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Grid Tied Solar Power with Battery Backup

There is a common misconception with solar power systems, many consumers are under the impression that their grid tied systems will keep them up during a blackout. A grid-tied system hooks up with the grid and requires no batteries to store the power because the power generated is sent to the utility who gives you a credit for the power you send into the grid, therefore when there is a blackout your grid tied solar power system has no place to store the power and goes down with the utility company. One way you can have backup power when the utility shuts down is through a battery backup system. In conjunction to your grid tied inverter, you would have a battery bank in which power is stored so in case the grid goes down you can power critical loads such as your refrigerator, computers, phones, and tv….etc. The down side to adding a battery backup to your grid tied solar power system is the batteries significantly increase the upfront cost of a solar power system. The batteries also require maintenance, could be a fire hazard, and need to be replaced every 5-10 years depending on the type of battery. Today, batteries are a headache until the technology evolves to make it more user friendly and cost...

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I’ll have power when during a blackout because I have solar panels!

Probably not, the majority of solar power systems installed in the USA are typically grid tied systems, meaning they connect to the utility company to push any extra electrons you product back into the grid. These types of systems have a significant advantage because they qualify for extra rebates provided by the state on top of the federal tax credit. The downside to gird connected systems is that when the utility company encounters a blackout, so do you, even if you have a solar power system. Due to utility company regulations, a solar power system must shutdown when the power goes out due to safety regulations and the fact since with a grid tied solar electric system is using the grid as a battery to store the electricity you produce. One way to avoid a blackout is adding a battery backup system to your grid tied solar electric system. Which means you solar panel system in addition to sending electricity back into the grid charges a battery system just in case the grid goes down you start drawing power from the batteries. As great that sounds, being the only person on your block who has power when there is an outage. A battery backup system not only requires yearly maintenance but it adds a significant increase in the final cost of a system. Also the batteries need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years depending on the brand and quality of the battery you use with your system. Check out our grid connected systems that can help you reach your energy goals:...

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The Myth of the Zero Electric Bill

Every consumer who is thinking about solar power always dreams of the day they won’t receive an electric bill from their utility. Once the typical consumer finds out the cost of a solar power system that eliminates their entire bill, they face what we in the industry call, “sticker shock” Well, there are a certain class of consumers in which money isn’t really a problem for, if they have the surface space there is a potential for solar power to supply their entire electrical usage. Even if you have all the money in the world and buy a system that produces more that what you use, if you are grid connected you will always receive an electric bill from your utility company. Your utility charges you a monthly fee just to have their outdated meter calculating your usage and what you send back into the gird. The typical meter access fee is around a month, but the fee depends on your utility company. So if your thinking about a grid connected solar power system, but and your assuming you’ll never see an electric bill, think...

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