Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Go Solar Florida / Trade Show / Broward County FL

The Go Solar trade show was held at the Broward County Convention Center June 6 & 7, 2014.

Britt J. Rosen, CCIM at Broward Solar Fair 

The event was hosted by FPL & Broward County to promote:
  • Green energy options
  • Reducing costs of permitting
  • Latest technologies
  • Financing options
  • Solar installation
  • Jobs and training
There were approximately 50 renewable energy exhibitors and approximately 2,000 attendees at the Go Solar trade show. Dr. James Fenton of the UCF's Solar Energy Center (FSEC) was the keynote speaker.

The solar fair was an excellent way for the public to learn about the new solar energy ideas and systems.  Distributed generation (DG), interconnection, microgrid, net metering, net-zero and photovolataics were the topics discussed in breakout seminars.

Trade show booths allowed contractors and suppliers to meet with the public to demonstrate the use of: solar systems, marine applications, fastening systems, inverters, batteries, electric cars, and hot water heating systems.

There are many applications for both residential and commercial properties, including small wind turbines.

Photovoltaics are any solar-electric energy cells in numerous forms and configurations. The new glass panels are  4' x 8' size and can be fastened above the existing roof surface in conformance with the Florida Building Code. The panel design and arrays appear like this (click here). 

If you are installing a new roof you should consider laying out the fasteners at the "hot mopping" of the roof as the support systems attach to the plywood sheathing.

According to expert Jeff Johnston of Zina Electric, an exhibitor & contractor, the typical homeowner can save approximately $100 per month on their  electric bill using these systems.  Commercial systems costing $10,000 can potentially save up to $300 to $400 per month. 

This is positive leverage considering today's low cost of money. 

Solar arrays power the typical 120 volt home circuits. However, the hot water heater and washer/dryer systems which are the large power systems are usually powered at 220 volts and cannot be supplied by the typical glass panels.  The solution  for hot water is the special single 4' x 8' single solar panel where the water circulates from the tank to the panel in a loop.  FPL is currently offering a $1,000 rebate on solar water heaters  are less complex installations as they require only one 4' x 8' special panel.

Most renewable energy for the residential home's 120 volt circuits are "sold back to the grid" unless stored in special back-up batteries for use within the home or "off the grid".  

The commercial real estate sector can benefit greatly from these systems offering cost savings in reduced electricity bills.  There are Federal and State incentives for these applications, which reduce the total costs.

Florida has an estimated 300 of 365 days a year of sunshine and we should take advantage of it!