As a University of Florida graduate, I usually spend my time gleefully mocking Florida State University. I’m torn on this one. It seems like a completely silly concept – using Ziploc bags to concentrate solar on a tube to heat liquids. Can this really be efficient? What about storms, vandalism, and other physical/structural perils? And, plastics are not exactly the green product of the century. However, there may be something to this. Most importantly, the cost of this technology could be very low, benefiting countries and societies that cannot afford the raw materials required for relatively complex solar thermal systems. People have been heating waterRead More →

Look through the MLS and you will find many Southwest Florida homes that have solar energy systems installed, especially solar heated pools. Solar energy is more than a selling point – it’s a feature that adds value to a home. Residential real estate appraisals have not traditionally included solar energy products in the valuation. It has always been difficult to appraise the value of a solar electric system. The purchase price is not a good indicator because of varying rebates and tax credits. The energy output alone does not take into account all relevant factors. The property appraiser does not include solar energy products inRead More →