Solar Panels

Residential and commercial solar panels can generate enough electricity from the sun to give you energy independence, increase your home or business’s value while reducing your impact on earth.  If you’re near Blairstown or in Eastern Iowa and are ready to invest in solar power with new solar panel installation, call Rabe Hardware to help you every step of the way!

  • How Solar Panels Work
    How a PV Cell Makes Electricity – Under the sun, a photovoltaic cell acts as a photosensitive diode that instantaneously converts light – but not heat – into electricity.

    Cell Layers – A top, phosphorus-diffused silicon layer carries free electrons – un-anchored particles with negative charges. A thicker, boron doped bottom layer contains holes, or absences of electrons, that also can move freely. In effect, precise manufacturing has instilled an electronic imbalance between the two layers.

    Sun Activation

    1. Photons bombard and penetrate the cell.
    2. They activate electrons, knocking them loose in both silicon layers.
    3. Some electrons in the bottom layer sling-shot to the top of the cell.
    4. These electrons flow into metal contacts as electricity, moving into a circuit throughout a 60-cell module.
    5. Electrons flow back into the cell via a solid contact layer at the bottom, creating a closed loop or circuit.


    Powering Homes and Businesses with Solar – Current leaving a module, or array of modules, passes through a wire conduit leading to an inverter. This device, about the shape of a waffle iron, inverts direct current, which flows with a fixed current and voltage, into alternating current, which flows with oscillating current and voltage. Appliances worldwide operate on AC. From the inverter, the solar-generated power feeds into circuitry of a household, business or power plant and onto the region’s electrical grid. A remote, or independent, power system also can form a self-contained circuit without connecting to the grid. The off-grid system, however, requires batteries to store power for times, such as night, when modules do not capture enough light energy from the sun.

  • Solar System Benefits
    Save Money Now – Depending on the size of the solar system you choose to install, you can save an average of 50% off your electric bill or even eliminate it all together.


    The average American household uses 920 kWh per month. SolarWorld’s average installation accounts for an impressive 840 kWh per month.

    Increase your Home Value – Studies performed by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory have shown that adding a solar system increases a home’s resale value by an average of $5.50 per watt, and depending on location, can be as high as $6.40/watt.

    • A 3.1kW system can add $17,000 to your home’s value
    • Studies have also shown that homes with solar sell 15% faster than homes without solar.

    Decrease your Carbon Footprint – Solar reduces your carbon footprint as well. The average American household generates 7.4 tons of carbon dioxide per year through electrical use. Carbon dioxide has been proven to cause global warming, which is wreaking havoc on our Earth—causing glaciers to melt, shorelines to erode and animals to be endangered.

    Solar on your home can help conserve more than 16,000 gallons of water per year, and reduce reliance on foreign and nonrenewable energy sources.

  • Solar Mounting Systems

    Here at Rabe Hardware, we rely on PV Solar mounting systems for our residential and commercial solar installations for their superior strength and ease of installation.

    PV Solar Mounting Hardware for Any Application:


    Residential Solar Mounting

    Economical and quick to install roof, ground and pole mount racking systems for residential applications.



    Commercial Solar Mounting

    Engineered ballasted roof mounts, longer span mounting rails and rugged ground mounts for commercial applications.

Guaranteed Durability & Reliability

From hail storms, to water exposure, to wind and snow loads, SolarWorld solar panels are designed, built, and tested to withstand the harshest conditions all while exceeding international testing requirements and providing the maximum power output year after year.

Guaranteed Long-term Energy Production

All solar panels are not created equal. SolarWorld controls every aspect of the manufacturing process to deliver high-quality solar panels that provide long-term energy production for each and every customer. Maximize your return on investment with worry-free performance.

Performance Guarantee

  • 20-year product workmanship warranty
  • 25-year linear performance guarantee
  • At least 97% of nominal power in the first year
  • Guaranteed maximum performance reduction of only 0.7% per year
  • Guaranteed performance of 90% after 11 years
  • Guaranteed performance of 80.2% after 25 years

Why Solar? Why Now?

Now is the time!  Homeowners who are still waiting to install a solar power system may be missing out. By making the switch to solar now, you’ll maximize the financial benefits of rebates, tax credits and other incentives.  Plus – lower operating costs will pay for the system within 5-7 years.  When it comes to going solar, there’s no good reason to wait!