Solar Power Basics

Most people are interested in solar power these days but aren’t sure whether the environment is a good investment or whether it is sponsored by their budget or venue. I am going to answer some questions here. useful source available here.

Let’s look at some general Solar Power Equation considerations. If you already have an average home and pay around $125 a month for electricity, you’ll pay upward of $90,000 for electricity over the next 30 years at current inflation rates. It is that rate of compounding which works against you. This is when inflation rates remain the same. Several consumables groups have surpassed the overall inflation rate in the last decade, and energy is one of them.

Solar panel costs have remained constant for the last 35 years at about $5 per watt. The prices have dropped significantly in the last two years. You can buy high quality panels now for less than $2 a watt. There is also a federal tax credit of 30 per cent on residential solar. This isn’t a write-off, it’s essentially cash-back. Installed systems prior to 2016 apply for this credit.

There are essentially two types of installations using solar power. The first one is’ Grid-Tie’ That is where the solar panels directly feed electricity back into the power lines. The meter “spins backwards” when you do this. You draw power out of the power lines at night, as usual. Whatever power you have generated over the day comes directly from your bill. The downside of the grid-tie is that you don’t have electricity if the power lines run down. Your machine must be switched off even in the daytime so you don’t feed power into lines while the repair technicians are working on them. Your position has to have a “Net-Metering” arrangement with a local power company. That helps you to feed power into their lines and have them pay you for it allegedly. The second type is “Battery-based” During the day, this is where you charge batteries and use the power they provide at night. You are going to have control on this type of system pretty much constantly. The downside is that battery costs are high, and they have to be replaced every decade or so.

The grid-tie system requires you to have an electrical contractor certified by NABCEP to build your network. Anything connected to the main electric lines must also be inspected (permitting and inspecting). If you are homeowner, you can do the job yourself (in most jurisdictions) using a battery-based system. The cost of having a properly designed grid-tie network is equivalent to that of purchasing batteries for a battery-based system that you mount. You can also do a hybrid system and connect some batteries to a grid-tie network to provide you with a little power backup. On grid-tie networks, most people just buy a generator for backup power.