Florida and sunshine go hand in hand. It is what makes Florida a desirable place to live and vacation. And increasingly, more Florida homeowner’s are catching on to the solar panel fervor. Check out the stats of homeowners switching to solar panels as their main energy source.
It is safe to say that you are most likely an interested Florida homeowner looking to save money and help the environment by installing solar panels to your home. Great! So, there are few options on how you can convert your current energy source to a renewable one.
How To Make The Switch To Solar Panels
Can Florida Homeowners Install Solar Panels by Themselves?
According to the Florida Solar Energy Center, the answer is a no, unless you’re a Florida licensed electrician
Who can install a solar panel system in Florida?
According to the Florida Energy Office, the system must be installed by: “a state-licensed master electrician, electrical contractor, or solar contractor.” (as stated in FS 377.806, section 2(a)(1) (2008)).
While this may seem like a defeat to all you do-it-yourself homeowners, don’t let this discourage you, there are many remodeling projects that you can do on your own.
Types of Solar Panels
Before making the switch to solar panels you need to know what to buy. There are three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film. Each has their unique advantages and disadvantages. The best solution for your home will ultimately be determined by your property’s configuration, layout and budget.
These panels have the highest efficiency & performance compared to the other two; its disadvantage is the price – it’s high as well!
Monocrystalline solar panels are made up of silicon wafer (also referred to slice or substrate) cells. The wafers are aligned into rows and columns to form a rectangle, they are covered with a glass sheet and framed.
The solars wafer cells are cut from a single silicon crystal.
These panels have a lower efficiency & performance compared to monocrystalline; its advantage is the price – it’s low as well!
Polycrystalline solar panels are also made of silicon wafers. They are assembled the same way as monocrystalline panels are; the difference between them is how the wafer cells are constructed. Polycrystalline solar wafers are composed from silicon crystal fragments which are melted together in a mold and then cut into wafers then framed together.
Thin-film solar panels are light, portable, flexible and pleasing to the eye. The disadvantages are that it’s the lowest in efficiency and performance.
Thin-film solar panels are made from a variety of materials (e.g., non-crystalline silicons on glass, plastic, or metal). Instead of crystals, manufacturers use cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide to capture sunlight. You can learn more here.
How To Get A Permit For Solar Panels
Once you’ve discovered the best route to go when purchasing solar panels, the next step is permitting – however, this might be done by your local certified electric contractor, electrician or you can hire a solar permitting expediter to help guide and process permits correctly and efficiently.
The contractor or expediter will use your home’s layout / blueprint and file the correct forms with your local city permit office to successfully launch your solar project.
Once research, purchase and permitting is done, installation takes about a day or a few days (depending on the contractor you’ve hired). After installation, it’s time to save money!