Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Solar Energy Works

If you’re wondering how solar energy works, you’re not alone. Although many of us have seen solar panels, it’s hard to picture the mechanics. In short:

Photovoltaic solar energy uses layers of semiconductors that form an electric voltage when struck by photons from sunlight. Then, the voltage created can be used to power utilities and appliances.

But, for those who want the in’s and out’s, let’s take a deeper look at solar energy and how it works below.

Types of Solar Energy

Although photovoltaic solar energy is the one most people are familiar with, there are three major solar power types. Each one works a little differently and is appropriate for different applications (1).

As we keep finding new ways to use energy from the sun, the benefits of using solar energy will only increase.

Solar Heating and Cooling

Rather than sunlight, solar heating and cooling systems use the sun’s heat to generate energy, heating or cooling air and water as needed.

We can use these technologies in homes and commercial applications to:

  • Provide hot water
  • Provide space heating
  • Provide space cooling
  • Heat swimming pools

There are several types of solar heating and cooling technologies, all of which utilize thermal energy from the sun (2).

Concentrating Thermal Solar Power

Concentrating Thermal Solar Power is a form of solar energy generally only used in large-scale power plants (3). The Solar Energy Development Development Programmatic EIS explains it like this:

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies use mirrors to concentrate (focus) the sun’s light energy and convert it into heat to create steam to drive a turbine that generates electrical power.

In addition, solar ovens use a form of this technology. However, they use CSP to cook delicious meals, and not to power a turbine.

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Photovoltaic, or PV, solar energy is the one most of us are familiar with. When you see solar panels on a rooftop, you’re looking at a PV system (5).

Each solar panel contains between 32 and 96 photovoltaic solar cells.

Because PV solar energy is the one most used for residential applications, it’s the one most of us are interested in. Let’s dive deeper into this amazing energy technology and how solar cells work.

How Photovoltaic Solar Cells Work

As mentioned above, solar panels contain solar cells, which do the work of converting the sun’s light into usable energy using the photovoltaic effect.

The Parts of a Solar Cell

To fully understand how solar energy works, it’s important to know the layers of a solar cell from the top to the bottom:

  • Protective glass
  • Conductive contacts
  • N-type semiconductor (usually silicon): in which electrons are negatively charged
  • P-type semiconductor (usually silicon): which is positively charged
  • N-P junction: which bridges the negative and positively charged layers
  • Conductive base

There are several types of solar cells, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, to name a few. They all share a similar structure which allows them to take advantage of the photovoltaic effect (6).

Photovoltaic Effect Explained

To explain the photovoltaic effect, you first begin with semiconductors like silicon that can act as conductors or insulators, depending on the situation. 

Then, when positive and negative silicon layers are placed together, holes in the p-type silicon and electrons in the n-type create an electric field, preventing them from moving between the layers.

Next, when photons from sunlight strike the silicon layers, it disrupts the materials’ chemical bonds, creating free electrons in both layers. From there, these free electrons can cross from one layer to the other.

Ultimately, it’s easier for electrons to cross on one side or the other, giving one side a negative charge (or voltage) and the other a positive one. Then, the electrons keep circling in this one-directional (or DC) current as long as they’re exposed to sunlight (7).

To help all this sink in, here’s a great visual from Learn Engineering that further explains the process above:

How Solar Energy Integrates With Your Home

One of the many reasons why solar energy is important is that it can integrate directly with your home.

Solar panel systems create DC energy, and since your home uses AC energy, something must transform the voltage before you can use it. Therefore, the first stop for energy created by your solar panels is the inverter, which transforms DC voltage into AC voltage.

An inverter is one of the most important components of a solar panel system since, without it, the energy created would be useless.

So, how do inverters work?

DC (direct current) energy only flows in one direction, and AC (alternating current) energy flows in both directions (8). puts it like this:

Fundamentally, an inverter accomplishes the DC-to-AC conversion by switching the direction of a DC input back and forth very rapidly. As a result, a DC input becomes an AC output.

Then, once your inverter transforms the energy into AC electricity, the energy is sent to your home’s electric panel so you can use it to power your home.

Finally, to make things easier, you have the option to add stand alone solar products like solar powered floodlights that run independently of your home’s power grid. At the end of the day, it’s never been easier to integrate solar energy into your home.


No, solar energy doesn’t necessarily work better when it’s hot. Solar energy works better when there’s more sunlight, so its important not to confuse the two. If it’s a hot day, but it’s cloudy outside, your panels may not receive the same amount of energy then if it was a bit cooler of a day, but clear out.

Yes, solar energy works when it’s cloudy; they’re just not quite as efficient as when exposed to bright sunlight. While many home solar systems will provide plenty of energy despite small variations in weather like cloudiness, this is one of the few disadvantages of solar power.

No, solar panels technically don’t work at night. Reason being, they need sunlight in order to produce any energy, and as you know, the sun goes down during the nighttime. Although, if you have a solar system with extra battery reserves and the sun was out during the day, you can still receive grid free power at night.

  1. Solar Technologies. Retrieved from:
  2. Solar Heating and Cooling Technologies. Retrieved from:
  3. Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power. Retrieved from:
  4. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Technologies. Retrieved from:
  5. Solar Power Panel: Assembly of Solar Cells That Can Generate 230 to 275 Watts of Power. Retrieved from:
  6. Photovoltaic Effect. Retrieved from:
  7. Photovoltaic Effect. Retrieved from:
  8. Solar Integration: Inverters and Grid Services Basics. Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels typically last about 20-30 years, including at least one swap of their inverter, which needs replacement every 10-15 years. 

There are a few different factors that can contribute to your solar panel’s wear and tear. Below you’ll find some of the most important things to know about a solar panel’s lifespan and how to answer the question “How long do solar panels last?” fully.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last on Average?

Most solar panels available on today’s market typically last between 20-30 years (1). The inverter mainly drives solar panels (also known as “photovoltaic, or PV, panels”). This is a component of the PV system that converts the sun’s rays into an alternating current, preparing it for use by the U.S. electric grid. 

The inverter consists of several pieces, including:

  • Active switches
  • Passive filters
  • Thermal management mechanisms
  • Weather-resistant packaging

All these elements are degradable. Once the inverter and its parts wear down past a certain point, it requires more repair and replacement than it’s worth. At this point, it’s more environmentally and economically responsible for replacing the panel altogether. 

So when you ask yourself, “How long do solar panels last on average?” puts it like this:

Solar panels on the market today can last for 20-30 years and now it’s time for their power electronics counterparts to evolve to help PV systems last even longer.

However, not all solar panels are of the same quality, so this range may change depending on your panel’s make and model and whether it’s been damaged or not. Knowing the average degradation rate for most solar panels can also help form your expectations for when you might need to look into a replacement for your energy system.

How Fast Do Solar Panels Degrade?

According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study, the average solar panel’s performance weakens by about 0.5% annually (2). Their work revealed that the famous “1% rule” of annual solar panel wear was significantly low and underestimated the technology’s longevity. 

Most people assume that solar panels degrade at 1% per year. This is an overestimation.

While this may have been the case for panels made several years in the past, the engineering has improved over the years and extended most panels’ longevity. Plus, the rate at which they break down depends on the material. 

For example, most commercial and residential solar panels use monocrystalline silicon, similarly to a typical 100-watt solar panel you’ll find for home use. Before 2000, these types would degrade at about 0.5%. As manufacturing techniques improved post-2000, this rate fell to 0.4%. puts it like this:

A panel manufactured today should produce 92% of its original power after 20 years, quite a bit higher than the 80% estimated by the 1% rule.

That said, other products like solar attic fans can keep up with this timeline, especially when installed by a professional. This also stands true for other solar household necessities like solar pool heating systems (lasting about 20-25 years normally). In fact, here are a few more examples of the dramatically improved lifespans for various solar home goods:

  • Solar-powered waste compacting bin: 3-4 weeks, since it runs on a battery that is charged by the solar panel
  • Solar furnace or water heating system: 20 years (significantly longer than gas or electric system)
  • Solar pump: 2-4 years

Remember that another crucial factor in determining how long do solar panels really last is the environmental conditions in which it operates. 

Those exposed to more extreme conditions, such as exceedingly high UV exposure levels or heavy snowfall, will fall in quality much more quickly than a panel installed in a moderate climate. For instance, panels in the most moderate regions of the U.S. have been known to degrade at only 0.2% per year.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need to be Replaced?

The next step in answering our query, “How long do solar panels last?” starts with looking at their power generation performance.

To ensure optimal performance, you should replace solar panels as soon as their efficiency falls below an acceptable rate. For ballpark numbers to look for, you can think about it like this:

Solar panels should be replaced once they drop below 80% efficiency. Most manufacturers estimate this to be about 25 years.

Still, how do you know when your solar panel needs replacement or has fallen below the target efficiency level? Here are some things to look out for:

  • Voltage and output: Any readings that are 20%+ lower than the promised output is a sign that the panel is wearing down. 
  • Physical condition: If your panel was damaged by blunt trauma or a severe weather event, you might want to consider extensive repairs or getting it replaced. 
  • Mechanical components: As you learned, solar panels contain several different parts to gather and convert the sun’s energy. If pieces like the inverter, wiring, or battery start to wear, the entire system is compromised and won’t work efficiently. 

Remember to look for solar panels that come with at least a 20-25 year warranty. Also, make sure they’re built with durable materials to get the most out of your system with minimal maintenance. For example, Sun Power offers a 25 year warranty on their panels, and they’re flexible to the elements:

Ultimately, the advances in solar technology continue to increase their lifespan’s at a speed no one could have imagined just a few years ago.


The clearest sign that your solar panels are going bad is if their output falls significantly far below the manufacturer’s listed standards. Specifically, if it’s more than 20% below what the maker guaranteed, it’s time to get a new panel.

The most common issue with solar panels after 25 years is that the inverter and its functioning pieces begin to break down. This prevents the necessary conversion of solar energy to usable energy for the grid, ultimately costing you power.

A solar inverter should last around 10-15 years and be replaced at least once during your panel’s lifetime. When the solar inverter and its components degrade over time, the replacement or repair becomes more expensive getting a new inverter that performs with more efficiency is the better investment.

  1. Extending solar energy system lifetime with power electronics.
  2. What is the lifespan of a solar panel? by TomLombardo.

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Understanding The 100 Watt Solar Panel

you’re an RV owner, an avid camper, or a conservationist, solar energy is an excellent option to power your electricity needs.

100-watt solar panels are compact, moveable, and easy to find, making them great energy sources for camping, RV traveling, or cutting electricity bill costs. Here, we will explore all aspects of the 100-watt solar panel, so you know exactly what you’ll get if you purchase one.

100 Watt Solar Panel Cost

100-watt solar panels vary in cost because you can either purchase them as a singular product or by a solar panel kit which provides everything you need to install and connect the panels to a battery or your power source.

If you already have brackets, cables, and charge controllers, then you don’t need the kit and can pay significantly less for the panels alone. A 100-watt panel averages around $100, while a 100-watt solar panel kit costs $300 or more.

It’s important to note that many solar panels and kits are not of the same caliber. Remember to keep durability and efficiency in mind.

100 Watt Solar Panel Size

100-watt panels come in different sizes, influencing their harnessing capacity. Different brands design panels in varying sizes, each one proclaiming optimum efficiency. 

The standard dimensions for a 100-watt solar panel that you can expect are around 40 x 20 x 1.5 in.

100 Watt Solar Panel Power Capacity

100-watt solar panels are small and portable, which is incredibly convenient for camping trips and RV owners whose energy needs are significantly lower than an entire household. To help put this into perspective, the U.S. Department of Energy puts it like this:

A solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can reliably produce electricity for your home or office. These small or distributed solar systems are often installed by home or business owners to offset their electricity costs.

Taking that into account, let’s now answer address the big question of “What can a 100-watt solar panel power?” Ultimately, there are many factors involved in a 100-watt solar panel’s power capacity including:

  1. The size of your battery
  2. The energy each device you power requires
  3. The number of devices you want to power simultaneously

Generally speaking, you can think about the power capacity of a single 100 watt solar panel like this:

A 100 watt solar panel is best for powering small electronics rather than household appliances like microwaves, AC units, or refrigerators.

100 Watt Solar Panel Manufacturers

Various companies produce 100-watt solar panels, the most popular of which is Renogy, whose panels consistently rank as best sellers.

Again, companies manufacture panels and solar panel kits with varying designs that provide different degrees of efficiency, so it’s always advisable to read through customer reviews and manufacturer specs.

Our favorite manufacturers of 100-watt solar panels includes companies like Coleman, Eco-Worth, Newpowa, WindyNation, HQST, and Richsolar.

For my RV owners out there, you can find the Best Solar Kits for RVs Here with our list of curated manufacturers that we trust.

100 Watt Solar Panel Networks

If you want more wattage for your electrical needs, you can always buy multiple panels and link them together in a series. Logically, for every panel you add, you receive an additional 100-watts of power.

With 300-400 watts, you can effectively power larger appliances like Energy Star rated refrigerators. If you’re not sure of the exact power draw of your refrigerator you want to power, check out our full guide on how many solar panels you need power a refrigerator.

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Production

The solar energy production of a 100-watt solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight it harnesses, and consequently, the weather. The sunnier the climate, the more energy you will reap from your panels, considering how solar energy works. One hundred watts is the maximum amount of power you can harness, but it is hardly 100% achievable.

However, you don’t need 100% efficiency to generate a large amount of usable power. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, Space X, and many more innovative companies said it best when discussing the sun:

It just works. It shows up every day and produces ridiculous amounts of power.

That said, while the sun does its thing, there are ways to maximize your system’s efficiency including the accuracy of installation. You must ensure the panels point directly into the sun. Additionally, the sun produces varying amounts of energy throughout the day, with dawn and dusk making only a fraction of non-sun energy. (3)

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Storage

A watt is the measurement of energy output, and an amp is the measurement of electrical current. Watts are the product of multiplying voltage and current. An amp-hour is the electrical charge measurement in a battery, and a watt-hour measures energy consumed in one hour. 

It’s essential to know these measurements because you will want to pair a battery with a 100-watt solar panel to store energy, optimizing energy usage. To help all this sink in and better understand battery storage, check out this clever video by RFTechGuy C.A.D.:

With (x2) 100 watt solar kits, including (x4) 35amp batteries, he managed to take his coffee maker off the grid. Now that’s energy on demand!


No, you technically can not use a 100 watt solar panel without sunlight.

However, a battery will let you use power from the sun when it is no longer shining, which you couldn’t do if you relied solely on the panels for your power. When purchasing a battery, it needs to store twice as much energy as your panels can produce on any given day. 

We already know that, under optimal conditions, 100-watt solar panels produce 100 watts of power, but how many amps does a 100-watt solar panel produce?

A 100-watt solar panel can produce a maximum of 5.5 amps per hour (4). With this information, you can calculate the amount of time it will take to charge a battery of any given size.

The amount of time that you can use a a 100 watt solar panel to charge small electronics ranges, but generally speaking, for several hours to 24 hours under optimal battery conditions is fine.

Just remember to have a proper solar charge controller, and you’ll be able to charge smartphones, laptops, routers, lamps, and LEDs with a single 100-watt panel. For more solar tips to help you harness the sun’s natural energy, click or tap this for our homepage.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from:
  2. Tesla’s Elon Musk Lights Up Social Media With A TED Style Keynote. Retrieved from:
  3. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Much Does Solar Pool Heating Cost?

Heating a swimming pool can be costly, especially if you run thousands of gallons of water through a gas or electric heater. After spending around $3000 on a solar heater, the return on investment is substantial. 

But, the question is “How do you get there?”

Here we’ll breakdown all the costs you should expect with solar pool heating including upfront costs, installation costs, monthly costs, and FAQ to get the most out of your investment.

Upfront Costs 

The first step in answering the query, “How much does solar pool heating cost?” starts with knowing the upfront costs to expect.

Knowing how much pool solar heating costs helps you prepare your budget.

Solar heaters cost, on average, between $2000 and $4000.

The price depends on the size of your pool and the type of solar panels you purchase: glazed solar panels or propylene mats. 

You can save even more money if you buy a solar pool cover instead of purchasing solar panels or propylene mats. Solar pool covers range between $100 to $300, depending on their dimensions. Plus, you can install a solar pool cover yourself, like in this helpful video to minimize your upfront costs:

Alternatively, if you do choose to have a solar heating system installed, know that the panels are more durable than the mats. The panels and mats need pipes to run pool water through the heated system. The pool water can lose some heat as it passes through the pipes (1).

Solar panels have tempered glass in an aluminum frame. The panels collect the heat, and water moves between the glazed glass panels inside of copper pipes. Glazed solar panels are more expensive than propylene mats, and they heat water more effectively. states:

Glazed collector systems are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering, which increases their cost. In colder weather, glazed collector systems—with heat exchangers and transfer fluids—capture solar heat more efficiently than unglazed systems.

On the other hand, solar mats stretch across a roof, and PVC pipes hold the mats down and pass water through the lines. While slightly less effective, this method still works to warm your pool with a minimal impact on your energy bill.

Installation Costs

Pool solar panel installation costs between $3,000 and $4,000 on average and includes the system purchase (1). To find out how much solar heating costs to install in your area, contact a local pool company for a quote.

Your local installation company will visit your home to determine if your pool is positioned appropriately for solar heating. Your pool should face south or west to get the most light from the sun.

If you choose to use a solar blanket to heat your pool, you do not need anyone to install it for you. However, if you have a customized pool shape, you might need someone to measure your pool to cut the blanket to fit. 

Monthly Costs

Once you’ve installed a solar panel or mat, the last step in answering “How much does solar pool heating cost?” is determining your monthly costs. It’s important to note, you will have to pay for electricity to run water through the pipes.

Keep in mind that you are already using electricity to run your pool pump, so the cost to expect is around $10 max per month.

However, if you choose to use a solar pool cover to heat your pool, you shouldn’t incur any added monthly expenses. puts it best:

As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses.

You can also reduce your monthly electric bill by using a solar panel to power your electric pump. The solar panel and electric pump will need a conversion kit, and you might be able to do the work yourself. 

Along with electricity, many pool owners pay higher water bills when they run their pools. Pool water evaporates, so pool owners use their outdoor hoses to refill their pools. Pool owners also need to keep their pools clean, so the cost of running the pool includes chemicals, too.


Yes, in our books solar pool heating is worth it.

Solar pool heating can have a higher up-front cost than other heating methods. That said, with low operating costs, since solar energy is free thanks to the sun, you can significantly reduce pool heating costs over time with a solar heater for your inground pool (1).

Yes, you can heat your pool for free with solar, but some minuscule costs may remain.

Once your solar panels are installed, energy costs should drop (versus gas or heat pump pool heaters). However, while your solar heater can run independently of your electrical system, the pump may require electricity, and that involves an ongoing cost.

One option to further reduce costs is to ensure your pump receives solar power, too — then, water costs are your only remaining expense. For more ways to reduce your monthly energy costs, for your pool and all over your home, Check Out our Homepage.

A solar pool heater will cost around 0-$10 per month to heat your pool. On the other hand, other pool heaters like heat pumps, propane, gas, and electric resistance heaters average over $100 to heat a pool per month (3).

  1. Solar Swimming Pool Covers. Retrieved from:
  2. Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy. Retrieved from:
  3. How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pool Heater? Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run a Microwave?

The last thing you want to do is set up your off-grid system only to find that your inverter isn’t powerful enough to run your trusty microwave.

All microwaves are different, but the average 1,000-watt microwave will run using a 1,500 to a 2,000-watt inverter. To make sure you end up with the right inverter, let’s take a look at how to determine what size inverter you need to run a microwave.

Determining What Size Inverter You Need to Run a Microwave

At some point, many of us who enjoy off-grid living have asked, “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to figure out what size sine wave inverter you need to run a microwave. Naturally, you’ll start by taking a look at the microwave itself.

Figure Out the Microwave’s Continuous Wattage Rating

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is how many watts the microwave uses while running, which is usually as easy as finding where it’s noted. This can be on:

  • The inside of the microwave door
  • The serial number tag on the back
  • The user manual
  • The manufacturer’s website

If you’re unable to find it after looking in all of these places, you can get a pretty good idea using the USDA recommended method: “Time-to-Boil Test.” It involves placing one cup of ice-cold water in the microwave and waiting for it to boil.

If water boils:

in less than 2 minutes = very high wattage oven (1000 watts or more).
in 2½ minutes = high wattage oven (800 watts or more).
in 3 minutes = average wattage oven (650 – 700 watts or more).
in 3 – 4 minutes = slow oven (300 to 500 watts).

Now you should have a pretty good idea of your microwave’s continuous wattage rating. However, there are other factors to keep in mind when answering the question “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Power Consumption Versus Cooking Power

It’s important to note that a microwave’s cooking wattage is lower than the wattage it consumes, so take that into account when choosing an inverter size.

Most microwaves use energy with about 80% efficiency (2). So if you’re unable to find your microwave’s power consumption noted anywhere, multiply the cooking wattage by .8 and add the total to the cooking wattage.

Say you have a microwave that cooks at 700w.
700w x .80 = 560w
560w + 700w = 1,260w
That means your actual power consumption is around 1,260w.

Interestingly, even though they require more power to run than they use to cook food, microwaves are still one of the more energy-efficient cooking methods, making them ideal for off-grid living. Scientific American states in a recent article:

Cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

That said, your microwave’s power consumption is what you need to worry about when choosing a sine wave inverter size, not the cooking power.

Conversion Formula

If you’re not able to determine your microwave’s wattage but know how many AMPS it uses, there’s an easy conversion formula that will help you figure it out.

Just multiply the AMPS by AC voltage, which is 120. The product is your wattage.

So if your microwave uses 12.5 AMPS, the formula would be:
12.5 AMPS x 120V = 1,500w

Factor In the Microwave’s Peak Wattage

Now that you know everything there is to know about determining your microwave’s continuous power usage, which is the power it consumes while running, it’s time to take a look at its peak wattage or the maximum amount of power it utilizes.

Peak wattage usually occurs during startup and lasts for less than a second, but your inverter needs to be able to handle this surge in power. The process should look something like this, if you need a visual:

Ultimately, when you’re looking for sine wave inverters, you’ll notice on the specs sheet that both continuous and peak capability are listed, so it should be easy to tell if it’s large enough.

Your microwave’s peak energy requirements should be listed on the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website. If not, it’s a good idea to choose an inverter that can handle two to three times its continuous wattage just to be on the safe side.


A 1500-watt power inverter should be able to run a 700-watt microwave with no problem. You can use a pure sine wave inverter or modified sine wave inverter, but the modified sine unit may cause your microwave to run less efficiently.

You can use a modified sine wave inverter or a pure sine wave inverter to run a microwave, as long as they have a large enough capacity, aka battery power. Although, modified sine wave inverters tend to shorten appliances’ lives, so that’s important to keep in mind.

For more tips to get the most out of your home’s appliances, check out our Homepage.

Your inverter is big enough to run your microwave if it can handle its startup surge, and continuous wattage draw while it’s cooking. If your modified sine wave inverter or pure sine wave inverter can handle both successfully, you’re all set for your next road trip!

  1. How Do You Determine the Wattage of Your Microwave Oven? Retrieved from:
  2. Physics of the microwave oven. Retrieved from:
  3. Stove versus Microwave: Which Uses Less Energy to Make Tea? Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Heat Pump vs Solar Pool Heating

Do you ever feel like your pool is just taking up space in your yard during the majority of the year? With a heat pump or solar pool heater, you can take advantage of your personal oasis year-round.

In this article, we’ll compare the two and their associated costs, heating speeds, eco-friendliness, and lifespan to help you better understand these systems. Now let’s dive right in.

Heat Pumps

The general population most frequently purchases heat pumps for their pool heaters because they use electricity, making them quite efficient. While warmer temperatures make your heat pump’s job easier, they can operate in temperatures as low as 45 degrees in most cases. (1)

Since heat pump systems hook up to your electrical system, heat pumps often require regular maintenance to keep performing well throughout the years.  

Solar Pool Heating

Solar pool heating, just as the name states, uses solar energy to heat your pool. It pulls water through a filter where a solar collector uses its power from the sun to heat the water and transfer it back to the pool. Ultimately, solar pool heating systems are eco-friendly and will help reduce your energy bills. 

Comparing the Details: Solar Pool Heating vs Heat Pump

There are many benefits to each but there are also some disadvantages, let’s get into them. 

Upfront Costs

Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for either a heat pump or solar pool heating system. Angie’s List estimates in a recent article:

Labor alone runs $500 to $1,500 in most cases.

Solar pool heaters typically range between three and four thousand dollars for an upfront cost. Still, they will vary depending on your pool size, your solar resource available, and your local rules and regulations. 

On the other hand, the heating pump costs on average about $6,000 but will vary anywhere between three and $10,000 depending on the energy efficiency, pool square footage, and overall system quality.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Operating Costs

Over time, heat pumps and solar pool heating systems can both save you money on your utility bills. An efficient heat pump won’t be a huge draw on your energy bill, but it will require a payment each month, at a higher cost in winter, especially.

In contrast, a solar heating system goes even further to reduce your bills and gives you back the money you spent on the system in the first place. 

On average, with the amount people save, a solar heating system will pay for itself in anywhere from 1.5 years to 7 years (3).

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Heating Speed

What pool owners really want to know is, how soon can they jump in the warm water? The exact timeline of a heat pump vs solar pool heating will depend on the size of your pool, plus the power your heating source offers. However, heat pump systems are often faster at warming up the water because you can “crank up” the heat.

It’s not uncommon to wait one to three days for a solar heater to warm up your pool. A heat pump could take as long as a week, depending on the local climate and other factors.

Winner: Heat Pump


Heat pump systems rely on electricity, while solar heaters rely on solar energy. While both options are far more eco-friendly than the alternative gas heating pump, which burns fuel to heat your pool, the solar pool heating system is more eco-friendly than the electric heating pump.

The solar pool heating system converts the sun’s natural heat into energy whereas heat pumps demand energy straight from your grid. This makes solar pool heating much friendlier to the environment and more sustainable over heat pump systems in the long run. 

Winner: Solar Pool Heating


When considering solar pool heating vs heat pumps, you want a system that will last a while. A heat pump, on average, lasts around 15 years with adequate, regular maintenance. Manufacturers typically give solar pool heating, extremely durable systems, a warranty between 10 and 12 years.

However, to get the most out of solar pool heating, you can make sure to avoid these seven common mistakes:

With the right amount of care, solar pool heating can operate efficiently up to 20 years.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating 

Overall Cost

While both heat pumps and solar pool heaters have a considerable upfront cost, they also often require an installation cost and some maintenance throughout your ownership. Ultimately, both systems’ prices increase when adding these costs together.

The difference is that heat pumps will have a larger impact on your monthly energy bill.

The heat pump’s usage, while energy-efficient, is still hooked up to your electrical system and will require power to run. Depending on how frequently you use the system will change the billing price.

On the other hand, while solar pool heating has some extra costs after the initial pricing, they don’t affect your utility charges much. Around $10/month is the max to expect from most in-ground pool solar heaters. Due to their energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, in most cases, you will end up getting back the money you spent on the system in the long-run. puts it like this:

You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They’re cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters and they have very low annual operating costs.

So, in terms of overall cost, solar pool heating has done it once again.

Winner: Solar Heating System

Final Verdict

For homeowners who live in an area with ample sunlight, in the battle between “heat pump vs solar pool heating,” solar pool heating wins. Solar pool heaters have a better overall cost efficiency, eco-impact, and lifespan when compared to their competitor.

It’s worth noting that heat pumps can help you to enjoy warmer water, sooner, as long as it’s above 45-50 degrees outside when you want to swim. (1) However, with solar pool heaters, you’re more likely to end up getting back the money you invested in it, given a favorable climate; making solar a solid choice for many home pool owners.


Deciding whether pool heaters like heat pumps and solar pool heaters are worth it, depends on your needs.

If you want to use your pool year-round and if your pool doesn’t typically get much heat from the sun organically, then you might want to consider getting a heater. If you find yourself not using your pool enough, adding one of these systems is a great way to help you get the most out of owning a pool.

No, you should not run a pool heater overnight unless you have to. To save money on your energy bill, and be the most efficient, you want to use your heating systems as little as possible ideally.

The nighttime is usually the perfect opportunity to give your system a rest.

Yes, solar pool heating does work in the winter. The problem is that solar pool heaters won’t generate quite as much hot water as during colder months for obvious reasons.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, are more well-suited to warm your pool during the winter months because they’re tied to your electrical grid and don’t rely on the sun.

  1. Heat Pump Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from:
  2. How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater. Retrieved from:
  3. Solar Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

While manufacturers, governments, and green energy activists espouse many solar energy benefits as a clean, renewable source of power, it begs the question, “What are some disadvantages of solar energy?”

This article explores seven key issues if you’re wondering what the disadvantages of solar energy for at-home or large-scale operations are.

1. Initial Cost

The initial cost of solar panel installation is very expensive, averaging around $29,000 for systems producing up to 8Kw of power, which is enough to power a four-bedroom home. (1)

Installment costs cover the equipment such as panels, inverters, charge controllers, wiring, permits, labor, repairs, and maintenance. It is an investment that pays off over time, but it takes an extended amount of time for the savings made on solar energy to compensate for the initial costs.

2.  Pollution and Environmental Impact

One of the lesser-known disadvantages of passive solar energy is the environmental impact that materials, space, and production have. Solar energy fields take up a lot of land, invading agricultural lands and habitats for native flora and fauna (2).

Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss.

While solar energy is certainly less harmful to the environment than non-renewable energy sources, it does present some obstacles to its green-energy proclamations. For example, solar panels use some toxic materials in their production. 

While the U.S. implements safety protocols to dispose of hazardous waste or recycle materials that people can still use, many other countries do not practice safe waste disposal and end up contaminating soil, air, and water sources.

3. Space Limitations

While homes, cabins, and RVs provide more than enough space to fit enough solar panels to power all their electrical needs, larger establishments contend with space limitations.

Office buildings, large apartment complexes, and high-rises would need far more solar panels than their roofs will allow.

However, many regions have solar fields in which panels span acres, harnessing power for larger populations. 

4.  Inefficient Energy Conversion

Solar panels have an average efficiency of 15-19%, with the most efficient solar panels reaching 22-23% efficiency. Therefore, the most efficient solar panels on the market can transform 23% of the energy they harness from the sun into usable electricity (3). 

The darkest panels — with the most reflection — are most efficient (4).

Anti-reflection coatings and textured surfaces help decrease reflection. A high-efficiency cell will appear dark blue or black.

While an average efficiency of 15-19% may seem like a small percentage, the solar energy industry steadily increases energy efficiency each year. With the right setup, customers using solar panels to power their homes receive more than enough energy to cover their daily needs.

5.  Energy Storage Cost

If solar energy isn’t used while the sun is shining and you don’t have a proper battery system and solar charge controllers, the energy will go to waste.

This makes cost-effectively storing energy one of the greatest disadvantages of using solar energy. Homes and other single-family units can purchase a battery that stores enough solar energy to power night-time activities.

However, storing a full day’s worth of energy isn’t possible without spending a large amount of money on multiple large batteries and charge controllers.

Solar energy storage for enormous companies is still too costly, although innovators like Tesla are starting to manufacture massive solar energy storage batteries.

6. Sunlight Unpredictability

When answering, “What are disadvantages of solar energy?” you must mention the sun’s unpredictability.

Sunlight production varies from dawn to dusk, day to day, season, and geographical location. The disadvantage to solar energy for inhabitants of northern latitudes with long, dark winter seasons is far greater than for inhabitants of sunnier latitudes closer to the equator.

The early morning and late afternoon hours provide less solar energy than the midday sun. This could be an issue, for example, if you’re a farmer using a solar electric fence charger to herd your flock with an insufficient sized battery.

Also, winter months have shorter days and less sun than spring and summer months, so you will harness less solar energy during the winter.

If you live in a shady area or a region with significant cloud cover, you may not get enough sunlight for solar panels to be worth the installation.

7. No Energy Production at Night

Since you must use solar energy as the sun produces it and your panels convert it, you will be completely bereft of energy at night when the sun no longer shines. This poses a problem for night-time activity if you rely solely on solar energy.

A fantastic video by Science at Sheffield, of the University of Sheffield in England helps to clarify this:

Ultimately, you will either need to use energy stored in a purchased battery or switch from solar energy to a grid at night. For RVS, cabins, and other off-grid establishments, you may not have an electrical grid to support night-time activity.


One way you can optimize solar energy efficiency is by using monocrystalline panels, since they’re more efficient due to their uniform composition. (5) You should also ensure that your panels’ placement assumes the proper angle and direction to receive the most sunlight possible.

The initial cost of solar energy is usually worth the expense for smaller households, cabins, and RVs as you can buy a solar panel kit and install it yourself. Even for large businesses, solar energy is an investment that will pay itself off financially and ecologically over time.

For more information on solar energy and how you can recoup initial costs involved with switching over, Click or Tap This for our Homepage to see the latest in the industry.

No, solar doesn’t technically work at night. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels need sunlight to create energy, which there is none of during the nighttime.

However, solar energy offers two nighttime solutions so you’re not left in the dark. Net metering and proper solar battery storage can both help to provide you with the power you need when you need it. (6)

  1. Cost of solar. Retrieved from:
  2. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from:
  3. How does solar power work?. Retrieved from:
  4. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from:
  5. Solar Panel Efficiency – Pick the Most Efficient Solar Panels. Retrieved from:
  6. Do Solar Panels Work at Night? Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How To Cool An Attic

If a ridiculous amount of heat prevents you from enjoying your attic, there are solutions available. Whether you’re struggling with a scorching summer or you live in an area where it’s hot all year round, it’s safe to say it’s time to find a solution. Keeping an attic cool can be incredibly easy if you use the right tools, but where do you start?

Continue reading below to discover 11 easy hot attic solutions.

1. Consider Adding a Solar Attic Fan

If you Google “best way to keep attic cool,” Solar attic fans are likely to be a top recommendation. With a solar attic fan, you can take your worst enemy in this situation (the sun) and have it work for you. Solar attic fans harness the sun’s energy to remove hot air from the room, allowing cooler air to flow in from the outside.

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

2. Improve the Insulation

One essential step in learning how to keep the attic cooler is figuring out how to keep cool air in. You can start with insulation. Attics have insulation because they typically work as a giant shield against weather extremes for your home’s interior. Having the proper insulation will keep your attic cooler and reduce your energy costs. 

When choosing attic insulation, you want to consider the following:

The material
The density
The thickness

3. Radiant Barriers

The use of radiant barriers are a common way to help keep attics cool and prevent radiant heat from forming. The barriers contain reflective material that inhibits the electromagnetic transfer of heat. In short, radiant barriers reflect sunlight out of your attic so that the sun’s powerful rays don’t turn it into an oven. Most companies use aluminum foil for their radiant barriers, but you can also find other more durable materials as well.

4. Upgrade the Ventilation

Adding ventilation to a hot attic is one of the most effective ways to keep it cool since it allows heat to escape on hot days. If you don’t have a ventilation system, hot air and radiant heat can fester within your attic and lead to wood rot, mold, and other critical damages over time. There are numerous ways you can add ventilation to your attic, and some are relatively inexpensive.

5. Try the “Texas Cool” Technique

The “Texas Cool” technique is an energy-efficient method that not only keeps your attic cool but other rooms in the house as well. At night, when the weather drops, open up the window and place a fan to blow the cold air inside. When the sun comes up, close the window and use a shade to block any sunlight from getting in.

6. Sun Blockers

A significant amount of sunlight gets into the attic through the windows. You can use curtains or blinds to block the windows, keeping your attic cooler, and more energy-efficient during the daytime. Curtains and blinds are relatively cheap and easy to install.

7. Close Off Any Leaks

Air leaks are a leading cause of losing nice cool air and wasted energy. Take a flashlight and try to spot any air leaks in your attic that might let cold air escape. Once you find a hole, you can get expanding foam to fill them. This is how to remove hot air from the attic and other rooms long-term. 

Here’s where you’re likely to find air leaks:

Attic hatch
Wiring holes
Plumbing vents

8. Use a Zoned Thermostat

Using a zoned thermostat can allow you to control your attic’s duct system individually, according to set temperatures. Using an individual system is far more convenient for keeping your attic space cool, mainly if you use it as a living space. In some cases, you can even get a zoned thermostat like Google’s Nest Thermostat for free to help keep your attic cooler.

9. Use a Portable AC Unit

If creating new ductwork in your attic isn’t a viable option, you can always go with a portable air conditioning unit. One excellent aspect of mobile AC units is that they come in several shapes and sizes. Therefore, you can find one suitable for your space.

10. Examine the Roof

The roof is the first line of defense against the sun. If you feel that your roof is letting in too much heat, you can consider investing in reflective shingles to deter some of the sun’s rays away from your attic. 

11. Oscillating Fans

Oscillating fans do a great job of keeping your attic space cool since you can buy as many as you want. We recommend finding one that rotates so that you can provide each area of the attic with cool air all day long. 

Oscillating fans provide better cooling because they rotate, thereby allowing better air flow around the room. The air in the room is moved around, as compared to stationary fans that only move the air straight ahead.


Since attics sit just below the roof, they are the first room to get hit with the sun’s heat. Your attic space could also be too hot because you don’t have proper ventilation and hot air rises from the floors below.

Yes, mainly in three areas. Cooling a hot attic can help you feel more comfortable during the summer months during use, help protect your home’s structure from future damages, and increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.

For more tips on lowering your home’s overall energy usage: Read more here.

There’s no set amount of time you need to run an attic fan to stay cool, but in general, you want to run it as little as possible to be the most energy-efficient. Some hot attics may require a fan for several hours, where others only need 15 minutes.

  1. Thomas A. Edison Quotes. Retrieved from:
  2. Add an Oscillating Fan to a Room: 8 Advantages. Retrieved from:

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Exports slip 0.8% in December 2020; trade deficit widens to USD 15.71 billion

NEW DELHI: India’s exports shrank for the third straight month in December but the pace of contraction slowed to 0.8% from 8.74% decline in November even as the country’s trade deficit widened.

Outbound shipments in December were $26.89 billion and in sectors like petroleum, leather and marine products witnessed contraction, preliminary data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed Saturday.

The trade deficit in December widened to $15.71 billion, as imports grew by 7.6% to $42.6 billion due to a sharp increase in gold imports. Gold imports rose 81.8% in December 2020 to $2.01 billion.

Other items that witnessed an increase in imports include electronic goods, vegetable oil, chemicals, textile yarn and fabric, machine tools, pharmaceuticals and precious & semi-precious stones.

“India is thus a net importer in December 2020,” the ministry said in a statement.

Among geographies, Singapore was the top destination for India’s exports last month with an increase of $241.63 million led by petroleum products and engineering goods, followed by the US and UK.

Major commodities of export which recorded growth during the month under review include Oil meals, Iron ore, Carpet, pharmaceuticals, spices, electronic goods, fruits and vegetables, and chemicals.

“The monthly exports have moved towards positive territory as major export products show signs of further revival as expected,” said Federation of Indian Export Organisations President, Sharad Kumar Saraf.

Saraf said the order booking position have continuously improved besides more new orders in the offing.

“Going ahead by this trend, we expect our inventories to be liquidated, adding further to the overall demand,” he said.

In December 2020, oil imports declined 10.37% to $9.61 billion.

Exports during April-December 2020-21 fell 15.8% to $200.55 billion compared to the same period last fiscal. Imports posted a decline of 29.08% to $258.29 billion.

To give a leg up to exports, FIEO sought notification of the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products
rates, addressing issues such as adequate availability of containers, softening of freight charges, release of the required MEIS benefits and clarity on SEIS benefits and risky exporters.

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

After NCLAT, NCLT now also dismisses appeal of Hindustan Oil Exploration Company

New Delhi: Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC)s attempt to contest implementation of the Resolution Plan completed in September was struck down for the third time by NCLTs Allahabad Bench on December 21.

This a series of repeated appeals made by HOEC since 2018 which have been repeatedly dismissed by the NCLAT.

HOEC continued to repeatedly approach the judiciary system to obtain a favourable result that would move JEKPL closer towards liquidation. This would then allow HOEC to gain control of its participating interest in Kharsang Field at no cost through one of its offshore subsidiaries.

NCLAT in March dismissed HOEC’s petition for the second time against the order of the Allahabad Bench of NCLT in February.

This order also declared Invenire Energy as the successful resolution applicant in the second round of bidding round that concluded in June 2019. The second round of bidding was undertaken due to the protest lodged by HOEC disputing the decision of the NCLT Allahabad Bench to award Invenire Energy as the successful resolution applicant in December 2017. During the recent and third dismissal of its appeal, the NCLT, stated that the cause of the dismissal was due to the lack of any legal standing.

HOEC has been filing multiple appeals to try to gain controlling interest in Kharsang Field go back as far as 2017 when JEKPL an oil and gas holding interest in prolific Kharsang Oil Field, located in North East, was referred to the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

Its Committee of Creditors (CoC) included State Bank of India, EXIM, and Central Bank of India and it had no operational creditors. Two companies, one a listed oil company, Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC) and a private equity SPV, Invenire Energy, emerged as interested parties.

Final bids were invited for JEKPL in December 2017 with Invenire Energy emerging as the successful resolution applicant, with endorsement by the CoC for more than the qualifying the majority. NCLAT, Allahabad Bench, passed the award in December Dec 2017 declaring Invenire Energy as the successful resolution applicant.

Post endorsement by the CoC, the financial creditors comprising of State Bank of India, EXIM and Central Bank of India have received the entire consideration of Rs 123 crore and 100 per cent shareholding of JEKPL has been transferred to Invenire Energy on September 30, 2020 and its nominees have also been appointed as Directors on the Board of JEKPL.

Let your friends know too: