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Google Project Sunroof – Can You Trust It?

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For those of you that haven’t heard of Google’s Project Sunroof, it is a fantastic free service from Google that shows the rooftop solar potential of home in almost every state. It seeks to estimate how much solar energy you can produce at home. It goes one step further and helps you find an installer. The tool will help you …

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iSwim vs FAFCO

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When comparing iSwim vs FAFCO solar pool heating panels, it all comes down to longevity and flow rate. Both solar panels are made from similar materials and are made in the USA (iSwim is made in Florida, FAFCO in California). They each come from established manufacturers. So, what factors should you consider to compare the two brands? iSwim vs FAFCO: Comparing Solar Pool …

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Solar Providers Near Me

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You might be trying to search for solar providers near me, and finding a lot of out of town solar contractors and installers that are not in our area of Southwest Florida. Everything you need is available right here in the Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples area! Keep it local! You won’t do better on pricing if you get someone …

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Solar Pool Heaters on Flat Roofs

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Like many homes, yours may have a flat roof adjacent to your pool deck over a lanai or sitting area. This is a common architectural feature for Florida homes. It is often close to the pool equipment, you can’t see it, and it seems like it would be a suitable place to install a solar pool heater. However, we do …

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Advanced Solar Panels

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If you are looking for the most advanced solar panels for heating a pool, the iSwim panel offered by Florida Solar Design Group will not disappoint you. Manufactured in Florida, the iSwim solar panel addresses common problems with older solar panel brands with better design and manufacturing techniques. The forward thinking design incorporates the best in performance and energy efficiency, and …

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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

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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 …