Plug into the sun for FREE energy! Become energy independent, reduce your utility bills, protect yourself against blackouts and reduce environmental pollution. Solar systems typically have a working life of 35+ years, typically with a 25 year production guarantee on the panels. This means that in 25 years the panels will still produce 80% of their original rating. The panels themselves have no moving parts and are quite durable. Roof installations are common. Ground mount systems are also popular, but add about 20 percent to the total cost.
SOLAR ELECTRIC - PHOTOVOLTAIC Connected to the Power Grid
There are many reasons to install a solar array. For starters, it’s a great investment! Once the solar electric array has been paid for, the cost of electricity can go to almost zero.
Most solar electric systems connect to the grid and reduce or eliminate the amount of conventional power supplied to the customer from the public-utility. Net metering means that you always have the power you need, and if you generate extra it will flow out into the community. A grid-tied (net metering) system produces power from solar energy and your house remains connected to the power grid. In the summer, the system may produce more energy than you need, spinning the meter backwards. In the winter, the system produces less, and you draws any extra that you need from the power grid. You receive a credit from the utility if you generate more power than you use.
SOLAR ELECTRIC - PHOTOVOLTAIC
Some people, especially those in remote areas, store the electricity from their systems for future use, and are not connected to the grid. These are called OFF-GRID (stand-alone) systems. Off-grid systems are scaled to be able to produce enough power for the users throughout the entire year. Most systems in the northeast USA will need some form of supplemental power (typically a generator) to get through the sun-limited winter months. Off-grid homes tend to be less standardized than on-grid homes, so the solar electric systems that go on them are more varied in their design.
FLAT PLATE COLLECTORS - EVACUATED TUBES
These systems will typically offset 60 – 80% of the hot water usage in a household. Sizing these systems is based on the number of occupants combined with the placement in relation to sun exposure. For long periods without sun, some sort of conventional water heating method is still required. These systems require piping from the collectors to a hot water tank.