see on average per year.

Although weather can have a significant impact on solar power production, solar panels are built to withstand heavy rain, hail, wind and cycles of heat and cold for many years. Despite unfavorable conditions for solar power production, your home can still receive electricity it needs through battery back-ups and smart mounting solutions. Switching to solar is still a wise investment that will increase the value of your home, help the environment, and save you on energy bills. Call Action Air today to learn more about solar panel installation!

How Going Solar Gives You Independence from Utility Companies

Evolving solar solutions and technology is shaping the future for more utility customers to become independent of the utility grid.

Advances in technology now allow residents to install solar panels on their home, property, or commercial business and create enough electricity through photovoltaic cells to provide enough power for all your electrical needs. California has become the first state to provide 5% of its electricity by solar power, and as more customers take advantage of the year-round sun to power their homes, many advantages arise beyond saving thousands of dollars on electric bills.

It is common to see solar panels affixed to roofs and canyon hillsides all across California, and for many curious onlookers, the first questions that comes to mind is ‘How do solar panels work?’ and ‘How can they allow homeowners to become independent of the utility grid?’

Solar panels are made up of several small units called photovoltaic (PV) cells which contain two layers of semi-conductor materials. As sunlight hits the solar panels the light causes the electrons to move and jump from the first layer to the second layer. This flow of electrons is direct current (DC) electricity. The more sun that hits the panel, the more electricity is produced by the PV system.

The DC electricity flows from the panels into an inverter (read more about micro-inverters vs. string inverters here) which converts the DC current into AC current, which is what all electrical appliances use when plugged into a wall outlet. A two-way meter tracks the power produced by the solar panel system and any electricity that your home doesn’t immediately need is either stored in batteries for later use in your home, or it is sent to the utility grid and your account is credited the amount for later use.

In sunny locations such as much of California, solar panels can be a great way for homeowners to save money on their utility bills, become independent from the utility grid, and help the environment along the way.
Don’t you want to be next? Contact us on the web or call us today 800-400-4152

Solar Panels: How They Save the Environment and Energy Costs

Drive through any southern California neighborhood and you are likely to see solar panels on the roofs of residents who have decided to save money, reduce their home energy use, and support the environment by going solar.

solar-panels-california In fact, California is leading the solar revolution and has become the first state to generate more than 5% of electricity from utility solar. More and more businesses and residents in southern California are taking advantage of year round energy-producing sunshine, and saving thousands on their electric bills. With so many advantages of going solar, one of the first questions inquisitive minds ask is: how do solar panels work?

Simply put, a solar panel works by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity. Solar panels are comprised of many, smaller units called photovoltaic cells (photovoltaic simply means they convert sunlight into electricity).

One solar panel is made up of many small photovoltaic solar cells. Each of these cells uses light to make electrons move.:Below is a step by step process of how your solar panels convert the sun’s light into energy for your home.

  • Everyday, light hits your roof’s solar panels with photons (particles of sunlight)
  • The panel converts those photons into electrons of direct current (“DC”) electricity. Naturally, the sunnier it is, the more energy is produced by the panels.
  • Those produced electrons flow out of the panel and into an inverter and other electrical safety devices.
  • The inverter converts that “DC” power into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power is the kind of electric juice that your television, computer, and toasters use when plugged into the wall outlet.
  • A bi-directional meter keeps track of the all the power your solar system produces. Any solar energy that you don’t use immediately will go back into the grid through the meter. Then at night or on cloudy days, that extra solar juice is credited back to your bill.
  • Some homes will store the energy created from solar panels with a battery, this is not as common as connecting to the grid, but if you are able to accomplish this, then you have truly become energy independent! solar-panels-in-california

Solar Tip! Solar panels that can avoid shade, can maximize sun coverage will produce the most solar energy power.

Considering going solar for your home energy needs? Don’t miss out on available tax credits and rebates that you can take advantage of

before the end of the year. Contact our solar experts on the web or by phone 800-400-4152. Action Air, your solar San Diego professionals.