Now that you have a better understanding of your solar viability, learn more about how solar will power your home:
Solar electric systems are made up of a few simple components.
Solar panels are installed on your roof and convert the energy of the sun into Direct Current or DC energy.
Inverters convert the energy collected to useable Alternating Current or AC energy that matches exactly what the electric utility provides.
Racking is hardware that secures the panels to the roof.
Other Components: Conduit and wiring will conduct the AC electricity from the inverter to your existing electric panel and a newly installed net meter from the utility. The system will be connected to the existing electric grid through the utility service provider in your community.
Web-based Monitoring: This feature is provided by the inverter manufacturer to make tracking system production and functionality quick and easy. The web-based system features multiple viewing modes, and remote production tracking which can be accessed remotely at any time.
Automatic Production Reporting is an ideal option for customers looking for a “hands-off” solution to reporting production in order to receive net-metering revenue.
Simply put, Net Metering is one of the primary reasons solar is a cost-effective alternative energy solution for residential customers. You need to understand three things:
- Your solar system WILL be connected to the electric utility grid.
- When your solar system produces more electricity than you use, your electric meter will spin backwards. When you are using more electricity than your solar system is producing (e.g. at night) your meter will spin forwards.
- You will still receive an electric bill from your utility provider each month. For months in which you produce energy in excess of what you use, your bill will show a negative figure under the “Total Usage” header. Take a look like the bill below.
For example: On a sunny day, your family decides to take a day trip to the park. During the time you are away electricity consumption is low and the solar system produces electricity that is not being used. The unused power flows out onto the electric grid, prompting your meter to spin backwards, which records the exact amount of excess electricity. You receive a credit for each one of the excess kWhs. When you return home after sun-down, a time when solar does not produce, you may switch on the TV and turn on lights. Your electric meter then spins forward, as a result of energy consumption. At this time you are using the credited energy produced during the sunny day while you were away. If you use more electricity than what was generated from solar, energy will be provided by your utility.