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Hot Water Solutions for Seasonal Homes and Summer Camps

Seasonal use homes present special opportunities since they will not be used during the short days of winter. For these application we often recommend flat plate solar thermal collectors by Calaffi, Heloydine, or Skyline to meet your hot water needs.

Compared to evacuated tube systems, flat plate systems are less expensive. The Skyline panels are lighter in weight due to polycarbonate glazing and easy to install. We are proud to be the local authorized dealer for Velux solar. Their reputation for quality skylights is second to none. Their solar panels can be purchased in sizes to match the skylights, perfect for applications where aesthetics are important.

A solar water heating system has a small circulation pump that can be powered by regular AC power or by DC. An optional small roof mounted PV panel will allow the pump to run when the sun shines, and will shut down the flow at night when no solar radiation is available. This is the perfect solution for homes or cabins that do not connect to the regular utility grid. Skyline panels have a optional built in PV panel.

Solar Thermal Home

A flat panel system can be filled with Gylcol anti freeze, instead of water, so that there is no need to worry about draining, or winter freezing.

If you have good plumbing skills you may be able to even install a Sklyline flat plate solar systems yourself. But remember that often incentive programs requires that a certified installer do the work to be eligible for their rebate. Our pricing is the same as buying direct from SolarRoofs, but you save on shipping.

Off Grid Solar Electric

To meet your electrical needs we sell photovoltaic (PV) systems with battery storage systems. Sizing of the system will be based on how much power your lights and appliances will draw and the length of time you wish to run them. Remember solar systems need to be in the sun, especially from 9:00-3:00 which is a problem in many forested locations. Most of our clients also have a backup generator as our weather, and often times their electrical demand, can be variable.  

If your property is tied to the grid batteries are not necessary. A net-use meter is installed and you are credited for excess power you feed into the grid and debit for your use, over a 12 month window.

To keep the cost down if you generally occupy the home only on weekends it may be possible to install a small PV system, with a larger battery bank that would be charged over the weekdays so you have plenty of power upon arrival. Generally we used sealed batteries since you are not there to monitor flooded battery systems. There are many types of batteries but the most cost effective options do not respond well to freezing temperatures so this needs to be taken into consideration if the house is unheated in winter.  Most batteries also need to be in a vented location.  

If all you need is to run a couple of lights at night a prepackage solar system with panels, charge controller, and inverter, will be your most cost effective option. These can be purchased from camping, RV, boating, and other stores.  Online we can recommend Northern Tools or Amazon.


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PV Cost and Net Metering

Podcast explains Net Metering &  how much cheaper PV electric is vs. the utlity


600 Riverside St.

Portland ME 04103

(207) 797-0979

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