A Solar Electric Power System produces electricity directly from sunlight, and can power up to 100% of the electrical needs of a home or business. Solar Electric technology (also known as Solar Photovoltaic or ‘PV’) has evolved for decades, proven reliable through over 40 years of commercial, military, and satellite applications. Systems are designed to a property’s capacity and owner requirements, with or without Backup Power, and are generally tied to the utility grid to take advantage of energy Net Metering.
Given current tax incentives for residential property and real-world production, the generated power of a typical Grid-Tied Solar Electric system will pay back initial investment costs in only 10-12 years. This is less than half of the expected life of a Solar Electric System, meaning 15-20 more years of free, stable, clean power, and without unpredictable utility rate increases.
Grid-Tied Solar Electric
Grid-Tied systems make up the majority of Solar Electric Installations. These systems efficiently convert Solar Power into utility-grade power at a relatively low cost, and provide an abundance of power during times of sunlight. This power is used on-site for any immediate electrical demand, and is supplemented with utility power during cloudy or high electrical use conditions. When more solar power is being generated than can be used on-site, the excess is fed back to the utility grid through a special Net-Usage Electrical Meter. See ‘Net Metering’ below for details.
A typical Grid-Tied installation consists primarily of the solar array and one or more Grid-Tie inverters. The array is an arrangement of Photovoltaic modules that is often roof-mounted for efficient use of space, and can consist of anywhere from one to 100 modules or more, for 200 to 20000+ Watts of instant solar power. The solar array generates Direct Current (DC) electrical power, which is then fed into the inverter(s) for conversion into Alternating Current (AC) power for home or business use.
A Grid-Tie inverter is generally tied into the facility circuit breaker panel for convenient shutoff, and will not operate when the utility grid is down. This is a special requirement to protect utility workers from electrical shock, and does not apply to Backup Solar Power systems. Solar inverter conversion provides very high-quality power, a requirement for tying any system into the utility grid, and ensuring full compatibility with all electrical systems.
A solar electric (photovoltaic or PV) system provides electricity directly from sunlight. Solar panels feed DC power into a special electronic device called an inverter that changes it to AC power for use throughout a home or business. When connected to a bi-direction ―net meter,‖ excess power is returned to the utility, reducing or crediting the electric bill. Panels can be installed on roofs, ground-mounted, pole-mounted, or even integrated into building materials. Backup power when the utility grid fails is optional, and special designs are available for canopy, awning, and carport applications.