Solar panels are becoming familiar sights around the country as more homeowners choose to use the sun as a source of energy. While a few rare homes are able to stand alone with only solar and wind power, most are connected to the grid.
This means the home is still connected to the local utility company, but that company is working with the home and the solar panels to create a continuous energy stream.
The on-grid solar system is the most popular home solar setup in America. When done properly, it will return lowered electricity bills and continuous energy to the home.
The Basic Setup
The setup includes solar panels on the roof, an inverter box, a net meter, connections to the roof, and connections to the grid.
The solar panels communicate with the home and the utility company, monitoring usage, and providing electricity when it is needed most.
Energy, and its source, are recorded and sent to the appropriate places at the appropriate times throughout the daily cyclic usage.
A typical American home uses the least amount of energy at night and midday. The highest amount of energy used is in the morning and in the evening. An on-grid system is designed to respond to these spikes without leaving the homeowners in the dark by sharing solar power with traditional utilities.
The energy used at night comes from the grid, as the sun has set and the panels are not at full power.
Electronics such as refrigerators, phone chargers, and nightlights do not experience a break in power. The panels save their power for energy spikes and for higher usage points throughout the day.
As the family begins to wake up, the first energy spike occurs. However, the solar panels are not fully charged, so they do not provide all the energy the family needs. Instead, the panels will use energy stored from the day before in partnership with the grid.
The household uses partial utilities to get ready for the day.
While everyone is at work or school, the home is using the least amount of electricity it will use in a 24-hour period. The sun is up and charging the solar panels fully.
At this time, the home does not use any power from the grid. The energy from the solar panels moves into the home. However, there is too much energy for the quiet home to use. This extra energy is sent back outside the home and into the grid.
Many homeowners enjoy credits from the utility company for this excess energy. Some areas offer “net metering”, which means the homeowner sells the energy at the same rate at which they buy it. Every utility company is different; check with the local company for specific details.
As the sun starts to move into the west, energy absorption reduces through the panels. However, the panels are still charged, and keep powering the home without the grid.
Energy credits continue to grow as the home continues to give back to the grid. As most of the family still isn’t home, this time is considered a low-energy part of the day.
The home switches back to full grid power as the family begins to come home, use appliances, lights, and entertainment devices. In a typical home, evenings mean high energy and grid usage.
However, this is where most homeowners break even, as the home has used solar all day and provided power back to the utility company.
A properly designed on-grid solar system will achieve 100% of a home’s power requirements. This means the home breaks even with the utility company and enjoys zero net usage charges. Borrowing from the sun and the grid means no power interruptions, reduced bills, and a reduced carbon footprint. Many homes are making the switch and enjoying all the benefits of a solar home.
Go Solar Power is designing solar systems to produce savings across the Southeast United States, Texas and California. Our expert Solar Specialist will create and design a complimentary solar savings plan and present to you over the phone while you are safe in the comfort of your home. Make sure to ask about our Solar Stimulus plan that puts cash in your pocket. Call 800-530-9597, or email us at [email protected]