Solar Basics

Back to the Future gif.

What's The Science Behind Solar Panels?

The short answer: Solar panels are made up of silicon solar cells that create electricity when sunlight hits them. The long answer: Here are 5 things to know about how solar panels work. 1: Solar cells are made of silicon * Solar cells are those blue or black squares you see inside a solar panel. * The same material that computer chips are made of (think "Silicon Valley") * Silicon, not silicone :) 2: There are 2 main types of solar cells * Polycrystalline: This means the solar cel
By Wildgrid Team ·
Raised hand.

How Do I Actually "Go Solar"?

Have you made it to page 15 of Google’s “how to go solar” results and still feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry - we’ve all been there. Luckily, solar isn’t as intimidating as it seems and there are so many different ways to go solar. (Spoiler alert: they don’t even all include solar panel installation!) Let us show you how to go solar, 5 ways! Whether you own a home, rent an apartment, or live on a sailboat... you can go solar. Here's how: Option #1: Residential Solar If you conjure an image of
By Wildgrid Team ·
A battery.

How Does Solar Battery Storage Work?

Imagine: you’ve installed solar. You’ve had a run of gorgeous, sunny days outside and everything’s been working perfectly. Suddenly, a week of stormy, cloudy spring days rolls through. There’s not enough sun to power your solar array. Enter: solar battery storage. The short and sweet version of this story is that solar batteries store the excess power generated from extra-sunny days to be used during those not-so-sunny days. Want to know more? Let’s dig in. What’s a solar battery? Solar ba
By Wildgrid Team ·
A field of solar panels.

How Does Community Solar Work?

The short answer: Community solar is the service of subscribing to an off-site solar farm in your area. Solar farm is just a fancy way of saying large scale solar installation, there are no chickens. (Sometimes there are goats, but that's another story!) The long answer: Here are 5 things to know about community solar. 1: Anyone can sign up. Rooftop solar isn't for everyone. Maybe your roof is too shady or you live in an apartment & can't purchase solar panels. * When these scenarios ha
By Wildgrid Team ·
A worker install a solar panel on a rooftop.

How Does Rooftop Solar work?

The short answer: Solar panels get installed on your roof (or ground mounted in your yard). They generate clean energy & your electricity bill goes bye bye!‍ The long answer: Here are 6 things to know about rooftop solar. 1: There are several payment options. * There are typically 4 ways you can pay for solar panels: pay in cash, get a loan, get a lease, or sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). * We wrote a whole post breaking these down for you here. 2: You qualify for a federal tax
By Wildgrid Team ·
A women looking through a spy scope.

Are Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) A Scam?

The short answer: No, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) like Green Mountain Energy are not scams. Yes, they are those people at farmer's markets. The way ESCOs work is confusing! So it's easy to misunderstand what they are actually doing. The long answer: An ESCO is basically the middle person between your utility company and a renewable energy source. They buy and sell "RECs" or Renewable Energy Certificates. What the heck is an REC? An REC is produced when a renewable energy source (like a
By Wildgrid Team ·

Sunshine in your inbox

Treat your inbox to educational videos, solar guides, and news.