Planning A Home Solar Electric System
There are a number of steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy. After choosing which option is best for you to use solar , follow the steps afterward that apply to you. Your solar energy installer and local utility company can provide more information on the exact steps you will need to take to power your home with solar energy.
Utility Bill Rate Design
Good electricity rate design allows you to save money when you save energy. This might sound intuitive but not all provinces are same. Superior designs have low fixed monthly fees and tiered electricity rates. Inferior designs have high fixed fees and flat electricity rates.
Ontario scores near the front of the pack when it comes to these factors having time-of-use rates and fixed monthly fees of $26 .
For example, reducing your electricity bill from 1,500 to 750 kWh per month will save you 54% on your electricity bill in British Columbia, 48% in , but only 43% in Ontario!
Note that fixed monthly fees dont disappear even if you switch to solar youll pay them as long as you remain connected to the grid. But this isnt a bad thing $26/mo is a small price to pay for using the grid as your back-up energy source!
The only way to completely remove your fixed costs is to go off the grid, something most homeowners in Ontario dont do because of high battery costs.
Disconnecting from the grid also means that you wont be able to participate in your utilitys net metering program.
Hybrid Solar System: Adding A Backup Battery To An Existing Grid
As time goes by, its becoming more and more clear that solar power is inevitably going to take over. Many of us have anticipated the usefulness of solar power years ago, creating off-grid solar systems and grid-tied solar systems to supplement our power needs. Hybrid solar systems are becoming a true game-changer to ensure your safety and comfort at home and reduce reliance on the grid.
However, when it comes to power, efficiency is the name of the game. Any power generated in excess is power wasted. So, to capture that excess for backup power, we turned to batteries. Unfortunately, batteries came with two significant caveats back in the dayhigh upfront cost and low efficiency. That has changed.
Today, batteries are declining in cost and jumping in efficiency, making them viable options for power storage for those of us with grid-tied solar systems. Now, we can rely on hybrid solar systems, which combine the advantages of solar panel kits with the existing power grid.
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Why Would You Choose A Grid
Off-grid solar technology is becoming more advanced every year, and a growing number of companies are manufacturing solar batteries for home. If you install battery storage along with your PV system, you can store excess solar electricity when its produced and then use it as needed later. Theoretically, this means that you can completely sever your connection with your electricity utility. In practice, it often makes more sense to stay grid-tied, particularly if you live in an area with significant climate variation.
Most of the solar batteries for home use available today, like the Tesla Powerwall, are designed to store solar energy generated during the day for your home to use at night. This can help you reduce your reliance on utility electricity by storing your excess solar power at home instead of feeding it back into the grid.
The trickier proposition is generating and storing enough extra solar electricity in the summer when solar power generation is highest to cover your future needs in the winter, when solar potential is at its lowest. According to 2021 EnergySage Marketplace data, the average solar shopper offsets approximately 97 percent of their annual electricity use with solar a significant amount, but not enough to go truly off the grid.
Grocery Store In Romania Benefits From Grid
Village Fârdea is part of a commune of seven settlements nestled in the rolling hills of western Romania, which, once a socialist enclave, is now a member of the European union. Ringed by the Carpathian Mountains, the regions natural beauty, legendary history as part of Transylvania, and modernizing infrastructure is transforming communities such as Fârdea into tourist and recreational destinations.
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Hybrid Solar System Kit Battery Storage Capacities
Note that our hybrid solar system kits’ battery storage capacities are intended to power only your critical loads during a grid outage, not your entire home. This is because – unlike an off-grid solar power system, which needs to be able to run an entire home off battery storage for several days during periods of no sun – a hybrid solar system’s battery storage only needs to get you through the duration of a grid outage, which typically lasts on the order of hours, not days.
Why Most Pv Solar Systems Will Soon Include Batteries
Energy Storage has been getting a lot of attention lately but why is it so important?
Anyone who has looked into battery systems at all knows that they can provide backup power when the grid fails, but thats not why the grid needs them. In fact, few mandates or incentive programs even mention backup power.
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Standalone Emergency Battery Backup Power Systems
Whether or not you have solar power at home, having a source of emergency power is a great idea. Our portable power banks are an easy way to acheive that. Completely independent of your grid-tied solar system, this method of battery backup doesn’t automatically activate it’s an emergency power source you can plug your critical appliances into during a power outage. While energy capacities are lower than you’d usually have with a true grid-tied solar system with battery backup, a standalone home battery storage solution like these are less expensive and portable – great for true emergencies.
Homeowners Guide To Going Solar
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the suns energy. Thanks in part to Solar Energy Technologies Office investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your homes roof or finding another way to harness the suns energy. While theres no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out whats best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
How does solar work?
There are two primary technologies that can harness the suns power and turn it into electricity. The first is the one youre likely most familiar with photovoltaics, or PV. These are the panels youve seen on rooftops or in fields. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow. Learn more about how PV works.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
How do I start the process of going solar?
Can I install solar myself?
How much power can I generate with solar?
Will I save money by going solar?
Can I get financing for solar?
How can I find state incentives and tax breaks that will help me go solar?
Is solar safe?
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Using Solar To Meet 100% Of Your Homes Energy Needs
For many homeowners, 100% coverage using solar energy is a reasonable goal. As long as your property is suitable for the size solar system you need, you should be able to completely offset your energy usage with solar.
If youre ready to see if solar energy is right for you, click the request a price button below.
Do you want to learn more about solar energy before jumping into a quote? Then our Solar Buying Guide is a great resource for you. Get answers to many of the common questions so youre prepared to make an informed decision when the time is right for you.
High Voltage Vs Low Voltage Batteries
The new generation high voltage batteries operate in the range of 200-500V DC as opposed to the traditional 48V battery systems. This offers several advantages, including lower cable losses and improved efficiency as the solar array typically operates at 300-600V which is very similar to the battery voltage. Higher voltage batteries and compatible hybrid inverters use lithium battery systems operating between 120-500V, rather than 48V. Higher voltage batteries can be configured in two different ways:
DC-coupled between the solar array and inverter.
DC-coupled directly to a compatible hybrid inverter .
Since most solar arrays operate at high voltages around 300-600V, high voltage batteries use efficient DC-DC converters with very low losses. The first generation Tesla Powerwall was the first 400V battery available and was mated to the popular SolarEdge Storedge hybrid inverter.
The LG chem RESUH and BYD HVM series batteries are some of the most popular HV 400V battery systems available, being compatible with many hybrid inverters including SolarEdge StorEdge, SMA sunny boy storage and Fronius Gen24.
Basic layout diagram of a hybrid solar inverter with DC battery system
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How Much Could A Solar Panel System With Home Battery Backup Save You
Many people question whether a solar panel system will actually save them money. The answer to this is a big resounding YES! After the payoff period you can calculate your Return On Investment by looking at your electricity usage. If, for example, you normally use 1,200 kWh of electricity at $0.13 per kWh, your savings are $156. Thats the money you would spend on electricity per month without solar. This $156 is the extra money that you are now pocketing and will continue to pocket, and even more, as electricity rates rise over the years.
To find out what the exact savings could be for you, reach out to us by filling in and submitting the form to the right.
Benefits Of Having A Solar Panel System With Home Battery Backup
Like all photovoltaic solar panels, this system generates clean, free energy from the sun. The system uses this to charge a bank of battery backups for solar panels.
During the day, the solar energy is used to power your homes systems. Any excess energy generated by your solar panel system is sold and sent onto the utility grid.
At night or during cloudy days, your home uses electricity from the home battery backup to meet your demands.
When the grid fails, your home battery backup system kicks in and runs the essential appliances and systems connected to the backup. That way you never lose power to key components during an outage.
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When To Add A Grid
So youve decided that it is time to go solar, congratulations! Now, how are you planning on doing it?
In the 2020s, grid-tied solar has never been more accessible with a boundless amount of organizations and options designed to help customers get the most out of their renewable energy investment.
So when is it best to install a grid-tied solar system with battery backup?
In this article, we will explore the essential details of solar storage to help you understand the best time to add battery storage to a grid-tied system.
Calculating Solar Power Costs
At this point, you will be in a position to make a final calculation, and an assessment of whether solar power makes sense for you.
The overall cost and benefit of a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
However, rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25 to 40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
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No Access To The Utility Grid
Off-grid solar systems can be cheaper than extending power lines in certain remote areas.
Consider off-gird if youre more than 100 yards from the grid. The costs of overhead transmission lines range from $174,000 per mile to $11,000,000 per mile . SDG& E charges more when they encounter rocks or granite – common in many rural areas of San Diego, Riverside and Imperial and Orange County.
What Is A Hybrid Solar Systems
A hybrid solar system is one of the best ways to mitigate grid consumption while preparing your home for power outages. A hybrid solar system will combine the solar energy produced by your homes solar panels and the power imported from your grid. Energy from your solar panels will travel through a solar inverter, where it will convert into usable electricity. This electricity will be used to power your home, charge your battery, or go into the grid.
When inclement weather or an unstable grid results in a power outage, you can rely on your backup battery to power your home, so you never have to worry about entirely losing power. Alternatively, you can depend on your solar panels and battery to help reduce grid consumption. When the sun goes down, and your battery dries up, you can switch to grid power instead.
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The Utility Grid Is A Virtual Battery
Electricity has to be spent in real time. However, it can be temporarily stored as other forms of energy . Energy storage typically comes with significant losses.
The electric power grid is in many ways also a battery, without the need for maintenance or replacements, and with much better efficiency rates. In other words, more electricity goes to waste with conventional battery systems.
According to EIA data, national, annual electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 7% of the electricity that is transmitted in the United States. Lead-acid batteries, which are commonly used with solar panels, are only 80-90% efficient at storing energy, and their performance degrades with time.
Additional perks of being grid-tied include access to backup power from the utility grid . At the same time you help to mitigate the utility company`s peak load. As a result, the efficiency of our electrical system as a whole goes up.
You Have Peak Electricity Rates
In the case when you do have access to utility net metering, installing a hybrid solar system can still make a lot of sense in an effort to maximize off-peak electricity prices. Thus, when your solar panels are overproducing, you can store it in your storage array or in the grid depending on the context of peak pricing. Then you can pull from the grid only when prices are below market average at off-peak times. For example, during warm summer months when panel production is high but so is household energy use, you can opt to store all extra panel production in your batteries in an effort to be less grid-reliant in a time when energy prices are surging.
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What Solar Batteries Are Compatible With My Panels
Solar batteries are essential to every hybrid solar system, but finding the right one might seem daunting at first. Thankfully, most batteries designed for small-scale applications will be compatible with your existing panels.
However, keep in mind that these batteries wont take your home or business off the grid for extended periods on the scale of several days. Most batteries will have enough solar energy stored to keep your critical loads up and running for a few hours. To rack up more up-time for your critical loads, you can stack multiple batteries to boost your bank of available power.
For a few hours of backup power when you need it, you should consider a larger battery for your hybrid solar system. If youre hoping to avoid periods of high energy rates from your utility, smaller batteries will help.
As for battery chemistry, many people choose lead-acid batteries for their reliability, safety, and low upfront cost. However, lead-acid batteries are bulky and subject to corrosion over time. Also, they need regular maintenance, need to be oriented upright to prevent leakage, and you need to keep them in a well-ventilated space. Your other option for your hybrid solar system will be lithium-ion batteries, which are smaller, lighter, and last a long time.
When Do You Need A Hybrid Solar Photovoltaic System
A solar power system is recommended:
- If the daily consumption of electricity exceeds 2.5 kWh.
- For regions with poor sunlight for long periods of time.
In these two cases, a stand-alone solar system cannot meet your energy needs.
You can learn more about off grid solar panel systems for home, cabins, RV, campers and boat in our bestselling book/paperback or kindle edition/
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