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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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...

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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:

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Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

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3 Ways to Make Your Car More Eco-Friendly: Eco-Friendly Car SECRETS Revealed!

3 Ways to Make Your Car More Eco-Friendly: Eco-Friendly Car SECRETS Revealed!

About 30% of environmental pollution in the U.S. comes from the transportation industry (1). With the fast-growing concerns over the state of the environment, it’s important to do your part by investing in an eco-friendly car. But what is an eco-friendly car?

An eco-friendly car emits low carbon compounds when running. Emitting less of these compounds makes the environment safer since by reducing changes in climate and health hazards caused by the inhalation of carbon compounds.

If you don’t own or can’t afford a vehicle that is optimized for minimum environmental impact, don’t fret. There are several ways to make the car you already have better for the environment.

Limit AC Usage

Compared to houses, there are not that much energy-saving gadgets (e.g. Google Nest Learning Thermostat) for cars. During the hot months, there’s always the urge to indulge in some ice-cold air conditioning. Unfortunately, using a vehicle’s air conditioning system isn’t great for the planet. It can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%, thanks to the extra load on the engine (2).

According to Dennis Smith, National Clean Cities Director,

running your car’s air conditioning is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather… AC use can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%

(C.A.R. Clinic of Westfield, Inc.)

The actual engine load depends on several factors, including the car’s interior size and the outdoor temperature.The air conditioning system increases the strain on your vehicle’s electrical system, which results in the engine working harder to compensate.

The harder the engine works, the higher the fuel consumption. Hence, it’s advisable to avoid using the AC system as much as possible. Consider rolling down the windows to let air in and keep cool during the hot weather.

There’s debate about whether rolling down windows increases aerodynamic drag to the extent of impacting fuel efficiency (3). It’s safe to assume that the drag doesn’t undermine fuel efficiency as much as the AC would when driving around town at moderate speeds. At highway speeds, however, you should keep your windows up to ensure air flows more freely over your car.

If you must use the AC system, then at least make sure that the system refrigerants and pressure are at the right levels. A poorly maintained system is less efficient than a well-maintained one.

Drive Sensibly

Aggressive driving is one of the major causes of poor fuel economy. Speeding, hasty acceleration, slamming the brakes, and rapid or jerky movements make a vehicle burn more fuel than necessary.

Research shows that aggressive driving can decrease your fuel economy by approximately 15 to 30% at freeway speeds and 10 to 40% in urban traffic (4). You might want to invest in driver feedback devices, which can promote efficient driving.

According to a 2018 study by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, instantaneous or in-vehicle feedback influences driver behavior and improves fuel economy by 6.6% on average (5). Driver feedback devices deliver real-time feedback and alerts to drivers when they speed, accelerate or brake quickly, or perform hard turns, among other things. Additionally, these devices monitor fuel consumption and efficiency and can give reports that highlight areas of concern for individual drivers.

Related: Is E15 Gasoline Harmful for Your Car?

Replace Your Air Filter

A worn air filter makes your car take in foreign particles and impurities, which affect its efficiency. Additionally, replacing your clogged air filter could save up to 10% on your vehicle’s mileage (6).

Do a simple calculation – calculate the amount of money you spend on fuel every week and adjust the figure downwards by 10%. Multiply the adjusted figure by four weeks. You’ll realize you can save so much money every month that you can spend on other important stuff.

The good thing about changing your air filter is that it’s a simple DIY job – you don’t need to pay a mechanic to change it for you. If you don’t know where to start, there are many tutorials online on how to change your car’s air filter.

Final Thoughts

Eco-friendly cars can help reduce the detrimental effects of pollution on our planet, but not everyone can afford a new car. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional cars.

Some of the most effective ways include limiting the AC system usage, avoiding aggressive driving, and changing the air filter regularly. Try these methods to make your car more eco-friendly and help conserve the environment. You might even save money on gas at the same time!

Visit our homepage here.



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Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

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Super Moon Produces “Lunar Energy?”

Super Moon Produces “Lunar Energy?”

Supermoons, the biggest and brightest moons of the year, occur about three or four times annually. In2020, we are expecting four supermoons. So far, we have seen three supermoons since March.

While ordinary people are into supermoons for viewing purposes alone, researchers have looked beyond what the naked eye could see. They have beeninvestigating the possibility of generating electricity from asupermoon.

This became a hot topic in 2013 when a California solar plant said that some of their energy was produced from lunar energy. As a result, many have asked: what is lunar energy, and how does it generate electricity?

What is Lunar Energy

For many years, moon energy or lunar energy has been defined as the energy that we harness from the tides (1).

Thisis the condition wherein the gravitational attraction of the moon intermingles with the gravity and rotation of Earth. This results in the rise and fall of tides along coastlines and near the mouths of rivers. There is kinetic energy in the moving water. This energy can be seized and converted into something useable as the water freely courses through rotary engines or turbines.

Underwater or tidal turbines look like those massive dikes or wind generators. They are essentially windmills that are set up onto a river bed or seabed. The submerged current produced by the tides movesthe blades like an aircraft propeller. These rotary engines are attached to a gear case that is linked to an electric generator. This then produces the electricity that is carried by cables. The electricity can be disseminated once it’s connected to an electrical grid (2). Many researchers have considered moon-driven tides an uninterrupted supply of renewable energy.

Thus, the concept of lunar energy isn’t entirely new. There are lots of tidal power plants set up like the hydroelectric dams that have been in existence for many years. These plants trap water throughout a high tide. In cases of low water, they then expel the water through tidal turbines (3). Energy Quest, an Australian-based energy advisory firm, said that one tidal plant that started operations in 1966 still supplies energy to thousands of consumers in France.

However, modern developments in technology have brought about a whole new meaning to the term “lunar energy.”Recent research reveals that it is now possible to create photovoltaic cells that will be placed on the moon and transmit enormous amounts of energy to Earth.

Why Lunar Energy Works

Lunar energy works because of construction materials that can be found in the moon. In the 1970s, during “Project Apollo,” Dr. David Criswell from the University of Houston found that all the materials required in making up photovoltaic cells were present in the moon’s dust and rocks.

In a 2002 study entitled “Getting Power From The Moon,” Dr. Criswell proposed that the earth can acquire all of the electrical energy it requires by using photovoltaic cells on the moon. He suggested the use of a Lunar Solar Power (LSP) System, in which arrays of photovoltaic cells on the moon surface will be used to radiate energy back to our planet.

He figured that in 2050, when the earth’s population will haveballooned to 10 billion, people will need 20 Terawatts (TW) of electrical energy. Note that the moon already acquires 13,000 TW of energy from the sun.

harnessing just 1% of the solar power and directing it toward Earth could replace fossil fuel power plants on Earth. (4)

Dr. Criswell

How Much Lunar Energy in Supermoons

If the moon is closer to the earth, will there be more lunar energy? The answer is no.

In one of 2013’s supermoons, First Solar’s Antelope Valley Solar Ranch recorded that they produced 1MW of energy from the moon’s light. It’s important to note that 1MW of power does not really have a huge effect on the distributionof energy. However, through several innovations, more energy can be harvested in the future.

Such is the case of Sunrun. According to their own reports, they have developed what they call the“first lunar energy panels in the world.” With patented LunarLight technology, Sunrun claims that houses will be able to acquire tons of moon energy and convert it into renewable power. We can only hope for more technological advances like this in the future.

Planning to install solar panels in your home? Consider these factors.

Do you want to improve your home’s energy consumption? Read up here.



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Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

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Transactive Energy: The Next Big Deal for The Smart Grid?

Transactive Energy: The Next Big Deal for The Smart Grid? (REVEALED)

Four years ago, Zarko Sumic from Gartner predicted that the biggest electricity company by 2020 would have a similar business model as Uber’s (1). This means that the company will not own assets associated with the production of electricity. Like a shared economy platform, it will merely superintend the data of energy consumers and producers.

The Vice President of Gartner didn’t see any technical problems in his vision. The only thing standing in the way at the moment is governmental regulation. This prediction was made as Zarko saw that “energy flows are increasingly determined by market forces (referred to as transactive energy).” Since then, transactive energy increasingly became a controversial topic of discussion in the energy industry. But what exactly is it?

What is Transactive Energy?

Transactive energy systems mean that anyone can merchandise electricity on the grid. With these transactive energy systems, the current electricity consumers will be able to generate and vend their excess level of electric power (capacity) back into the electrical grid.

Basically, transactive energy is a concept to organize the growing population of autonomous energy-producing agents. It looks into the administration of energy agents without damaging the unidirectional or centrally governed grid in which they are associated.

Note that electrical grids that disseminate electricity from power producers to everyday users are now changing into smart grids. This allows for subsidiarity and automation of managing energy. Diverging from a concentrated grid in the direction of a deconcentrated network of nodes will possibly provide a more effective power grid. This electric grid will utilize more renewable assets to produce electricity. More importantly, it will grant final consumers the ability to take part not just as end-users but also as electricity producers.

All in all, transactive energy can be summarized as a two-way trade system. It is a scheme in which the electrical energy can be valued appropriately and channeled to where it is needed.

Perhaps a lot of people only use electricity when they need to—without thinking whether it’s peak or off-peak electricity time. This can result in costly and ineffective usage of energy.

To avoid this, people may wantto start employing smart grid technology like transactive energy. Through transactive energy systems, consumers and small producers can restructure the grid to be more practical and cost-efficient. Final users of energy can relieve any strain on the electric grid by contributingenergy to it. They can reduce their energy consumption during peak demandtimes as well.

Transactive Energy Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of transactive energy (2):

  • The concept of transactive energy does not exclude small-scale energy producers. This means that any qualified individual can become an energy producer by setting up a rooftop photovoltaic power station or PV system. Transactive energy promotes the usage of solar power.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets and appliances will only use power when it is low-priced. IoT devices that use a large amount of energy like automatic washers, air conditioners, or dishwashing machines can be automated to utilize electricity when it is less than a specific price. Through transactive energy, electric automobiles that depend on a battery will likewise use energy (for charging) when it is in its most affordable form.
  • Keep in mind that if you use energy from a closer source, you will pay less compared to acquiring energy from a remote power provider. With transactive energy systems, you can purchase power from your neighbors with solar panels.
  • Since the supply of power doesn’t come from a single source, energy failures will diminish. Note that the transactive energy system will be deconcentrated. This means that there will be fewer central points of power disruptions. For example, people who are not gravely affected by a typhoon won’t have to deal with large-scale power outages any longer.

Transactive Energy Challenge

Here are some of the challenges totransactive energy systems:

  • Security threats to energy infrastructure
  • Making grid-tied devices interoperable
  • The task of governing the platform (sinceit’s decentralized)

Gunther Pragmatic Transactive Energy

Erich W. Gunther from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) released a study entitled “Pragmatic Transactive Energy: A Green Field Campus Design.” The study’s summary objective is to “achieve business continuity with a system that pays for itself and supports environmental stewardship.”

For you to better understand transactive energy Gunther (3) explains the following:

  • “Bartering and transactions occurred using monetary values but with no market and energy cost was not a factor. . .
  • Transactive energy based control and optimization doesn’t have to involve energy or a market
  • Transactive energy based control and optimization does require good information and process cost/value knowledge”

Transactive Energy a Sustainable Business and Regulatory Model for Electricity

On the whole, transactive energy is an economical and efficient mechanism. It can make people’s lives easier and benefit small-scale energy producers in the future. To learn more about transactive energy, check out this video.

You can also learn more energy-saving news and tips via



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