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

The Age of Renewable Energy

What You Should Know About Renewable Energy The New Age of Energy is using natural resources to generate power. These resources include sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, water / tides, and biomass which are all naturally replenished. Using renewable energy as our source of power has the potential to solve global energy demands and the tomorrow’s environmental crisis. We are currently facing many challenges with energy production. With the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, and rising prices of electricity, individuals and governments are being forced to progressively change how energy is produced. Creating scalable, decentralized power from renewable energy sources is the progressive change our environment – and wallets – need.

The solar energy movement is arguably the most reliable and sustainable form of renewable energy. 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. Even though the solar movement is on the rise (the industry has seen over a 465% increase in installations since 2013), solar photovoltaic panels produce less than two percent of the national electricity. A variety of technologies convert sunlight to usable energy for buildings. The most commonly used solar technologies for homes and businesses are solar water heating, passive solar design for space heating and cooling, and solar photovoltaics for electricity. Thanks to federal and state clean energy incentives, many home and business owners have converted to solar within the past decade.

Energy produced from wind is captured by wind turbines. The US has the largest fastest growing wind power industry in the world. Considering it’s growth and size, the wind industry is a critical component to the Department of Energy’s strategy to expand the renewable energy market, create new clean energy technologies, and diversify the economy through the energy market.

Producing energy from water comes from several natural processes including ocean energy and the process of evaporation of rain and snow. Producing energy from the ocean comes from the tides, ocean waves, and ocean temperatures. The ocean waves are driven by the sun, wind, and tides and can be used to produce energy. In addition to tides and ocean waves, the differentiating temperatures of the ocean (warmer temperatures at the surface from sun, lower temperatures at depth) can also generate energy.

When the water vapor is transformed into rain or snow, and flows into rivers and streams, this energy can be captured by hydroelectric power and transformed into electricity. Hydroelectric power presently supplies about 10 percent of the electrical generating capacity of the United States.

Biomass has been a main source of energy since the beginning – using wood to create fire to cook food and keep warn. Biomass energy is used for power production, and to create products that would otherwise be made from fossil fuels. Although creating biomass energy produces carbon dioxide and can technically contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, it is balanced by the carbon dioxide captured in its own growth. Biomass sources include wood (largest biomass resource still used today), wood based plants, manure, crops, algae, organic components of municipal and industrial wastes residues, and debris from forestry.

Geothermal Heat

Geothermal heat comes from heat below the earth’s surface – ranging from magma miles below the earth’s surface, heat rock, or as pockets of steam or hot water (hot springs).  In the US, the majority of geothermal reservoirs are located in the western states, Alaska, and Hawaii. Energy produced by geothermal heat is either produced by power plants or from geothermal heat wells that are drilled into underground heat reservoirs for the generation of electricity or direct-use applications. The geothermal power plants uses the heat to create steam or boiling water in order to turn turbines that generate electricity. Direct-use applications include heating homes or buildings, drying crops, growing plants in greenhouses, and other industrial processes such as pasteurizing milk or heating water at fish farms.

Become A Part of the Renewable Energy Movement Today

All About Renewable Energy Get Your Free Solar Quote The Solar Experts at Action Air are here to help you transition from reliance on fossil fuels to using renewable energy to power your home or business. Start saving on energy costs, become independent from utility companies, and reduce your carbon footprint by going SOLAR today!

Smart Communities Setting Solar Trend

Smart Communities are popping up all over the US and utilizing renewable energy resources to be self-sustainable and economically successful. They consciously leverage solar energy technologies to transform life in a fundamental way that benefits homeowners, communities, and the environment. These Smart Communities are creating a platform for future housing developments and smart-grid infrastructures.

Existing Smart Communities have successfully improved performance in buildings, increased property values, and reduced community debt. The formula for these Smart Communities is simple:

Efficiency + Renewable Energy = Sustainability.

Each solar powered residence helps the Smart Community by lowering energy costs and producing clean power. Energy efficient homes collectively create a resilient, self-sustainable community. These solar-powered homes and communities will be able to power themselves locally even when the broader electric grid goes down. Independent energy production is becoming increasingly important with the rise in energy costs and erratic/unpredictable weather caused by climate change.

The existing outdated – and expensive – infrastructure powered by centralized power plants is creating the problem of greenhouse gases producing climate change. Smart Communities that offer a solution this global epidemic by producing clean energy at a lower cost.

In order for our economy to remain sustainable, the green energy movement needs to take hold by enacting legislation and adopting local and city building codes for renewable energy requirements, and informing the public of the benefits of Smart Communities and tax rebates / incentives and financial assistance available. Newly developed Smart Communities are accomplishing just that – as the innovators and participants of Smart Communities understand the importance of shrinking carbon our footprint, being independent from utility companies, and saving on energy costs. New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision and California’s Distribution Resource Plans are setting the standard of moving toward green energy – which will hopefully create a trend among state governments to enact similar legislation to induce the development of these Smart Communities.

Transforming your home into a Smart Energy Residence will effectively increase your property value, save you on energy costs, and enable you to be independent from utility companies. The experts at Action Air are here for all your Solar Solution needs – from installing solar PV panels to purchasing solar battery back ups for an existing solar PV panel system. Contact us today!

Energy Efficient Technology Helps Environment and Owners

The news about environmental pollutants, disasters and the greenhouse effect is increasing in frequency, but so is the rate of innovation with energy efficient technology. The use of clean and efficient energy systems can provide a solution to the impactful issue of environmental pollutants, and save home and business owners on energy costs. At the top of energy efficient technology is solar PV panels. Switching to solar energy power as an alternative energy solution for our every day needs can dramatically offset the negatives effects of fossil fuels, create independence from utility companies, and lower energy costs.

In addition to solar power, there are several more clean energy technologies that are helping the environment and saving home and business owners on energy costs:

Ultra Efficient Heat Pump Systems

The next generation of heat pump systems can reduce energy consumption as much as 30 – 45%. There will be several options for owners to chose from including fuel-fired multi-function residential heat pump, low-cost gas heat pump, natural gas heat pump and air conditioner.

 

Smart Thermostats

High tech thermostats automatically adjust room temperatures based on the individual’s lifestyle. The owner simply enables the thermostat’s settings to accommodate their comfort level and schedule, and high-tech sensors and algorithms will automatically adjust temperatures per those settings. Smart thermostats can also integrate weather fluctuations to insure your space is kept at pre set temperatures. This saves owners on energy costs, and allows for hands-free heating and cooling operation.

 

Carbon Fighting Heat Dryers

The same technological advances for next generation heat pump systems are being to create energy efficient heat dryers that will reduce energy consumption up to 60%. The dryer is fueled by a heat pump cycle that generates hot air to dry your clothes.

 

Next Generation Insulation

Keep your home insulted to it’s maximum capacity can save residential owners big on energy costs. New environmentally friendly foam has been developed that is made from composited materials and insures heat or cool air will no escape during peak seasons.
We guarantee the best service for solar installations, and our Solar Experts are here to help guide you through your transition to Solar. Additionally, Action Air is a Premier Certified Lennox Dealer and our team will help you find the best heating and cooling technology for your home or business. Call us today to get on your way to the best energy efficient technologies – and savings!

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!

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!