Frequently Asked Questions
Can you install solar electric on a mobile home?
In Florida, generally, the answer is no. The system has to be installed to meet the required wind loading of the local governing authority (your county or municipality). Generally, mobile homes cannot supply a secure enough attachment to meet the requirements of the local governing authority. However, we have done ground mount and pergola installations for mobile home owners.
How do I know if I have enough sunlight for solar electric?
A solar electric system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. If you have some shading issues, we recommend using microinverters instead of the standard string inverter.
What is an Interconnect Agreement (from my local power company) and does Compass Solar Energy assist me with completing it?
Each power company has its own documentation (Application and Agreement) which it requires you to complete, and sign, in order to connect your solar electric system to its power grid. This documentation is also the agreement between you and the power that they will provide you with credit for the energy you send them. Compass Solar Energy will locate this paperwork, from your power company, and then assist you with the completion and filing of this paperwork at the end of your installation.
What are the environmental benefits of solar?
Solar energy creates electricity and avoids pollution from conventional coal and nuclear plants. Using national average emission factors, every megawatt-hour of electricity generated through a solar PV panel avoids more than 1,300 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than 5 lbs of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and almost 2 lbs of nitrogen oxide (NOx), and it also avoids producing radioactive nuclear wastes.
Are there any tax credits to go solar?
There is currently a 26% federal tax credit for any qualifying residential or commercial solar electric system. This tax credit is slated to expire in 2021.
Do I need to have south facing exposure to have a solar energy system?
Although southern exposure increases the effectiveness of a residential solar power system, a west or east facing roof will also work.
What other options do I have if the system cannot be mounted on my roof?
If a roof-mounted system proves impractical, a ground-mount or decorative pergola application are popular options.
Do I need approval from my homeowners’ association?
Some homeowners’ associations have rules regarding the installation of anything on your roof or grounds. Florida, like many states, has a Solar Rights Law that prohibits homeowners’ associations from restricting solar devices.
How much space do I need for a PV solar system?
The amount of space you will require will depend on a number of factors. For instance, the amount of energy you wish to produce, the panel type and orientation. It will also depend on whether the PV system will be mounted on a roof or the ground (or another structure).
Will the solar system still work in bad weather?
Yes, bad weather will affect the maximum power output of your system, but it will still continue to produce electricity.
How hot can solar heated domestic water get?
Water heated by the sun can reach temperatures exceeding 212º F, but the normal temperature for household use is only 120º to 130º F.
Will solar heating affect how much water I will have? Will I have to change my bathing and cleaning routine?
Yes and No. You will actually have much more hot water than ever before. If the system is sized well for your family, you will no longer need to wait for the water heater to ‘recharge’ between showers.
Do the collectors have to face south and be mounted on my roof?
Not necessarily. Though solar pool collectors are generally roof mounted, they can be installed anywhere, as long as they will receive sunlight a good portion of the day. Depending on the angle of the mounting surface, east and west facing systems can function equally as well.
What is a solar pool blanket?
A solar pool blanket is a floating polyethylene material that insulates the pool surface and allows light to pass through into the pool.
How much would a solar pool heater cost for my pool?
Solar pool heating system prices for a residential pool can range anywhere from $4000 to $8000. The location and size of the pool, location of the solar panels, desired temperature and season, and type of pool equipment determine system size and costs. Compass Solar can give you a general estimate on the phone after you answer some questions. To get a personalized solar pool heating quote please set up an appointment by calling Compass Solar Energy at 850-439-0035.
What special maintenance is required on a solar pool heater?
Usually no special maintenance is required during the season. Modern electronic controls allow you to “set and forget” the solar heater. You will need to shut off the system and drain the panels in the winter. Compass Solar Energy offers a winterization service, or do it yourself.