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Microgrid Interconnect Devices in the National Electrical Code

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The Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID) has had a significant impact on the National Electrical Code (NEC), particularly in the context of distributed energy resources (DERs) like solar photovoltaic systems, battery storage, and microgrids. Major changes in the 2020 NEC have caused some confusion about the applicability of certain code sections. The MID is a device or system that allows for …

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Pool Heat Pumps Use More Energy As Pool Temperature Rises

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Some people think that swimming pool electric heat pumps use the same amount of power any time they are running. In fact, some people think that heat pumps use less energy as the pool water temperature approaches the desired setpoint, thinking that it’s getting easier to heat the water. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have explained “Delta …

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Analyzing Performance of Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating

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We have been tracking the performance of our Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating, and have been able to analyze several sites in detail. The great thing about these systems is we can gather tremendous data, quantifying actual solar production and pool heating electrical consumption. We use this to validate system designs. Consumers can track their energy use and make informed …

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Solar Panel Warranties: Why They Might Not Be as Useful as You Think

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In the world of solar energy, warranties are often touted as a mark of quality and reliability. After all, who wouldn’t want the assurance that their investment in solar panels is protected against defects and performance issues? Manufacturers put out fancy marketing brochures and nebulous certification programs to demonstrate confidence in their products. However, as a seasoned solar veteran, I’ve …

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Insurance Requirements for Tier 2 Solar Panel Utility Interconnections (FPL and LCEC)

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If you are installing a Tier 2 solar photovoltaic system, you will need to provide evidence that you have $1 million of personal liability insurance. This is usually done through a homeowner’s insurance policy, or more often through an umbrella insurance policy. In this video, we explain the who, what, where, why, and how insurance works when you are planning …

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Solar Panel Failures – Bypass Diodes

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If you are experiencing reduced solar panel output, buy a lottery ticket. Solar panel failures are exceedingly rare. Most people worry about their solar panel putting out less power over time, which is called degradation. That’s a relatively difficult thing to diagnose and hard to prove. However, bypass diode failures in solar panels are relatively easy to spot and diagnose …

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Solar Panel Output Variation (Monthly and Annually)

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Solar panels are a weather-dependent technology. Although solar electric panels will generate electricity in all weather, the amount is highly dependent on the irradiance, temperature, visibility, and other factors. It should be no surprise that solar panels work better when it is sunny and not so great in cloudy weather. The good news is we have tons of historical data …

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The Importance of Wire Management for Solar Panels

In Education, Opinion 1 Comment

You might think you have asked a solar salesperson all of the essential questions. But did you ever consider asking how they do wire management? It’s the small things that matter. People get hung up on warranties, temperature coefficients, and panel brands, but they fail to ask the most important questions when hiring a solar contractor. And I get it …

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How Important Is Solar Panel Temperature Coefficient?

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It gets hot here in Southwest Florida. And if you didn’t already know, solar photovoltaic panels lose performance as the temperature increases. You heard that right. Solar panels want cool and clear days to perform the best. All solar panels have a rate at which the solar panels lose performance called the temperature coefficient. It is expressed in percent loss …

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Hire a Local Solar Contractor

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The solar energy industry has exploded in the last several years. At the turn of the century, there were a handful of local solar contractors in Southwest Florida, and a decade later, that remained the same. But since 2010, the number of solar energy companies in the area has increased to dozens of local dealers. More impactful has been the …

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2024 Will Be The Year Of The Battery

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Modern lithium ion batteries for solar with battery backup have been around for years now. The early adopter stage is ending, and 2024 is shaping up to be the year for battery backup in Southwest Florida. There are¬†major developments in the industry, and now may be the time to buy solar with batteries or add batteries to your existing solar …

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Solar Generators | Portable Power Stations

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They are called all kinds of things. Solar Generators. Portable Power Stations. Portable Battery Backup. Portable Power Stations. Solar Battery Banks. Whatever. These are just words without context, and these products’ manufacturers make sensational claims that have to be true – after all, they’re on the Internet! If It’s Too Good to be True, It Probably Is Have you read …

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Inverter Rating Versus Solar Panel Rating

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In the context of solar power systems, when we refer to inverter ratings being less than solar panel ratings, it means that the capacity or power rating of the solar inverter is lower than the total capacity of the solar panels it is intended to support. Here’s a breakdown of these terms: Solar Panel Ratings: The rating of a solar …

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Pool Heat Pump Ideal Flow Rate Explained

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The ideal flow rate for a pool heat pump depends on the specific model and specifications of the heat pump, as well as the size of your pool. Generally, heat pump manufacturers provide guidelines regarding the recommended flow rates for their units. The flow rate is typically measured in gallons per minute (GPM). It’s essential to match the flow rate …