Thursday, October 6, 2011

PV Industry in the U.S.

A recent report by GTM Research & SEIA shows that the US solar PV market is becoming increasingly fragmented In 2005, California represented 80% of the U.S. solar market; today, it's only 30%. In 2010, East Coast markets lead by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, installed more solar than California. And the trend continues in 2011.

Whilst such diversity is a positive thing for the overall health of the US solar market, ensuring sustainable growth in the long term and dealing with different incentives and regulations across the states can prove a headache for the solar industry. In many instances, the REC dominated markets of the East bare little resemblance to the established markets in Western states and with strong growth being observed in the east of the country, many solar developers are shifting an increasing proportion of their operations to the market.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Solar Water Heating

Solar Water Heating:

Solar water heating has been used since the late 19th century and the technology of many of the components is mature. Many of the system designs are still quite primitive, but we can expect that competition in the market will deliver systems with higher solar efficiencies than ever before. Most systems now use back-up heating to insure hot water all the time.

Most solar hot water systems don't circulate the water through the collector directly. This can lead to calcium carbonate deposits in the collector tubes, corrosion of the tube, or damage to the collector during freezing weather. Instead, a heat exchanger is used and this can be a coil in the storage tank or a heat exchanger outside of the tank in which one fluid loop goes to the collector and one goes to the tank. Typically, these fluid loops have circulation pumps operated by a controller.

Most variations in solar hot water systems occur in the tank configurations.
In a batch passive water heating the tank is also the collector. This can be used for mild-sunny climates where freezes are not too severe. Solar heating fraction is 50-65%. The advantages are: simplicity, long life, and no power needed. The disadvantage is the weight. This type of water heating weighs 500 lbs., so reinforcing of the roof may be necessary.

Another system is the thermosiphon system, where the buoyancy of heated water operates the system rather than a pump. There are several variations on this approach. Variation 1: A percolation system using an alcohol water loop to drive hot water down to a separate tank. Variation 2: Integral collection-tank configuration with back-up heater. The solar heating fraction is 60-70%. The advantages are long life and no power is needed. The disadvantage is the complexity of freeze protection. 

A one tank water heater solar fraction is 60-70%. The advantage is that the tank is on the building's interior where  it is protected from the elements and is not a visual factor. The disadvantage with a one tank system with a pump is that heat tends to migrate down quite rapidly, so more back-up heat than necessary is used. The two-tank system is the most common and you have a separate solar heating system from back-up system. The solar heating fraction is 60-70%. The disadvantage is that solar heat only goes to the back-up tank when hot water is used, so if one goes on vacation one might as well not have a solar water heater.

Improvement is possible in the tank system configurations. A more optimized configuration combining the best of all active systems is the use of a double set of tanks. In this setup one tank is mounted above the other and hot and cold water is exchanged between them tanks whenever the solar tank is hotter than the back-up tank and during period of less use such as a vacation when no back-up heat is needed. This set of chimneys act as a thermal diode where heat can flow up but not down. Solar heating fraction is 80-90%.

Water consumption varies greatly from day to day, although most systems assume that it is always the same. To account for the consumption variability the total volume of tanks should be 40% larger than the average daily hot water consumption.

Solar Sales can help integrate solar water heating into your home or business. Give us a call or send an email for more information. Toll free 1800-771-2288 or

Friday, July 8, 2011

Energy Star Appliances

 As you know, when you have a solar energy system every watt being used is monitored. Get the most out of your solar energy system by installing Energy Star appliances! Reduce your electrical load and be energy efficient. UL listed solar panels, inverters, and deep cycle batteries for back up power are all available on our website

Ever wonder how a product earns the Energy Star label?


ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.
The ENERGY STAR label was established to:
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and
  • Make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.

How Does EPA Choose which Products Earn the Label?

Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:
  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.

How Does EPA decide when to Revise Specifications?

Generally, a market share of ENERGY STAR qualified products in a particular category of 50 percent or higher will prompt consideration for a specification revision. However, there are other factors that weigh into the decision, such as:
  • A change in the Federal minimum efficiency standards.
  • Technological changes with advances in energy efficiency which allow a revised ENERGY STAR specification to capture additional savings.
  • Product availability
  • Significant issues with consumers realizing expected energy savings
  • Performance or quality issues
  • Issues with Test Procedures
For more information on Energy Star Appliances, visit the Energy Star website,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Solar Installs

Great News! Solar Sales Inc will be installing (2) 10 kw PV systems and (2) Solar Hot Water Heaters within the next 4 months! All the applications we submitted for Florida Power & Light (FPL) solar rebates were approved and our projects will continue.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Battery Boxes

Battery Boxes help maximize the life of your battery. When a battery needs to be left outside or is exposed to water or other environmental elements the box creates a protective seal. This seal also protects against sunlight, rain, dirt, oil, and gasoline.

Why purchase NOCO battery boxes? Because all the battery enclosure boxes listed on this page meet USCG Code of Federal Regulations 183.420 and ABYCE E-10.7 specification and are perfect for: Automotive/Light Truck Applications, Industrial Applications, Agricultural Applications, Golf Cart Applications, Marine & Recreational Vehicle (RV) Applications, Commercial Applications, Wheelchair and Mobility Applications, Custom Car Applications, and Renewable Energy Applications.

Battery Boxes have two parts: the base & the lid. The base prevents batteries from shifting and collects any spilled acid. The lid allows for easy access to the batteries for maintenance or altering cable configurations. We offer boxes made from plastic (polypropylene and polyethylene) and aluminum. Aluminum boxes are popular with high performance vehicles, due to their light weight.

Some of the battery boxes also meet the National Fire Protection Association, Solar America Board, and the National Electric Code for Codes (NEC), Standards and Suggested Practices for Photovoltaic Application Articles 480, 690-71, 72, 73. The battery boxes that meet these requirements are the BOX-6VGC, BOX-DUAL-6VGC, and the BOX-DUAL-L16.

For more information on the different sizes available, go to

Solar Sales Inc has battery boxes for Group size U1 Batteries, Group size 24 Batteries, Group size 27 Batteries, Group size 31 Batteries, Group 4D Batteries, Group 8D Batteries, 6Volt Golf Cart Batteries, & L16 Batteries.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Japan to introduce Smart Grid Technology...

In the wake of the aftermath of one of the most powerful tsunamis to hit Japan, they were faced with their Nuclear Power Plant shut down and had to rely on substation breakers to keep the grid in balance. A system of rolling blackouts was created so that they will have a supply-limited grid. The government went directly to the people, asking them to reduce consumption during peak hours so that the economy, and jobs, may continue uninterrupted. This helped to keep the grid working in the short term.

Now, Japan is faced with rebuilding their energy infrastructure and are considering Smart Grid Technology. Smart Grid Technology helps keep the grid in balance by using smart meters that allows grid operators to let consumers know what behavior is need. "It uses price signals and command signals to increase the real-time price of electricity and let the appliances figure out when to run based on the cost. If peak loads near a critical point, the grid could command some air conditions to shut down for an hour," says Dan Bihn of Solar Today magazine.

Its a great opportunity for Japan to integrate renewable energy like solar and wind technology into their power grid. By using the same price and control signals, the meters can determine whether to use wind power generation or solar power generation based on the condition of the environment (windy and cloudy versus no wind and sunny). Prices will drop and price-responsive loads will buy the cheaper power. This keeps the grid in balance without needing to add new, potentially hazardous, power plants.

Denmark has a large test project doing exactly this. It would be great if more industrialized countries, like the United States, would integrate SMART GRID TECHNOLOGY into their power grid and reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and oil dependency.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Passive Solar Architecture

According to the International Solar Energy Society - "Passive Solar Architecture is solar energy and resource optimizations applied to our built environment. Therefore passive solar is a highly integrated endeavor affecting the design professions, architecture, city and regional planners, structural, mechanical and civil engineers, landscape architects and product designers. As such passive solar design is equal parts art, science and technology...If passive solar applications can become a pervasive and rigorous part of these efforts we can have hugely beneficial effects on our looming problems of fossil fuel depletion and climate disruption."

The elementary relationships between energy production, use, and efficiency are the first considerations in passive solar design. Efficiency, effective operation with a minimum of waste, must relate to both production and use for the whole to be efficient. Our industrial society has so isolated production and use that very few people think about their use of energy. The result is while we've become more efficient with production we've also become very wasteful with our use of energy, especially in buildings.

 If you can, it is of great benefit to integrate passive solar architecture into your solar energy system to be as energy efficient as possible. Your solar energy system will be more effective and efficient. For more information on passive solar architecture, stay tuned and we will continually provide technical information or give us a call with any questions you might have. We are glad to help.
ph: 305-891-8355
fax: 305-891-2062

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Solar Incentive Program from FPL...

The new solar incentive program from FPL should be available next month or later in May, If you have any projects that need solar you will want to be first in line when they make the announcement. The program is funded for the next six years but they only have 14 million per year to spend and we know the money will go quick.  Here's a basic breakdown of the program:

Residential Solar Water Heating Pilot -This program encourages customers to install solar water heating systems in residential homes. FPL will offer up to a maximum of $1 ,000 per installed solar water heating system. The Company projects participation by 4,970 customers.
Business Solar Water Heating Pilot -This program encourages customers to install solar water heating systems in businesses. FPL will offer up to a maximum of $30 per 1,000 BTU/day of the maximum rated output of the installed solar water heating system. The Company expects 76 participants.
Residential Photovoltaic Pilot -This program encourages customers to install photovoltaic systems in residential homes. FPL will offer a maximum incentive of $2,000 per the rated kW ($2/watt) of the installed photovoltaic panels. Participation is projected to be 340 customers.
Business Photovoltaic Pilot -This program encourages business customers to install photovoltaic systems. FPL will offer a maximum incentive of $2,000 per the rated kW ($2/watt) of the installed photovoltaic panels. FPL projects 79 participants.
                Business Photovoltaic for Schools Pilot -This program is designed to provide PV systems and educational materials for selected schools in all public school districts throughout the FPL territory. The selected schools will receive an installed PV system at no cost to the school. Installations will be performed in 21 schools.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Solar Modules Power Characteristics

Solar Modules Power Characteristics:
The current and power output of photovoltaic modules (aka Solar Panels) are approximately proportional to sunlight intensity. At a given intensity, a module's output current and operating voltage are determined by the characteristics of the load. If that load is a battery, the battery's internal resistance will dictate the module's operating voltage.

A module which is rated at 17 volts will put out less than its rated power when used in a battery system. This is because the working voltage will be between 12 and 15 volts. As wattage (power) is the product of volts times amps, the module output will be reduced. For example: a 50 watt module working at 13.0 volts will produce 39.0 watts (13.0 volts X 3.0 amps = 39.0 watts). This is important to remember when sizing a PV system.

It is also important to know when sizing your PV system that increases in the temperatures of the cells in the modules increases the current slightly, but a drastic increase in temperature will decrease the voltage.

Maximum power is derived at the knee of the curve. Check the amperage generated by the solar array at your battery's present operating voltage to better calculate the actual power developed at your voltages and temperatures.

For additional information or questions relating to PV Module String Sizing, give us a try by sending us an email or giving us a call. Solar Sales Inc is here to help you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AGM Battery Charging Instructions

AGM Battery Charging Instructions:
To maximize the life of your AGM battery, it is imporatnt that it is properly charged. Over and under-charging a battery will result in shortnened service life. The best protection from improper charging is the use of a quality charger and routinely checking that the charger current and voltage settings are maintained.

AGM Battery Charger Inspection:
The charger cabling should be insulated and free of breaks or cuts. The cable connectors should be clean and properly match with the battery terminals to ensure a snug connection. The charger's AC cord should be free of breaks or cuts and the wall plug should be clean.

AGM Battery Charging Guidelines:
Fully charge batteries after each use. Charge in a ventilated area as gasses may be released through the pressure relief valve if the batteries are excessively over-charged. Never charge a fozen battery. Ideal charging temperatures: 32F - 104F (0C - 40C).

Battery Sulfation:
Even though lead sulfate is created in the materials of plates during normal discharging, this term is used to describe the generation of a different form (large crystals) of lead sulfate which will not readily convert back to normal material when the battery is charged. Sulfation occurs when a battery is stored too long in a discharged condition, if it is never fully charged, or if electrolyte has become abnormally low due to excessive water loss from overcharging and/or evaporation.

Proper charging of AGM batteries is required in order to prevent sulfation and premature battery failure.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MiaGreen 2011 Expo & Conference

Hey Solar Sales Inc Fans. We will be participating in the MiaGreen 2011 Expo & Conference on March 3rd & 4th (Thursday & Friday) at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Look for us under the name Battery Sales, booth #308. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Auburn in BCS title Game!

Everyone at Battery Sales and Solar Sales Inc would like to shout from our soon to be solar roof top:   GO AUBURN!!!! Watch tonight as the war eagles take on Oregon for the National Title Game at 8:30 pm EST!  GO AUBURN!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We are getting ready to install solar panels on our warehouse!

Great News. We are preparing to have a new roof put on in order to install our 24V 230 Watt Power King Solar Panels for our building. We will also be installing a battery back up system using our Power King Deep Cycle Batteries. This solar energy system will be large enough to run our entire office of 10 computers, 3 Printers, flouresent lights, phones, calculators, and other office hardware. Stay tuned for continuing updates & pictures of our installation! If you have questions or comments, feel free to send us an email or give us a call. Thank you for your support.