Grid tie solar information.
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Information to help you better understand grid tie solar installations.
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Grid Tie Solar Electric and kits from Event Horizon Solar can help you reduce or eliminate your electric bill, protect against future rate increases and provide free electricity after the payback period. It is an excellent recession proof investment with a better safer rate of return than most stocks and helps the local economy. Made in USA solar equipment is available. Some utilities offer power buyback programs which can help reduce payback periods for solar and all offer net metering grid tie programs. Click here for more on these programs. Event Horizon Solar has been helping Michigan home and business customers to install grid tie solar at a reasonable cost for over 16 years! Let us add you to the growing list of Michigan grid tie solar installations.

There are two types of utility tie solar (or grid tie) solar installations.  Grid tie solar diagram.The solar system shown in Fig.1 has a solar array fed directly into a solar ac/dc inverter and is then fed directly into the grid through the buildings main electrical box and is the most popular grid tie solar installation. The utility company usually installs their own bi-directional meter to monitor the solar output. With this type of grid tie solar system, if the utility power is turned off or fails for any reason, the solar installation also stops producing power and this function is required for all grid tie solar installations to protect line workers from being injured by energized utility wires. If a customer wants to add battery backup to this type of grid tie solar system, it can be done at a later date using an off grid type solar inverter with batteries that is compatible with the existing grid tie inverter and is know as an AC coupled solar system. You should tell your solar contractor or dealer before purchasing a solar grid tie only system so they can make sure you have solar equipment that is compatible for this type of grid interactive system.

Fig.1

 

The other type of grid tie solar electric install is similar to the first one shown but uses a battery bank to power the building in case of utility failure. See Fig.2. Power is automatically transferred to the building just like a gas emergency generator would during a power failure except the solar inverter does the automatic transfer and batteries are the fuel.Grid tie with battery diagram.  This type of grid tie solar install is not as efficient as a grid tie only system because some power is used to keep the batteries charged and there is more energy loss due to the extra wire and solar charge control electronics involved in the installation. Also having batteries installed may add to the overall cost and maintenance of a solar grid tie system. However, if you experience frequent power failures from your utility or just want piece of mind, this may be a convenient option and there is no noise or fumes and transfer happens quickly and automatically. These systems can be net metered also.

Fig.2

Grid tie solar electric systems have really gained popularity in the last few years mainly because they are simple to install and the cost of solar equipment has fallen to the point where adding a solar array to your home has become much more affordable. Also the solar inverter technology has really advanced making the equipment very efficient and reliable with many options now for solar array monitoring and troubleshooting plus long warranties which really make them a good buy.

Let Event Horizon Solar give you a quote on an affordable grid tie solar install or check out our grid tie solar kits if you want to install the system yourself. We can provide you with all the documents needed to help you and also include free phone help.

Sizing a grid tie solar system.
The easiest way to size a grid tie solar array is of course to call us! If however you would like to just get a general idea of what size solar array you need, here are the steps. Dig out your current electric bill and look for the annual electric usage figure that most likely is listed at the bottom of the bill or is shown as a chart. Take this figure and divide it by 365 to find your daily usage. Take this number and divide it by the number of average sun hours per day for your area. This can be found on the solar insolation page here.  This will give you the approximate size solar array you need to offset your electrical usage.

Example:
Your annual usage in kwh per year from your bill.
10950,000/365=30,000
Your average daily electric use is 30kwh per day.
Average Sun Hours per day is 4.2.
30,000/4.2=7,143
You will need a 7,143 watt solar array to offset your usage.
Please keep in mind this is a simple calculation to help you determine what size grid tie solar kit fits your needs.
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