Does solar power really help the environment?
How Does it Work?
A “grid-tied” solar system is exactly that, interconnected to the national electrical grid system that feeds electricity from your utility to all homes, businesses, farms, etc. This system simply consists of solar panels and inverters which convert the energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Although these solar systems are tied to the grid, the power generated from your solar system is consumed by your home or business first and any excess energy is fed into the grid. Alternatively, when the sun isn’t shining, such as during storms or nighttime, your home or business will receive its electricity needs from the grid without interruption.
For some locations, the energy fed back to the grid is paid back at the same rate in which it was purchased, known as “net-metering.” Unfortunately in the markets we serve, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia, the utilities only pay back a minimal amount. Therefore, Eagle Solar designs a system that maximizes output to closely match your energy profile yet attempts to not return an abundant amount of energy back to the grid. Overall, the user can see significant savings on their electrical bill as the overall cost to produce solar energy is typically much lower than purchasing it from your utility.
Keep in mind, due to National Electric Code requirements, these solar systems do not work during a power outage. This is required to keep the lines free of voltage during electrical work, keeping the linesman safe.
An “off-grid” solar system is completely independent of the national electrical grid. It consists of the solar panels, inverters, charge controllers, batteries and a back-up generator. This system allows the user to create and consume all its own energy, without being serviced by the utility.
An off-grid system has many advantages such as energy independence, no power outages and fixed pricing for the life of the system. Off-grid systems can be more expensive than a grid-tied system but their cost has dropped dramatically in the past ten years and more users are looking to add them to their home or small business. It is especially useful for rural locations that the utilities have difficulty or charge a lot to bring service to.
Currently, Eagle Solar can provide all of the equipment necessary including the Tesla Powerwall or Fortress Batteries, except the back-up generator, but we will work with your generator provider to arrange the electrical tie-in.
A “hybrid” solar system is a combination of grid and off-grid. It combines all the elements of an off-grid system minus the back-up generator. In this arrangement, the batteries are charged from both the solar and the utility, depending on which is cheaper or accessible during that time.
A hybrid system is most advantageous when you have “time-of-use” charges for your home. This way, the batteries can be used during the peak period times (when electricity is most expensive, typically mid-day in the summer) if the solar is not generating sufficient power, such as during a summer thunderstorm.