New Mexico Solar Periodic Table of Elements

New Mexico's First Periodic Table of Solar Elements

On-the-Panel Solar Factors Important to New Mexico

Temperature coefficient (Tc):

The amount of energy lost when equipment overheats. Like other electronic devices, solar panels can overheat, causing the equipment to work harder and burn out. Well ventilated solar panels cool off faster. +1

Power Optimizers (Po):

A power optimizer goes on the back of each solar panel. It increases solar panel energy production. +1

Material absorption (Ma):

Solar panels absorb light wavelengths. Some wavelengths have more energy, creating an electric current. +2

Wafer (W):

A wafer is a slice of semiconductor used to capture light wavelengths. +2

N-type semiconductor (Nt):

N-type semiconductors have extra electrons. Atoms with extra electrons give them up to atoms with missing electrons. This exchange creates an electrical current. +1

P-type semiconductor (Pt):

P-type semiconductors have an electron deficiency, which draws the extra electrons from n-type semiconductors to it. +1

Front contact (Fc):

The front contact is a conductive material on top of the cell that connects each cell within a solar panel. Because front contacts block the sun from hitting part of the cell, it can reduce PV efficiency. -1

Back contact (Bc):

Back contacts consist of conductive material attached to the back of each cell. Most consider back contacts more efficient because they don't block the sun. +1

Solar Panel Manufacturing (Sm):

How solar panels are manufactured impacts the environment. Manufacturers who use sustainable practices and support end-of-life management increase the positive impact of this renewable energy source. +1

Off-the-Panel New Mexico Solar Panel Factors

The balance of system (BoS) or off-the-panel factors entails all the system parts aside from the solar panels. While these factors are general, some have more importance in New Mexico than others because of the local installation requirements, incentives, and environmental factors.

Mounting System (Ms):

The mounting system secures the solar panels. Which type of mounting system will work best for your New Mexico home depends on system placement. Homes on the ground require a different mounting setup than a system installed on top of a house, and a home with a flat roof would need a different setup than one with a pitch. +1

Solar Charge Controller (Sc):

A charge controller disrupts the flow of electricity to and from a solar battery. It stops the battery from overcharging or losing electricity. +1

Inverter (I):

Inverters convert the direct current from solar panels into alternating current so the home can use it. A system will achieve maximum production when the inverter power rating matches the solar panel power rating. +1

Microinverters (Mi):

Microinverters attach to the back of each solar panel. They convert direct current to alternating current at each module, decreasing the impact a few shaded solar panels otherwise would have on the array production. +0 

String inverter (Si):

String inverters convert the total power produced from direct current to alternating current. Most installers install this inverter type because of the ease of installation and lower cost. Go Solar Group uses an optimized string inverter, which helps decrease the impact of shaded solar panels. It combines central control at the ground level that other string inverters offer and modular monitoring of microinverters. +1

Battery Backup (B):

Battery backup allows New Mexico solar homeowners to power their homes without the grid. Often these systems stay connected, but battery backup can power the entire house or essentials, depending on the size of the solar storage system, during an emergency. +2

Disconnects (D):

Direct current disconnect interrupts the electricity flowing from the solar panels. While alternating current disconnect interrupts the current emitted from the solar inverter to the home and grid. Disconnects turn off the current generated by the solar panels. In an emergency, a firefighter will turn off both disconnects. As of April 2021, New Mexico enforces the NEC 2017, which mandates module-level disconnect during outages.+1

Conduit (Ct):

Conduits protect the wiring. Often pipes or tubing are used. However, more flexible options can also protect wires while allowing more give. +1

Combiner box (Cb):

A combiner box merges strings of solar panels, subsequently connecting them to the inverter, so all the generated electricity is converted to usable alternating current at once in the home. +2

Azimuth (A):

Azimuth measures the angle of an object in comparison to the sun. The right azimuth angle can increase the efficiency of your New Mexico home's solar array. +1

Net meter (Nm):

Net meters measure how much solar-generated electricity is produced by your solar modules and exported back onto the grid, including what you draw from the grid. +1

Pitch (P):

Roof pitch is calculated by the number of inches the roof rises every foot. Homes with a South, East, or West-facing pitch that are too steep or shallow complicate solar installations. +1

Solar Panel Types

Polycrystalline Panels (Pc):

Polycrystalline panels use fragmented silicon crystals, which limits solar absorption. -2

Monocrystalline Panels (Mc):

Monocrystalline solar panels use one crystal, creating more uninterrupted space. This structure allows it to absorb more wavelengths. This composition contributes significantly to the efficiency and quality of solar panels. +2

Thin-Film Panels (Tf):

Thin-film panels have a semiconductor layer painted either on metal or glass. They tend to have the lowest efficiency ratings. -2

New Mexico Solar Installation Types

Asphalt Shingles (As):

Asphalt shingles have become a common roofing option because they cost less and last a long time. Solar installations on an asphalt roof have become standard and often don't require special equipment. +1

Tile Roofing (Tr):

New Mexico tile roofs often use either concrete or clay. This roofing option increases the durability, energy efficiency, and life of the roof. However, they also cost more, weigh more, and may require special solar mounting equipment. +1

Flat roof Installation (TPO):

TPO or thermoplastic polyolefin roofs have become a standard for flat-roofed homes and businesses. Because this roof type doesn't have a pitch, solar installers often install a ballasted solar array (one of the 4 main types of residential solar installations), which uses angled racking and cement blocks to hold the system in place. +1

Metal Roofing (Mr):

Metal roofs come in a variety of styles, colors, and metals. Installing solar on a metal roof depends on the style and type. However, in general, a metal roof solar installation is easily doable. +1

Ground Mount (Gm):

If you don't like the aesthetic of solar panels on top of your roof but still want solar, a ground mount installation is your best bet since the Tesla solar shingles have some drawbacks. Ground-mounted solar arrays allow homeowners to use sunny areas on their property for solar instead of their roof. New Mexico homeowners with large amounts of unused or multi-purposed land and limited roof space often find this option best meets their needs.+1

Solar Plus Products 

Smart Thermostat (St):

Smart thermostats monitor and adjust the home's temperature to the homeowner's preferences. In conjunction with residential solar, this device can help New Mexico homeowners significantly decrease their carbon footprint. +2 

Solar storage (S):

Solar storage provides a place for excess energy to be stored for use at a later date, which comes in handy during power outages or other scenarios demanding solar-based emergency preparedness. Several different forms of solar storage have developed. However, for residential use, the most common type has become battery backup. Solar storage increases PV system reliability.+2

New Mexico Solar Incentives

Federal Incentive Tax Credit (ITC):

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers a dollar-for-dollar 26% tax credit to those who have installed solar between 2021 and 2022. It will prorate to 22% in 2023 and disappears for homeowners afterward. Therefore, the sooner New Mexico homeowners install solar, the more money this tax credit will save them. +2

New Mexico Tax Credit (Tc):

New Mexico has a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for solar installations. This tax credit will cover 10% or up to $6,000 of a solar array installed in the state of New Mexico. +2

New Mexico Solar Property Tax Exemption (Te):

New Mexico homeowners who install solar on their homes can take advantage of a 100% property tax exemption. This exemption allows solar to increase the home value without increasing the taxes paid each year. +2

PNM Renewable Energy Credit (REC):

Solar homeowners can sell the renewable energy credits associated with their solar array to PNM. However, for this incentive to make sense for the homeowner, they need a system that will produce enough solar energy to cover the extra fee PNM charges REC-optioning customers. +1

New Mexico Solar Company Referral Program (Rp):

Most solar companies have a referral program. However, at Go Solar Group, ours is unique because it is unlimited and rewards the referrer $500 for each successful solar installation, regardless of whether the referrer is a current customer. +2

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