Not Your Parents Solar Panels

Not Your Parents Solar Panels

Not Your Parents Solar Panels. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.

There are a lot of ways to help cut back on fossil fuel power use and one of the best ways is through solar energy. From the space program to your home, solar panels can deliver a significant amount of energy. Gary Shaver, President & CEO of Silicon Energy in Arlington, Washington says the solar panels they manufacture are not like the panels you might think of.

SHAVER: It’s a mind set really that in the past has made it difficult to look to solar and cost has always been an uphill battle for solar but now especially in Washington State it’s a very good investment to make. There’s really no reason for people to be hesitant anymore.

There was a time in the not too distant past that solar panels were pretty much a big pink elephant on someone’s roof but Shaver says that is not the case any more.

SHAVER: In the market there are a variety of modules but it’s become more of a commodity product that each one looks very similar to each other. We’ll be coming out with one size. It’s a nice looking module. It has glass on the back and glass on the front and is extremely strong and light can pass through - between the cells so you can get some nice filtered light coming in and would be great for patio covers or awnings, car ports.

You can of course mount them in the traditional way but Shaver says they are seeing a lot more people utilizing their panels in unique applications.

SHAVER: We’ve designed something that I think architects are going to love and I think people will love. We call it the Cascade series, it kind of cascades down. It looks like large shingles, very large shingles and it has a nice blue color to it. And all the wiring is hidden away so there’s no wiring exposed in the back that swings in the wind or that squirrel’s get into and it looks very clean and attractive.

Good looks aside, the panels do what they were built for and that is generating electricity that you can use to offset your power company use. Shaver says another big plus for Silicon Energy panels is a new rating.

SHAVER: UL Listing is what – we could sell a product without UL listing but really to come to market, to be able to sell into the public for safety reasons, UL is something we just have to do. We have been working on getting UL certification so that we could do into production now just about a year and a half and we just got the okay to go.

For additional information on clean energy, visit That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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