The idea behind using solar panels to power your home's electricity may seem simple on the surface—install the panels to your roof and let the sun do the rest.
But making the multi-thousand dollar commitment to your home (and the environment) usually yields a host of questions, says Michelle Waldegeir, marketing vice president for Howard County-based Astrum Solar.
What happens when one panel goes out? How many will I need for my roof? How exactly do the panels work? How are they attached to my roof? What if part of my roof is shaded?
Patch asked Waldgeir, who represents one of the largest vendors of solar panels on the East Coast, to break down the process of solar panels and what possible consumers should expect. (See video)
2012 Maryland Solar & Wind Expo solar panel vendors:
- Astrum Solar
- Paradise Energy Solutions
- 21st Century Solar
- Standard Solar
- Solar Energy World (Video)
- Solar Universe
- Bith Energy
- Ultra Solar and Wind Solutions
- Solar City
- Earth and Air Technologies
- Greenspring Energy (Story)
- Renewable Energy Corp.
"The people who come here are the folks who are looking to making a change. ... It's time to get off the gasoline, and electricity can be gathered from the sun," xpo director George Lopez said.
The vendors are also hosting seminarsthroughout the weekend to further explain costs associated with solar panels and to demonstrate how installation works.
The third annual event is noticeably less crowded by vendors than when it was first introduced in Maryland in 2009.
"Just like in every business you'll have the strong and you'll have the weak. One of the things that we decided right from the beginning was not to lower our standards," Lopez said. "To put it frankly, I kept a few people out. The folks that are here—and most of them have been here since the beginning—are thriving, they're hiring and they're putting people to work."
Is your home outfitted with solar panels? Are you interested in learning more about renewable energy options for your home? What would you like Patch to report on from the weekend's expo? Tell us in the comments section below.