Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels
Our sun provides enough energy to meet the power demands of the entire world.
The question is how do we harness all that energy? Solar technology is the answer.
Matrix Renewable Energy can help you tap into all that free energy. By installing our Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels at your home or business you can achieve a significant degree of energy independence. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels – Own Your Power! Most PV systems last 30 years and pay for themselves in as little as 6 years after tax credits and rebates. Installing a PV system provides the security that energy bills will remain virtually the same for years.
A Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panel system is an arrangement of components designed to supply usable electric power for a variety of purposes, using the sun as the power source.
Photovoltaic (PV) modules make electricity from sunlight, and are marvelously simple, effective, and durable. They sit in the sun and, with no moving parts, can run your appliances, charge your batteries, or make energy for the utility grid. The specific components of a PV system may include major components such as the solar panels, DC-AC power inverter, disconnect devices, battery bank, system and battery controller. Figure 1 show a basic diagram of a photovoltaic system and the relationship of individual components.
Figure 1. Major photovoltaic system components.
How much electricity does an American home use?
The annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer is in a range from approximately 11,500 kWh to 18,000 kWh, an average of 960 kWh to 1,500 kWh per month.
Power Produced by a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System
Solar panels are assigned a rating in watts based on the maximum power they can produce under ideal sun and temperature conditions. The rated output is used to estimate the number of panels required to meet some of all of the electrical needs for a specific installation. The exact amount of energy produced by a PV electric system also depends or roof orientation and tilt, as well as other factors such as shading, dust, panel conversion, and wire losses.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Benefits
Protect the environment by producing your own clean energy.
Utilizing a solar system allows you to make a difference. Installing a solar electric system will preserve the earth's finite fossil-fuel resources and reduce air-pollution. A solar system does not release or produce any harmful by-products. It is 100% clean energy!
A typical 3.3kw solar system produces up to 3,600 kWh per year which, in turn, prevents the need to burn 3.6 tons of coal to produce the same amount of electricity. 3.6 tons of coal burned releases 10,000 pounds of green-house gases into our atmosphere. The 30+ year lifespan of a solar electric system can eliminate 100 tons of coal burned and 270,000 pounds of greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere.
Contribute to your own and national energy independence.
With solar panels for your home you produce and own your own power and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign fuel sources.
Solar is the number one choice where power reliability is a concern. A solar electric system is completely automatic; it has no moving parts and is virtually maintenance free, and with a supplemental inverter and battery storage your system can keep your lights on in the event of an emergency or a blackout.
Reduce your electric bills.
With residential solar power you can greatly reduce or completely eliminate your electric bills. You own your home; with home solar power you can also own your power!
Protect against future utility rate increases.
Utility rates continue to increase an average of ~ 4% annually for the last five years. With power generation resources diminishing and demand rising, utility rates in many areas could triple over the next ten years!
Increase the value of your home with a solar power system.
According to The Appraisal Journal Article, a home’s value increases $20for every $1reduction in annual energy costs.
You can actually look forward to opening your electricity bill, with a solar electric system. Your meter will spin forward when electricity is used from the grid and spin backwards, generating a credit, when the solar system creates more electricity than is used. In the summer when you are using less electricity and generating more, you build up a credit each month, so that in the winter when you will experience greater need and demand, along with lesser production you use those credits. At the end of the year you pay the net difference between production and use.
- When your solar system is providing the exact amount of power that your house is currently using, then your electric meter will stand still.
- When your solar system is providing more power than your house or business is using, then any excess will flow backwards through the utility meter and you will be building a credit with your utility company.
- When your solar system is providing less power than your house is using, then the utility grid will provide the rest; however, your meter will be spinning forward only for the excess electricity that is required.
How Does Solar Electric Power Work?
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panel System Configurations
PV-Direct Systems: These are the simplest of solar-electric systems, with the fewest components (basically the PV array and the load). Because they don’t have batteries and are not hooked up to the utility, they only power the electrical connected loads when the sun is shining. This means that they are only appropriate for a few select applications, notably water pumping and ventilation—when the sun shines, the fan or pump runs.
Off-Grid Systems: Although they are most common in remote locations without utility service, off-grid solar-electric systems can work anywhere. These systems operate independently from the grid to provide all of a household’s electricity. These systems require a battery bank to store the solar electricity for use during nighttime or cloudy weather, a charge controller to protect the battery bank from overcharge, an inverter to convert the DC PV array power to AC for use with AC household appliances, and all the required disconnects, monitoring, and associated electrical safety gear.
Grid-Tied Systems with Battery Backup: This type is very similar to an off-grid system in design and components, but adds the utility grid, which reduces the need for the system to provide all the energy all the time.
Battery-less Grid-Tied Systems: Battery-less grid- tied systems are simple to understand and design, with only two primary components: PV modules and an inverter that feeds AC electricity back into the electrical system to offset some or all of the electricity otherwise purchased from the utility. These systems are cheaper, easier to install and maintain, and operate more efficiently than battery-based systems of comparable size. Their main drawback is that when the grid goes down, they cannot provide any energy for you to use. If the grid in your area is mostly reliable and outages are infrequent, these systems can offer the best payback for the least price.
Solar Photovoltaic Incentives and Rebates
Reducing the cost is the uncapped 30% federal tax credit for residential applications, and 30% tax credit with accerelated depreciation for business applications. Additionally, many individual states, municipalities, and utilities offer rebates that can further offset a PV system’s cost. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE; www.dsireusa.org) organizes incentive programs by state and program type, making incentives easy to research.