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top 5 advantages of grid tie solar power

Simple grid tie solar power systems without batteries have their advantages. This post will review the top 5 advantages of connecting your solar panels up directly to the grid without the use of batteries: Economics – Since grid tie solar power systems do not need batteries, this type of system is at least 30% less to install versus a battery based system. Typically simple grid tie systems are 90% to 95% efficient which makes the rate of return more attractive since solar electric systems with batteries are less efficient overall. Lower upfront cost – Batteryless grid connected systems avoid costs for batteries, charge controllers, control panels, and a backup generator, thus reducing the upfront cost of going solar significantly. Grid tie solar panel systems are expandable, meaning you can start a small solar array and build your way up to a larger system that increases your energy independence. Reliable – Maintenance is required with a battery based system and if they are not properly maintained then the life of the battery will rapidly diminish. Simple grid tie systems are more reliable since you don’t have to worry about maintaining a battery back. The downside is if the utility you are connected to goes down, than your grid tie solar electric system will go down as well, simple grid tie systems do not provide backup power. Flexibility – When it comes to designing a grid tie solar electric system it can be designed to your budget and desires of how much utility dependence you want to offset with your grid tie solar electric system. User friendliness – simple grid tie solar power systems get rid of a lot of parts, therefore they are easier to manage. These days many grid tie inverters include remote monitoring software which allows you to view the output, data and health of the overall grid tie solar electric system through your favorite Internet browser. A grid tie solar electric system is much more easier to install and maintain in the long run. Can you think of an advantage of connecting your solar panels directly to the grid without batteries that I have not covered in this...

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solar electric systems and your utility meter

Grid tie solar electric systems connect to your existing electrical service and send extra power you generate back to your utility company. Your utility company in return, depending on their interconnection agreement give you a credit based on the number of kWh (kilowatt hours) you contribute to the grid each month. This is called net-metering, it allows you to offset or eliminate your electric bill through solar panels without leaving the reliability of the electric grid itself. This concept is converting homes and businesses across the world into mini power plants that give back to the grid versus just being a liability to it. When you are using electricity from the gird, your meter spins forwards in the normal direction. On the flip side, when you install a grid connected solar electric system and you produce more then you are using, your electric meter will spin backwards! Although before installing you solar electric system be aware of the type of meter you have on your home or business, because some older electric meters records the number of time the meter spins and does not register if the meter is spinning backwards or forwards. In this case if you do not have a “two-way” meter you would be billed for the power you contribute to the grid, yikes! Most locations have two-way meters although if you are unsure, call your utility company to confirm. If you find out you only have a one-way meter, you can always upgrade your...

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welcome to balance of systems 101

If you in the process of shopping for a solar electric system, more than likely you have ran into a key term called balance of systems (BOS). What role does BOS play in a solar electric system? Today I’ll write about why the BOS components are the foundation of your solar electric system. BOS parts are all the pieces of the solar electric system besides the solar panels. The parts that make up BOS include: inverter batteries & charge controllers (if your system is off-grid or grid tie w/ battery backup) overcurrent protection devices electrical enclosures junction boxes support and security structures. disconnects Some of the parts in your balance of system will be rated for outdoor exposure such as most grid tie solar inverters while other parts such as batteries would need an electrical enclosures. BOS parts are typically located close to the electrical service panel, although close proximity is not required. The layout of the BOS parts within the system must be done in a neat manner which allows easy access, testing and disconnecting the system. For solar electric systems operating at 48 volts or less its important to minimize the distance of the dc wiring for efficiency purposes. Solar panels are just one part of the solar electric system, all the components that make up the system must work harmoniously for you to maximize your solar harvest. Selecting the right components can be overwhelming for people who are just get started with clean energy systems, that’s why we have our complete pre-engineered solar grid tie systems, our systems include everything you or your installer needs to get your system up and generating electricity without having to worry about the compatibility of the wide range of products that make up a solar electric...

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The disadvantages of grid tie solar with battery backup

Many people, for some reason want to add a battery backup to their grid tie solar power systems in the USA even though in most areas we have a very reliable gird. The security of having a little power for critical loads during a black out comes with significant disadvantages which include: you will have to install more components compared to simple grid tie system Batteries will require maintenance and will add significantly to the final cost of the system. efficiency loss will occur due to charging batteries. up to 15% loss in performance. your not going to be able to power your entire home or business off a solar power grid tie backup system. I live in Los Angeles, we don’t have many power outages here, so its really not worth a battery backup unless I am worried about the next big earthquake in our area. For disaster purposes it maybe better to have a separate backup generator that is not connected to the solar power system but only used when the power goes out for a long period of time. What do you think? Are batteries worth the...

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what makes solar photovoltaics so unique?

What does coal and nuclear have in common? These types of electrical generation plants boil water to create steam, which turns a turbine and generates electricity. Hydroelectric and Wind Power is similar to coal and nuclear because it generates energy by turning a turbine to generate electricity. Although since hydroelectric and wind power are renewable and clean, they are a better source of electricity for the future to reduce carbon footprints and to generate electricity safely via domestic resources. What makes solar photovoltaic so different is there are no moving parts, with photovoltaics you don’t have to turn a turbine to generate electricity. The special materials that solar panels are composed of causes the “photovoltaic reaction” when light hits a solar cell, electronics are excited and the byproduct is electric voltage and current that is transported through wire to an electrical circuit. get it? No moving parts means, highly reliable equipment that will last for a very long time. Most solar panels come with warranties that covered for at least 25 to 30 years. There are solar photovoltaic panels still in operation since the 1970s. So why do you think so many people think solar power is...

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Haunted by high energy costs?

I was on Google this morning and noticed right on their homepage, there was an interesting question asked to the millions of Google’s visitors, Haunted by high energy costs? Here are some easy ways to save. I just had to click through because I was very interested in what Google is doing to help others save energy. Google has created a “Halloween” themed energy savings calculator to help people visualize how much money they are wasting and pounds of CO2 are released being inefficient. I suppose this is a timely and fun way for people to start thinking about energy efficiency. There are many solar power consumers who I speak to that want to go solar but they are energy hogs, waste tremendous amounts of energy and the complain that solar panels are worthless technology because a system to eliminate their usage costs too much. It’s always more cost effective to reduce your bills by becoming more energy efficient then it is to produce energy. The best strategy is to reduce your usage then produce your own clean energy through solar panels or wind turbines. Go ahead, try out the Google Energy Auditor, don’t let high Energy prices spook you! You’ll be amazed to find out how much you can save every year. Let us know how it...

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