Tennessee Solar Solutions Recognized as a Top Solar Contractor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017

The Solar Power World Top Solar Contractors list includes Chattanooga based solar firm.


Chattanooga, TN: Coming off the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations, local installer TENNESSEE SOLAR SOLUTIONS, LLC proud to be named one of the top solar contractors in the United States by Solar Power World magazine. Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC achieved a rank of 240 out of 500 solar companies.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets. The list was released on July 25.

“The 2017 Top Solar Contractors list features 500 of the best solar contractors in the United States,” said Kelly Pickerel, managing editor of Solar Power World. “From solar hotbeds on the coasts to the up-and-coming Midwest solar market, every installer adding even the smallest solar array to the grid is making a positive impact on our communities.

We’re proud to recognize these companies and their efforts to bring solar power to U.S. homes and businesses.”

Your Fully NABCEP Certified.

 

The U.S. solar market installed more than 14,700 MW of solar in 2016, nearly doubling the capacity installed in 2015.

For the first time ever, solar was ranked as the No. 1 source of new electric generating capacity additions brought online throughout the year. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predict the cumulative U.S. solar market to nearly triple in size over the next five years. By 2022, more than 18 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity will be installed annually, Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC will continue to be a major player in adding solar to the grid.

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC employs 25 workers, who installed 2,216kW of solar in 2016. Since its founding in 2007, the company has installed 2MW of solar. The company’s belief that simplifying the process of going solar will be the key to its widespread adoption, Tennessee Solar Solutions provided the industry’s premier customer experience. Creating memorable experiences for customers resulted in rapid growth of the company.

30kW Commercial solar PV installation

“Tennessee Solar Solutions was founded in 2007 on the basis of the firm conviction that solar power  is  a clean, sustainable energy source that is available everywhere and to everyone, “ said Anthony Roden, Founder and President.

“Tennessee Solar Solutions is much more than just a project developer and installer: it is an operator which offers an integrated model for the production of solar electricity,” said Ginny Kincer, Chief Operations Officer.

About Solar Power World

Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors—including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets—grow their businesses and do their jobs better.

Media Contacts

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC

Ginny Kincer, 423-298-1688

ginny@tennesseesolarsolutions.com

Solar Power World

Kelly Pickerel, 216-860-5259  kpickerel@wtwhmedia.com

 

 

How hot do solar panels get? Effect of temperature on solar performance

solar panels overheating hot weather

Solar panels are often exposed to high amounts of heat, especially during long, hot summer days. In this article, we will discuss the impact hot weather has on solar panels, and how those effects are mitigated by consumers and manufacturers alike.

How hot do solar panels actually get?

Home solar panels are typically located on the roof, which means they’re exposed to the elements. When the sun is shining down on them in the summer, they can be very hot to the touch.

The majority of solar panels are composed of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are protected by a sheet of glass and held together with a metal frame. Those materials are comparable to the materials that make up the windows and frame of a car – to understand how hot solar panels get, think about a car that’s been sitting in a hot parking lot on a summer day. The windows and frame will be hot to the touch, but there’s little danger of burns or fire. The actual temperature that your solar panels will be at a given time varies significantly depending on air temperature, how close you are to the equator, level of direct sunlight, and roof material.

The effect of temperature on solar panel efficiency

Homeowners considering solar often wonder, “can solar panels overheat?” Just as with any other electronic equipment, solar panel performance does decline as they get hot – the laws of thermodynamics tell us that with increased heat comes decreased power output, and this applies to solar panels. Thus, warmer temperatures will always means less output for PV cells, and this loss is quantified in a “temperature coefficient” by panel manufacturers, which varies from model to model.

How can you know what kind of output losses your panels are experiencing? Manufacturers rate their products’ susceptibility to temperature in the form of the temperature coefficient, which is expressed as a percentage per degree Celsius. It is standard practice to test solar panels for power output at 25 °C. So, if a panel is rated to have a temperature coefficient of -0.50% per °C, that panel’s output power will decrease by a half of a percent for every degree the temperature rises about 25 °C (77 °F). Although that number sounds small, the surface temperature of a dark colored roof in the summer can be significantly higher than 25 °C – imagine the surface of an asphalt road on a hot summer day. The small percentage of output power loss for each degree of heat compounds.

Here’s an example: if you have solar panels with an efficiency rating of 17 percent and a temperature coefficient of -0.45, they will lose 0.45% of their efficiency for every degree above 25 °C. If the surface temperature of your roof increases to 30 °C (86 °F), your solar panel’s efficiency will fall to 16.7 percent. If it increases to 35 °C (95 °F), efficiency falls to 16.3 percent.

How solar panel efficiency changes in hot conditions

Panel Manufacturer
Temperature Coefficient
Panel Efficiency
Efficiency at 30 °C (86 °F)
Efficiency at 35 °C (95 °F)
Axitec -0.4 16.9% 16.83% 16.77%
Canadian Solar -0.41 17.7% 17.63% 17.56%
Hanwha Q CELLS -0.39 18.3% 18.23% 18.15%
Hanwha SolarOne -0.41 16.2% 16.14% 16.07%
Hyundai -0.45 16.5% 16.43% 16.37%
Kyocera -0.45 16.1% 16.04% 15.97%
LG -0.41 18.6% 18.53% 18.45%
Panasonic -0.3 21.6% 21.51% 21.43%
SolarWorld -0.43 17.6% 17.53% 17.46%
SunPower -0.38 22.2% 22.11% 22.02%

How to counteract solar panels overheating

Regardless of which panels you decide to use, there will always be some energy output loss due to heat. However, there are several ways to mitigate the effects of hot temperatures on solar panels. A basic technology employed by most panel manufacturers is to use a thermally conductive substrate to house their panels, which helps vent heat away from the glass layers of the module. Solar panels are also commonly mounted a few inches above your roof, with airflow space below the actual unit, helping to move heat away from the modules as well.

Thin film panels are a recent market innovation, and boast a temperature coefficient rating of between a -0.20 and -0.25. These panels have a distinct coefficient rating advantage over more traditional monocrystalline and polycrystalline photovoltaic panels, which have a temperature coefficient between -0.45 and -0.50. However, they come with a trade-off – thin-film panels are typically less efficient than their crystalline PV counterparts.

An important note to keep in mind about temperature coefficients is that if a panel is operating in temperatures lower than 25 °C, the temperature coefficient will actually be positive, and your solar panels will increase in efficiency. This means that the best conditions for optimal solar production are cold, sunny days, which in turn means you don’t have to live in a warm climate to benefit from solar power. This efficiency gain in cold weather helps to offset losses that occur during the summer months, especially for homeowners living in regions with distinct winter/summer weather cycles.

Conversely, if you do live in a climate that is warm and sunny throughout the year, you may want to invest in higher-end solar panels that come with a lower temperature coefficient. Sunpower and Panasonic manufacture solar panels with some of the lowest temperature coefficients available in the industry. If you expect that the surface temperature of your roof will climb above 25 °C for a significant portion of the year, consider getting quotes from solar installers who offer these higher-end panels.

Tesla solar roof cost vs. solar panels: worth the premium?

tesla solar roof vs solar panels

Tesla recently announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics.  But the question is ultimately does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is currently “no”. Just as Tesla’s luxury sports cars are out of reach for most drivers today, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for most American homeowners to justify spending their money on.

 

How much does the Tesla solar roof cost, and is it worth the premium?

To easily explain Tesla’s solar roof cost and its price premium, we’ll detail three different scenarios below –  read on to see which describes you best! We’ll be using a 3000 sq. ft. home in Southern California with a $200 monthly electric bill in our example, although we ran this analysis for several different states and home sizes and the results remained similar.

 

Scenario 1: You are interested in going solar, but don’t need to replace your roof

This is the most common scenario for the vast majority of homeowners in the U.S. today. You’ve been interested in installing solar panels for a while, and realize that costs have come down enough for it to be an achievable home upgrade. You’ve also heard a lot of media buzz around the Tesla solar roof lately, but aren’t sure if it’s worth the cost. Most importantly, you don’t need to replace your roof in the next three to five years.

If this description sounds like you, the straightforward answer is that Tesla’s solar roof won’t make financial sense for your home. Here’s why: it is both a new roof and a solar installation. If you don’t need a new roof, you risk getting upsold on a product that you weren’t even shopping for in the first place. And the price tag of this upsell is considerable. While the owner of our 3000 sq. ft. home in California would typically install a 8.5kW solar panel system for $26,030 before rebates, Tesla’s roof calculator shows that only a 6.25kW solar roof priced at $50,900 is possible. The result is that Tesla’s solar roof will cost nearly $25,000 more than installing solar panels, and yet will only deliver 77% as much solar electricity (due to it being a smaller system size). You’re paying more for less, and that just doesn’t make good financial sense.

tesla solar roof price vs solar panels

Scenario 2: You are interested in going solar, and you also need to replace your roof

While this is a less common scenario, it may fit you if your current roof is coming up on the end of its useful life. In general, asphalt shingles tend to last 20 to 30 years, and metal and slate roofs can last over 60 years (we recommend you consult with a local roofing expert for specifics about your property). This scenario may also fit you if you’re in the process of building a new home from scratch, and haven’t picked out your roofing material yet. In this scenario, unlike the first one, you are in the market and actively shopping for both a new roof and a solar panel installation.

If this description fits you better, Tesla’s solar roof may make more financial sense. In this case, you have the option of either replacing your roof first and then installing traditional solar panels, or combining both actions with the installation of a Tesla solar roof. For our example homeowner in California, we used Consumer Reports’ estimate of a $20,000 roof replacement and added that to our initial $26,030 gross costs of installation from Scenario 1. Tesla’s solar roof is still 10% more expensive than replacing your roof and adding solar panels (in some cases it’s 20% more), but that’s the price premium you’ll have to pay for installing their attractive glass tiles on your rooftop. Lastly, just like in the first scenario, it’s worth mentioning that Tesla’s solar roof will only produce about three quarters the level of solar electricity as compared to traditional solar panels – meaning your electricity bill won’t go down as much as it could.

cost of replacing roof with solar vs tesla roof price

Scenario 3: You love new technology, want solar, and have money to burn

If you have a shiny Tesla Model S in your driveway, an Apple Watch on your wrist, and an overflowing bank account – there is now a new roof for you! All kidding aside, there are certainly homeowners out there who simply want the newest technology possible and don’t consider factors like price, value, or the risk of getting upsold a new roof they don’t need. For shoppers in this category who are considering solar, the Tesla solar roof is a natural fit. In fact, we believe that the majority of buyers for Tesla’s solar roof will come from this third category. At EnergySage, we think that more solar on rooftops is always better than less, and look forward to this group of early adopters installing this new roof product on their homes.

Early adopters of new technologies tend to be more likely to tolerate the hiccups that often occur with new products, too. While other companies have offered solar tiles before, these products have historically been hard to install and offered mixed performance results. For Tesla’s solar roof, we hope the rollout will look more like the Model S, exceeding performance expectations for its adoring fans. But the Model S was not Tesla’s first car. It’s also possible that the first solar roof will perform more like the Roadster, which Elon Musk declared a “disaster” in retrospect.