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My Solar Heated Pool Feels Warmer in the Morning

In Education Leave a Comment

When a solar pool heater owner says that their pool feels warmer in the morning, especially this time of year, it’s usually a matter of perception. As you would expect, solar pool heaters only heat pools during the day when the sun is out and the pool pump is running. Naturally, the temperature in the pool will typically rise throughout …

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Solar Design: More Than a Pretty Picture

In Education, Solar Design Leave a Comment

Renderings of solar panels on buildings are very helpful in visualizing the scale and look of a project. However, there are practical reasons to develop 3D computer models of solar panel layouts, and one of the most important is evaluating shading. When obstruction exist like trees, buildings, power lines, and others, it is important to evaluate the impact of shade. …

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Interactive 3D Models of Solar Panel Designs

In Solar Design Leave a Comment

Sure, two dimensional representations of three dimensional models are pretty cool on paper or in PDF presentation format, but what if you could interact with a 3D model in a simple, easy to use format in a web browser? Well, you can! When we do a three dimensional model, it can be uploaded and shared via a web link. Immersive …

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Rendering Scenes for 3D Computerized Solar Designs

In Solar Design Leave a Comment

I’m constantly working to improve the visual renderings of our 3D computerized solar designs. We have mastered the art of taking aerial imagery and making three dimensional roofs on which we can display solar panels. However, one of the biggest challenges is modeling screened pool cages that are ubiquitous in Southwest Florida. Ideally we would just build a box with a raised …

Another Massive Fail for FPL as Rebate Application Computers Freeze

In News 7 Comments

UPDATE: Our industry trade group, FlaSEIA, has set up a RATE PAYER FAIRNESS Hot Line. If you were negatively impacted by this failure, it is imperative that you call (407) 339-2010. Here we go again. Last week FPL had to acknowledge that it opened the final round of the popular residential solar rebate program early. This week, after FPL announced that it would restart …

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Urban Solar vs. Suburban Solar in Florida

In Opinion Leave a Comment

I have been asked “why Southwest Florida.” The markets in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are much larger urban centers with far greater population. It seems like the solar energy business would be much better in these populations centers where there are far more residential energy customers. Florida is a sleeping giant when it comes to solar energy market potential, but …

Floridians for Solar Choice Sponsors Ballot Initiative

In News, Opinion 4 Comments

Floridians for Solar Choice is sponsoring a Constitutional Amendment that we support, and you should, too! The purpose of the initiative is to encourage and promote local small-scale solar-generated electricity production and to enhance the availability of solar power to customers. The essential goal here is to allow individuals and business the freedom to produce and sell electricity, and to purchase …

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What Happens With Solar Panels When It’s Cloudy?

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

In a now-famous video among solar energy industry colleagues, the Chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission suggested the The Sunshine State is just a license plate slogan. Solar energy opponents have included Florida’s often cloudy weather in talking points that express doubt about the viability of solar energy in Florida. In fact, Florida Power & Light’s parent company, NextERA …

Reports of Unfair Early FPL Solar Rebate Applications

In News, Opinion 11 Comments

Note: See updates in Comments below. The last round of the FPL Solar Rebate Program was supposed to begin taking applications at 8:30 am ET today on FPL’s website. There are reports rolling in of applications being started (and possibly even completed) prior to the start time. Several applicants reported that the Apply button showed up as early as 8:23 …

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Visualizing a Solar Pool Heating System on Your Roof

In Solar Design Leave a Comment

It is extremely beneficial to show prospective buyers of solar pool heating systems what the panels will look like on their home. Whether it’s concern about a homeowner’s association, the neighbor’s view, how the system will look from the golf course, or just general aesthetic concern, putting solar pool heating panels into perspective (pun intended) serves an important purpose in …

Florida Solar Design Group is Open for Business

In News Leave a Comment

Florida Solar Design Group opened it’s doors in Fort Myers, FL on January 2 to provide solar consulting, design, and sales. We are excited to show our unique approach to solar education and provide a great customer experience for those who decide to move forward with a solar energy system installation. We offer solar electricity systems, solar pool heaters, solar …

Don’t Buy the Wrong Variable Speed Pool Pump

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

You may have heard about the fantastic energy savings that can be realized with a variable speed pool pump (aka Variable Frequency Drive or VFD pumps). It’s true that these pumps can save a ton of money. Even running at the same flow rate, variable speed pumps are inherently more efficient than the single speed variety. When used at a …

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Photovoltaic Systems Can Fit Any Roof

In Installation Photos Leave a Comment

Sometimes it’s a challenge to fit a photovoltaic (solar electric) system on a roof, but with careful planning, most any roof can accommodate at least some solar panels. This roof (which happens to be mine) was a bit challenging because I have a unique dining room that juts out from the south roof onto the pool deck. The system was …

Practice What You Preach – My Solar Energy Home

In Opinion Leave a Comment

Last year I finally installed a grid-interactive solar energy system on my own home, and I couldn’t be more proud. Of course, it was expertly installed (by me), and it looks and performs great. I have learned so much about living with grid-interactive solar energy – more than I could have imagined. It is, as I knew, a seamless experience. …