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Solar Pool Pump

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If you are considering a solar powered pool pump, this article is for you. A solar pool pump is simply a pump with an electric motor that runs on DC power produced by solar panels to circulate water in your pool. It seems like a fantastic way to save money on what is often the second biggest energy hog in …

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Compare Variable Speed Pool Pumps

In Education, Opinion 6 Comments

Variable Speed Pumps Explained There is no question that variable speed pool pumps will save you money and cut down your pump noise, but how do you compare pumps when you have a solar pool heating system? Choosing a pump based on cost, horsepower, or brand alone will result in poor performance or savings at best, and disastrous results at worst. …

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Review Solar Pool Heating Panel Options

In Education, Opinion 7 Comments

Selecting a solar pool heater can be a difficult choice, with all sorts of opinions, sources, and ratings available. As you review your options, you will want to look at things like flow rate, panel construction, total system performance, quality of ALL components, and dealer competence. All panel options and dealers have engineered installation drawings that meet Florida Building Code, …

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Solar Swimming Pool Heater Season is Now!

In Education, Opinion 1 Comment

March marks the time when swimming pool heating becomes most desirable in Southwest Florida, and what better way to heat your pool than with a solar swimming pool heater? Pool temperatures tend to lag the daily outdoor air temperature. We are experiencing days in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s, but swimming pools are still in the lower 70’s if …

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Solar Pool Heating – Get a Permit!

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Can you believe that there are still contractors out there that don’t pull a permit for solar panels? For solar electric systems, this has been virtually eliminated because utility companies can detect electric meters operating in reverse, and to obtain the most benefit from solar electric systems you have to cooperate with the utility company by entering into an agreement (and get …

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Solar Battery Backup Does Not Save Money

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The initial hype surrounding the Tesla Powerwall battery is over, but we are still fielding a lot of questions about this new product (which is not really available). The interest in battery backup in Southwest Florida is clear, as we live in a hurricane prone region. We steer people toward generators for backup/emergency power (yes, those gas guzzling, noisy, dirty, …

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Solar Energy Investment Tax Credit Extended

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At the end of 2015 the solar energy industry was given a big gift that came as somewhat of a surprise to many. The Federal tax credit that makes solar electricity and water heating projects more lucrative investments for many was extended, providing certainty to an industry that has been in limbo regarding its future. There is no question that …

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The 12 Days of Solar Pool Heating

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The 12 Days of Christmas has been corrupted over and over into a retail stunt over the years, with businesses trying to sell something on the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day. We former Catholic school students know that the 12 Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas Day, but I am not above the blasphemous usurping of the Twelvetide …

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I Found Solar Panels Cheaper Online!

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My wife sometimes makes fun of me for trying to be cheap when hiring contractors and service people. It’s a natural thing for a skilled, hands-on, DIY kind of guy. I hate to “overpay” for something I feel I can do myself. Plus, I love a great deal as much as the next guy. The story that always comes up …

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Solar Domestic Water Heating is Dead

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I am certainly not the first to declare solar domestic water heating dead. Halloween is near, so I figured it is an appropriate time to put a nail in the coffin. This has been coming for a long time — the economic viability of solar water heating given the alternatives no longer results in an attractive investment for the vast …

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FPL Announces Progress on New Solar Energy Capacity

In Opinion 3 Comments

Subtitle: Utility owned solar panels good… Customer owned solar panels bad… FPL, Florida’s largest utility company, has announced good progress on efforts to bring online 225 megawatts of solar capacity before the end of 2016, more than tripling its current portfolio of solar energy production plants. That’s great news for sure, and we should give them credit for the effort. …

Solar Water Heaters Lose Popularity, Still Benefit Some

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For many years, solar water heating was the predominant solar panel type installed, and millions have been installed worldwide. In Florida, the most common type of solar water heating system is a direct open loop system, which means that potable water from your tank-style water heater is constantly circulated through a solar panel when necessary and when solar energy is …

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4 Top Solar Panel Design Trends | Via Modernize

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Guest post from our friends at Modernize. Images via Modernize. The world of solar technology is rapidly advancing. Gone are the days when residential solar energy systems were a dream of the future. Now, it’s more attainable than ever, and solar technology developers are coming up with more ways to make solar energy systems efficient, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. Modernize …

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Utility Electricity is Like Credit Card Debt

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There has been a lot of buzz recently about how non-utility solar energy hurts the poor. Of course, this is all nonsense from the nation’s monopoly utility companies who want to monopolize the sun as an energy source, too. Utility companies want you to buy solar energy – as long it is from them! If you think about it, buying …

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Should I Buy Power From Arcadia Power?

In Opinion 51 Comments

Residential utility electricity customers in Florida have been receiving emails from a company called Arcadia Power that promises to sell you clean energy, even without installing solar panels or wind generators on your property. First, Florida residents should know that this is not a Florida company based in Arcadia, FL. It is based in Washington, D.C., and offers services nationwide. Now …

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Energy Independence With Solar Energy

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It’s Independence Day,  so it’s a great time to bring up energy independence! The term energy independence has several meanings. From whom (or what) are we declaring independence. The Utility Companies The most obvious entity that has us locked down in chains is our own utility company. We are beholden to the monopoly that is charged with providing us with …

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Florida Public Service Commission Requests Comments on Solar Energy

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The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) staff is gathering information regarding enhancing development of solar technologies in Florida. Florida Solar Design Group responded to the April 23rd Memorandum as follows, answering the FPSC’s questions in an email:   Dear Lee Eng Tan (FPSC Senior Attorney, Office of the General Counsel), In response to the subject Memorandum, I offer the following response …