Solar Panel Uses
Solar Swimming Pool Heating
If you own a swimming pool, solar heating is an extremely cost-effective option that allows you to use your pool longer than the typical swimming season.
Solar Water Heating
Around 30% of a home’s energy consumption is used to heat water. After all, you use hot water to shower, clean, and launder. Solar water heating is a cost-effective step any homeowner can take to save on their monthly bills.
Solar Electric & Batteries
An alternate source of energy is ideal for lowering your monthly bills. Compass Solar Energy can install a PV system (solar panels) with backup batteries to give your home the most efficient and reliable source of alternative energy.
While fossil fuels have been the world’s dominant source of electricity, the benefits of solar energy are plentiful, and it has become one of the fastest-growing energy resources in the world. Each hour, the sun beams enough rays down to earth to power the entire world’s energy needs for an entire year – and we have the ability to harness and distribute this clean and renewable energy source using solar panels.
There are many reasons why homeowners choose to install solar panels but improving the environment and cutting energy costs are the most common. Whether your motivations for going solar are economic, environmental, or personal, solar power benefits have something for everyone.
Compass Solar Energy serves Pensacola, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City, Mexico Beach, FL & the surrounding areas.
Top 7 Reasons to Go Solar
How Does Solar Electric (Photovoltaics) Work?
- PV modules (solar panels) collect the sun’s energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity.
- An inverter converts the DC electricity from the panels into the type of electricity we all use at home known as alternating current (AC).
- You can monitor your system’s production either via a simple meter which is standard in all our installations to web boxes where you can access your system via the internet
Home Solar System Size
The size of the solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity you consume, the angle and pitch of your roof, and the amount of direct sunlight your roof receives throughout the day; just to name a few . Contact Compass Solar Energy to determine what would best suit your needs.
How Much Are Solar Panels?
With low installation costs, zero money down financing and the current federal tax incentive, there has never been a better time to invest in solar electric in the Sunshine State. The cost depends on the size of the system to be installed. The typical cost of a whole house solar installation, when financed, is approximately the same amount as your average energy bill. Whether you need a 5KW, 10KW, 15KW or more, it will cost you approximately what you are already spending on energy. Many homes pay less their first year with solar than they were paying with the utility company and save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the system. With record low interest rates as low as 1.49% and no early pay off penalty, it’s hard to find a reason not to SAY YES TO SOLAR! Our solar consultants can assist you in calculating the cost of the best option for you.
Off-grid systems are an option. However, most people, who are able to connect to the grid, go with a grid-tied solar electric system to save a few bucks. When you are connected to the power company’s power grid, it allows excess energy produced by your solar electric system to be sent back to the power company and thereby credited to your account with them.
Solar Electric Photovoltaic (PV) System Components
A PV system is made up of different components. These include solar modules or PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.
Once the sun’s rays have been converted to electricity, that electricity is sent to a piece of equipment called an inverter. The inverter basically changes the DC (direct current) voltage produced by the photovoltaic panels into AC (alternating current) voltage. The inverter channels this AC voltage into your existing electrical system for distribution throughout your home or office.
A solar system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic solar panel has no moving parts and can last well over 30 years. The panels that Compass Solar Energy installs have a power guarantee of 25 or 30 years. String inverters have a 10 year warranty or micro inverters have a 25 year warranty.
Photovoltaic solar electric systems are essentially hands off. Set them and forget them. However, depending on the environment around your home, occasionally it may be necessary to clean them off like a window. We generally recommend cleaning them off once each year. If your application is in an area subject to excessive leaves, pollen or other environmental debris it may be better to clean them off a little more frequently to maintain maximum translucency.
By design, the typical grid-tied solar electric system will cease providing power to your electrical system in the event of a power outage. This acts as a safety feature against any electricity being sent back to the power company’s grid during an outage. Such ‘energizing’ of the power lines during an outage could potentially be harmful to any utility worker attempting to restore power to those lines. However, with the proper electrical equipment and battery backup system any solar electric system can be turned into a backup generation source for your home. This type of system would add power reliability to your home.
There are several factors to consider in deciding how much battery backup power you need, such as what exactly you would like to power and for how long. Our solar consultants would be happy to assist you in calculating system size and cost for a solar electric system with battery backup.
Net Metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive the full retail value for the electricity that their solar energy system produces. The term net metering refers to the method of accounting for the solar system’s electricity production. Net metering allows homeowners with solar electric systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset their electric bill. As the homeowner’s system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If the solar system produces more electricity than the homeowner needs, the extra kilowatts are fed to the utility grid.
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.
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 pounds 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 waste.
Battery backups can serve as a safeguard against disasters and unforeseen circumstances during which your utility company fails to provide you with power. These systems will let you charge you phone so that you can keep loved ones updated on your status and safety, the refrigerator running so that your food doesn’t spoil, and the lights on so that you can find your way around the house without hurting yourself. Furthermore, if you rely on special medical equipment to provide important functions, such as a dialysis machine or respirator, you’ll want to be sure you have a backup power source in place in case the grid fails.
A battery backup produces no pollution or toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, and runs silently when it is activated. Unlike a grid-tied solar system, it does requires some servicing, especially if you use acid-filled batteries, but unlike a generator there are few moving parts. While a gasoline, propane or natural gas generator does have a lower cost, the expense of maintaining a generator may be higher, along with needing to plan ahead to purchase fuel, makes them less than ideal for the Northwest Florida homeowner who’d rather have fewer headaches during a hurricane.
Who Can Benefit from Battery Backup?
1. Homeowners who are looking for comfort and peace of mind
- High-end homes on the outskirts of the grid
- Critical medical devices
2. Businesses that are looking for opportunities
- Convenience stores
- Data centers, web hosts, etc.
3. Local governments that are looking for safety and order
- Schools and storm shelters
- Police, fire and medical services