fbpx

7 New Ways that Homeowners Who Own Solar Panels Can Deal With Power Outages at Night

Have you installed solar panels in your home but always experience blackouts when you get home at sundown?

According to the Report of the Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Solar Energy Utilization, the world’s demand for energy is expected to double by 2050 and triple by the end of this century.

The sun is an amazing source of energy and has been ideal in producing free and easily accessible electricity. Advancements in technology have made it possible to use solar energy to generate electricity using photovoltaic systems (PV). This electricity is then used in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

One amazing fact about solar panels is that they are extremely useful during the day when the sun is shining, but at sundown, they can be quite useless.

So, while engineers are building solar panels that are cheaper and more efficient to soak up the rays from the sun, it is crucial to have a dependable way to store it so that you can use solar energy when the sun is not shining.

So, how can you store massive amounts of solar power to use at night?

Read on to find out.

Can Solar Panels Store Energy for Nighttime Use?

No! Solar panels do not work at night. They only generate electricity and do not store energy at all.

Solar panels only convert the sun’s radiation into DC electricity, which is then sent to the primary panel of your home.

Solar panels need sunlight to create energy. Solar panels have also been known to generate some energy from the moon, street lights, and other light sources, but the output is always very low. For this reason, solar panels usually become inactive and do not produce electricity for your home at night.

Can Solar Panels Store Energy for Nighttime Use?

So, we have established that solar panels do not produce power at night.

But how can you get power supply at night?

Is it possible to shift solar output to evening hours?

Solar panels normally produce more electricity than you would normally use during the day. To balance this out, there are three main options you should consider. They are:

  • Solar battery
  • Net metering
  • Anti-solar panels

Let’s delve into these the options that will allow you to enjoy solar power when you get home from a busy day at work:

1. Solar battery

Lithium-ion battery technology has been around since the 1970s and has gained considerable popularity since then. As the lightest metal, lithium has the most electrochemical potential, meaning that it provides the highest energy density per weight. This makes it more efficient and far lighter than lead-acid batteries.

Pairing your energy storage with your solar arrays is one of the best ways to store energy for use when the sun is down and your panels can no longer generate electricity.

For a very long time, lead-acid batteries struggled to work properly in extreme temperatures. Thankfully, storing solar energy does not have to be so expensive anymore. With Li-ion solar batteries, you can enjoy optimal battery performance, even at extremely low temperatures.

The introduction of Li-ion batteries ensures that you can still store as much energy as possible to meet the needs of your household, even when the battery gets cold. The performance of your battery will only decline by about 10% despite very cold temperatures.

Furthermore, solar batteries have to work extra hard at extremely high temperatures. Although their performance may reduce by up to 20% at 86 degrees, the solar batteries will still be quite effective.

With the growth Li-ion technology, you too can now enjoy these advantages:

  • Cleaner energy
  • Longer battery life
  • Better recycling
  • Much less maintenance
  • Constant solar power even at night

Solar batteries have a very high life span and can support many complete charge and discharge cycles before their capacity reduces to below 80%. Hence, solar batteries do not require regular maintenance or replacement. Consequently, you can use them a thousand times and they will still maintain their functionality.

Some would even say that solar batteries are almost maintenance-free and you can use them without worrying about overcharging them or damage caused by deep discharge.

If you depend on a solar home battery for your home, rest assured that the battery capacity is reliable in any type of weather.

2. Net metering

When you connect your solar panel to an electric grid, you enable net metering, which functions like a savings account if you live in an area that offers it.

If you’ve installed an on-grid solar system, your solar panels are likely producing excess electricity, which is often deposited in the grid.

In return, the electric company will either give you a reimbursement or credit your bill. Then at night, when your solar panels can no longer generate electricity, you can use the energy credits saved on the electric grid.

Net metering is switched on each time your panels are unable to generate electricity at night. With this bidirectional connection, electricity can flow in and out of your home.

Being connected to the grid allows you to have electricity in your home even if there is a variation in the production from your solar panels. Therefore, the grid is a place where the entire community can store its solar energy.

How efficient is net metering in storing energy for later use?

Net metering is extremely efficient. Although it is not offered in all states and its future remains uncertain, with net metering credits, you will completely cover the costs of getting energy from the grid. It is unfortunate that some electric companies do not support net metering.

With solar energy growing in popularity every day, most electric companies are desperate to secure their place in the energy market. In some net metering cases, you may need to pay more so that you can draw back the electricity that you credited.

Therefore, you would be avoiding a lot of problems if you take the time to check out the net metering policies in your area. Also, consider using solar battery storage to augment your solar panel system. Nonetheless, you need an expert to guide you.

Our expert advisors are ready to help you and answer any net metering questions that you may have.

3. Anti-solar cells

Sunlight provides us with a lot of free energy, but it is quite difficult to harness all that energy since the sun only shines in the daytime. To help us generate and utilize power at night, researchers have been working on ways to improve the efficiency of solar panels.

However, high-efficiency solar panels have not been effective in generating solar power at night. Even battery technology has been improving extremely slowly.

Scientists from the University of California Davis have now created a technology that can help to supplement power generation at night when your solar panels and batteries are ineffective. This is known as anti-solar panels.

How do anti-solar panels work?

The team from the University of California, Davis proposes a technology that works as a heat engine.

In a paper they published in the ACS Photonics Journal, they affirmed that if you want to generate electricity at night, you have to create panels that work the exact opposite way your solar panels work in the day time.

It is common knowledge that solar panels can absorb light or radiation from the sun and convert it into energy because they are cold compared with the sun. Space is cold too, and so is the night sky. Therefore, pointing a warmer panel from Earth towards the sky will make the panel radiate energy as infrared light towards the sky.

Although anti-solar panels look like regular solar panels, they use different technology.

According to a professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Davis, Jeremy Munday, “you have heat energy coming from the Sun towards the Earth and that normal solar cell picks off that energy as it’s transmitted from the Sun to the Earth, so basically you need these two different temperature bodies and some way of converting that power.”

He went ahead to say that, “what this nighttime device does is a similar sort of thing—where it’s just taking a hot body and a cold body—but now the relatively hot body is the Earth and space is the cold body. As this heat is flowing from the Earth to outer space, it’s picking that off and converting that into power.”

Solar panels depend on photon-absorbing photovoltaic cells to create pairs of electron holes across a semiconductor to generate a working voltage. In contrast, anti-solar panels use a thermo-radiative cell to create electron-hole pairs by emitting infrared radiation from Earth into space.

It is estimated that these thermo-radiative cells may not be able to generate more than a quarter of the power that solar panels generate in the same area because of the infrared light’s lower energy.

What makes it easier for solar panels to capture light in visible wavelengths is the silicon material they contain. Perhaps if materials like mercury alloys, that are known to interact better with longer wavelengths of light, are used to manufacture these thermo-radiative cells, it could boost their efficiency.

Researchers are still developing prototypes to see if the concept can work effectively.

4. Hydrogen

According to Tom Meyer from the University of North Carolina, “There are lots of clever people doing lots of clever things in the battery business.”

Another option for generating solar energy at night is to direct the electricity from the PV to your water electrolyzers, responsible for generating hydrogen gas. You can store the hydrogen to use as feedstock for the fuel cells, allowing them to generate electricity when you need it.

This option is best suited for people in the industrial sector.

Meyer, while explaining his new strategy, said that the key to converting solar energy to hydrogen is water.

According to him, “You start out with water and just break it into its elemental form,” he says, “then collect that hydrogen in a tank and then burn it at night.”

He aims to reduce our carbon footprint while working with water to extend this project to power homes.

How does Meyer’s plan work?

First, solar energy will convert carbon dioxide into its combustive cousin, methanol. Then at night, the power plant will burn the methanol as fuel to convert it back to carbon dioxide. It will be captured and stored for later use.

When the sun comes out, the process of recycling carbon would begin again, thus reducing potentially harmful emissions.

6. Hydroelectricity and PV

This is a very expensive option.

You can also store electricity in supercapacitors. Later, electricity can be discharged and used to generate power whenever you need it.

5. Supercapacitors

How about storing solar electricity as potential energy when water is pumped to higher elevations?

Whenever you need electricity, you can convert the stored water potential into kinetic energy to spin the turbine (this is a way of combining hydroelectricity and PV) to generate electricity.

7. In the form of heat

Another brilliant option for storing solar energy is to store the energy as heat, which is the main energy storage method in concentrated solar power plants. It is in these solar power plants that heat is transferred to the food as it passes through the receiver. All the heat is concentrated at this point.

Then the receiver absorbs the thermal energy and stores it in a hot thermal tank ready for use when needed.

Which Option Do You Prefer To Use To Store Solar Energy For Nighttime Use?

The sun is our most trusted and most abundant sustainable resource in a world where climate change and fossil fuel hazards are impacting our lifestyle, communities, and planets. It is quite clear that the best solution for generating light at night is either solar batteries or net metering.

While solar panels may not be available to generate electricity for you at night, you can trust Enlightened Solar to handle your power issues.

Without increasing your carbon footprint, we can help you to build a clean future by creating clean solar energy for your home.

6 Things You Should Know About Solar Panel Installation (No. 4 will blow your mind).

Is there a right time to install a solar system? Is it going to work in the rain or snow?

Those are the questions we hear continuously from people.

The answer is straightforward: You don’t need to worry about the weather to invest in a solar system for your house.

Why? Because most solar panels are built to handle a wide range of climates and weather conditions, including heat, thunder, storms, and snow.

Does the uncertainty over electricity cost make you worry all the time and you’re not sure how exactly installing a solar panel can save you money?

It’s because you hear a lot of myths and fallacies about installing solar panels, which is confusing and preventing you from taking the right step.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix to help you put an end to all your concerns.

This article will debunk all the myths to help you make informed decisions while moving forward to a more sustainable world.

Here’s a list to provide you with insight into what you’re going to get from this article.

 

  • Myth #1 You need to own a house to use solar energy.
  • Myth #2 Solar panels don’t work in a wide range of climates.
  • Myth #3 Solar panels don’t increase the value of your house.
  • Myth #4 Solar energy is too costly for the houseowner.
  • Myth #5 Solar energy doesn’t work in rain or snow.
  • Myth #6 Solar power means large batteries and unreliable power.

 

 

#1 “You Need to Own a House to Use Solar Energy”

Do you live in an apartment, a condo, or a rented house, and are worried if you’re eligible to install a solar plant?

Rest assured you can use solar energy to power your life regardless!

Great news, right?
In recent times, community solar programs are gaining more popularity according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It allows groups of people to share solar power generated from a single solar array.

Contributors to these programs can buy or lease a portion of the solar array.
Did you know that if the solar panel is brand new, you can share the cost of construction between the contributors?

Here’s another great option – ‘purchasing kilowatt-hour blocks of solar energy generated by an array’.

This benefit allows you to cut back on your electricity bills and use sustainable power.

#2 “Solar Panels Do Not Work in a Range of Climates”:

One of the benefits of solar panels is that temperature doesn’t have a significant impact on the amount of energy they capture.

Even in the bone-chilling winter, it can capture enough energy to power an average house.

Solar panels need only one thing to generate energy – SUNSHINE!

As long as there is sunshine, solar panels can turn energy into electricity regardless of weather conditions.

#3 “Solar Panels Do Not Increase the Value of Your House”:

We know that common home renovations like a new kitchen setup or well-finished basement boost home valuation.

Did you also know that potential buyers view solar panels as a valuable upgrade to the house?

Solar systems do not only increase the value of a home, but they also increase the speed with which a home is sold.

Research by Zillow.com shows that homes with energy-efficient features and PV sold faster than homes that consumed more energy.

Let’s say you have installed an average-sized solar panel on the roof of your house, and after spending 3-4 years in that home, you now want to sell it.

The catch here is, your solar panel can add about an extra $15,000 to your house value.

Isn’t that lucrative?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says – The value of a home can increase by $20,000 for every $1,000 saved annually in electricity cost.

#4 “Solar Energy is Too Costly for The Homeowner”:

If we look at the facts, the cost of adopting solar power has dropped every year since 2009.

In fact, choosing the right company to install solar panels on your beautiful house can reduce a ton of unnecessary expenses and high prices.

Enlightened Solar was founded with the goal to help homeowners get the best value at the lowest possible price.

All the designs are done by experts who have decades of experience.

Here you get a ten-year installation warranty and a 25-year energy production warranty as well.

#5 “Solar Energy Doesn’t Work in Rain or Snow”:

Rain itself indeed has no impact on the panels, but the rain clouds are likely to lower the production.

In fact, an occasional rain-storm can be good for your solar system’s production. It’s also a safe way to clean your panels.

Scientists have been working to innovate a new kind of solar panel that will collect solar energy even if it’s raining.
But what about snowfall?

Unlike rain, which doesn’t accumulate on the panels and block light, snow will have an impact on production beyond cloud coverage.

After all, anything that blocks the sun from reaching your panels stops them from producing electricity. However, depending on the weather following the snowstorm and the angle of your panels, even heavy snowfalls will melt and slide right off in no time.

Even though solar energy is dependent on the sun, it is still an excellent option for many homes, businesses, and farms in the country’s cloudy, rainy, or snowy areas.

#6 “Solar Panels Mean Large Batteries and Unreliable Power”:

This is not necessarily true unless you want to be energy independent.

If you want to be independent of your utility, you will need a battery storage system or other forms of storage for nighttime use.

Photovoltaic systems without storage capacity produce ready-to-use electricity immediately.

Solar energy is mainly generated in the morning when the power demand of most households is low, the power demand significantly increases in the evening.

With a battery system, the extra power that is produced during the day can be stored and used for later.

However, it is not required for rooftop solar panel installation.

Here’s how solar panels can benefit you in numerous ways.

  1. Solar energy can permanently reduce your electricity bills.
    This can save you significant amounts of money every year.
  2. It allows you to personally contribute to a sustainable future.
    While helping you to take a stance to make planet Earth safer.
  3. You can be independent of large energy suppliers, leaving you with no worries about electricity.

There’s not just myths but many benefits that come with investing in solar systems.

#1 You Can Become Energy Self-Sufficient:

The idea of being energy self-sufficient has gained a lot of popularity in recent times.

To put it simply, energy self-sufficient means: Someone who can produce and consume electricity from their solar panels.

It also means you don’t have to worry about surging electricity bills.

Let’s have a look at some advantages you can reap from being energy sufficient.

  • Less stress with consistently affordable energy bills:One of the most significant benefits you can get is monetary savings. Solar panels can provide households with the ability to save about 90% on their electricity bills.
  • Protection from discontinuation of power due to blackouts:Unprecedented natural disasters can cause power-cuts. Energy self-sufficiency achieved through solar panels and a battery means that you aren’t relying on these powerlines as much or the ageing infrastructure it’s linked to.
  • The dual benefit of earning money:When you have a solar panel, you not only reduce electricity bills but also get paid for the power you provide. This has the dual benefit of helping reduce the cost of electricity for others on the grid and bringing you extra savings on your bill.

#2 Solar Energy is a Globally Accepted Renewable Energy Solution:

More than 486GW of installed capacity makes solar the third biggest renewable power source globally, with photovoltaic (PV) technology being dominant.

The use of concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is also on the rise, with global CSP installed capacity reaching 5.5GW by the end of 2018.

Solar power is an excellent alternative energy source.

Here’s why we say this…

  • It’s a free source of energy. A renewable energy resource like the sun is also sustainable and inexhaustible.
  • It causes less electricity loss.
  • It allows you to take your house off the grid.
  • It is environmentally friendly.

#3 Solar energy is clean, green, and ensures the sustainability of our planet:

Most people want to save the planet, which means most of us want to use renewable energy like solar power.

With an average annual growth rate of 50%, solar energy is experiencing a major surge in popularity in green circles.

Why? The answer is threefold:

  • The price of solar panels has dropped over the past decade.
  • The solar industry’s economic power.
  • Solar power’s squeaky-clean reputation as a reliable renewable energy source.

With that being said, it’s not uncommon to hear people claim that solar power isn’t entirely eco-friendly as per the claims.

We know solar energy isn’t perfect.
But comparatively, solar power is more sustainable than fossil-fuel energy.

Solar panels don’t use any water to generate electricity and don’t release any harmful gases into the environment.

Thus, it is known as one of the cleanest forms of energy.

#4 Using Energy Can Reduce the Carbon Footprint:

Electricity‌ ‌produced‌ ‌from‌ ‌solar‌ ‌power‌ ‌yields‌ ‌no‌ ‌emissions,‌ ‌no‌ ‌greenhouse‌ ‌
gases,‌ ‌and‌ ‌no‌ ‌fossil‌ ‌fuels,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌does‌ ‌require‌ ‌a‌ ‌certain‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌energy‌ ‌to‌ ‌
manufacture‌ ‌the‌ ‌solar‌ ‌panels.‌ ‌ ‌

Luckily,‌ ‌the‌ ‌energy‌ ‌they‌ ‌produce‌ ‌far‌ ‌exceeds‌ ‌what‌ ‌it‌ ‌takes‌ ‌to‌ ‌manufacture‌ ‌
them.‌ ‌

Solar‌ ‌energy‌ ‌systems‌ ‌are‌ ‌also‌ ‌great‌ ‌for‌ ‌homeowners‌ ‌wanting‌ ‌to‌ ‌reduce‌ ‌their‌ ‌
carbon‌ ‌footprint.‌ ‌

The average American household produces 14,920 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, assuming an average monthly energy consumption of 957 kilowatt-hours.

For those living in detached single-family homes, this figure is significantly higher.

The good news is that you can drastically reduce your home’s impact on the environment with a residential solar energy system. Solar energy is “green,” partly because of its ability to generate power while emitting zero emissions.

By taking the solar route, you can reduce the demand for fossil fuels, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink your carbon footprint.

#5 Receive Generous Federal Government Rebates:

According to usa.gov – Energy-related tax incentives can make home and business energy improvements more affordable.

There are credits for buying energy-efficient appliances and for making energy-saving improvements.

The US government is taking a stance and encouraging people to move toward more sustainable and renewable energy.

They include a tax credit for:

  1. Energy-efficient homes.
  2. Energy-efficient commercial buildings.
  3. Nonbusiness energy properties.
  4. Qualifying fuel-cell vehicles.
  5. Alternative fuel vehicle refuelling properties.

#5 Receive Generous Federal Government Rebates:

U.S. households have experienced a steady increase in both the frequency and duration of power outages over the last 15 years, according to research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Most homeowners get anxious when they get their electricity bills because they have no control over it.

Meanwhile, the cost of solar panels has reduced by more than 50%.

Opting for solar power puts you in a position where you have control over your electricity generation.

The U.S. government is emphasizing the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and lowering its impact on nature.

Therefore, this is the right time to start your solar power journy and become energy independent.

Many homeowners experience problems with solar panel installation.

Unfortunately, a bad installation of solar panels is a significant problem faced by many customers.

Consequently, many homeowners, as well as business owners, often invest money in repairs. Therefore, the reputations of installation teams suffer, and the solar products community as a whole comes across as unreliable.

Installing a solar energy system in your home is a substantial investment that warrants protection.

The maintenance cost for equipment warranty claims should be covered by state-level mandates on contractors to guarantee the system’s installation aspects for a minimum duration.

But solar installers have a high turnover rate in the solar industry, which causes risk and expense for repairs should the installation contractor be out of business.

Enlightened Solar understands these risks.

Our Enlightened Assurance Plan is included in every solar system contract we facilitate.

A dedicated portion of the contract cost is allocated to a FUNDED warranty account to ensure that every potential piece of equipment, labor, and long-term maintenance risk is protected with real funds to fix the problem.

So, what can you take away from this article?

Solar energy can reduce the financial pressure of rising electricity bills, and save you extra cash to put in your bank.

Whether you live in your own house or rent an apartment, you can still leverage the benefits of using solar energy.

Installing a solar panel doesn’t affect the valuation of your house. Instead, it increases the value of your property.

Choosing the right company for your solar system can be cost-efficient and get you better services.

Climate change has increased exponentially within a few decades. If we move towards more sustainable and renewable energy, we can reduce the carbon footprint. Because we all want a safe planet to live on.

Solar energy not only makes us power self-sufficient but also cuts back wastage in different ways.

Sustainable energy like solar power is safer for the planet and all living beings.

7 Benefits of On-Grid Solar Systems that Every Homeowner Should Know About

Did you know that a grid-connected solar system is the most cost-effective type of solar system for homeowners?

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that, by 2020, renewable energy will become the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, with the utility-scale solar capacity expected to rise by 13.7 GW in 2020 and 11.8 GW in 2021.

It is expected that the global electrical energy consumption will display an annual growth rate of approximately 2.2% from 2010 to 2040.

There are three main types of solar power systems, namely grid-connected, off-grid, and hybrid systems. Of all these different types of solar systems installed across the globe, the grid-connected solar system is the most preferred one.

Grid-connected solar systems also referred to as grid-tied, grid intertied, grid back feeding, utility-interactive, and on-grid solar systems, are increasingly attracting attention as a means of generating alternative energy by connecting the solar system to a utility power grid.

Here’s a quick preview of what you will learn from this article:

  • What is a grid-connected solar system?
  • Components of a grid-connected solar system
  • How does a grid-connected solar system work?
  • 7 Benefits of grid connected solar systems for homeowners
  • How to ensure supply reliability
  • Grid-connected solar systems and net metering

So, what is this grid-connected solar system you keep hearing about?

What is a Grid-Connected Solar System?

A grid-connected solar system is also referred to as a grid-connected photovoltaic system or a grid-tied power system. This electricity-generating solar power system is connected to the utility grid.

It comprises solar panels, inverters, a power conditioning unit, and grid connection equipment.

Grid-connected solar power systems range from small residential rooftop systems to large, utility-scale solar power stations. They hardly use integrated battery solutions, unlike stand-alone power systems.

Are you thinking of a cheaper and easier solar system option for your home?

A grid-connected solar power system is an extremely cost-effective and easy way to equip your home with solar energy. Basically, this system uses solar panels and an inverter to produce electricity. The function of the solar panels is to convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity, while the inverter turns the DC electricity into usable alternating current (AC) electricity.

A solar power system that is connected to the grid exports excess solar power from the panels to the grid during the day. Then at night, when the sun is down and the panels can no longer produce power, it uses the power from the grid.

Components of a Grid-Connected Solar System

Grid-connected or grid-tied solar systems produce solar energy during the day and, because you are connected to the grid, draw electricity from the power company when needed at night or in bad weather.

What are the key components required by a working grid-connected solar system?

They are:

  • PV modules

    The main function of the PV modules is to instantly convert sunlight into DC electrical power.

  • Bi-directional inverter

    The inverter converts DC power into the standard AC power for home use. Each time the grid distributes electricity, the inverter synchronizes with the utility power automatically.

    Interferences cause energy losses when inverters are used. This is the same for all the components of the power system. Typically, efficiency of an inverter, that is well matched to the solar array, is about 90%.

    Inverters produce an AC current in different outputs – square wave, modified square wave, and pure sine wave outputs. The square wave is the least expensive but is also the least efficient. The modified sine is quite efficient and has a moderate cost The pure sine is expensive but is the most efficient.

  • AC breaker panel with fuses

    The breaker panel or fuse box looks like a normal fuse box. It consists of a domestic supply and installation of electricity without the need for additional breakers for either the inverter or the filter connections.

  • Charge controller

    The purpose of the charge controller is to prevent the battery from overcharging, thereby prolonging the lifespan of your PV system.

  • Electric meters

    The PV generator requires two electric meters to function well. These meters are placed between the grid and the inverter.

    One of the meters is inserted into the grid so that it can help in billing and quantifying the energy that is generated. The other electric meter is used to quantify the PV inverter’s small consumption where there is no solar radiation.

  • Safety switches and cabling

    The PV array always produces voltage output in solar radiation so that it can be disconnected from the inverter for testing or maintenance. Isolator switches and inverter safety switches should be provided separately, and must be easy to disconnect from the system.

    Ensure that you use electrical cables that are correctly rated and sized to connect the various components. The electrical company may also demand earthing and fuses.

  • Electricity grid

    Grid-connected solar systems cannot existe without a utility grid. The solar system is connected to this grid to store electricity for later use.

How Does a Grid Connected Solar System Work?

Grid-connected solar systems provide homeowners with the power they need during the day, and because it is connected to the local electrical grid, it also provides power at night.

Curious to find out how a grid-connected solar system works?

Here are some very straightforward steps:

Step 1:

Sunlight hits the solar PV panels to produce electricity or solar energy.

Step 2:

The electricity then runs from the solar panels to the inverter, which converts the power from a direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC). The subsequent solar electricity can be used to power your electronic appliances.

Step 3:

The solar power produced during the day runs through the switchboard to power the appliances you have in operation.

Step 4:

Light bulbs, air conditioners, dishwashers, television, sound systems, and other AC-powered electronic devices can make use of solar-powered electricity.

Step 5:

If the solar panels produce excess solar power or you have switched off your electrical appliances, the power will be transferred to the grid where it is measured by the meter box. Electricity retailers pay credits in exchange for the energy they return to the grid. At night, when your systems do not produce any energy, you can draw power from the grid and pay with the credits earned.

7 Benefits of Grid-Connected Solar Systems for Homeowners

A grid-tied solar system, as the name implies, means that the solar system is connected to an electrical grid.

Does this system offer homeowners any long-term benefits?

Here are 7 of the major benefits homeowners can enjoy from grid-connected solar systems:

1. Very affordable

The grid-connect solar system, unlike the other solar systems, is not very expensive. The cost-efficiency of this option can be attributed to the fact that there is no need to buy batteries and some other equipment. You will not have to bother with the reform costs that accompany batteries.

Also, the system helps to reduce bill expenses. The less you consume, the more energy you save to the utility grid, and the more money you gain from your state government.

In comparison, the grid-tied system costs less than other systems since installing one off-grid system costs up to 3 times the price of a grid-connected system.

2. Increases the value of your home

Installing solar panels in your home does not only help you to save thousands of dollars yearly.

Do you plan to sell your house someday?

Every homeowner wants to make improvements and repairs that will increase the value of their home when they are ready to sell.

The PV cell components of your solar system, in addition to generating energy, also raises the selling point of your home by adding a more technologically-related and modern look that will attract more buyers.

By investing in grid-connected solar panels, you will be making a major improvement that will boost the value of your home. You should prioritize this enhancement because buyers prefer a house that has a working solar system.

3. No need to buy expensive battery storage

Grid-connected photovoltaic systems are very affordable and easy to build and maintain. Since there is no need to buy a battery, which is the most expensive component, you do not have to worry about damaging the battery by under or over-charging.

4. Very reliable

What would you do when faced with a power shutdown?

If you install a grid-tied solar system, it would have collected and saved solar radiation in the utility grid. Therefore, when there is a power shutdown, it can provide you with power for your electrical appliances.

Also, it will continue to produce power whenever you use it. If you only consume a small amount of energy, the rest will be converted into money for you by your state government.

5. You get to use 100% renewable energy

Using some energy sources can cause considerable contamination. Thankfully, grid-connected solar systems use clean, renewable power to generate energy that will positively impact human beings and the environment.

Grid-connected solar systems do not require batteries, helping to reduce the environmental contamination caused by batteries, allowing you to breathe fresher air.

Most people prefer this type of solar system because it can be used for a very long time without experiencing any side effects or damage. It is safe to say that it has the longest lifespan compared to the other solar systems.

6. Easy installation

You do not need that much help in connecting your solar system to the grid. It involves a simple process that you can easily complete with the help of a friend over a weekend.

All you need to do is take note of the minimum requirements of 100 square feet for every kilowatt when installing the panels on your rooftop.

Here are the necessary steps you need to follow to install a grid-connected solar system:

  • Enlist the services of the best solar installation company. For best quality, best prices, and best quotes, contact Enlightened Solar. Request an on-grid solar system.
  • If you would rather install the system yourself, an expert from the company will visit your home to check your area for capacity and strength before installation.
  • The expert will check all your home electrical connections and loads.
  • They will recommend the best on-grid system for your home.
  • The engineer will help to install your preferred solar system.

7. Very resourceful and effective

The grid-connected solar system uses a very simple working process to produce energy.

The sun shines on the panels, producing a direct current, which is converted to AC for use in your home. Any excess energy is transferred to the utility. The grid stores energy to be used when the sun is down, instead of requiring batteries or a myriad of other costly equipment.

How to Ensure Supply Reliability

Whenever there is a power failure, you have to disconnect your grid-connected solar system from the utility grid for safety reasons. This will prevent uncontrolled stand-alone operations. Hence, the grid-connected solar system will go offline when there is a power failure.

This safety precaution helps to prevent the electrocution of utility personnel who may be working on the grid when there is a power failure. You can also configure your grid-connected system to work with a UPS or diesel generator without compromising the utility grid’s safety requirements.

When this is done, the solar power system will continue to operate and supply power to the load. If the solar panels are responsible for generating the power, the grid-tied inverter will automatically prioritize how this energy is used. Then, the UPS or generator will supply only a minimal load, making it more efficient.

Hence, grid-connected solar systems ensure that your home is provided with supply continuity whenever there is a power failure.

Grid-Connected Solar Systems and Net Metering

Connecting your solar array or solar panels to the local power grid will allow you to enjoy one of the major benefits of generating your own electricity – net metering or net billing.

What is net metering and how does it work?

If on a sunny day, your solar PV system produces more electricity than you can consume, the excess solar power is sent back to the utility grid. When this happens, your electrical meter will be rotated backward and your local power company will give you credits for the amount of electricity your grid-connected solar system has produced.

If you use more electrical energy than your solar system generates during the billing period, you will be billed the normal net amount of the electricity you consumed.

However, if the solar energy you generate is more than you consume, you will be credited for the net amount of the electricity generated. This could either be a reduction in your electricity bill or a direct refund to you.

If your local electricity company has net metering available, you may be asked to install a second electrical meter instead of using a single one that spins in both directions while you are installing your solar system.

With this new meter, you will be able to measure the net energy consumption entering and leaving your system. This will be used to reduce the amount you pay for your electricity bill. Be sure to find out what the policy of your electrical utility company is regarding buying back the energy your small solar power station generates.

Although net metering is the best way to resell the excess power your solar system generates, some utility companies have a lower wholesale rate for buying back energy than the electricity you use from the same utility company. Hence, to break even, you may have to generate more solar energy than you usually consume.

It is, therefore, important to pay close attention to the components of the solar services agreement of the utility company in your city.

Does this spark your interest in having your own solar power system?

There are lots of other indirect benefits you can enjoy from obtaining your own solar power system. The expertise, longevity, high quality, lower losses from transmission and distribution, long-term energy, minimal technical losses, and low gestation period are some of them.

To enjoy these benefits and many more, contact Enlightened Solar. We can help you to find the best solar system for you.

Exploring the Best Solar System for Your Home – What Every Beginner Needs To Know

Do you plan to stay in your home for more than 3 years, but are skeptical about investing in solar energy?

Statistics show that the United States had a cumulative solar PV capacity of 60.5 GW in 2019 and a quarterly number of new solar PV installations of 3.6 GW as of the first quarter of 2020.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the temperature of the Earth is rising at a much faster rate than we thought. Unfortunately, energy sources that use fossil fuels release up to 75% of these emissions globally.

Is there a way of generating energy without damaging the ozone layer?

Solar power is the best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 100 million tons yearly. The introduction of solar energy has helped to mitigate the impact of the energy sector on climate change.

If you are reading this, then you are way ahead of most homeowners who are considering an alternative source of energy for their homes.

Let’s take a sneak-peak at what this article has to offer you:

  • What is a solar power system?
  • 5 Major components of a solar power system
  • How important is a solar system to homeowners?
  • Why are homeowners skeptical about buying a solar system?
  • What is the most suitable solar system for your home?
  • Factors to consider when buying a solar system
  • Where can you get the best solar system for your home?

Read on to find out more!

What is a Solar Power System?

A solar power system generates renewable energy using photovoltaic energy from the sun. It converts this energy into usable electricity.

This system is often found as PV arrays on rooftops and varies in size. It can power residential properties, as well as commercial and utility-scale zones.

5 Major Components of a Solar Power System

Solar power systems are vital to the modern-day home because of the numerous technological and electrical appliances you likely use to make life easier for yourself and your family members.

Nevertheless, there will be no solar power system without some major components. As a matter of fact, understanding these components will help you to choose the best system for your home, as well as the perfect company able to meet your needs.

The various solar system components include:

  • The panels

    The solar panel is the most common and most visible component of your solar system. Solar panels are the components by which you can distinguish between those who use solar energy and those who do not by simply looking at their rooftops.

    How do solar panels work?

    Solar panels generate electricity through a process known as solar irradiation – generating DC electricity from sunlight. This stimulates electrons to move through the built-in solar cells in the panels.

    Do not fall for the misconception that heat, instead of sunlight, generates electricity. On the contrary, when the panels overheat, they become less efficient. This is one of the reasons you should choose Enlightened Solar for panels that can withstand different weather conditions for as long as 25 years.

    You can choose between Monocrystalline panels and Polycrystalline panels.

    In a nutshell, monocrystalline panels consist of individual large crystals with some of the cell corners missing due to the production process. They are darker in color and exhibit higher aesthetic consistency.

    Polycrystalline panels, on the other hand, consist of multiple smaller crystals and are either light or dark blue in color. Their textures vary and you will find some patches that are lighter than others.

  • The inverter

    Your solar system cannot function without an inverter.

    What do inverters do?

    When your solar panels produce DC electricity, inverters help to convert it to 240V AC, which is more than you need to power your household appliances.

    This component can easily become faulty since it operates continuously. Therefore, most companies offer a warranty of about 10 years on inverters. This is not satisfactory for a component that forms a crucial part of your system. Hence, the need to choose the high-quality inverters provided by Enlightened Solar.

    There are two major types of inverters, namely string inverters and microinverters.

    String inverters are installed on a wall in an area that is not directly exposed to sunlight. They then convert the energy from the string of panels into AC electricity that you can use in your home.

    The inverters that you install behind each panel are called microinverters. They allow energy from individual panels to exist independently. However, they are quite expensive.

    Bridging the gap between string inverters and microinverters are the power optimizers. They do not always require shade and are more affordable than microinverters. However, they are not as effective as other types of inverters.

  • The mounting/racking

    The solar power system also includes mounting/racking. This component is responsible for securely attaching the solar panels to your rooftop. You can trust a brand like Enlightened Solar to provide and install high-quality racking equipment for your home.

    Avoid solar providers that are cheap and non-accredited as they are likely to leave holes in your roof, causing leakage or other unwanted issues.

    So, if you don’t want to put your home at risk, pay a little extra for a solar system that will follow all the right procedures to give you optimal performance.

  • Balance of systems

    The balance of systems has to do with the accessories that help your solar power system to work better. These accessories include wires, junction boxes, cabling, and many others.

  • Batteries

    The main function of batteries is to store energy.

    In solar systems, batteries store the energy that is generated by solar panels during the day to be used at night when there is no solar radiation to generate power.

    Though optional, they are fast becoming a viable option for homeowners who spend most of their day at work and only return home in the evenings.

    Battery technology is quite expensive, so if you choose it, you need to make sure that you really need power supply at night. Another thing you need to consider before buying batteries for your solar power system, is your feed-in tariff.

    Engaging the services of an expert will prevent considerable losses and waste of energy. An expert will help you analyze your usage, and will be able to tell you whether your home needs battery technology or not.

How Important is the Solar System to Homeowners?

Installing a solar system in your home has many benefits. This mainstream source of electricity generation has really improved over time and is now quite affordable for the average homeowner.

Here are some of the best reasons why installing a solar system in your home is a great idea:

  • Reduces the electricity bill

    The steady increase in monthly power bills is a global phenomena. As a matter of fact, the high cost of electricity is a major incentive for installing a solar system.

    Most homeowners want to install a solar system so that they won’t have to pay high bills. They are content to save their money while also earning some money from their new source of electricity.

    If this isn’t a good enough incentive, what is?

  • Good investment opportunity

    Are you looking for a lucrative business opportunity that offers low-risk and high returns?

    You should invest in a solar system.

    Renewable energy is an incredibly profitable sector that can yield daily returns on investment. By investing in a solar system, you will receive extra funds when you sell your excess electricity to the grid in your community.

    This is ideal if you are a homeowner, businessperson, or student looking for an extra source of guaranteed income.

    1 kW of solar power can generate about 1500-1600 units of power a year. If you sell some of your units to the grid every day, you can recover your money in about 5 years.

    People living in areas with high electricity tariffs should consider installing a solar system as a viable option.

  • A reliable backup power supply

    Most homeowners and establishments who install a solar system do so for power backup. Establishments like clinics, offices, and shops experiencing substantial losses usually know the value of a reliable alternative, especially when there is a power cut.

    Solar power is an ideal source of energy when you are using a good storage option.

    Do you spend too much on diesel to run generator sets?

    Get a good solar power system and you won’t have to worry about diesel anymore.

  • Lowers carbon dioxide emissions

    Research by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States shows that about 29% of global warming emissions come from the electricity sector.

    Research by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) showed that carbon dioxide accounts for up 82% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States.

    According to research conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), replacing coal power plants with solar power

Why Are Homeowners Skeptical About Buying a Solar System?

What is preventing you from buying a solar system?

Despite all the benefits of owning a solar system, some homeowners remain quite skeptical about acquiring one.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenges homeowners like you are facing when considering installing solar systems in their homes:

Financial constraints

The main challenge that most homeowners face when the topic of solar system ownership comes up is budget constraints, especially for medium to low-income homeowners.

The ordinary person would rather install other electrical devices in their home than install an alternative source of energy. This happens because they are not aware of the numerous benefits they stand to enjoy by being energy-independent.

Net metering

Net metering is an option that allows homeowners to claim credit for any extra energy they send back to the grid. Although this sounds very simple, it isn’t always the case.

Issues may arise in procuring the net meters, but when you do, you will enjoy returns on your investment.

Double expectations

People expect so much from solar systems. Some homeowners expect their solar power system to reduce their electrical bills, while also carrying the full load of their electrical appliances at the same time.

They do not intend to buy a solar panel with the right capacity for their needs.

What Is the Most Suitable Solar System for Your Home?

Solar power is generated during the day when there is sunlight. If it is not used immediately in your home, it will be exported to the grid. So, if you are usually available during the day, you should buy a solar system for daytime home usage.

For instance, if you use up to 10 units of electricity a day between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm, you should get a solar system with a minimum capacity of 2kw to 2.5kw able to generate 10 units. Also, note that the number of solar units you use daily will vary, and usually doubles in summer.

Buying larger solar power systems provides substantial benefits. In addition to generating more power, they also meet high household energy demands and save a lot of costs, especially in summer when you are more inclined to use air conditioners.

If you can spare a little extra money, you can get a much bigger system that will generate more free power to meet the electrical needs of your household, while you can sell excess energy to the grid. This is a great way to earn extra credits to pay for your night-time power usage.

If you have a medium to large household that is usually occupied during the day, you will have more power demand during daylight hours. With a household like this, you will need a larger solar system or even a maximum system, depending on what your roof can accommodate.

For smaller households that are often empty during the daylight hours, you do not have to worry about huge expenditure as you will be saving a lot of money. A smaller PV system should be perfect for smaller households.

Does your roof have orientations or is it subject to shade?

Then you will need to get a string inverter, also referred to as a standard single inverter, to generate far less than a system with micro-inverters or optimizers.

If you are not sure of the most suitable solar system for your home, ask an expert.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Solar System

Now that you have decided to buy the best solar power system for your home, there are certain factors you should consider.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • The size of the solar panel
  • The efficiency of the solar panel
  • Durability
  • Warranty

Where Can You Get the Best Solar System For Your Home?

If you are in the market for the best solar system, you need to consider factors like size, efficiency, durability, and the warranty of the solar panels.

To ensure you buy the best solar system, you need to contact a trustworthy solar system expert. Our solar products at Enlightened Solar are designed by experts with many years of experience in the field.

We can also guide you through the process of installing the panels or we could do it for you – with installment warranties too.

Give us a call and let’s power your home.