Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics offers a business or homeowner the ability to generate electricity in a clean, quiet and reliable way. Initial costs of a system have decreased considerably over the last 30 years, and are often off set through state and federal rebate programs. It is capable to “lock in” electrical energy costs as photovoltaic systems are immune to future electricity price increases. Additionally, while remaining attached to the local power grid, the electrical utility company will buy back excess power created by your system from you, further off setting the costs. Before we recommend the installation of any photovoltaic array, we conduct a feasibility study for your specific site. As always, basic energy conservation, natural day lighting strategies, and passive solar techniques should be optimized during the design phase of the project. Photovoltaics are then used to supplement a structures remaining energy demands. Indiscriminate placement of panels and haphazard orientation leads to poor system performance, a waste of our clients money, and bad reputation for the technology in general.

Here’s a basic description of how light from the sun is transformed into electricity, and how it interacts with your utility-supplied power in a grid-tie system.

  1. Solar panels collect the sun’s energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The number of panels you need is determined by your electricity needs.
  2. An inverter converts the electricity from DC to alternating current (AC) for use in the structure.
  3. A bi-directional electric meter displays net power usage. When the solar system generates more electricity than you use, your meter will spin backwards. When it generates some electricity, but less than you are using, it spins forward, but more slowly.
  4. You now produce your own electricity to be used throughout the home. Since there are no moving parts, your solar system is silent and virtually maintenance-free. You can track your system’s production conveniently from inside your home with a wireless display.
  5. All excess electricity generated is, in effect, stored in the utility grid for your future use.

 

Clean Energy

Solar technology does not release any greenhouse gases into our atmosphere when in use, as the process absorbs light energy as opposed to the burning of a fuel in order to generate the output of electricity. The sun is the only fuel which we need to make efficient use of the available photovoltaic technologies, and as it is already burning, we should be taking advantage of this. Not only will this allow us the opportunity to have a cleaner environment, it allows us to become less dependent on the ever decreasing levels of fossil fuels.