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What Wind Speed Can My Solar Panels Handle?

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Given the prevalence of hurricanes in Southwest Florida, people naturally want to know what kind of wind speeds solar panels can handle. Unfortunately, that’s a loaded question with no real, direct answer. Nobody “knows” for sure, but we have lots of anecdotal data. There are way too many variables to provide a succinct answer. And, there are no guarantees. The …

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Enphase Energy Independence in Enlighten App

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We love Enphase around here, but sometimes they really don’t think things through and cause solar contractors a lot of unnecessary grief. You would not believe how many calls/emails/texts we get about the “Energy Independence” figure shown in the Enphase Enlighten app. An average person might think this figure indicates how much of your energy is being produced by solar …

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Utility Interconnection Tiers Explained

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The Florida Administrative Code is where we find the Net Metering Rule for Florida. Utility companies are bound by this law, and each has an interconnection agreement form that is approved by the Public Service Commission. FPL and LCEC are the two utility companies in our service territory. Both have interconnection Tiers 1, 2, and 3. Tier 3 is only …

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Ground Mounted Solar Panels

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People ask us sometimes if we do ground-mounted solar panels. Solar photovoltaic systems can be mounted on traditional solar rails with engineered racking systems. And, YES, we install solar panels on ground racks. But NO, we do not recommend them in Southwest Florida. Why You Should, Or Shouldn’t, Consider a Ground Mount It might seem like a great idea at …

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What Florida’s Net Metering Law Changes Mean

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THIS LEGISLATION WAS (THANKFULLY) VETOED BY GOVERNOR DESANTIS. It was never passed into law. This article remains in place for historical reference. Original Article: In case you missed it, the Florida legislature passed a significant change to the Net Metering laws in Florida. These are the rules that allow solar energy producers to “sell” excess energy production back to the …

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How Much Space do Enphase Encharge Batteries Require?

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Solar energy with battery backup is increasing in popularity as technology evolves and systems become less expensive and more consumer-friendly. Enphase’s Encharge batteries, part of the Enphase Ensemble system, are a go-to option for consumers who have or are considering Enphase microinverters. The undisputed leader in microinverter technology for solar photovoltaic systems, Enphase dominates the local market. One of the …

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Business Electricity Rates and Solar Panels

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Demand Charges Change the Calculus I think you will agree – most people don’t really understand how utility companies charge for electricity. That is doubly true of business owners and executives because businesses are often billed in more complicated ways than residential customers. It’s hard enough to understand bank charges and cell phone bills. Electricity billing is often a nebulous …

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How To Best Use The Enphase Enlighten App

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The Enphase Enlighten app comes standard with every Enphase microinverter system we install. This app is free from the manufacturer and allows you to view your system performance. We create this video to help you navigate the app and demonstrate how to use it to best understand your energy flows. This video is best viewed in full screen on a …

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Large Bubble in Pool – Solar Pool Heating Startup

In Education 2 Comments

Watch this video to learn what it means when you get large bubbles in the pool when your solar pool heating system starts up each time. When your pool pump shuts off or your solar panels shut off during the day, the water in the panels drains down to the pool. The panels fill up with air. When your solar …

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Enphase Launches the IQ8 Microinverter – Backup Without Batteries

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Enphase has launched the new IQ8 microinverter, which comes with the promise of allowing you to use your solar panels off-grid without batteries. Until now, solar panels were either grid-interactive which means they shut down with the loss of the grid, or they worked with batteries to provide backup power. Before you get too excited, let’s get something straight. Solar …

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Solar Pool Heating Automated Valve Manifold Explanation

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Automated Solar Pool Heating Valve Manifold Explained In this video, we explain how our automated solar valve heating manifolds work. The manifold shown here is based on our standard valve setup. Your valves may vary due to a variety of circumstances, but this is the most common arrangement for manifolds installed by Florida Solar Design Group. Keep in mind, your …

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Solar Panel Door To Door Sales

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There is a practice in the solar energy industry that you should know about. Door-to-door selling has been around forever. The people that sell solar door-to-door really don’t sell anything. We call them “door knockers.” Solar Panel Door Knockers The idea of knocking on doors is simply to gauge your interest in solar energy. Once you are targeted with some …

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Solar Panel Power Clipping

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The solar electricity term “clipping” refers to energy that is lost when a solar panel’s output potential exceeds the amount of power that an inverter can convert. That sounds bad, right? Well, maybe not. In good solar photovoltaic system design, the solar panel rating is almost always higher than the inverter (or microinverter) rating. The factor by which the solar …

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Solar Pool Heaters Are Weather Dependent

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Unheated pool temperatures are essentially the average of the nighttime low and daytime high ambient temperatures. It’s well known, and not surprising, that swimming pool temperatures in Southwest Florida closely track the surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico. The near-shore gulf temperature fits the same pattern. At times, unheated pools can lag large temperature swings, but for the most …

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Sleazy Solar Panel Sales

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Warning: You might need a shower after reading this article. The Solar Panel Sales Industry Is Sleazy Our colleagues may not like this airing of dirty laundry. Call it what you want – sleazy, shady, deceptive, disgusting. The solar panel sales industry has become extremely messy. There is a huge cash grab going on in the growing industry, and the …