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stephen.oneal

Can a Residential Solar Panel System Charge My Electric Vehicle?

By | Solar Panel Tips

Homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint are likely considering alternate sources of energy such as solar power and zero-emission transportation like electric cars. Fortunately, solar panels and electric cars and are a match made in heaven.

Similar to the way an electric vehicle (EV) does not contribute to pollution, generate savings by reducing mileage costs, and avoiding the ever-rising price of fuel, solar panels can help save you a lot of money each month by converting sunlight into electricity that does not rely on your local electric grid.

However, before you go out and buy a solar panel system to charge your EV, you need to know the amount of electricity it consumes, if you can use solar energy to charge it, and how many solar panels you would need to power both your EV and your home.

How Much Energy Does Your Electric Car Need?

Not only can a residential solar panel system power your home and all of your appliances, but it can also sufficiently charge your EV for emission-free transportation.

Before you can decide on the size of your solar energy system, you should determine the amount of electricity your car needs. Also, find out your electric car’s mileage rating to determine the amount which you can save by shifting to solar power. Find out how many kilo-hours it consumes to drive 100 miles. Once you have determined your vehicle’s kWh, you can now calculate how many solar panels you will need to fully charge your car. For example, an electric car with a rating of 40 kWh/100 miles needs 40 kWh to drive 100 miles.

How Many Solar Panels You Would Need to Power Both Your EV and Home?

The number of solar panels you require depends on your usage and your physical location. Solar panel energy production varies and depends on the amount of sun on a particular day. An average home uses around 25 kWh per day. Having an EV will increase this amount by 9 kWh per day. This will total to around 35 kWh consumption per day. Even a medium solar panel array of only 20 solar panels can produce enough energy to simultaneously charge your vehicle’s battery and home consumption.

Armed with this data, you can confidently begin researching solar panel providers for help choosing the right residential solar panel system for your needs and budget.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with a Solar Panel System

If you want to install a solar panel system on your property, contact the professionals at PES Solar. We will help you estimate the price and size of the solar panel system you need for your home. To find out how much you can save on solar panels that will generate enough power to charge both your electric car and your home, contact PES Solar today.

The Difference Between Community Solar Farms and Rooftop Solar Power

By | Solar Panel Tips

Solar power has been an energy source since the early 19th century and undergone significant changes over the years. Today, different options of solar technology have emerged and become more dependable and scalable as a way of electrifying different areas globally. One of the primary benefits of solar power is its renewable nature, accompanied by a limited impact on the environment. To access solar energy, you can choose either rooftop or community solar.

Community Solar Farms

Community solar farms include shared solar energy and offsite fields erected with solar arrays to distribute power locally. Here, members of the community invest their resources into a solar power grid and share the energy among themselves. Some of the benefits of community solar farms include:

  • No upfront or hidden costs
  • Lack of rooftop panel installation and maintenance
  • Extended price security
  • Provision of power to those unable to own a home
  • Accessible solar power rental to anyone in the area

Community solar can also be accessed by those who subscribe while being managed by a single local power center or utility facility. Such a method of community solar power is known as a utility-sponsored model. Other models of community solar power include:

  • Special purpose entity – this is an investor-backed venture consisting of several investors under one community solar farm.
  • Non-profit model – this model involves volunteer contributors for community solar farm installation.

Rooftop Solar Power

Rooftop solar power is generated from panels installed on the roofs of homes or businesses. The power remains solely used by the premises and accompanies upfront costs, maintenance, and inspection. Unlike community solar farms, the energy generated is low and serves a single building. The significant benefit of this type is that homeowners don’t necessarily depend on the grid for power supply.

Community Solar Farms vs. Rooftop Solar Power

Both community and rooftop solar offer 100% renewable power, therefore, minimizing dependency on fossils for fuel and reduction of electricity bills. However, community solar is installed on fields and owned by the community. On the other hand, rooftop solar panels are erected on rooftops and owned by homeowners. Again, community solar supply generates significant amounts of power over a wide area, while rooftop solar focuses on a single building with a much lower energy supply.

Whether you prefer a community or rooftop solar panel system, PES Solar can assist you with your solar energy needs. Join our long list of satisfied homeowners with quality solar panel systems by contact PES Solar today!

The Best Angle for Solar Panels

By | Solar Panel Tips

If you are a home or business owner who took the leap into solar energy, then you likely want to get the best return on your investment. And while properly installed solar panels will do their job of transferring sunlight into electricity, there are ways that you can adjust them ever so slightly to increase their solar energy output.

Because the angle of the sun changes depending on the time of day and season of the year, you’ll need to vertically tilt your panels to be perpendicular to the sun’s incoming rays to maximize electricity production.

Why Solar Panels Need a Tilt Angle

During the summer, the sun is higher up in the sky compared to during the winter. Positioning your photovoltaic panels at an average position between the two seasons will maximize your electricity production. This position has a close relationship with the latitude of the location where you are going to house the panels. When you establish this position, you can get the maximum electricity from the sun all year round.

How to Calculate the Tilt Angle for Solar Panels

You can calculate your solar panel’s tilt for each season using the following methods.

  • Summer angle – When calculating the tilt angle for your solar panel during summer, subtract 15 degrees from your latitude.
  • Winter angle – Add 15 degrees to your latitude when calculating the angle during winter.
  • Autumn/Spring angle – Subtract 2.5 degrees to get the angle during fall or spring.

A second method of calculating your solar panel’s tilt accounts for changes in season and midday sun when it is hottest during the day. This method involves multiplying your latitude by 0.9 and adding 29 degrees for winter. For summer, you subtract 23.5 degrees after you have increased your latitude by 0.9. The results from the second method have a variance of plus or minus 10 degrees from those of the first.

Optimal Tilt for Solar-Powered Homes in Florida

By understanding the correct angle for your solar panels, you will get the most out of your investment. For maximum year-round production, the optimal angle for solar panels in Florida homes is 28 degrees from the horizontal, facing to the south. Homeowners can, however, adjust their solar panels to optimize power production based on the demand for electricity in their homes.

Central Florida Solar Power Installation Experts

Investing in renewable, green energy of solar power is a smart decision for any home. Not only will it significantly reduce your home’s energy costs by saving you money on your electric bills, but it also helps protect the environment. To select the best solar panel system for your needs and budget, contact the A+ rated professionals at PES Solar today at 386-668-4222 and ask out our zero-down financing pending credit approval.

Does My Solar Power System Require a Solar Charge Controller?

By | Solar Panel Tips

A charge controller is a voltage or current regulator that keeps electric cells from overcharging. While most batteries need 12 to 14 volts to get fully charged, exceeding this voltage will damage the batteries. Thus, solar panels can be equipped with a charger controller to shunt the PV charging circuit, meaning charging stops when the battery voltage reaches a certain level.

Types Of Solar Charge Controllers

There are two categories of charge controllers — Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). While PWM is basically the switch that connects a solar panel to the battery, the MPPT is more sophisticated, since it is able to convert the excess voltage into amperage.

PWM Solar Controllers

These controllers send pulses depending on the battery’s current status of the charge. For an almost fully charged battery, the pulses sent will be short and inconsistent, but for a discharged battery, they’ll be longer and more constant.

Pros:

  • These controllers are a good low-cost solution for small systems only
  • They come in sizes up to 60 amps
  • They have a longer lifespan
  • They are built on a time tested technology, and have been used for many years

Cons:

  • Can’t be used efficiently with a 60-cell panel
  • The Solar input voltage must match the battery bank voltage

MPPT Solar Controllers

The principle behind MPPT is squeezing maximum solar-generated power from a solar panel by enabling it to operate at a more efficient combination of voltage and current.

Pros:

  • They have the highest charging efficiency by up to 30%
  • You can get sizes up to 80 amps
  • Can be used on a higher volt grid connect module
  • Offer the flexibility of having a solar panel with higher input voltage than the battery
  • MPPT is the only way to standardize grid connect modules for charging batteries

Cons:

  • 2–3 times more expensive than a comparable PWM controller.
  • Shorter expected lifespan due to more electronic components and greater thermal stress.
  • MPPT units are usually larger in size

The Sunshine State can support steady solar power energy year-round. Whether you chose PWM controllers or MPPT controllers for your Off-Grid Solar System, you stand the benefit of being energy self-sufficient. These controllers will ensure optimum performance of your solar panel system for a cozy home.

Get a PES Solar Panel for Your Florida Home

Ever wonder what it takes to go solar? PES Solar has your answer. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and zero-down financing pending credit approval, we’ve been helping satisfied Central Florida homeowners go solar for over 20 years. To receive a quality solar panel system that produces the energy and savings your home needs, contact PESolar for more information.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

By | Solar Panel Tips

To fully replace your electrical bill with solar energy, you need to get enough solar panels to create that power. Homeowners often wonder how many panels they need to replicate the power they get with normal electric systems, and with the varying amounts of sun in different areas and properties it can be difficult to estimate.

What your home will need is primarily determined by where you live and how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you use. With our help, you’ll learn how many panels your house will need.

What Is a Kilowatt Hour?

The most common form of measuring energy for electrical power in a building is a kilowatt hour. This is the number of kilowatts of energy that are produced or used in an hour. Since one kilowatt is 1,000 watts of power, you can determine how much you need from your current electrical bills.

If you take the number given to you in your electric bills (usually given in an annual or monthly figure) and convert it to daily or hourly usage, you can see your average hourly electricity use. This can let you see how much energy you need to get from solar panels in a given hour.

How Does My Location Affect Solar Energy?

The region where you live will also affect your solar needs. Sunnier areas like the Southeast U.S. or California will be able to receive more sunlight than places in the Northeast or Pacific Northwest. These are things that your solar provider will consider when deciding on how much you need at home.

What Is an Estimate for My House?

With a standard 250-watt solar panel system and an average household usage of 11,000 kWh of energy a year, we can calculate around how many panels you need for an average home. This puts daily usage at around 30 kWh, and with only five optimal hours of daily peak sunlight, your system needs to be able to reap 6kW of energy in an hour. Now we can look at the standard 250-watt panels, which are only 0.25 kilowatts based off of conversion. Dividing the 6kW minimum by the 0.25 kW panels means that this house needs 24 solar panels to meet 100% of their energy desires.

Keep in mind that this is a very rough estimate that does not take into consideration location factors or shade but gives you a formula to derive a more personal estimate.

Solar Installation in Central Florida

It is crucial to make sure that you get enough solar energy for your home so that you can continue to supply all of your needs. At PES Solar, we will help you determine the requirements of your property and assemble the best plan to tackle your energy overhaul. Contact us today for your free quote!

How Are Solar Panels Installed?

By | Solar Panel Tips

Homeowners often wonder how solar panels are installed on their roofs. While they are laid on top of your existing roof structure, solar panels are heavily secured and must be able to connect to your utilities so that their generated energy can go into your home. There is also a considerable amount of paperwork and legislation you will have to navigate during the installation process.

To help your solar project run smoothly, here are some good steps to follow.

Have an Engineer Survey the Roof

Having a solar engineer take a look at your property can help you understand the needs and logistics of your situation. They will be able to tell you what is feasible for your home and what is a stretch. They will also make sure that your roof is structurally strong enough to handle the extra stress of the solar panels. This can help eliminate any unnecessary headaches before the real heavy lifting begins.

Get a Solid Solar Installer

Once your home has been inspected and cleared, finding a good installation company is paramount. After doing some research and finding a reliable solar company with a strong track record, you can work on getting the panels physically installed on your roof. These workers will also have to connect your home to the grid if you are in a more populated area, while other measures will factor in if you are farther away.

Contracts and Paperwork

The most laborious part of the solar installation is all the paperwork you have to fill out and contracts you have to sign. With the initial engineer inspection, the installation process, and a myriad of governmental regulations and approvals, your writing hand will be tired of all the signatures and checks. However, these are a necessary part of making sure that your solar system follows code and is safely constructed.

Solar Experts in Central Florida

The process for installing solar energy for your home can seem daunting, but the environmental impact and electric bill savings make the entire operation worth it. PES Solar is ready and able to guide you along this process and aid you in setting up solar panels on your property. Contact us to get a free estimate today!

The Future of Solar Power

By | Solar Panel Tips

Solar energy has been one of the greatest innovations of the last century. Continuous research and development into the field means that the industry is growing towards becoming a significant source of power for the next generation of Americans.

With recent concern over the long-term supply and effects of fossil fuels, government incentives and funding have helped this sector grow exponentially into a renewable energy source that is being implemented on a widespread scale.

Here is a look into what the future holds for solar power.

Better Solar Efficiency

One of the biggest current issues with solar power is its efficiency. The best solar systems on the planet right now can only convert 33% of the solar energy they receive into power. To be the primary source of power for our country, this system needs to be able to create more energy from the sunlight that it collects.

Lots of research is actively searching for alloys and alternative methods by which this efficiency can be increased and make solar panels more than a supplementary energy source.

Solar Roof Tiles

A common concern for homeowners looking into solar energy is the installation of panels on their roof. Some houses are unable to bear the load of the panels needed to power everything, while others dislike the aesthetics of the technology.

However, Tesla is working on solar tiles that mimic the look and design of regular shingles, while also retaining the structural integrity of the traditional material. This would make a cost-effective solution to the solar panel difficulties in residential areas while also maintaining a good appearance, and could become a future staple in America.

Lowering Solar Costs

Undoubtedly, another issue currently facing solar energy is its cost. Still a fairly recent technology, solar panels are often considered a luxury option for homeowners. However, as research continues to bring down the development costs of this technology, the eventual goal is for solar power to be at least as cheap as regular fossil fuels.

Such solar advancements will leave Americans with an environmentally-friendly energy option at an inexpensive price point.

Solar Installation in Central Florida

At PES Solar, we offer you the opportunity to get a head start on history by investing in this great innovation that is shaping the future of renewable energy. Solar energy is a great option that continues to become more efficient and less expensive, and the future looks to continue this trend. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you save money and the planet.

What are the Different Types of Solar Panels?

By | Solar Panel Tips

If you are looking to get solar panels for your house, there are a few options to choose from. The different types of solar power offer various levels of performance at separate price points, so it is important for you to determine what you want out of your solar energy when picking a style of panels.

There are 3 main options for residential solar panels, each with aspects that will appeal to different homeowners with different added home value. Here is a primer on the solar panels you can get for your home.

Monocrystalline Panels

Monocrystalline panels are made of cylindrical blocks of silicon that are cut and layered on a panel. They provide the highest efficiency of solar panels since they are made from the purest form of silicon. They also have a distinct look courtesy of the pattern of the arranged silicon wafers. Due to the quality of the material and the process of creating the silicon sheets, monocrystalline are the most expensive type of solar panels.

Polycrystalline Panels

These panels are similar to the monocrystalline type but are not quite as energy efficient. Polycrystalline panels are made by melting raw silicon into molds to make perfectly rectangular pieces versus the rounded, more natural shapes of the other panels. They do not have the same aesthetic appeal as the monocrystalline variety but come at a much cheaper price point which makes these panels a good option for cost-minded homeowners.

Thin-Film Panels

Rather than pure silicon, thin-film panels are made with a mix of materials. With this diversity of composition, thin-film panels are extremely inexpensive and are one of the cheapest options on the market. They also have a uniform look, making them an appealing option visually. However, these panels have very low efficiency, to the point where they are almost unrealistic for residential properties. The space needed to produce optimal energy is often unavailable to the regular homeowner.

Solar Experts in Central Florida

If you want to change your home over to solar power, it is important to assess the options and decide on what you want out of your investment. At PES Solar, we can guide you through this process and find the best scenario for your specific needs. To learn about the services we offer call us today at 386-668-4222.

Does Solar Power Work on Cloudy Days?

By | Solar Panel Tips

Solar power has become a viable replacement for traditional energy sources as the prices have fallen on the technology. However, critics of the product point to its reliance on sunlight and worry about its ability to function properly if the weather does not cooperate.

While these are valid concerns, solar energy is actually able to function in a variety of weather conditions and can be trusted as a primary source of energy.

Rain or shine, your solar panels will still be able to provide you with sufficient energy.

Cloudy Weather

While cloudy days are not ideal for your solar panels, they do not mean that your home won’t get the power it needs to function properly. On days where the sun is not present, solar panels can still generate power, but only to around 10–25% of their normal levels.

While this is not ideal, it does mean that you will still have plenty of energy to power your house and will not be without electricity.

Other Weather to Watch For

Cloudy weather is not the only weather that might impact your solar panels. Rainy days where the sun is hidden can also limit your output, and surprisingly hot sunny days can be detrimental as well. If the weather is too hot, your solar panels will be unable to produce as much energy, sometimes decreasing 10–25%.

The ideal weather for solar panels is sunny but not too warm, usually quoted as 25 degrees Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit). This type of temperature is the best for your solar panels to maximize their power.

Comparing Sun vs. Electricity Costs

While this might not sound enticing to someone living in the Pacific Northwest, solar energy can still be a viable option for your location compared to your energy rates.

Despite the lack of sun, Seattle and Portland are large hubs for solar power because regular electricity is so expensive that going solar still saves money and is a better option.

Local governments also provide incentives for households that use solar panels. Even if you might think that your area is not well suited for solar power, it can still save you serious money.

Solar Installation for You

Solar energy is a great investment no matter where you live. At PES Solar, we can help you install a solar system to fit your needs and provide you with all of the energy you need at a low cost.

Call us today for a free quote at 386-668-4222.

Do Solar Panels Require Maintenance?

By | Solar Panel Tips

With the significant investment that comes with getting solar panels, it is a fair concern to wonder how much upkeep they need. Fortunately, solar panels are pretty resilient and do not require very much maintenance at all. As a homeowner, your only responsibility will be to clean the panels to keep them at their maximum potential.

However, accidents can happen, so the company you choose to install your solar panels should offer a warranty to protect you in case something unexpected occurs. If a company does not offer a warranty, be wary of their business and the quality of their panels.

Solar Panel Warranties

Most solar panels will last 25–30 years, giving you a lot of time for your investment. Companies that offer a warranty often state that they will cover your panels and make sure that they don’t drop below 80–85% of their peak power levels after 15–20 years. Your panels are not likely to fall below this output with just regular use, so you will likely have reliable power for the entire lifespan of the panels. This warranty also remains with the property, meaning that the protections stay even if you sell the house.

Solar Panel Maintenance

On your end, there is not much work needed to keep the solar panels working up to par. All they will require is a simple cleaning every few months to remove any dirt and debris that collects on the system.

If your panels are angled and not flat, this can easily be solved by spraying the panels with a garden hose to shower them off. A flat roof might require going up and wiping down the panels, but overall the cleaning process for the solar panels is simple and easy.

Reliable Solar Installation in Central Florida

Solar power is a great investment to help save money on your monthly electric bills, and once installed they will need very little upkeep. And with a strong warranty to protect you from any surprises, you can rest easy knowing that your solar power will be reliable.

At PES Solar, we want you to try it out for yourself and see how solar panels can save you money and stress. Servicing areas all around central Florida, we can provide you with the energy you need. Contact us for a free quote!