Our latest solar array is an 18 panel system featuring Sunpower 327 watt panels. Florida Power and Light rebates and a 30% tax credit helped to offset the higher cost of these high-end panels.
For home owners who are thinking about investing in solar this year December is the last month they will be able to qualify for their 30% renewable energy tax credit for 2013. By beginning a solar installation this month, homeowners ensure they will wait the minimum amount of time before being able to claim their tax credit in April.
While this solar electric array is still a grid-tied system, that uses no battery storage and instead feeds electricity back to FPL for a credit, Sunpower panels are so powerful that we need to install a central inverter instead of the micro-inverters Sunworks Solar typically pairs with our MAGE brand panels.
The central inverter is the device that converts the direct current received from solar panels, into the alternating current we use each day in our household appliances. Traditional solar arrays all used central inverters, but recently individual micro-inverters have been utilized to increase panel efficiency and simplify wiring considerations when using panels that produce 250 watts or less.
While Sunpower brand panels often produce more than 250 watts per panel they have the ability to bypass cells that may be affected by shading, to help isolate power reduction in certain panels, without the use of a micro-inverter.
Our clients for this project already had a solar pool heating array installed on part of their roof. They appreciated that we could fit all of their panels on the southwest face of their roof, in the back where none of the neighbors would see. These clients also appreciated the aesthetic appeal of the dark black metallic frames that come with Sunpower panels as opposed to the aluminum colored frames of MAGE brand panels.