Author Archives: Jacob Marsh

About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

federal solar tax credit

The federal solar tax credit: all you need to know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. The average EnergySage Marketplace shopper saves nearly $9,000 on the cost of going solar as a result of the ITC. Curious as to how much you can save on solar? Read our article for more information based on your unique energy needs. 

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off grid solar

What is an off grid solar system? What does it mean to go “off the grid” with solar?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

People say all the time that they want to get off the grid. Beyond just meaning getting away from it all for a while, getting off the grid has a specific technical meaning with regards to your relationship to your utility and how you get your power. So, what exactly does it mean to go off the grid? If you’re going off-grid, there are tons of options to consider when it comes to batteries, inverters, panels, mounting systems, and solar charge controllers. Each product is different and you can customize your kit in a countless number of ways, which is why it is vital to know exactly what you’re looking for and why. Generally, an off grid solar system has the following parts:

  1. Solar panels 
  2. Solar inverters
  3. Wiring/cables
  4. Mounting equipment 
  5. Charge controller
  6. Batteries 
  7. Safety equipment (safety disconnects, grounding equipment, surge protection)
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how many solar batteries do you need

How many solar batteries do I need?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Solar batteries are becoming more and more common for individual homeowners, and just like solar panels, the exact battery installation you should get depends on your unique situation and what you want to get out of energy storage. The question “how many solar batteries do I need?” doesn’t have a straightforward answer – in this article, we’ll outline the major factors that contribute to the size of a battery system, and around how large your solar battery setup should be.

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solar cells

How does a photovoltaic solar cell work?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

You’ve probably seen solar panels on rooftops all around your neighborhood, but do you know how they actually work to generate electricity? In this article, we’ll take a look at photovoltaic solar cells, or solar cells, which are electronic components that generate electricity when exposed to photons, or particles of light—this conversion is called the photovoltaic effect. In this article, we’ll explain how PV cells work. Specifically, we’ll examine the science of silicon solar cells, the solar cells making up the vast majority of solar panels.

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monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels: what you need to know

Reading Time: 6 minutes

When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

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Solar generators

What is a solar generator and is it right for you?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Solar isn’t just for rooftops – you can use portable solar products like solar generators as a backup power source if the grid goes down, or as a source of electricity for your campsite, RV, or boat. But what is a solar generator exactly? And how does it compare with typical fossil-fuel powered generators? In this article, we’ll break down the key things you need to know about solar generators so you can decide if they’re right for you!

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solar power pros and cons

The pros and cons of solar power: what are the advantages and disadvantages of going solar?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system, you’ve probably already had your share of exposure to solar marketing, whether through spammy ads promising free solar panels or a knock at the door signaling an eager solar salesman ready to convince you why you should go solar. To make the right decision for your home, you need to be able to distinguish between the real pros and cons of solar power and the solar myths that are sometimes communicated in the media. 

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