How does grid-tied solar work?
Most of the solar arrays we install are know as Grid-Tied Systems. That is because even though you are producing power with your own solar energy, you are still connected to the grid for just in case scenarios, and Net Metering. Read below to learn how grid-tied systems and net metering work!
Photovoltaic Solar (or PV for short) starts with our good friend, the sun! The sun emits particles known as “photons,” which travel about 93 million miles from the earth to the sun. When the photons reach earth and hit a solar module they excite the atoms inside, knocking electrons off. When you add conductors to the positive and negative sides of the cell you create a electric circuit. When electrons flow through a circuit, they create DC electricity (DC)!
After the DC electricity is produced by the solar modules, it gets sent to a solar inverter. The inverter transforms the electricity into 240V AC Electricity (AC) that can be used by the appliances of your home. There are two main types of inverters: micro inverters and string inverters. With a micro inverter system each solar module gets its own inverter, which all get linked together, fed to a single conjunction box and sent to the main panel. With a string inverter the solar modules are tied together in "strings" and get sent to one main inverter. There are pros and cons to both systems, but we can help pick the best inverter for your array.
After the inverter transforms the energy from DC to AC, it flows right into your main electric panel, and then to the appliances in your home. With solar monitoring you can see what you are consuming and producing in real time! Since the system is tied to the grid, if your solar array is not producing enough energy to support all of your appliances, you can still draw energy from the grid.
Throughout the year, the amount of energy your solar array produces will fluctuate. You will see more production during the summer months and less in the winter. All of that excess energy gets back-fed into your utility companies grid, and give you credit for the excess kWh.This process is known as Net-Metering. When it is raining, cloudy or during the short days of winter all of the excess credits you pushed back to the grid are pulled back to power your home. Each utility has slightly different Net Metering rules, so reach out to us to inquire about your specific utility company.
Why make the switch to solar?
Reduce or ELIMINATE your electric bill by creating your own, clean solar energy. A solar array is one of the best investments you can make. We typically see an average of a 7-9 year 100% return on investment. With 25 year production warranties on all of the major components of the system, you can be assured that your system will continue to produce power for you for years to come.
Protect yourself against rising utility rates. New England has some of the highest electricity costs in the country. The cost of electricity is constantly rising and will never stop. When you create your own energy, you are no longer subjective to your utility companies fluctuating rates. Solar payments are fixed, and easier to budget. Not to mention they have an expiration date!
Protect the environment. In a world with increasingly finite natural resources, it’s up to us to do what we can to leave this world a better place than we found it. Solar is a green energy because it is able to produce energy with zero emissions. By creating your own energy and not relying on conventional forms of electricity, you lower your carbon foot print!