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Solar Panel Tips

How Many Peak Sun Hours Do Solar Panels Need?

How Many Peak Sun Hours Do Solar Panels Need?

By | Solar Panel Tips

Deciding to switch to solar power is a big decision. There are understandably several concerns a homeowner might have when it comes to the reliability of solar energy. One concern many people have is the ability of the sun to provide enough power through the panels on your roof. Living in Florida, it is natural to worry about those common cloudy days. Understanding peak sun hours is key to knowing how the solar panels will handle those less sunny days.

What Are Peak Sun Hours?

A peak sun hour is the amount of time for which your solar panels are receiving the maximum amount of output that the sun has to offer. At these times, the sun is generating 1,000 watts of photovoltaic power per square meter. These hours are not a reflection of how much sunlight you see each day, but rather the amount of time for which your home receives direct, intense sunlight.

Successful Solar Panels

For your home to be successful in switching to solar energy, you must first make sure you will be receiving the required minimum amount of peak sunlight. Each household uses a different amount of power depending on family size, home size, and lifestyle. So, you would need to consider the amount of power required to keep your family going. The typical household requires approximately four hours of peak sunlight to sustain a solar energy-powered home. Four hours may seem like a short amount of time, but keep in mind trees and other obstructions that can have an effect on the exposure.

Does My Home Get Enough Sunlight?

Living in Florida certainly gives you an advantage when it comes to solar power. A typical Florida home receives an average of 5.5 peak sunlight hours per day. Trimming excess tree branches that cast shade over your roof can help extend the number of hours available to your home. Sun exposure hours increase during the warmer seasons, which occur most of the year in the Sunshine State. If anyone can be successful at turning their home into one powered entirely by clean energy, it is a Floridian.

Finding Out If Solar Is Right for You

If you are looking to take the next step in determining your potential success at switching to solar, PES Solar is here to answer any questions you may have. We will come out and discuss your home’s ability to absorb peak sunlight hours and your potential success in using clean energy. Call us today at 386-668-4222 for a free estimate and consultation.

How to Clean Solar Panels

How to Clean Solar Panels

By | Solar Panel Tips

Low maintenance and durable in extreme weather, solar panels are a wise home investment because they produce energy for your home and save you money off your monthly electric bill. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. While your solar panels can endure extreme wind, rain, and heat, they are kept outdoors and are therefore susceptible to dirt and dust buildup. Here are a few safe and proper ways to clean solar panels and the materials you’ll needs to get the job done.

General Solar Panel Maintenance

While not much work is needed to keep your solar panels effectively up and running, they can always use a simple wipe down every few months. To clean your panels, you’ll need the following:

  • Reliable ladder

    Remember that safety always comes first when mounting a roof. Before climbing, make sure your ladder is properly level and balanced against your roof. For extra reliability, try to enlist someone to help spot you.

  • Sturdy work boots

    Invest in thick, rubber-soled shoes to ensure you have secure footing when on your roof.

  • Long garden hose

    Regular garden hoses are available in a variety of lengths. Depending on where your spicket is located, you may need an extra-long hose to reach the top of your roof.

  • Extendable-reach nozzle

    To limit excess water and prevent unnecessary bending and reaching, pick up a nozzle with an extended arm to attach to your hose. Just be sure to keep the water pressure to a minimum setting.

  • Large bucket

    If your hose will not reach your rooftop, fill a bucket with soapy water to help you handle the job.

  • Soft sponges

    Use soft, non-abrasive sponges to rid your panels of dried dirt, caked mud, and other stubborn stains caused by bird droppings and debris.

Solar Panel Cleaning Mistakes

When cleaning your solar power system, remember the following practices so as not to damage the integrity of your panels.

  • Don’t use a pressure washer

    The force generated by some pressure washers can strip materials off your solar panels or even cause them to fracture.

  • Don’t use a bristly broom or mop

    Cleaning the solar panels should never be done with a device other than a soft sponge. Push brooms and mops can have brittle bristles and attachments that can scratch the surface of your panels.

  • Don’t use harsh chemicals

    Household cleaning solutions and bleaches should never be poured on or used to clean solar panels. Such chemicals can eat through the panel treatments and cause performance-affecting damage. Sticking strictly to light, soapy water should do the trick.

Clean, Green Solar Panel Machines

No solar panel is cleaner than a brand new one! If you’re ready to make the smart decision to go solar, then contact the solar installation professionals at PES Solar. We can help you install a solar system to fit your budget and provide you with all the energy you need. Call us today for a free quote at 386-668-4222.

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!

How to Find the Best Solar Provider for You

By | Solar Panel Tips

Now that you have made the decision to go solar, the next step is to find the perfect company to help install the system on your roof. While many different businesses have popped up in recent years, the investment that comes with solar power requires a company with proven experience and competitive pricing to help your needs and budget.

To find the right group for you, include these steps in your search.

Compare the Prices

While one would assume that large national companies can offer better rates than local enterprises, there is actually greater value when you go local. Since they are not able to compete with the wide options and availability of national brands, local installers will offer you lower rates and better customer service, often leading to a better experience as long as their options line up with what you need.

If your home requires a unique installation, a larger company may be better equipped for that situation. No matter which direction you go in, make sure to ask for a quote from each installer so you can compare all of your options.

Check Their Reputation

When comparing various solar installers, take time to look at what past customers have said about their work. While every company will have some dissatisfied reviews, a general pattern of approval is a good sign that their work could be right for you. Another good indicator is to ask friends you trust about their experiences.

These insights are helpful when evaluating multiple options for your solar installation.

See Their Credentials

Another key is to confirm that the companies you are looking at have all the necessary credentials. You want your big investment in solar power to be covered by a company that knows what it is doing.

The main designation to look for is from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

If the installers have this certification, then they have been examined heavily and have shown to be fully qualified for solar installation.

Finding the Best Solar Providers Near You

Doing extensive research before making a decision of this size is always the most prudent course of action. For homeowners in Florida, PES Solar is a great option for you if you want a great solar system on your property. Our competitive rates and strong customer service make us an appealing option for any property.

If you are looking to make the switch to solar, contact us for a free quote.

What Are Peak Sun Hours?

By | Solar Panel Tips

Installing solar power at your home is a commitment that comes from a lot of research.

To make a well-informed decision, it is important to know how much power you will be able to receive from your panels, and the times of day that will provide the most energy.

These peak sun hours are the biggest factor when it comes to solar-powering your home, but when exactly are peak sun hours and how they contribute to your solar power?

What Is a Peak Sun Hour?

A peak sun hour is not just an hour of daylight, but actually refers to a time period where the sun offers 1,000 watts of power per square meter. This means that not all hours of daylight are equal, as some do not provide as much power as others.

It is important to know if your area provides enough energy for solar power before you make the investment.

How Many Peak Sun Hours Do I Need?

Every household uses a different amount of power, so the amount your home needs might differ greatly from your neighbor. However, an average house needs around four hours of peak sunlight in order to supply the power needed by a regular property.

While this seems like a short amount of time, many locations struggle to get this amount of strong sunlight during the day, especially during the winter months.

Do I Get Enough Peak Sun Hours?

Not all locations will be good spots for solar panels. Fortunately, the state of Florida receives a lot of sunlight throughout the year and is a good location to implement solar technology. The number of peak sun hours will fluctuate over the seasons, but on average, Florida homes receive about 5.5 hours a day throughout the year.

It also helps to be knowledgeable about your property when estimating your peak sunlight hours. If your house is heavily shaded, your peak sunlight window will be shorter than that of a more exposed area.

Install Solar Power in Florida

With its tropical weather and heavy amount of sunlight, Florida is a great place to install solar panels on your home. There is plenty of peak sunlight to go around, allowing you to power everything you need while also benefiting the environment.

At PES Solar, we can help you install your system with friendly and careful service at a competitive price point. To learn more call us today at 386-668-4222.