About Solar Power

Does solar power really help the environment?

Yes! Solar power systems get free, clean energy from the sun and turn that into electricity without producing greenhouse gases. Traditional electricity is generated using fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit gases that are a primary cause of air pollution and have other negative impacts on public health and the environment.

How Does it Work?

GRID-TIED

Grid-Tied-Solar SetupA “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. Unfortunately in most of 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.

OFF-GRID

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.

HYBRID

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. In fact some may offer incentives to encourage installation of solar systems. Programs vary among different power companies, so we will check with your local provider for exact details.

Yes. Requirements vary by locale. Many power companies offer interconnection agreements that allow for excess energy to be routed onto their grid and for which the owner of the solar system is paid.

Almost all commercial solar energy systems are designed with non-penetrating ballasted mounting systems that do not anchor into the roof of a building. Therefore, the solar energy system should not cause your businesses roof to leak. We take care in our design and installation to maintain the integrity of your roof.

The cost of a solar system varies depending on the customer, their solar needs, and financial objectives. There are both fixed and variable costs involved in designing a solar energy system. The engineers at Eagle Solar & Light design every solar energy system to create the most cost-effective system for each client individually.

The majority of solar installations are grid-tied solar energy systems. When the power goes out utility companies must work on the power lines that are connected to your house. To insure the safety of the utility workers and to adhere to the National Electric Code, solar energy systems will not produce power during a power outage. A hybrid solar energy system is a system where a portion of your electricity is powered by the utility, and portion of your electricity is powered by solar energy and battery power. In this case during a power outage, the portion of electricity provided by your solar energy and battery power will continue to work during a power outage.

Solar power is highly effective throughout the Southeast and all parts of the U.S. Just five solar hours per day provide enough power to make a significant energy contribution. Even on cloudy or rainy days, solar energy systems capture light and generate electricity.

While it is true that the sun’s power cannot be captured at night; after sundown, battery systems that were charged in daylight hours can supply power during the night.

Shading and limited roof space are typical settings we encounter and that may impact how a solar power system is designed. In such instances, we often use ground-mounted configurations and have other solutions that effectively address different needs. If you’re interested in learning how solar power might be installed on your home or business, give us a call. We would be happy to provide a free site survey.

Yes! Over the warranted life of the photovoltaic panels we install, the cost-savings realized by using solar electricity can pay for the installation many times over. Commercial solar systems often provide a payback in less than two years.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

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