View Post

Business Electricity Rates and Solar Panels

In Education Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

How To Best Use The Enphase Enlighten App

In Education Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

Enphase Launches the IQ8 Microinverter – Backup Without Batteries

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Solar Pool Heating Automated Valve Manifold Explanation

In Education Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Solar Panel Door To Door Sales

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Solar Panel Power Clipping

In Education 1 Comment

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 …

View Post

Solar Pool Heaters Are Weather Dependent

In Education Leave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Pentair Superflo VS Pool Pump Updated With New Automation Options

In Education, News 2 Comments

The Pentair Superflo VS is being re-released with some new automation functionality. We previously recommended against this pump for a couple of reasons, primarily due to the analog automation options and 1.5 HP rating. The new automation options make it a good choice under certain circumstances. We have always recommended “oversizing” variable speed pumps so you can get the advantages …

View Post

Putting Battery Backup Capacity into Perspective

In Education Leave a Comment

Grid-interactive solar panels cease to operate when the sun goes down. They also shut down when there is a utility outage. That is unless you have batteries. It’s a common misconception that solar panels can directly power your home during the day if the power company has a grid failure. Except in very limited circumstances, this is not the case. …

View Post

Whole Home Solar Backup vs Critical Load Backup

In Education Leave a Comment

Most clients who install solar panels just do grid-interactive systems that offset utility electricity usage. The solar panels cease to function during a power outage. This is (by far) the most cost-effective way to install and use solar panels in Florida, and the reason for the explosion of solar panel installations worldwide. However, there is obviously a desire for backup …

View Post

Photovoltaic System Variability by Month and Year

In Education Leave a Comment

In the industry, we make fairly broad generalizations about how much you will save with solar panels. We can’t tell you what your electric bill will be because we can’t control your energy use. Your choices have a lot to do with how much electricity you need. But we can tell you how much energy your solar energy system should …

View Post

Solar Panel Efficiency Is Overrated

In Education, Opinion Leave a Comment

I tell people all the time… don’t get so wrapped up on solar panel efficiency. I get it – you want the best. The most efficient solar panel on earth sounds exactly what you are looking for. But is it in your best interest? The current leader for panels that are commonly available in the efficiency race is likely Sunpower. …