ESD Solar is thrilled about the number of people who have made the switch to solar. Millions have already taken advantage of how it benefits their homes and wallets. ESD Solar is thrilled about the increase in people making the switch to solar energy. This will help the earth to have clean, renewable energy. It will also save you money.

Most Common Questions About Going Solar

You might have questions when you go solar. You might not be familiar with certain words or understand many technological developments.

It’s perfectly normal!

Although we don’t expect everyone to be able to grasp all of the jargon associated with solar systems, we want you to be able to understand each step and answer any questions you may have. We are often asked about what it means for a solar system to be either on or off the grid. This is why we have created this site.

ESD Solar is a grid-based company. We will explain why in the following paragraphs. We’ll discuss what each means, their costs and benefits, and why ESD Solar takes the route we do to provide the best service and system possible.

On-Grid Solar Systems

Simply put, the solar energy on the grid means the system is connected with the energy grid that runs through your jurisdiction.

The power is sent to you at your home through a two-way meter. This allows you to get power from the grid as well as send it back to the grid. In a moment, we’ll explain why this is so beneficial for you.

Your on-grid solar power will be cut off by the utility company if there is no power in your area because of storms or fallen trees. This will prevent power from flowing from the solar system to power lines and to the grid.

Live electricity cannot flow through power lines that need to be repaired. This would place the technicians in dangerous situations. To prevent dangerous situations, you would lose power for the duration of the repair.

It’s possible to wonder why you should invest in solar when there are power outages all around the country. This is a valid question. Bad weather does not affect your solar panel production. So why would you invest in something that could cause power outages? Many future solar owners will be concerned about this. From an emergency planning perspective, it might seem like a waste to have your panels on the grid.

This, however, would be a bad option, as with everything in the solar industry. We will discuss why we think on-grid is worthwhile not only for your consideration but also for your investment.

You have a grace period when you are connected to the grid. Although your panels will generate a lot of energy, and your home would be the first to receive it, there are times when your home uses more power than your panels can handle. When it’s 105 degrees outside and 100% humidity, and the air conditioner is on, but the sun is hidden behind clouds, your home will draw energy from the grid to compensate for what your panels cannot provide.

Your panels will use energy from both direct and indirect sun, but they still need to get the maximum sunlight possible if they are consuming a lot of electricity at once. The grid is a safe place to ensure you are always able to turn on your power, in case of an emergency. If you are in the opposite situation and have perfect weather, and it is sunny and warm, your panels will produce large amounts of energy, but you might not be using all of it.

The excess energy can be used to power other homes or businesses, which will bring more clean energy into the world while consuming less energy. Does that not mean you are spending money on energy from someone else? Not necessarily! You will be credited for any extra energy you provide for others if you live in an area that has net metering. Most states require it. This is another way to keep more money in your pocket.

Off-Grid Solar Systems

The solar systems are entirely independent of the grid. They aren’t connected to the same power lines as power lines and are therefore a great choice for those who live far from power lines or for those with special needs such as solar power for an RV, cabin, or boat.

You would only receive the energy your solar system can produce, and possibly what you can store in your batteries. This would make it difficult for those with special needs to know how much power they require each day.

You can find many calculators online that will calculate how much electricity you use, and how much you might need to store it. If you run out, however, you run out! There is no power grid that can provide electricity to you if you are in need. Even though the night is dark, you could be complete without power and without light or air conditioning.

The upside to an off-grid system is that you won’t be charged any utility bills anymore. There is a fee for being connected to the grid, no matter how much you use it. If you don’t have electricity, this fee is waived. This is a great option for RVs, boats, and cabins as you don’t have to be connected to the grid. You are also completely energy-independent. The downside is that the batteries you need to store power can be costly, so to go off-grid you will need a charge controller.

It works between the panel and the battery and protects it by doing several things. The controller limits the charge rate prevents the batteries from draining their power at night and cuts off power to appliances when the battery is nearly fully charged. This will prevent over-draining.

Over-draining the battery can cause it to become damaged. The controller is responsible for stopping drains before they are too late. You will not get the same tax credit for the battery as someone who has an on-grid system solar system. This is because you won’t be providing electricity to the community power grid.

Hybrid Solar Systems

You can have both but at a higher cost.

A hybrid solar system is one that has both solar power and grid power. If you don’t need power, you can still connect to the grid. However, the excess power from your panels goes into a battery pack which you can then use in case of a power outage.

After your batteries have been charged, power is produced and goes into the grid. You can charge the battery pack by either the panels or the grid so that you always have enough power. To make a hybrid system viable, you may need several batteries. A battery with a 13.5kWh capacity can cost around $12,000.

A home typically consumes about 30kWh per day. If you want to have your home powered for a longer period of time, you will need several batteries. You will need to replace the batteries at least once in their lifetime. The 10-year warranty on the batteries is also very limited. This can quickly add up over time and cost a lot of money upfront.

You will need to pay the fee to get on the grid.

This is the most expensive option but you have the ability to go off-grid and get credits for energy sent to other locations via net metering.

A hybrid system that includes a battery and a grid can affect your tax credit, depending on how much you put into it versus the grid. A hybrid system with a battery can have benefits that outweigh any costs to your personal preferences and needs.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD is the top choice for Solar companies in Denver! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!

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