Dandelion Renewables Builds Sturgeon’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic Array

Dandelion Renewables is delighted to announce that we have successfully installed one of our increasingly significant solar projects, the Bon Accord Solar Project. The solar farm installation is located in Sturgeon County, Alberta, on the south side of Bon Accord. On September 18, 2020, Bon Accord Mayor David Hutton unveiled the new 648kW solar farm at the ribbon cutting ceremony held at the project site.

Cost Of Bon Accord Solar Array

With a total cost of $1.1 million, the Bon Accord solar power system is the most extensive solar panel array located in Sturgeon County to date. The system size and power generation capacity is large enough to provide solar power for all the buildings present in Bon Accord, and save a significant amount of money for the town, said Mayor David Hutton.

Approximately 47 percent of this solar project’s total cost was funded through a grant directly from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, a partnership of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Alberta Rural Municipalities. The solar project, constructed by Dandelion Renewables has been generating solar power for the town since mid-August, and supplying it with pollution-free electricity.

What You Can Expect From The Bon Accord Solar Array

It was announced that the Bon Accord solar array had made the municipality one of the few Albertan communities to have achieved net-zero carbon emissions when it comes to electricity. Mayor David Hutton said, “This provides enough energy to power all the town’s facilities, including the arena, and would save the town money on electricity. We don’t have to pay taxes to pay the utility bills.”

Samantha Peck, the Alberta Energy spokesperson, confirmed via email that the Bon Accord Array was the most extensive solar panel system in St. Albert and Sturgeon County. Mike Deising, the Alberta Electric System Operator spokesperson, reported that Sturgeon County already has 418kW of solar and wind energy systems installed at 42 different locations, excluding Bon Accord.

Mayor David Hutton termed the Bon Accord solar array as something that came right out of the blue. He also added that he never imagined anything like this solar panel system would turn up in Bon Accord.

With Larger Size, Comes Greater Power Production

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The Bon Accord Solar array covers 1.6 hectares of scrubland and consists of 1,728 solar modules (enough to cover more than eight basketball courts). These modules are mounted in six 144-meter by 4-meter south-facing rows. According to Mikhail Ivanchikov, the President of Dandelion Renewables, the Bon Accord array utilizes bifacial solar panels to capture light that bounces off the snow during winter.

After it was first turned on in mid-August, the solar array had already produced about 90 MWh of electrical energy, which is about a 7th of the total annual energy anticipated. Even on a mostly cloudy day, the system has still been observed cranking out about 130kW power. Mayor David Hutton also said that the useful long lifespan of the solar array and the energy cost savings convinced the council to go ahead.

Dandelion Renewables offers efficient solar power solutions to its municipal, residential and commercial clients across Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Visit our website to learn more about our expert solar energy services or contact us for customized care.

How Businesses Can Introduce Sustainable Practices Into their Companies

An increasing number of Canadian leaders, belonging to both private and public sectors, are pledging to support the government’s climate change actions as the link between climate change and human activities becomes clearer. Furthermore, as information on sustainable practices and business performance develops, business leaders are finding it challenging to ignore their benefits. This is because sustainable practices have been shown to have a good impact on businesses.

For example, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the workforce in companies that have adopted sustainable practices are 16% more productive. Part of this could be attributed to the forward-thinking culture of those companies. In general, green practices have a positive impact on employees, supporting their health and happiness, compared to their traditional office environments.

Most companies now understand that having green practices implemented in the workspace is essential, but only 25% have developed a clear strategy. This is due to the lack of information and awareness across the business world – and not knowing where to start. For this reason, below, we mention three sustainable practices that you should start right away, and that will pay off well in the coming years.

Incorporate Sustainability In Everyday Operations

Many of the world’s largest and most successful businesses invest and take part in sustainable initiatives. They are keen on finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to their unsustainable business practices. For example, organizations like Apple and IKEA have already started to invest billions of dollars in building a green and sustainable infrastructure. Apple has pledged to use green energy to power its production plants, while IKEA is using plastic recovered from the ocean to make its goods and products.

To incorporate sustainability into your organization’s everyday operations, you can evaluate your supply chain and determine where the firm may be able to shift to a green alternative. Also, consider how your company can take advantage of your city’s sustainability initiatives.

Make Your Office Energy-Efficient

For some businesses, immediate benefits can be realized by finding green alternatives for supply chains, decreasing raw material consumption, and reducing waste polluting the environment. However, some of these strategies require extensive planning and a lot of time to be executed on a large scale. Luckily, there are some other ways a business can adopt sustainable practices without investing a lot of time and effort into them. Some of these practices include;

  1. Encouraging, educating and promoting a green environment around the office and developing sustainability policies and procedures to strengthen the efforts.
  2. Encouraging employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste materials in the office, and providing them with more convenient accessible ways to do so.
  3. Changing the light bulbs in the office building to LED lights that use much less energy and last longer than incandescent light bulbs.
  4. Lastly, make sure all your electrical loads, such as computers, lighting, HVAC systems, fans, and appliances are not consuming significantly more power than modern energy-efficient equipment alternatives. Dandelion Renewables installs energy meters that can measure and log real-time energy consumption of targeted equipment. The visibility and quantification that energy metering offers, often identifies actionable energy-conservation opportunities. Opportunities can be related to equipment repair or replacement, building automation, and behavioural low-hanging fruit.

Embrace Sustainable Energy Resources

Many businesses have an expired perspective that shifting to a renewable form of energy could cost the company more than it pays back. However, the reality is that the technology for harnessing renewable energy resources to produce energy has been around for many years, which means it is now more affordable than ever. This makes solar panels and other such green solutions even more cost effective and financially beneficial.

With solar panels, you can reduce the risk of volatile conventional commodity energy prices without having to sacrifice your energy needs. However, the answer to getting the right renewable energy technology and system design for your home or commercial building is to work with an experienced and qualified supplier and installer.

At Dandelion Renewables, we provide full-service turn-key solar power systems, and other renewable energy systems. This approach includes the entire project from conceptual system ideas through engineering, permitting, supply, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and training for system owners. We install high-quality solar power systems at competitive prices. Our team of experts can help you choose the right solution, considering all the essential aspects. For more information on sustainable energy resources, visit our website at dandelionrenewables.com, or contact us today for a free estimate.

What Does Solar Panel Efficiency Mean?

You may have heard the term “efficiency” of the solar panel. If you have heard of it, but are unsure what it means, then this blog is for you. We are not only going to discuss what solar panel efficiency means, but also the ways of enhancing the overall efficiency of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Higher efficiency means more useful electrical energy from your solar power system.

What is solar PV panel efficiency

Solar panel efficiency is a measurement of how much usable energy (electricity) the panel can produce out of the total amount of solar sun energy applied to the solar panel. More efficient solar panels will produce more electricity from the same size panel, as they convert a higher percentage of the total sun energy into electricity. On the other hand, a less efficient solar panel system will produce less electricity. A practical impact of solar panel efficiency is that the same physical size of solar panel array will produce more power with high-efficiency solar panels, than low-efficiency panels.

You must know that when we talk about the sunlight used by the panels to create electricity, we mean the sunlight that hits the solar panel. Currently, the cost-effective highest-efficiency solar panels available in the market can convert between 18 and 20 percent of the sunlight that hits them into electrical energy. This means they have 18 to 20 percent efficiency. The maximum efficiency of a solar cell can theoretically be up to 23 percent.

The efficiency of a solar panel is a rating, based on a standardized testing condition, so that different efficiency ratings can be compared across different solar panels regardless of the installation location, or physical size of the solar panel. Regardless of the efficiency rating of the solar panel, there are a number of ways in which the useful energy output of a solar power system can be increased, aside from installing more efficient solar panels. Let’s see how you can increase the useful energy output of your solar power system so that you get the highest benefit from the system for a longer period of time.

Using more sunlight

One of the ways to increase solar panel electricity production is to make sure that you’re using the maximum amount of sunlight available to the array. This can be achieved by removing nearby objects that might be shading the solar panels, or by using a solar tracking system to adjust the position of the solar panels to follow the position of the sun, or by periodically cleaning the solar panel array.

Using more of the solar electricity at sunny times of day

For off-grid solar PV systems, there are situations when the solar PV system is able to generate electricity but there aren’t any electrical loads to use the energy so the available energy doesn’t get used. More of that energy can be used by running electrical loads during sunny periods, such as charging batteries for laptops and phones, laundry, baking, workshop saws or welding.

For grid-tied systems, if there aren’t enough loads connected to the PV system to use all the electricity while it is sunny, the excess electricity gets pushed into the grid and used by other nearby grid-connected customer loads. Since the electrical energy needs to travel a longer distance to reach other grid-connected customers, there are additional losses of energy as the energy travels through the wires. For that reason, running electrical loads at times when it is sunny, to minimize exported energy and maximize “self-consumed” solar power, can make use of more of the energy generated from the solar PV system.

Backup battery

A battery for energy storage can be added to a solar PV system to allow the battery to be charged while the sun shines. The battery energy can then be used at night and at times when the solar PV array is not producing enough power for the electrical loads.

Using battery storage can allow for more usage of the solar electric energy available during the day. However, battery storage systems require a considerable investment, which is often most economical or practical for off-grid systems, where the battery energy can be used at night instead of using a fossil-fuel generator, or for grid backup purposes, or for maximizing “self-consumption” in grid-tied systems in locations where the power price is much higher at night than during the day (not the case for most of Western Canada).

Choose the right solar system design for system efficiency

You solar PV system consultant or professional can affect the efficiency of the overall solar PV system. The compatibility of solar panels, solar panel string design, solar inverters, and design of DC and AC circuits, can each have an effect on the overall efficiency of the system. For example, if a solar panel string configuration is partially incompatible with the connected PV inverters, the inverter may convert less of the solar panel electrical energy into AC electricity useful for common electrical loads, and power grids. It is important to involve people with solar expertise when planning and designing a solar PV system, to conduct a thorough needs assessment and a design that optimizes the overall efficiency of the PV system. If you make the right decision while buying, you will not need to make significant replacements, or purchases of additional components, before the end of the system design life.

Dandelion Renewables has been providing its clients exactly what they need to meet their solar energy requirements. We are based in Edmonton, Alberta providing design consulting, and installation services across Western Canada and other parts of the world. You can get in touch with us by clicking here.

Comparing Different Types Of Solar Modules: Which One Is Best?

The use of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, also known as solar panels, has increased exponentially over the past decade or so in both residential, commercial buildings as well as ground-mounted solar structures. The majority of solar modules fit into one of four major categories: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and bifacial social panels.

These solar modules mainly differ in terms of their specific composition, performance, appearance, prices, and installation methods and charges. Depending on the nature of the use and type of installation considered, one solar panel option may be more suitable to have as compared to others.

Let’s discuss each solar module type one by one to improve your understanding of them and choose the best option.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are well-known for achieving some of the highest efficiencies and power outputs compared to other types of solar panels. The lower cost alternative has been polycrystalline technology, but advancements in monocrystalline manufacturing methods over the past 5-10 years have lowered prices, reducing the price premium. The life-expectancy of monocrystalline modules has historically been longer than polycrystalline. Visually, monocrystalline are considered more attractive, and also provide higher efficiency options than polycrystalline. This has made monocrystalline the most common choice currently for most rooftop installations.

Higher efficiency solar cells in solar panels helps them to generate more electricity in a smaller area. This means you’ll need fewer panels to fulfill your energy needs, compared to lower efficiency solar panels.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panel cells are created by melting multiple silicon crystals and pouring it into a mold. Industry experts manufacture these solar cells more cost-effectively by wasting relatively little silicon during the production process. This contributes directly to competitive lower pricing of polycrystalline solar panels.

On the downside, polycrystalline cells are less efficient than monocrystalline cells. For this reason, they don’t generate as much electricity from direct sunlight as higher-efficiency cells.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar cells are produced from layers of semiconductor materials. These materials include silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and cadmium telluride rolled out in the form of a film surface. These solar panel types are usually considered to be less efficient than crystalline silicon types, requiring more roof space to produce the same energy output.

Thin-film solar panels have a shorter lifespan than crystalline silicon solar panels, which is why they come with shorter warranties.

On the upside, thin-film solar modules are more flexible and have higher heat-resistance than their counterparts. The increased flexibility makes thin-film panels a very common choice for mounting solar power systems on curved surfaces, including boat hulls, RVs, and fabrics. Thin-film modules can also be ordered in various shapes and sizes, even in the form of roof shingles.

Bifacial Solar Panels

Bifacial solar panels are able to generate power using both their frontside and backside. The backside generation allows higher power output from an array, making additional power production from the backside that can be in the range of 5% to 25%. Regular modules (non-bifacial) only generate power from sunlight contacting the frontside of the module. Bifacial solar modules are generally created from monocrystalline cells, and sometimes from polycrystalline cells. Visually, they’re semi-transparent, which allows a portion of the sunlight to pass through the module and reflect onto the backside of the module to gain additional power generation.

For solar array mounting types that allow plenty of light to reach the backside of the array, bifacial modules are an excellent choice. This often includes commercial and utility-scale ground-mount installations, including solar trackers, as well as wall-mounted awning arrays. Bifacial arrays are also beneficial in areas that have snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. The snowy ground can increase the amount of light reflected toward the backside of the module, and the backside production can help get the PV system generating earlier in the morning when the frontside might still be partially shaded from frost. The bifacial array allows power production to occur earlier and later in the day, by taking advantage of the backside cells during low light conditions.

Bifacial solar modules are increasingly durable, with both sides being UV resistant. By generating more power using a smaller array of bifacial modules, the balance of system (BOS) costs can be reduced (e.g. the costs of wiring and racking). Additionally, you can also decrease the potential-induced degradation PID concerns by installing a frameless bifacial module.

Dandelion Renewables offers highly efficient solar energy solutions to its commercial clients across British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Visit our website to read more about our professional services or contact us for customized service.

Top 5 Reasons To Install A Solar Power System In 2020

This blog will share with you the top 5 reasons why you should consider building or expanding a solar power system to start generating electricity in the year 2020. Apart from solar power advantages that are known by many, there are some specific benefits that are now offered for homeowners, landowners, and commercial building owners who invest in solar energy and get their solar power system up and running before the end of this year.

1. Receive solar rebates

Here is something really exciting for owners of solar PV (photovoltaic) systems. Solar PV systems built in Edmonton, Canada, on residential homes, have an opportunity to receive a rebate toward the construction costs of the system. Also, there are rebates available to municipalities across Alberta for building solar PV systems on buildings or ground-mounted.

These are example programs, and there are more solar PV rebate programs available in Alberta. See our website or give us a call for more details.

The rebates provide an additional savings advantage to system owners on top of recurring future electrical bill savings, and environmental benefits.

The rebate incentives administered by provincial and municipal authorities are aimed to promote an environmentally friendly energy resource that’s not only good for the owners but also beneficial for the climate and our planet in the longer run.

2. Lower your electric utility bill

With new developments in the solar energy industry, solar panels have become stronger and more efficient in reducing your utility bills. These systems now offer more energy production than ever before. Advanced technology enables home-owners to get powerful solar power systems that can transform significant amounts of light from the sun into electrical energy, hence reducing the need for grid electricity. The reduced amount of electricity used form the grid reduces power bill costs, plus credits on your bills generated from excess solar power that your system shares into the grid.

3. Enhance your home’s value

Solar PV systems not only provide you with utility bills reduction but from a real estate perspective, these systems also enhance the value of your home. It is a double-sided financial advantage to homeowners. In this way, you could have an extra cushion when selling your home, attracting buyers who are interested in having lower power bills down the road. When compared to another house of the same size and structure, your solar power equipped home could be giving you valuable billing kickbacks because of its self-sufficiency in energy.

The cost of installing a solar power system can be covered in the near-term, and easily in the longer-term, when considering these advantages.

4. Solar energy providers offer extended warranties

Some solar energy providers also offer a complete confidence warranty to customers. It provides peace of mind to the homeowners that if anything doesn’t live up to expectations, they will have their back covered by the warranty. The homeowner will not have to go after different vendors and manufacturers to claim the warranty. Instead, it will just be one company that gives you the warranty so you’ll need to go to one place and nowhere else.

5. Carbon footprint reduction

Whenever we talk about solar energy benefits or reasons to install a solar power system, the environmental benefits cannot be ignored. The reduction in the carbon emissions, resulting from reduced fossil fuel consumption, is one of the biggest reasons for most people switching to solar power systems. As a responsible citizen, you tend to want to contribute to the solution for climate stabilization and the preservation of our ecosystem. Solar energy helps us contribute to preserving our most precious and limited resources (clean water, air, and land), while also upgrading the energy-security and the value of your home.

About Dandelion Renewables

Dandelion Renewables is the largest long-standing solar power systems provider in Edmonton. We have a team of experts who can help you make the right move at the right time, considering all the important aspects. We make sure you get the most suitable solar power system for you. Visit our website dandelionrenewables.com or you can get in touch with us by clicking contact us.

Solar Power Systems Have Many Advantages

Solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems offer numerous advantages to their users. This is the reason why solar PV systems are becoming popular all over the world. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the advantages that can make these systems most suitable for you to meet your renewable energy needs. Let’s see some of the ways in which solar PV systems can give you what other energy sources cannot.

Less carbon production

The biggest long-term advantage of using a solar power system is that it helps with conservation of the environment. These systems produce a lot less carbon as compared to other energy resources like natural gas, oil, and coal. Solar PV systems are very environmentally friendly and play an important role in reducing the toxic elements that conventional fossil fuel energy sources emit to the air, water, and earth. By reducing the carbon in the air, these solar power systems contribute to a future where the environment remains suitable for people living on Earth.

Economic advantage

The upfront cost of a solar power system might seem high for most consumers, as the energy generation system is a long-term investment. Solar power systems are expected to generate power for over 30 years. However, there is a great advantage to with the reduction of grid electricity required comes a greater advantage. They become self-sufficient in their electricity needs, or don’t require the same amount of grid electricity. This results in the reduction of electricity bills. Over time, that initial investment will pay off, giving solar system owners the long term advantage.

Creates more jobs

At the societal level, solar systems also offer some advantages. New jobs are created, as experts in the field of solar installation are required to install and maintain solar systems in houses and offices. The solar industry reduces unemployment and opens new horizons for hardworking people who need jobs, but the markets might be saturated and it’s difficult for them to find vacancies. In this way, solar systems not only help keep the environment healthy but also make sure people are employed and can keep on earning for their families.

Adds to the aesthetics of your roof

Bored of your rooftop and no new design of shingles really appeal you, and are also wishing to reduce your electricity bill? You can drop the idea of replacing your roof because installing a rooftop solar system will help you solve not one but both those problems. The solar panels give a different glassy look to your roof that doesn’t only look different but also provides an extra layer of shelter and protection for your roof. Where some people might think of it as a disadvantage of solar systems, many love the look they give to roofs.

Gives you the feeling of sovereignty

By installing solar systems in your house or office, you become more sovereign and you’re going to love the feeling. The feeling of creating your own energy for your own use and not depending on grid electricity, that’s a treat to feel. Instead of depending on someone, you create your own energy sufficiently or sometimes even more than what you need.

Uses space efficiently

With increasing population and urbanization, various types of solar systems’ configurations allow the users to make effective use of space. Solar systems can be mounted on the roofs of buildings and also on the ground. Both of these types have their own advantages but the option is there.

About Dandelion Renewables

Dandelion Renewables are experts who know the in and out of solar power systems and are capable of making sure that you get the best solar system installed for meeting your energy needs. We offer a complete range of solar systems for our clients. You can visit our website dandelionrenewables.com. You can also get in touch with us by clicking contact us.

How Can Solar Energy Benefit Your Business

The demand for electricity has been on the rise since the industrial revolution and is yet to increase even further due to the electrification of transport and heat. In 2020, it has already transformed the modern economy and provides a growing share of energy services.

With this continuous increase in the demand for electricity, the high price of non-renewable fossil fuels, and the ever-increasing concerns for environmental conservation, many organizations are shifting to a renewable source of energy.

Among these renewable forms of energy is solar energy that offers a promising future for clean and green electricity. Many businesses worldwide are now tapping into this alternative source of energy, hoping to profit from its several benefits.

Below we mention some of the advantages solar energy can have for your business.

Cost Reduction and Risk Mitigation

Cost reduction is one of the most important benefits of solar power for businesses. Companies that use solar energy can significantly reduce their commercial power cost, and it can even help them eliminate their energy bills entirely if the system installed on their commercial setting is large enough.

The cost reduction of switching to solar energy, however, is determined by several factors, including the location of a commercial building, time of operating, and industry size. Companies that benefit the most from switching to green energy are the ones that have enough space to build an appropriately sized system to cover their electrical needs. In certain applications, extra solar power can be stored for later use as back-up energy.

Solar Incentives

Solar incentives are another great reward for businesses that convert to green energy.

Solar energy is becoming more and more popular, and governments all over the world are launching various incentives, and rebate programs to attract their citizens to shift to a renewable form of energy. In Canada, for example, we have several provincial-wide and territory-wide incentives and rebate programs available for citizens and business owners that switch to green energy. Some of these incentives still active in 2020 are:

  • Federal Incentive- Saskatechewn: For those provinces in Canada that have yet to commit to the carbon pollution pricing systems, there is funding and rebate programming available for small and medium-sized businesses that invest in green energy, including solar power systems. This incentive goes by the name of the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF) and provides 25% of a rebate on the total project cost. This 25% could range from $20,000 to $250,000. CAIF is currently available in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
  • Municipal Incentive- Alberta: Municipal incentives for switching to green energy are available for businesses in some municipalities. In Alberta, for example, the Banff Solar PV Incentive Program will provide a rebate of $0.75/Watt for systems between 2 kW and 7.5 kW. Both residential and commercial properties in Banff are eligible for this program.
  • Provincial Incentive- British Columbia: In British Columbia, BC Hydro has yearly net-metering for residential and commercial customers. This program allows people to receive credits on their electricity bill for the excess amount of solar electricity generated vs used in a month. Over a period of one year, if more electricity is produced than used, it can be sold to BC Hydro at the Mid-C price, and the credits are set to zero again.

Green Reputation

Businesses tend to get labeled as ‘Green’ if they are utilizing renewable energy sources in their operations. For example, if they are producing electricity using solar panel systems, they are reducing their consumption of fossil fuels and are therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution. By doing so, any business or company can express itself as eco-friendly, which will give them a positive reputation in the consumer market.

About Dandelion Renewables

At Dandelion Renewables, we provide solar conservation solutions to our customers based in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. We have a complete range of certified products and services relating to renewable energy at reasonable rates. Visit our website, or you can contact us here today to get a free quote.

Grid-Tied Vs. Off-Grid Solar Power System – Which One Is Best?

When installing a new solar power system at home or in the office, most people often get confused about selecting the right type of solar energy system. This is mainly because of the lack of understanding of different solar technologies in the market, like on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems. If you’re investing in solar equipment and aiming to benefit from it for years to come, you would want to make the right choice and understand how each type of solar technology can be utilized.

What’s The Main Difference Between Grid-Tied And Off-Grid Solar Systems?

Grid-tied, also known as the on-grid solar system is connected to the utility grid, whereas the off-grid solar system is not connected to the utility grid. You may also need to attach batteries, and sometimes, a backup generator with your off-grid system, while in case of a grid-tied system, you don’t need batteries.

An on-grid mechanism requires the use of fewer components as compared to an off-grid arrangement. You don’t necessarily have to attach energy storage devices, sophisticated control electronics, or backup generators to your grid-tied system.

A grid-tied solar panel is cheaper and simpler to install than its counterpart. Having a stable and accessible grid near your residential or commercial property favors installing an on-grid system. However, if you’ve got an unstable or non-availability of a grid in your area, installing an off-grid solar power system will make more sense.

Energy Storage Concerns

The difference between the two solar power systems (off-grid and on-grid) revolves around storing the generated energy. Every solar power equipment requires a designated place for energy storage so that the stored electricity can be utilized later as per requirements.

Energy Storage In Grid-Tied Solar Power System

The access energy generated from an on-grid system gets sent back to the grid. Your grid-tied solar panels feed electricity into the utility grid, which can be distributed to nearby areas. As a result, you get to receive credits for energy generated by your on-grid solar panels. This allows you to use electricity throughout the day from your utility grid even when the sun goes down.

Energy Storage In An Off-Grid Solar Power System

Off-grid solar mechanisms have no access to the utility grid, so you need to find another way to store energy, such as a battery device with dedicated storage. It’s mandatory to attach batteries with your off-grid solar power equipment due to a lack of access to the power lines.

Excess Energy Production With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced with an on-grid solar system can send it to the utility grid it is connected to, and you’ll get compensated for it depending on your power supplier’s policy.

Excess Energy Production With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced during the daytime by the off-grid solar system will be sent to batteries for storage. You can access and use the stored energy in the evening and night when the system is not producing electricity.

You can enhance the capacity of your off-grid system for increased energy storage to cover your electricity needs during cloudy weather. However, in case of abnormal weather conditions for several days in a row, your off-grid solar apparatus may not produce enough electricity to charge batteries and fulfill your energy requirements.

Power Outages With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

When using an on-grid solar system, you get to receive non-stop electricity from the utility grid. However, if the grid goes down, you won’t be able to receive electricity unless you’re using an on-grid solar power system with battery backup. This means that you can only use electricity in case of a power outage if you add batteries to your on-grid system.

Power Outages With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

An off-grid solar power system operates independently from the utility grid. In case there’s a power outage in your locality due to some uncertain weather conditions, your off-grid system will continue to supply you with electricity, thanks to the solar energy stored in the batteries.

Dandelion Renewables provides environment-friendly solar energy solutions to its residential and commercial clients across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Check out our professional solar power services in detail or contact us for personalized care.

Tips For Buying A Solar PV Panel System For Your Home

The Sun provides Earth with immense energy, and if we could harness its full potential, even for one hour, it would be enough to meet global energy needs for one year. Unfortunately, we are only able to collect a fraction of this energy, but doing so using solar panels can make a significant difference. What a fantastic ability it is to be able to turn raw sun energy into electricity!

Buying solar panels for your home can be a rewarding experience as you’re taking a step towards protecting our environment. It can also be a daunting experience as there are rules for safe system design that can vary for different locations. There are many aspects to consider before purchasing the system.

Buying a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is a long-term investment that you’re going to want to enjoy for many years to come. Therefore, it is important to make this decision understanding the different system design options, the constraints and opportunities unique to your home, and how you can choose the best system for your home.

Get Recommendations

The first step after you’ve decided to purchase a solar PV system is to ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives who are already using PV panels in their homes or offices, for their recommendations. Often the best buying tips for solar panels come from people who are already using them. They’ll inform you about their experience with a specific brand and warn you of any problems they’ve faced. This way, you’ll be careful to learn from their experience to help avoid issues they may have encountered.

Decide on the Types of Panels

A few years ago, people would have had to use monocrystalline solar panels for their limited roof space. These panels were the most efficient type of solar panel but were also more expensive than alternative types such as polycrystalline. With the advancement in the polycrystalline panel, bifacial, and thin-film technologies, there are more choices available and selection of the most cost effective solar panel for your home can be more complex. Solar panel selection takes into consideration a balance between roof space, solar panel dimensions, electrical characteristics and the goals for solar power generation.

Make sure to check the performance warranty timeline, the nominal power ratings of the panels, and the installed cost per PV watt ($/Wpv) of the PV system.

Solar contractors can help you evaluate the options and select the best solar module for your home.

Get Solar Quotes From Different Companies

It is a good practice to get quotes from different companies. This will allow you to compare prices and quality between the providers. However, you should bear in mind that the cheapest panels may be using inferior components to reduce the upfront cost, and buying them may cost you in the long run with more maintenance, lower reliability, and efficiency degradation.

While you’re on the lookout for good quality and reasonable prices, look for the company’s reputation and knowledge base as well.

Check For Certification and Warranties

Checking for certification and warranty of panels is an essential step before making the final purchase. These certifications show that a particular solar PV module and other solar components have undergone testing by an independent, certified laboratory, and they meet the advertised specifications. Similarly, warranty, for a substantial period, builds your trust in the product and the company.

At Dandelion Renewables, we provide solar, wind, and power conservation solutions to our customers based in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. We have a complete range of certified products and services relating to renewable energy at reasonable rates. Visit our website dandelionrenewables.com, or you can contact us here to get a free quote.

Eco-Friendly Cost-Saving Opportunities for Alberta Beekeepers – Energy-Efficient Beekeeping

By integrating modern-day beekeeping concepts like ‘solar honey’ with energy-efficient bee farming techniques, beekeepers in Alberta can discover serious cost-saving opportunities.

In a somewhat shocking report published in September of 2019, the Alberta Beekeepers Commission reported some of the lowest honey yields in nearly 4 decades. Compared to the past three-year average, over half of all Alberta beekeepers noted seeing their annual honey yield decline by as much as 50 percent.

The report reveals the need for identifying innovative cost-effective farming approaches that bring together energy-efficient technologies with eco-friendly beekeeping best practices.

Report: Net-zero concept for indoor overwintering beekeeping

In November of the same year, Dandelion Renewables’ expertise was sought by the Alberta Beekeepers Commission (ABC) with support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to propose the economic feasibility of energy-efficiency improvement opportunities. This included the design concept for a net-zero indoor overwintering beekeeping facility for the Alberta commercial beekeeping community.

This futuristic study sought ways of reducing the carbon footprint and improving the environmental sustainability of indoor overwintering beekeeping farms of Alberta. Additionally, it looked for methods of achieving net-zero without using fossil fuels as a heat-source, while providing all of the energy required to run the equipment in the facility including building heat.

Going net-zero simply means that a the facility operation generates the same amount of energy as it consumes, on an annual basis. Integrating renewable energy generation with the facility results in a net-benefit for the environment. The benefit comes from offsetting the amount of grid-sourced energy used, since the Alberta electrical grid is primarily fossil-fuel powered.

30% of the 9,240 hives in the net-zero facility concept were overwintered indoors. Compared to a conventional facility, the net-zero facility’s energy cost would be slightly higher, due to using electricity and heat pumps instead of natural gas as the main heating source. With the implementation of grid-tied solar photovoltaic power generation, the net-zero facility realizes an annual power saving of about $11,000 in the first year. The indoor overwintering climate control system also led to a 2% decrease in hive losses with the net-zero concept, which translates into savings of up to $16,632 per annum.

The cost of setting up the proposed net-zero facility was estimated to cost $222,796 more than a comparable conventional commercial beekeeping facility. The cost premium for net-zero upgrades are expected to have a 13.6% internal rate of return on investment over a 30-year life and 9-year payback.

The net-zero concept eliminates up to 74.08 tCO2e per year of GHG from the atmosphere that the conventional facility would emit.

Other Energy-Saving Opportunities in Commercial Beekeeping

Dandelion Renewables is committed to achieving economical, farm-specific, energy-efficiency solutions, to benefit Canadian farms and the environment. Dandelion Renewables worked with multiple farms in Alberta to highlight the following beekeeping farm equipment categories that possess a lot of potential for cost-savings:

Vehicles

Beekeeping farms can invest in vehicle fuel efficiency improvement. They can also consider renewable diesel for their existing diesel trucks in a bid at reducing GHG emissions. Hybrid trucking technology is available in Canada today, and battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) trucking is expected to be more commercially-available in Canada in the years to come. These vehicle technologies are expected to offer some great cost-saving opportunities for beekeepers in Alberta and other provinces. One aspect of beekeeping that aligns well with opportunities for BEV trucks is that the majority of trucking occurs during the warmer months of the year. Summer temperatures support higher operating efficiencies for the current battery technologies entering mass production for BEV trucks.

Honey Heat Exchanger

The net-zero concept proposes replacing the conventional electric heating elements in the honey heat exchanger with a plate heat exchanger. The heat-exchanger transfers heat from an electric heat-pump hydronic hot water into the fluid flowing through the honey heat exchanger. The heat-pump is capable of delivering the same amount of heat as the electric heat elements, while using 2-4 times less electricity.

Space heating

During the winter months the heat sources are an air source heat pump taking heat from the overwintering room, and geothermal heat-pump acts as an extra heat source during periods of extreme cold, as the temperature of the ground, lower than 10 feet, remains around 12°C all year long. So pumping a fluid to circulate both in the ground and in the intended space is a massively efficient way of keeping the space heater.

Lighting

It’s common for beekeeping farms to use lights offering varying degrees of energy-efficiency. Dandelion Renewables proposes switching to LED lighting which consumes the least amount of energy.

Motivation for energy conservation

The founders of Dandelion Renewables have always been concerned about the destructive side-effects of a ‘consumption-based society’. The creation of Dandelion Renewables was a logical step for the company’s beliefs and skills to merge. Our work inspires us to discover better energy choices that allow us to sustain and remain in harmony with nature. Contact Dandelion Renewables today.