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The Number One Question To Ask Your Solar Co-Op

In Opinion

You might have heard about a solar co-op coming to your town. These community solar projects promise to bring you lower costs and peace of mind when making a solar panel purchase for your home or business. They can often deliver on those promises, but it’s important that the right questions get asked. The way these programs work is that …

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Enphase Ensemble Battery Solution Coming Soon!

In Education, News, Opinion Leave a Comment

Enphase, the leading manufacturer of microinverters, has started training dealers for its upcoming Ensemble battery system. This is an exciting new entrant to the budding Lithium battery industry for use in homes. Enphase has a unique approach that improves reliability, serviceability, design, and monitoring capabilities. In Southwest Florida we are mainly concerned with battery backup. The Enphase battery will fit …

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Offset Your Electricity Bill – All or Part?

In Education Leave a Comment

Some people only want solar panels if they can offset their entire electricity bill. But does that make sense? Grid-Interactive solar energy systems work with the grid to reduce your monthly energy use and cost. I get the idea of becoming “independent” from the utility company. Many people feel utility companies are greedy and inefficient. But you actually may be …

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Home Solar Panel Photovoltaic System in Fort Myers

In Education, Installation Photos Leave a Comment

Fort Myers is obviously a GREAT place for solar photovoltaic panels. Also known as solar electricity, these systems are primarily designed to offset your electricity bill. These are usually not backup systems for utility outages. That is a common misconception among consumers. A system like the one pictured below, with 27 solar modules, each rated at 370 watts, will offset …

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Net Zero Home With Solar Panels

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One of the goals our clients bring to us is a net zero home. This means they want to generate as much energy with solar panels as they consume on an annual basis. It doesn’t mean off-grid, and it doesn’t mean that each month they will produce as much solar energy than they need. Some months they will produce excess, …

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Poor Workmanship on Solar Energy Systems

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

Sometimes we see shockingly poor workmanship on solar energy systems. What’s more shocking is when solar contractors argue that the work is acceptable. One pet peeve of mine is poor wire management. Specifically, allowing wires to run along roof surfaces without proper support and protection drive me nuts. Securing and supporting wires is required by building code. But common sense …

Rooftop Solar Panel Fire Safety – Why Microinverters Are The Only Prudent Choice

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When businesses contemplate a solar panel installation, the main goal is usually return on investment, or ROI. That means the solar panels and other equipment must be the most cost-effective possible and the installation often goes to the lowest bidder. Homeowners often seek top quality, features, and gadgets. They want a good deal, but they also want the latest technology …

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Can I Put Solar Pool Heating Panels In The Shade

In Education Leave a Comment

A couple of years ago I did an article and short video on how shade affects solar electric panels. Solar pool heating panels are different, and shade affects them differently. While it’s always best to avoid shading with any type of solar panel, sometimes there just isn’t a suitable roof or there isn’t enough roof space. Sometimes the neighbors have …

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Where Is Solar Pool Heating Most Popular

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Southwest Florida is one of the best markets in the nation for solar pool heating. Why? Because it works SO WELL here! But where in Southwest Florida is solar pool heating most popular? We took a random sampling of 500 recent solar pool heating installations we have done and mapped them. The results are pretty telling. Now they may be …

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What Is The Cheapest Way To Heat My Pool?

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

If you are looking for the cheapest way to heat your Florida pool, you have come to the right place. It’s a bit of a loaded question, but we will walk you through the options and relative costs of each major pool heating method. For our analysis, we are going to assume similar quality levels for all technologies. For example, …

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7 Things to Consider Before Using A Solar Cooperative

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Purchasing a solar energy system can be a major decision with daunting research required before making a purchase. Solar cooperatives provide an opportunity for neighbors to become united in making purchase decisions. Learning how to best harness the sun takes time. Solar cooperatives can help put people at ease. However, solar cooperatives are not always the best option, and can …

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Electric Cars Run on Natural Gas

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I hate to break it to you, but your electric car runs on natural gas – with a little nuclear power mixed in. The dealer didn’t tell you that, did they? We’re being a little facetious here, but it is generally true. When you plug your car in and use utility electricity to charge it, fuel is burned to generate …

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Conflating Solar Power and Battery Backup

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One of the greatest challenges we face as solar professionals is explaining to people how solar power and battery backup have little to do with one another. How did these concepts come to be intertwined, and why is it so challenging to overcome? When the power goes out, people think that solar panels will keep your house running. Especially here …

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Enphase MyEnlighten Updated For Per Module Monitoring

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Enphase is the world’s leading microinverter manufacturer, and they have always been at the forefront of solar panel monitoring. One of the most revolutionary benefits of microinverters in solar electricity systems is the ability to monitor each individual panel. Now Enphase is expanding its consumer monitoring offering to include this per-panel monitoring. The ability to monitor the energy production performance …

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Sonnen Certified Partner for Battery Backup

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Florida Solar Design Group is now a Sonnen Certified Partner. We can now sell and install Sonnen’s Lithium Ion battery backup systems in Southwest Florida. Sonnen is a leading manufacturer of battery systems that integrate with solar photovoltaic systems, providing seamless and unlimited battery backup power for emergencies and utility outages. Battery technology has come a long way in the …

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Should I Buy Solar Panels From My Builder?

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We are seeing more and more home builders offer solar electric panels. For many years home builders have offered upgrades like swimming pools, outdoor living spaces, and improved finishes. And for many years pool builders have offered solar pool heating panels. Recently savvy builders have added solar electric panels to their offerings to meet demands from progressive home buyers. In …