Solar panels collect the sun’s energy and converts it into Direct Current (DC) electricity. The number of panels you need is determined by your annual energy usage.
The Direct Current (DC) than flows into your inverter which converts the electricity from DC to Alternating Current (AC). AC power is the typical type of electricity used in homes and businesses.
The electricity from the inverter flows through your electric meter which is measured in kilowatt hours. When you are generating more electricity than you are using the overage power is sent onto the grid. This causes your meter to spin backwards essentially selling electricity back to the utility company. When you need more electricity than you are producing the electricity is funneled back from the grid.
The utility grid is controlled by the electric company and it provides electricity when needed. When you over produce electricity the overage is sent back to the grid and your electric company recognizes this as a credit. At night when you are not producing solar power your credit is utilized and electricity flows back from the grid into your home.
You now produce your own electricity to be used throughout your home or business. Since there are no moving parts, your solar system is silent and virtually maintenance-free.
Grid-Tied Systems: These systems use your current utility provider to store the excess solar power your system produces during the day. When you need to use power but are not producing any, your meters pull the same power you previously stored back into your home. If you do this with a time of use (TOU) meter, you can actually sell the power during the day, when your solar system is producing a high volume at peak rates, and buy it back at night at a low rate. Every day, you’re essentially accomplishing the process of selling high and buying low.
Grid Tie with Battery Back-Up: This system is the same as the on-grid system, but it has a small battery back-up attached to it. The hybrid system protects you against blackouts for a short period of time. The cost for this upgrade is slightly more than a standard on grid system, but the protection it provides is worth the investment.
Off-Grid: This residential solar system is an option for customers who operate in an area where power lines are unavailable or you would have to pay the power company to bring lines in to provide electricity. An off-grid system provides peace of mind when your other option is to pay high fees for electricity in these locations.