Smart Solar Storage Homes are Here!

A Sonnen EcoLinx solar storage home with fully integrated energy management system.
The future is here, smart homes have arrived and now these systems can help customize your renewable energy experience. While most of us are likely familiar with the capabilities of managing your smart home’s AC, blinds, lights, alarm, etc. from afar, new technology now lets you manage your solar similarly. The possibilities become especially exciting …
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Marine Solar Installations: why they’re unique

Sun Pacific Solar Electric solar installation at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Sea Center in a marine environment using IEC 61701 tested panels.
Marine solar panel installations. Simple, right? Not so much. Installing solar in a marine environment, weather on a boat, near the waterfront or in a coastal zone is drastically different than building a solar power array in other areas. The main difference is that the materials used must be non-corrosive – this includes the nuts, …
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What is Net Energy Metering (NEM)?

Net Energy Metering solar production and electricity consumption
When a grid-tied home gets solarized, the utility company in the pertaining jurisdiction needs to be notified of the change. This is done through an application called an interconnection agreement that when processed and approved by the utility, results in the solar home having Net Energy Metering. While the sun is shining and the panels …
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The 2020 Solar Mandate Broken Down

the 2020 solar mandate broken down
The announcement of the 2020 solar mandate made quite a buzz and by now, most everyone has heard of it. The mandate will require all new construction and buildings undergoing additions and alterations in the state of California to have solar starting this year. It applies to all single and multifamily dwellings, three stories or …
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The SGIP (Self-Generation Incentive Program) Explained

A whole house residential battery backup system qualifying for SGIP.
How much is the SGIP rebate and how does it work? The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) rebate is a tiered rebate applicable to grid-tied battery storage installations. To incentivize backup power solutions and reduce peak load demand on the grid, the state of California launched the SGIP program. Though the program has existed since 2011, …
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The SkyBox: a solar battery game changer

OutBack SkyBox inverter with balance of systems and backup power.
Earlier this year, OutBack Power launched the SkyBox, a game changer for the solar industry. The SkyBox has many unique features and most in the solar industry can agree it’s one of the most exciting technology developments in some time. Here’s why. SkyBox Features First, the SkyBox is both an inverter and a charge controller, …
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Should I Install Battery Backup For My Home?

A home battery backup system neatly installed in the corner of a garage on the Santa Barbara Riviera.
Did you know that by law solar systems must shut down during a power outage? Here’s why. Grid-tied solar systems are constantly back feeding energy to the grid and therefore require a rapid shut down switch for emergency situations. If we experience a power outage and the utility company needs to send linemen to inspect …
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Why doesn’t solar work during a power outage?

Why power outages shut down solar systems during outages
One of the biggest misconceptions we hear most often is that a home with a grid-tied solar system (without battery backup) will continue having power during a utility power outage. This stems from a misunderstanding of how grid-tied installations work. Although both a grid-tied system and an array with battery backup utilize power generated by …
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100% Renewable Islands Paving the Way Forward

100% renewable Island with solar panels
While most countries still have some work to do to become 100% green energy reliant, some islands around the world have taken the leap and achieved this goal. From Iceland to Turkey, and Portugal to the South Pacific, these “green” islands dot the globe. Many have reached their 100% renewable energy goals by utilizing a …
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Solar Trackers vs. Traditional Solar

A dual axis solar tracker system
  With advances in solar technology, “solar tracker” has become a buzz word in the industry and we’ve been getting questions about the feasibility of these systems. We thought we’d address the subject at length below. Pros & Cons of Solar Tracking To date, most solar tracking installations have been installed for large corporate projects …
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