Putting the sun power to work is simple, affordable and actually will earn you money. Putting the sun power to work will reduce your utility bill, means that there has never been a better time to Go Solar.
How Solar Energy (PV) Works
Solar energy is the basis for all life on earth! For thousands of years, solar heating has been used to warm dwellings (solar thermal). But solar electricity (photovoltaics or PV) is a very new industry. Solar panels have no moving parts. You just mount them out in the sun, hook up the wires, and collect power, without adding fuel or replacing worn-out parts. Amazingly, no one knows for sure how long a solar panel will last, because many of the very first photovoltaic panels are still producing power today. The design, size and cost of a solar photovoltaic power system for your home depends on a few simple factors:
- How much energy in kilowatt-hours (kwh) do you use per month,
- and how much does it cost you.
- What can you do to reduce your energy usage, and how much will that cost you
- What solar resource do you have available at your location?
What do the terms ‘on-grid,’ ‘off-grid,’ and ‘grid-tied’ mean? Renewable Energy systems can be classified into three types:
- On-grid: (the typical home without renewable energy system) Powered exclusively by purchasing electricity services from your local electric utility, from the local power lines.
- Off-grid: The system is not connected to the power grid (power lines from the utility company). Power is stored in a bank of batteries that run the loads. Extra power is used for air or water heating.
- Grid-tied: The system is directly connected to the power grid. Power is not really stored, instead the grid is used as a battery. If the grid experiences a blackout, there is no power for loads–the house is blacked out too.
- Grid-tied plus battery backup: The system is connected to the power grid. Power is stored in a battery bank, so if the grid experiences a blackout the house still has power to run loads.
The Grid-tied plus battery backup system serves duel purposes. It not only generates electricity to off-set your home energy use, it serves as a source for power when the grid experiences a blackout.