Serving The Environmental Industry Since 1992
(909) 980-1800
Mon-Sun: 8 am - 7 pm
19 Aug 2015
Solar Power Technology

Solar Power Breakthrough

Solar power technologies are always advancing and evolving. Recently a major breakthrough in solar power has seen scientists utilize the sun to create not just usable energy but solar energy materials as well. If the work of these researchers turns out to work with direct sunlight it will mean that the suns energy can only be collected and converted into electricity but that consumers and even those provide solar services will be able to directly produce solar energy materials.

So what exactly does this mean for those who are interested in solar power? In the immediate future not much. In the not-too-distant future however big changes to solar power will leave their mark on the industry. For one, if this breakthrough turns out to be as applicable as scientists hope the costs associated with solar power will reduce dramatically. This means that it will be cheaper to install and to utilize. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where the tax credits and rebates associated with solar power will become even greater.

Not only will the cost of solar power be reduced but solar power will become much more efficient than it is even today. The rate at which sunlight is collected and converted into usable energy will increase exponentially making today’s standard rates look paltry by comparison. In addition to reducing costs and making solar power is more efficient this discovery will allow more environmentally benign materials to be utilized in things like solar panels and other parts of systems.

This breakthrough in solar power technology is a recent one and there is plenty of testing left to be done to determine whether or not it can be applied to commercial solar power products. These findings were recently published in RSC Advances which is a journal of the Royal Society Of Chemistry. Professor Chih-Hung Chan of Oregon State University was quoted as saying “this approach should work and is very environmentally conscious”. The work itself is based on the use of continuous flow micro-reactors that produced nano particle inks which in turn generate solar cells by printing. In this process simulated sunlight was focused on micro reactors that were rapidly heated. Researchers had precise control of temperatures to aid the quality of the finished product. Although this breakthrough was a result of utilizing artificial light the same researchers believe that the same effect can be achieved using direct sunlight at just a fraction of the cost.

While solar technology is always changing and evolving there are moments where it does so by leaps and bounds. This is one such moment and should further research demonstrate this breakthrough to be applicable to consumer solar power we can all expect big changes and more affordable solar power down the line.

Source: Science Daily

22 Jul 2015
Keep Solar Panels Clean

3 Reasons To Keep Solar Panels Clean

So excited are individuals who have solar power systems installed at their homes and places of business that they often forget to consider the cleaning of their solar panels. Not right away mind you but over time and rather quickly solar panels become dirty and when the cleanliness of solar panels is neglected there are a number of detrimental side effects that homeowners will see. Homeowners need to have their solar panels cleaned regularly by professionals in order to keep them functioning at optimum levels and to ensure their longevity.

The first and perhaps most important reason home and business owner should have their solar panels cleaned is to ensure that those panels and the systems they are attached to continue producing usable energy efficiently. Though the effects may not be noticeable right off the bat, the moment solar panels are installed they begin collecting dust and dirt. As dirt, dust, calcium, and debris all collect on top of solar panels their ability to collect and convert sunlight into usable electricity diminishes at a slow but steady rate. Homes and businesses that exist in environments/climates where debris is plentiful and sunshine is minimal are affected even more by dirty solar panels.

Modern solar panels aren’t as gaudy nor as bulky as their cousins of yesteryear but they still take up considerable real estate on and around homes and places of business. As such home and business owners often keep their solar panels clean in order to keep them looking good, professional, and tended to. Solar panels that are left neglected can easily become an eyesore and distract from more important parts of a home and/or place of business.

The third reason people have for cleaning their solar panels is the avoidance of damage and/or the need for repair and replacement solar panels. While it may not seem that precipitation, dust, and dirt can damage solar panels, over time these things can actually erode the protective coatings and film on top of solar panels and can be conducive to mold growth, bird nests, and even collections of insects and bugs. All of these things can have negative long-term effects on solar panels. The cost associated with cleaning solar panels are far more affordable than are replacement solar panels and repair services.

Whatever reason and individual may have for wanting to clean their solar panels it’s important to move forward with regularly scheduled cleanings. After paying an exorbitant amount of money for their solar power systems it would only make sense that such persons would want to keep the solar panels looking good and in good working order.

30 Jun 2015

More Solar Fun Facts

SolarGem loves educating its clients as well as its prospective clients. In educating our clients we not only go to great lengths to ensure they understand how solar panels work but we also place an emphasis on the very thing that gave birth to solar panels, the sun. That big bright star in the sky is part of what enables life to exist on the Earth and it produces more energy in a few seconds than any human could utilize in their entire lifetime. Here’s a few more solar facts that are simple yet fun and useful.

Some people look up at the sun and don’t think of it as a star. The sun is a star and is but one of billions in our Milky Way galaxy. While all stars are comprised of similar elements stars come in a wide variety of sizes, weights, colors, and temperatures.

Our sun may look yellow, orange, or red when viewed from Earth. In reality however the sun is a “yellow” dwarf which emits mostly white light. It is the Earth’s atmosphere that gives our eyes the illusion of a differently colored sun.

When we see other stars in the night sky they appear white, small, and twinkle only because of our distance from them and the blurring effect of Earth’s atmosphere. In reality the vast majority of stars we see at night time are stars much larger than our own and are often red, blue, or yellow. The vast majority of stars however cannot be seen without the aid of a telescope as they are much smaller and cooler than our sun. The stars are known as red dwarfs.

The solar system is comprised of eight planets, several dwarf planets, and a multitude of comets and asteroids. Although there are likely trillions of objects orbiting our sun all of these objects, the planets included, still only make up 1% of the entire solar system. The sun comprises the other 99%.

Unbeknownst to many individuals the sun actually has a name. The name “Sol” is derived from Latin and is used in many different countries and sometimes by scientists who’ve grown tired of referring to it as “the sun”.

Although our sun is a considered a dwarf star it is still unimaginably large. So large is the sun in fact that if you could fit 1 million earths inside of it you’d still have room left over for more. For a greater perspective try to remember that the sun is nearly 865,000 miles wide.

Though the sun looks to be a large ball of fire from our vantage point here on earth, our host star actually contains no fire whatsoever. In reality the sun is comprised of hot burning gas. So why is this gas so hot? The suns heat is generated by atoms that are fused together into heavier elements. It is the release of energy during this atomic fusion that gives the sun its heat in the earth it’s light.


(Photo credit goes to