Types of Photovoltaic (PV) or Solar Electric Systems
These systems are directly tied to utility power, allowing the home owner to augment their electrical needs while reversing the utility meter when generating excess energy. These systems are extremely popular as they are lower cost solutions that allow you to take advantage of net metering opportunities and the main components are all with the solar panels.
Grid Tied Battery Backup/AC Coupling
These type of systems allow the homeowner more options to run in either “grid tied” or if the “utility goes offline,” cover the critical loads through various options of DC to AC, battery backup, AC Coupling, and/or generator. For most consumers, this is the type of system that you dream of. Taking advantage of the net metering programs while connected to the grid but when nature strikes and you don’t have access to the grid, you can keep your critical items running while the utilities are down.
These systems run completely independent of any utility power and are typically used in remote areas in conjunction with batteries and a generator. For homeowners that are long distances from the last electrical pole or live in terrain that won’t accommodate traditional utility lines, an off grid solution gives these homeowners a way to have power on demand. These are the most expensive solutions and the size and cost depend in large part to the electrical consumption of the household.
Ground or Pole Mount
Where you put your solar panels depends on many factors but sometimes, your homes roof isn’t the best option; it could be facing east/west, can’t handle the additional weight and snow load, is too shaded (which saves you money in the summer), or you may not want panels on your roof. If there is room available on your property, you can install a ground mount solution. Ground mount is just what it sounds like, we build a mount somewhere on the ground and put your solar panels (array) on the structure. There are a couple of different types, pole mount which is more affordable and ground mount that has more structure (and can be harder to maintain the landscape around it. Installing your array in this manner also allows us to get the perfect pitch and angle so your system uses the maximum sunlight available year round.