Unbound Solar - DIY Solar, Panels & Complete Systems

Web Name: Unbound Solar - DIY Solar, Panels & Complete Systems

WebSite: http://www.unboundsolar.com





Get Quote An Unbound Renewable Energy CompanyOpen Mon-Fri: 6am to 6pm PST About Us Support Blog (0 items)



Discover independence through the power of solar.

Discover independence through the power of solar.

Get My Solar Estimate


1 We Design & Ship We collaborate with you to design and deliver a system that meets your utility needs — selecting equipment from the most vetted manufacturers, so you don’t have to compromise. 2 Install How You Want Whether you want to go 100% DIY or use our full-service turnkey solution, we'll support any installation method you choose. 3 Lifetime Support Even after your system is installed and operating, you can always count on Unbound Solar to provide the support you need — free. Just contact us at any time, and we will be there for you. See Why We're Different

Our Solar Solutions

4kW, 12 American panels with SMA string inverter.

Best value package.

Starting at:$7,677 Learn MorePrices include racking & plan set. Grid-tied
4kW, 12 American panels system with 12 micro inverters.

Battery backup available.

Starting at:$8,599 Learn MorePrices include racking & plan set. Grid-tied
4kW, 12 American panels system with an optimized string inverter.

Battery backup available.

Starting at:$8,039 Learn MorePrices include racking & plan set. Grid-tied Hybrid
6.5kW, 16 American panels Grid-tied system.

Multiple battery backup technologies available.

Starting at:$13,467 Learn MorePrices include racking & plan set. Off grid
4kW, 12 American panels Hybrid/Off-Grid system, including battery bank (AGM).

Multiple battery technologies available.

Starting at:$15,842 Learn MorePrices include racking & plan set.
To Buy Now:

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Which One Works for You?

Highlights of the different Inverter technologies

String inverter (SMA)

Price sensitive installationsFull sun exposure without shadingRoof & Ground MountsLong-distance PV runs

Micro Inverter (Enphase)

Residential & small Commercial useGrid-Tie onlyStorage compatible (Enphase Energy System)Roof Mount primarily

Optimized String Inverter (Solaredge)

Residential & Commercial useGrid-TieRoof & Ground MountsOptimized strings (reduce shading effects)

Hybrid & Offgrid (SolArk)

Residential & Commercial useGrid-Tie, Grid-Tie with battery backup, or Off-GridStorage-readyRoof & Ground Mounts

Meet Your Best-In-Class Solar Panel Lineup

We cut out the guess work for you. We believe picking the right solar panel product should be easy, not hard.

Jinko USA

Great Performance.
Affordable Price.

Jinko USA Solar Panels

With Half-cut cell technology and half cell layout. Jinko USA’s Eagle modules offer higher sustained output and higher efficiency without sacrificing space. Small individual cells resist microcracking and provide class leading durability, shading resistance and reduced internal power loss. making Jinko USA a great choice for space constrained or shade impacted arrays.

Learn more


High Performance.
Dressed To Impress.
NASA Approved.

Heliene Solar Panels

Utilizes PERC cell technology and has one of the strongest panel frames available. Heliene solar panels are ideal for weathering any climate condition, while also providing a sharp black-on-black appearance.

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Mission Solar

Manufactured, Assembled,
Designed & Engineered

Mission Solar Panels

With automated and manual quality control points, along with in-house sampling and testing. Mission guarantees the highest quality and reliability in every module that leaves the factory.

Learn more


Best Performance.
Cutting-Edge Design.

Solaria Solar Panels

With an industry-leading efficiency rating and a striking, black-on-black small-footprint design, Solaria panels are ideal for anyone looking to maximize both energy output and cool factor.

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Battery Backup Options

Lithium Phosphate (LFP)

Lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePO4 or LFP) offer lots of benefits compared to lead-acid batteries and other lithium batteries.Longer life span, 8000+ Cycles, no maintenance,
Extremely safe, lightweight. Higher power density compared to lead-acid.
Very low self-discharge rate, 1-2% per month.80-100% depth of discharge without reduction in battery life.Scaleable battery technology easily creates high capacity storage.
No cobalt and reduced fire hazard (compared to standard lithium cobalt batteries). Starting at:


Sized for 4KW Solar System Learn More

Sealed Batteries (AGM)

It’s maintenance-free: there’s no need to top-up the electrolyte solution.It’s leak-proof: you won’t have to worry about electrolyte spillage.It’s position insensitive: you can place it in any position, unlike the traditional flooded lead acid battery, which must always be upright.
It has a low self-discharge rate: this results in better charge retention.It’s easier to ship: they are classified as non-hazardous, compared to the flooded lead acid battery.
A true High-Durability battery, Fullriver DC Series AGM is constructed with thick, pure lead plates. Starting at:


Sized for 4KW Solar System Learn More

Flooded Lead Acid (FLA)

The advantages of flooded batteries are:

Rugged Cell Construction Their well-proven durability & reliabilityTypically the lowest cost optionThey can be made from thick antimony alloy grids which are more suitable for long cycle life than the calcium alloy grids typically used in VRLA batteries. Starting at:


Sized for 4KW Solar System Learn More

Dive Deeper

Is Backup Power Right For You?

Batteries Outstanding value. My local dealer can't get his equipment for less. Excellent technical support before, during, and after installation. Joe Sobczak Verified Google Review I highly recommend this company... [they] have the technical expertise to ensure the installation maximizes the potential of the system. Daniel Zajic Verified Google Review Bought a PV system from them and installed it on my own - they were very helpful throughout in answering my questions and providing guidance. Joshua M. Verified Google Review I've dealt with them for ten years and they are always there to answer a question or facilitate a delivery. They are my go-to company for solar. David McCord Verified Google Review Amazing company! If you want to go solar these guys can help YOU do it yourself for a 1/3 of the cost of hiring a company! Johnathan Baldwin Verified Google Review This company has been absolutely the best to work with. Their attention to detail and customer support was amazing. Greg Troxell Verified Google Review This company is great to work with. Their support is excellent. Would recommend them to everyone looking to install a solar system. Mark Fink Verified Google Review

Customers Doing it Their Way

Our customers share their experiences and insights from installing solar their way. See how others, just like you achieved self-reliance through solar. See Their Stories

The Do-It-Your-Way Solar Guide:

The Do-It-Your-WaySolar Guide

Planning Permitting Installation Maintenance

We answer all your questions in one easy-to-navigate Do-It-Your-Way Solar Hub. Ready for total control with more choices and faster payback?

We answer all your questions in one easy-to-navigate Do-It-Your-Way Solar Hub. Ready for total control with more choices and faster payback?

Go to DIY-W Solar Hub Go to DIY-W Solar Hub

Our Customer’s
Environmental Impact

[ Total Solar Systems ] 26,000+ [ MegaWatts Installed ] 130 MW [ CO2 Reduced ] 180,000+ tons [ Trees Saved ] 120 acres

Solar News

Preparing for water scarcity using hybrid desalination technologies on September 14, 2022

Seoul, South Korea (SPX) Sep 01, 2022 Clean water is essential for human survival. However, less […]

Frontier Research Center to advance molecular-level solar science on September 14, 2022

Tucson AZ (SPX) Sep 01, 2022 Creating and storing solar power is increasingly important as the […]

New stable quantum batteries can reliably store energy into electromagnetic fields on September 14, 2022

Seoul, South Korea (SPX) Sep 06, 2022 Quantum technologies, i.e. technological devices obtained […]

A new concept for low-cost batteries on September 14, 2022

Boston MA (SPX) Sep 06, 2022 As the world builds out ever larger installations of wind and solar […]

Ready to Go Solar
Your Way?

Learn why we’re different and how you benefit! Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Learn why we’re different and how you benefit! Learn More

Solar: Harness the power of the sun

Virtually unlimited power is available from our nearest star, the Sun. In just one hour, our planet receives more energy from the sun than the entire world uses during an entire year. Electricity-producing solar panels have only been around for the last 60 years, yet they have completely transformed how we harness solar energy

Read More ›

In 1839, a nineteen year-old French physicist named Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel discovered the operating principle of the solar cell, known as the photovoltaic effect. It wasn’t until 1876 that this effect materialized into a viable method of producing electricity with the work of William Grylls Adams. He discovered that by illuminating a junction between selenium and platinum, a photovoltaic effect occurs; electricity could now be produced without moving parts.

Revolutionary as they may have been, the selenium solar cells were not efficient enough to power electrical equipment. That ability occurred in 1953 when a Bell Laboratories employee Gerald Pearson had the bright idea of making a solar cell with silicon instead of selenium. The New York Times heralded the discovery as “The beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of harnessing the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization”.

Just in time for the space race, the first solar panels made their debut in the satellite industry. Vanguard I, the first solar-powered satellite celebrated its 53rd birthday this year, setting mileage records and holding the title of being the oldest artificial satellite still in orbit.

The first solar modules were only efficient enough for space applications, where the Sun’s radiation is much stronger. Eventually satellite research paved the way for Earth-based technology. The 1990’s were pivotal years for photovoltaic technology. Innovations in solar cells allowed for greater efficiency while lowering the cost of production. Germany and Japan led the way with long-term solar power incentive programs helping lower the cost to the public, and spurring the growth of a robust Photovoltaic industry in both countries.

California Leads the Nation
In 2006, California made a major long-term commitment to solar power by passing the California Solar Initiative, a ten-year incentive program with the goal of installing 3,000 megawatts of solar panels on the equivalent of one million rooftops. California leads the nation in solar panel installations, as it currently has more photovoltaic systems installed than any other state. This incredible boom has taken place mostly due to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that 20 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2010. In 2008 the state decided that it was not moving fast enough in meeting these goals and enacted a feed-in tariff, requiring utility companies to buy back excess power produced by homeowner’s and private photovoltaic installations. In the same year, the state also raised the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020, greatly helping spur growth in the renewable energy industry.

How Solar Panels work
Photovoltaic solar modules are composed of multiple, interconnected solar cells, which effectively trap photon energy between layers of silicon wafers. Negatively charged electrons are then knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow freely through the semiconductors. Separate diodes, and P-N junctions prevent reverse currents and reduce loss of power on partially shaded panels.

Since the flow of electrical current is going in one direction, like a battery, the electricity generated is called direct current (DC). Sunlight conversion rates are typically in the 5 to 18 percent range, with some laboratory experiments reaching efficiencies as high as 30 percent. Future possibilities include the development of multi-junction solar cells that are capable of harnessing a wider bandwidth of useable light. We are still considered to be in the “early” stages of solar cell technology.

Solar Panel Components
Photovoltaic solar panels are the main building block in a solar power system. Since each solar module produces a limited amount of power, installations usually consist of multiple panels, called an array. The array produces DC (direct current), which can be stored in batteries or instantly converted into AC (alternating current) required by conventional appliances.

Equipment that converts the power from DC to AC is known as a solar inverter, and they come in a few varieties, modified sine wave or pure sine wave. They are further classified based on which type of system it is to be used in, whether it is off-grid or grid interconnected. Recently the innovation of micro inverters has greatly simplified installations, and makes it easy to add on panels to an installation. Each solar module is paired with its own micro inverter, which then converts the power directly at the panel. For off grid installations the use of a charge controller is necessary to properly manage the power harvest, charge the batteries, and prevent overcharging.

The greatest innovation in charge controllers would have to be the relatively new feature called maximum power point tracking (MPPT). This innovative method of charging batteries constantly monitors peak power voltage from the array and input voltage on the batteries adjusting amperage to compensate for the fluctuations. This provides the most efficient means to manage the power harvest. The function of MPPT charge controllers is analogous to the transmission of a car, keeping your charging system in the “right gear”. Other components of the solar system would include the wiring and mounting hardware, while some installations use a tracker that changes its tilt angle and direction throughout the day.

Types of Solar Panels
Solar panels are classified into three classes: mono-crystalline (single crystal), poly-crystalline (multiple crystals), or amorphous silicon. Mono-crystalline is indicative of the continuous and unbroken sample of silicon in which the cell is manufactured from. This method uses very pure silicon grown in a complex growth process, and then sliced into wafers that compose the individual cells. This was the first method used to manufacture solar cells, and are still highly regarded for their efficiency ratios.

Poly-crystalline panels are composed of many crystallites of varying size and orientation. These multi-crystalline panels are generally less expensive and slightly less efficient than mono-crystalline modules, yet lately the difference in efficiency is very small. Like their mono-crystalline counterpart, the cells are also cut into wafers that make up the individual cells of a solar panel.

Amorphous solar panels use the non-crystalline, allotropic form of silicon, in which a thin layer of this silicon substrate is applied to the back of a plate of glass. These panels are much cheaper and less energy efficient, yet they are more versatile in how they can be used. For example, amorphous solar panels can be manufactured into long sheets of roofing material. Thin Film solar panels also fall into the amorphous category. This type of cells can be mounted on a flexible backing, making them more suited for mobile applications.

Each of the solar panel types is estimated to last at least twenty-five years. Instead of stopping production completely, electricity production will decline a little, gradually, over decades. The longevity of a solar panel refers to the number of years before the unit starts producing only 80 percent of its original power rating. The industry standard for warranties is 20 to 25 years, although it is not uncommon for panels to produce adequate power for over 30 years.

Off Grid versus Grid tied
Solar panels are used extensively in rural areas, where access to the grid is non-existent or inaccessible. These installations are called off grid (or independent, stand-alone) solar power systems, and require the use of batteries to store the energy for use at night or on long stretches of overcast weather. The energy stored in the batteries leaves the batteries as DC electricity which can power DC appliances (as in RV’s) or be converted to alternating current (AC) for use with conventional appliances. Much like running your own mini utility company, this method gives you full independence from the national grid.

You can eliminate the cost of batteries by going with a system that connects right into your home’s main junction box and use the grid as your power source at night or on long stretches of inclement weather. These installations are known as grid-tied or grid-interconnected systems. This version of solar system enables you to sell any excess power you produce back to the utility companies who have chosen to support “net metering”. Once you are signed up on a net metering program, your utility company will have a smart meter installed known as a Time of Use Meter, which will actually run backwards when you are producing excess power. It is wise to keep in mind that Grid tied systems without a battery backup, are only functional when the grid is operational. Due to anti-islanding features on grid tied inverters, which protect utility workers from working on a live line, grid-tied systems without a battery back up will not continue to produce power during a power outage regardless of whether you have sunshine or not.

Since solar panels produce DC, or direct current, they must be coupled with a solar inverter to convert the energy from DC to AC, or alternating current. In a grid tied system this can be done by a large central inverter, or each solar panel can be outfitted with its own micro inverter. Once the power is converted to alternating current and its phase is synchronized with that of the grid, it is then tied in to your main junction box, which is ultimately interconnected to the national grid.

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