POCO Solar Blog

Can you install solar on an Eichler roof? by Guest Blogger Matt at ChoiceRoofs.com

 

What is an Eichler home? Eichler homes were mass designed and built in California starting from the 1950s, after the World War II, and continuing into the 60s and 70s. The man behind them was a real estate developer Joseph Eichler. He was an advocate of modern architecture and efficient building with minimal costs. He wanted to bring modernism in architecture to the masses, and make it available and affordable to everyone. He was also among the first to employ architects as well as to introduce concepts such as urban or neighborhood planning.

His homes were examples of modernist architecture, which he was striving to bring to the general public. He insisted on making his homes affordable to anyone and that’s why he urged his architects to reduce the materials and construction costs as much as they could without taking away the quality of it. He drew his inspiration from Frank Lloyd Right and his clean lines, the use of natural light, and many modern architectural ideas.

Eichler played with the concept of “bringing the outside in,” so he made floor-to-ceiling walls and windows in his houses, with the goal of using as much natural light as possible, had open floor plans with atriums, incorporated a post-and-beam construction style. Most utilized radiant heating, plywood siding, and flat of low slope roofs and no attics.

Solar on an Eichler roof? When it comes to the roofs of Eichler homes, they can be made of all kinds of different material, depending on the owner’s preferences and possibilities. The problem is that they are originally not very well insulated nor energy efficient. The insulation under them is very thin, so many Eichler homeowners decide on upgrading and modernizing them with foam insulation, which helps with the energy and cost savings.

A step further in energy efficient living is to consider solar energy and solar roof possibilities. To answer the question – yes, it is possible to have a solar Eichler roof. But there are some important things to consider and to prepare for in the process. Installing solar on an Eichler roof is a possible but a complicated job to take on.

First thing to consider is the wiring. With Eichler, nearly all electrical wiring is on the roof, and possibly some of the plumbing. So whether you are insulating, re-roofing, upgrading your roof or installing solar panels, keep in mind that you might come across some wiring. You should, of course, consult with experts and try to find those that have experience with flat roofs and installing solar panels on them.

Flat, Eichler roofs, on the other hand, can be ideal for solar panels for a number of reasons. First of all, since it is a flat, and not a sloped roof, the whole process of installation is much easier for the workers. They can move around freely and more easily, and it is less dangerous. Second of all, it is easier to install them because they don’t have to hang, so to speak, as on sloped roofs. Last but not least, you don’t have to worry about the direction your house is facing. Since the roof is flat, the panels can easily be installed to face whichever direction in order to collect the sunlight most efficiently and for a long period of time.

 

Article By Matt @ Choice Roofs



POCO Solar Blog

Amazing Facts About Solar Power by Guest Blogger Rubela!

Solar panels are basically assembled by joining together solar or photovoltaic cells that capture the energy of the sun. It is through these photovoltaic cells that light energy gets converted into electricity with the help of an electrical device. Solar power is truly the fuel of the future as it is clean, green and also abundant, unlike the fossil fuels that we are consuming at an alarming rate! Meanwhile, here are some amazing facts about solar panels:

  • Solar panels are advantageous as they can bring electricity is even the most remote of places, where it is difficult to get electrical wiring done. The interiors of Australia would hugely benefit out of this as solar panels require minimum maintenance and only require a back-up generator and batteries to function.
  • Solar energy, despite having a promising future, is still quite expensive and requires a considerable amount of initial investment – although the long term benefits pay off those expenses.
  • Solar energy has been used since times immemorial, and a British scientist by the name of John Herschel had already invented his version of the solar cooker some two hundred years ago!
  • Albert Einstein won a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his experiments on photovoltaic power that included solar power.
  • If you make photovoltaic cells out of silicon found in one ton of sand, then it has the capacity to produce as much electricity as that produced by burning 500,000 tons of coal!
  • California gets abundant daylight and many cities can actually cater to all its daily electricity requirements by installing solar panels over all school and Government building rooftops alone!
  • Germany generates solar energy during the parts of the day when it is sunny and then it stores in batteries in order to consume it during cloudy days.
  • During the year 2009, ten thousand homes in the US disconnected themselves from the grid and used solar power for their electricity needs. These homes even managed to sell the excess.
  • Solar energy has a great potential and it is also becoming affordable these days, which has increased its popularity even more. With new and innovative technologies giving rise to sophisticated and efficient solar panels, there is a worldwide interest to exploit this renewable energy source. There are many parts of the world that are arid and receive maximum sunlight throughout the year, and therefore if solar panels are installed in such places, we might end up tapping solar energy in an optimal way! By installing solar panels in our homes at an individual level, not only do we adopt an eco-friendly way of generating electricity, but we also end up reducing the household expenditure towards electricity – which is an added benefit too!



    POCO Solar Blog

    Good for the Earth and Saves You Money – Solar Electricity Guest Blogger

    Today’s green guest blogger is Charlie Burrows with an article about one very big benefit of doing your part. It not only is good for the environment and conserving energy and resources, solar directly saves you money and in a lot of cases your investment in solar can even give you immediate positive cash flow.

    “Solar PV Systems: If they are good for the Earth and they save you money, why not?”

    Solar energy. As soon as the phrase is uttered or mentioned you can guarantee there will be at least one person (at least where I live) that rolls their eyes or “tuts” it away as some magical myth that hippies and Green Peace and earth-friendly veterans have made up to stop us from using those nasty carbon dioxide emitting devices we all use. Well, admittedly it was probably worse a few years ago than it is now but the stigma still lingers around solar power and incredibly it is still not being taken seriously. As a fairly logical and straight forward thinking individual I am inclined to look at things with an icy cold clarity, pondering the ultimate question: How much will it cost and will it save me money?

    The answer to the latter part of the question is yes of course it is going to save you money. No matter what you may think of “hippies” or Green Peace or anyone that favors solar panel technology (myself included), I think it’s safe to say we are not stupid and without logical thought. This technology was introduced as an alternative method for generating energy but in a more eco-friendly way. It has succeeded and not only that but it does save money in the long run. Like with anything, there is an initial output of cost but even this is not astronomical and the benefits easily outweigh installation costs. These include:

  • Electric bills being reduced (we all like this one)
  • You are reducing your Carbon footprint as your shiny new system is not emitting any harmful CO2 to the atmosphere. For a standard system it could save over 30 tonnes of CO2 during its lifespan. That is an enormous amount even as a general estimated figure.
  • If you sell your property you can command a higher price due to your existing installation.
  • Some figures show you can actually get a better rate of return by investing in a Solar PV system than by using a bank account or ISA.
  • You are not relying on a limited resource in order to run your system and sunlight will always be available.
  • The list could go on there really are that many positives to installing Solar Panel technology. The Feed in Tariff is ever changing it seems, with the Government assessing costs etc. but you can also make money by selling unused energy back to the grid if you have a surplus amount you don’t use.

    Normally I am the first to be skeptical about new technology or anything that has an all-singing, all-dancing list of benefits but let’s face it, solar pv installers and various systems have been available for a while now and the gradual popularity of them can be seen across the country and indeed, across other countries but still this stigma persists of it being something that is “not real” or “not as good as they say it is”.

    So again I ask, why shouldn’t we be investing in what is a clearly productive, cost-effective and eco-friendly scheme that saves money and contributes to the world we live in? It’s a no-brainer.



    POCO Solar Blog

    Talking Solar on a Rainy Day in the South County

    On a cloudy Friday morning, the sun was barely peeking through from above California shinning upon the neighborhoods on this rainy day in Gilroy, CA. Doctor Bernardo S., a resident of Gilroy California for five years, chose to harness the sun’s energy by installing solar panels through Poco Solar Energy, and has been reaping the benefits.

    Since installing solar panels he has been a pleased customer. “My experience with POCO was very good,” said Bernardo S.. Poco Solar Energy designs and chooses products that produce more power per panel to optimize and maximize the saving of a solar installation. “A Poco Solar representative came out, and explained the system to me who was very informative from beginning to end.” said Mr. Saulo.

    Before Bernardo contacted Poco Solar, he used to gas to heat up his pool, but after the first month and getting the PG&E bill, he looked for other alternatives. Poco Solar installed two types of solar panels on his house. He has a FAFCO system that circulates the water in Mr. Saulo’s pool to uphold an enjoyable temp all season long, and a SunPower array to powering up the lights and all other electronics inside his home. Both panels are located on the roof of his home but, “They look pretty cool” said one of his neighbors that was walking to the park across from his home.

    Overall Poco Solar delivered on their promises to Bernardo Saulo. His PG-E bill has dramatically been reduced, while running efficiently to his satisfaction. While we were their Mr. Saul PG-E meter was “running backward” and building up credits even though it was cloudy and about to rain. Bernardo Saulo is expecting to have a return investment in a short period time. He has recommend Poco Solar Energy INC to his closets friends believing that, “in five years the panels will still be worth just as much and providing me with an investment return,” said Mr. Saulo.