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08 Dec 2015
Solar Powered Car

Solar Powered Cars Of Today And Tomorrow

While you won’t find them on the streets or the freeways of today, solar cars have existed for roughly 20 years or so. Although the technology surrounding solar power has advanced dramatically whereas homes and commercial structures are concerned the technology is still somewhat impractical for regular vehicular travel. That’s not to say that solar powered cars aren’t functional but the amount of power that must be generated in order to meet the power needs of today’s cars is difficult to generate on such a small body and in order to utilize many photovoltaic cells as possible, makers of solar cars often build vehicles that are only capable of carrying one or two persons.

Although they aren’t commonplace on today’s streets and highways the solar power cars of tomorrow will feature an increased amount of solar technology. At some point in the not-too-distant future cars will operate entirely on solar energy and will be more than capable of generating power needed to not only run a car’s engine but address internal power needs such as air-conditioning, movie and audio playback, among other things.

Modern solar vehicles, although not extremely powerful, run efficiently when the sun shines brightly though they tend to run into problems on cloudy days and during the night. Recently scientists working with solar technologies and those who build solar vehicles have been experimenting with battery backups similar to the ones used in houses and places of business. These batteries essentially store gathered sunshine and convert it into electricity only when needed. These batteries are composed mainly of nickel-metal hybrids though they sometimes are made from lithium-ion and lithium polymers. Solar powered cars require these special types of batteries because the lead acid batteries found in more traditional cars are far too heavy.

Modern solar powered vehicles are all about efficiency and to reduce the amount of power needed to operate these vehicles the majority of solar powered cars currently only utilize three wheels. Three wheeled solar powered cars typically operate in the range of 80 to 170 volts. In addition to utilizing specialized batteries and just three wheels solar powered cars are designed to collect power when they are not in use. This collection never ceases and helps these breakthrough vehicles gather enough power for their next trip. With efficiency being the goal and power consumption a big concern, don’t expect to find things like iPods, DVD or Blu-Ray players, or any other modern amenities in solar powered cars. Until technology advances to point where power can be gathered and converted at a higher rate these things will be relegated only to more traditional vehicles.

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Although solar powered cars are not practical for everyday use there are several types of vehicles that utilize photovoltaic panels rather well and do their job efficiently. One such example is golf carts. Many modern golf carts utilize solar panels to carry golfers from one hole to the next. While golfers are busy playing the game these golf carts are continuously collecting and converting sunlight to energy for their next trip. Solar panels work well on golf carts because they’re not driving for long distances and the long periods of rest they in between holes gives them time to charge up.

So when exactly will solar power be of practical use for everyday vehicles? That question is a difficult one to answer though we can confidently say that over the next decade or two solar power technologies will change so much and advance so rapidly that it’s hard not to imagine people driving solar powered cars to work, to school, and to the grocery store. How exactly solar power will be utilized in cars of the future is impossible to predict though the technology and its usage will become far more efficient than it is today.

06 Nov 2015

Learn Facts About Our Sun


Let’s face it, without the Sun there would not only not be human life on Earth but there would be no solar power either. The Sun is the central figure in our solar system and the source of all light and heat billions of miles outward. The Sun is an exciting and massive ball of gas that is studied intensely by scientists and we’ve learned a great deal about our host star over the last couple of decades. Here are a few fun facts related to the Sun.


Looking up into the sky one can easily determine that the Sun is much larger than the Earth. Figuring out how much larger however can be difficult for the layperson. To put things in perspective size wise, try to remember that if it were possible to do so one could place over 1 million Earth’s inside of the Sun and still have room left over. When trying to determine just how much larger the Sun is than the Earth it’s also important to remember that Sun’s surface area is nearly 12,000 times that of the Earth’s.


When looking up at the Sun one also thinks of how old our star is and just how long it will “burn”. In truth the Sun isn’t burning anything at all but rather fusing atoms together and in the process creating heavier elements through nuclear fusion. That said the Sun will eventually run out of hydrogen which it’s converting now. Once that happens it will begin fusing helium into even heavier elements like carbon and oxygen. Once the Sun has converted all of it’s hydrogen into helium the Sun’s outer layers will both cool and expand a great deal. As these the outer layers of the Sun grow our star will eventually consume Mercury, Venus, and even Earth. This is known as the red giant phase in the life of a star like our own. This phase follows the main sequence phase of all stars and in a star like the Sun this phase will last for millions of years.


So what happens at the end of the Sun’s red giant phase? Our star is a yellow dwarf and therefore does not have the mass necessary to explode as a supernova. Instead near the end of its red giant phase the Sun will begin pulsating and shed its outer layers off into space creating a planetary nebula. One can look into the night sky with a telescope or even strong binoculars and view planetary nebula like the crab nebula or the cats eye nebula to get a good idea of what the Sun’s nebula will look like it approximately 7 to 8 million years. Once the Sun has shed its outer layers only the core of our star will remain. This core is known as a white dwarf and will steadily cool over billions of years eventually becoming a black dwarf, a very heavy and dark solar remnant.


The Sun certainly looks round to the unaided eye and it actually is very close to a perfect sphere, unlike the Earth which is an oblate spheroid. Some stars bulge get their center and some are egg shaped but our Sun is the closest thing to a perfect sphere we have observed in space. In fact there’s only a 10 km difference in its polar diameter when compared to its equatorial diameter.


Many people are shocked to learn that the light we see is actually eight minutes old. The Sun is, on average, roughly 93,000,000 miles away from the Earth and it takes like eight minutes to travel from its surface to our planet. This means you’re seeing the Sun as it was eight minutes ago and this should help put distances in space and perspective. Nothing travels faster than light which moves at about 186,000 miles per second which from our perspective is a great distance though for light its a hop skip and a jump.


Most of us know that the moon revolves around the Earth and that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Few people however are aware that the Sun actually orbits something as well. The Sun and our entire solar system orbits the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy every 225 to 250 million years. Our Sun and all the planets are moving around the galaxy at an incredible 485,912 miles per hour.

(Photo credit goes to

24 Oct 2015

SolarGem Launches Made in America Campaign

In today’s business world many business owners and managers look to buy cheap and sell high. This is especially true of those who own solar power companies. At SolarGem however the company prides itself on delivering solar products that are made in America and never outsources any of its work. Whether you’re buying solar panels or some other solar components from the company and/or you’re having their talented staff install a new solar power system you can be certain that all work and products are being handled by people within the United States. While there are many owners of solar power companies who believe outsourcing products and services keeps costs low, SolarGem keeps everything in-house while managing to keep things affordable and satisfy its customers.

One need only visit SolarGem’s website at to see just how dedicated the company is delivering products and services that are made in the USA. In fact by digging a little deeper into their website one will easily see how this approach to business has helped build and maintain their decades long success. Serving both Orange and Riverside counties, SolarGem not only provides products and services that are made in the USA but aims to build a solid rapport with each and every client they work with. The company is not content than just selling products and services but rather strives to treat customers as family.

SolgarGem owner Joe Johnson had this to say when asked about his company’s approach to solar power. “Only the highest quality solar panels and systems are capable of meeting the needs and high demands of modern households and businesses. SolarGem has just one goal and that goal being the sale and installation of quality solar products that people can trust and have confidence in.”

Solar energy is a renewable and more recently an affordable type of power that helps homeowners and businesses cut the costs associated with power consumption. It is also an extremely environmentally friendly type of power that generates electricity for homes and commercial structures without leaving any pollution behind.


SolarGem is an Orange County based solar power company dedicated to providing residents all over Southern California with unbeatable American-made solar products alongside unmatched customer service and care. By refusing to outsource any of their work or purchase products from other countries, SolarGem ensures both quality and customer satisfaction.

11 Oct 2015
Leading By Example Solar Power

Leading By Example: Solar Power

Reliance on fossil fuels is slowly becoming a thing of the past. While in years past the move away from fossil fuels was much slower modern technologies such as solar power are making that move easier and faster for all involved. While the technology and benefits surrounding solar power are certainly attractive many of its adopters utilize it in order to lead by example. Solar power is no longer something that only the wealthy can afford nor is it something that only “hippies” want to use. The truth of the matter is that solar power is being adopted by homeowners who want to demonstrate that solar power can not only save homeowners money but allow them to do something good for the environment as well. Utilizing solar power also helps preserve natural resources.

Homeowners who elect to have a modern solar power installed at their home will enjoy a multitude of benefits. These benefits include going green, reduction of their monthly energy costs, and immediate and often very valuable rebates. In fact there are very substantial financial rebates for any California homeowner who has a solar power system installed at their home. While there is certainly some paperwork for homeowners to complete prior to receiving the state rebates, many solar power contractors get that process started and/or help homeowners fill out the paperwork quickly. In some cases the state will front a portion or the cost of installation in order to put solar power in the hands of homeowners. Stored and unused solar power can often be sold back to local power companies as well.

Of course the most popular reason for adopting solar power, at least amongst homeowners, is the reduction of their monthly energy costs and consumption. The amount of money a homeowner and his/her family saves by utilizing solar power depends largely on the type of system they have installed. Obviously the more expensive and elaborate a system is the more energy it can collect, convert, and store for use but even the most modest of modern solar power systems will help homeowners reduce their monthly electric bills dramatically. Modern families utilize a large variety of different electrical appliances ranging from old standards like a washer and dryer to more modern ones such as computers, large television sets, and mobile devices. Solar power allows homeowners and their families to utilize these appliances regularly without the fear of having to pay an exorbitant sum for doing so at the end of the month.

If there’s any downside to having a solar power system installed at a home it has to be the initial purchasing and installation costs. While the rapid advancements in and rising popularity of the technology have helped drive costs way down in recent years these initial costs can often disuade some homeowners, even those with deep pockets. Homeowners need to keep in mind however that despite its sometimes high initial costs, solar power systems begin paying for themselves immediately. Not only by reducing energy costs but by way of rebates and tax breaks as well. Homeowners should also remember to find out if they qualify for financing that will cover the initial costs of set up. The initial costs associated with producing and installing a solar power system may seem steep to homeowners but keeping in mind all of the aforementioned things the purchase of a solar power system should be more than justified.

20 Sep 2015

Solar Power: What to Expect

Solar Power: What to ExpectIt is interesting to note that eighty five percent of all solar power systems in the United States are installed within the borders of California. There were many reasons California has seen such tremendous interest and growth with regards solar power though perhaps none are more prevalent than the many benefits that come along with having a solar power system installed there. More so than any other state, California offers both home and business owners a number of tax benefits and rebates to those who elect to have solar power installed at their home or place of business. Furthermore and in many cases the state of California can assist in covering as much as 40% of the initial costs associated with solar power installation.

In addition to being one of the largest pro-solar power states in the entire Union, California has one of the largest environmentally friendly and conscious populations. More so than any other state a large portion of California’s residents and business owners want to take advantage of solar power not so much for the financial benefits associated with it but rather to help reduce their carbon footprint and to do something friendly for the planet. This fact alone is thought by some to be the primary driving force behind the sharp rise in solar power popularity within the state.

Home and business owners in California who elect to move forward with a solar power purchase will begin the process by searching for a reliable and trusted solar power vendor as well as installation experts. In many cases those that make solar power systems available are also installation experts and can address all of an individuals solar power needs. After a consultation with a solar power expert an individual can expect to receive a visit from a representative of the company they been speaking with. This representative will carefully inspect their home or place of business to determine exactly where solar panels need to be placed for maximum efficiency and aesthetic purposes. Individuals can also expect the professionals they are dealing with to go over their current energy bills and compare them with their forecasted bills in order to help them understand exactly how much they will be saving. Once the consultation, bill review, and visit have all been completed the solar power experts an individual has selected will help them obtain and submit building permits as well as the paperwork necessary for tax credits and rebates. They will also likely go over any warranties that are included in a solar power system that they’ve either sold and/or are installing.

As with anything in life there are pros and cons to solar power, though the pros far outweigh the cons especially when you consider how rapid the technology surrounding solar power has advanced. Home and business owners that utilize solar panels will consume far less fuel than they ever have, will receive state tax breaks and rebates, may receive financial assistance to help them cover the cost of installation, and will be doing something fantastic for the environment. The only real cons attached to solar power these days are the initial cost of installation and just how effective solar panels are for homes and commercial structures that reside in climates that don’t see the sun very often. The decision to have solar panels installed at home or place of business usually isn’t a difficult one to make though the aforementioned things need to be considered and evaluated before any final decision is made.

01 Sep 2015

Solar Power Advancements And Effectiveness

Solar Power Advancements And EffectivenessThe technologies utilized in solar power systems have changed tremendously since the 1950’s. In fact so efficient are modern solar power systems that they are nearly 4 to 5 times more powerful than their predecessors of yesteryear. What this essentially means is that home and business owners can have solar power implemented at either their residence or place of business and save more money than ever before on energy consumption. Moreover the solar power systems found in years and decades past didn’t always generate 100% of a businesses or residences power needs though these days even the most modest solar power systems are capable of achieving his feet.

The popularity of solar power is soaring thanks to the aforementioned advances in solar technology and in part because of the rapid technological enhancements have helped drive costs down. With so much focus placed on the ability to be energy independent and keeping consumption costs low, it’s very common for individuals to overlook several other facts about solar technologies. Unbeknownst to many home and business owners the state of California as well as the United States federal government offer financial incentives to those who elect to have solar power systems installed. In some cases up to 40% of the initial cost of the system and installation is covered by these incentives. Home and business owners also frequently overlook the significant increase in property value is solar power systems carry with them. Any home or place of business that utilizes solar power rises in value dramatically very quickly.

Again, with so much focus placed on solar power saving individuals money and allowing them to be environmentally conscious it’s easy to forget exactly what solar power does for homes and/or places of business. Even the most inexpensive solar power systems these days can address the high demand for power that are found in modern offices and homes. Whether it’s heating, air conditioning, lighting, computing, or refrigeration solar power systems can handle the heavy workloads of modern appliances and technological devices.

While remaining excited about saving money on energy consumption and remembering what solar power can do for home or place of business it’s time to talk installation. Installation of solar power systems, including panels, is generally handled by professionals as the job requires not only a knowledge of how solar power works but precise measurements and knowledge of special equipment. Fortunately home and business owners will often find that their preferred solar vendor also offers affordable installation services. Generally speaking once installation is scheduled the job is completed within a matter of hours, at least whereas homes are concerned. Installing solar power into commercial structures however may require more time should a building be particularly large or have unusually high energy requirements.

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