How a Solar Grid-Tie System Works
The simplest of all solar installations is the solar grid-tie system for your home. A solar grid-tie system provides a greener, cleaner, renewable, and less expensive energy source for your home and family. See how solar works to save you money:
Solar panels, or solar modules are usually installed on the roof. These solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power.
The DC power from the solar panels is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into alternating current (AC) power, or standard electrical current used by your home.
3 Electrical Panel
AC power travels from the inverter to the electrical panel, many times called a breaker box. This power is now ready to use in your home.
4 Electrical Load
Your home’s electrical output to the different electrical devices in your home.
5 Utility Meter
The utility meter continually measures your electrical supply; when your solar power system produces more power than you need, the meter spins backward, this is called net-metering, accumulating credits with the utility company that will offset your next bill.
6 Utility Grid
Your home remains connected to the utility grid to supply you with electricity when you need more power than your solar power system has produced.
Benefits of Solar Grid-Tie System
Reap the rewards of installing a solar grid-tie system for your home. Based on conservative estimates and real-life examples solar is an investment in your family’s energy future:
The best benefit of solar power is that it can dramatically lower your electric bill from day 1! In fact, a properly sized solar photovoltaic system may be able to offset around 70% of your electric usage. This can add up to thousands of dollars a year in savings for your family. So, if you spent $200 last month, you might save 70% or $140 each month. That’s a savings of $1,680 per year. Don’t forget that electricity costs have historically gone up around 2-3% each year. That can add up to well over $35,000 over the course of a 20 year period! The more you spend per month on utilities the more you save! The payback period for a residential solar installation depends on your electric bill, your location, your current utility rates and other factors. However, many new systems can pay themselves back in 5-10 years with the help of state and federal financial incentives, such a solar rebates.
Benefit #2: Increased Home Value
Much like when you renovate your kitchen, solar power is considered an improvement to your Arizona home. As a result, solar energy can increase your home’s value and make it more attractive should you decide to sell it in the future. In fact, installing a solar system can actually increase the value of your home more than the cost of the system itself, particularly where state and federal incentives are available. This is because electricity bills factor into the affordability of a house and a buyer can afford to pay more for a home that has lower utility bills. A 1999 study partially funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that home values increase by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual electricity bills. This means, the annual savings of $1,680 mentioned above would result in a home that is worth $33,600 more!
Benefit #3: Greater Control of Your Energy Costs
Solar energy provides peace of mind that you are building a more financially secure future for yourself by providing independence from utility company electricity rates and control over your home expenses. In fact, electricity is increasing on average about 6.7% a year, with a 30% jump in the last three years alone. Using solar to generate electricity for your home effectively locks in a low utility rate now for the lifetime of your system – which can be 30+ years!