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TECHNOLOGY TIPS – RESIDENTIAL SOLAR SYSTEMS

Cathy Mallers Photo

There are many manufacturers of residential solar power kits for people who want to lower their energy bills. You can peruse the websites for these brands to see who has the best prices. But, before you do that know what type of residential solar system you are going to use.

Every manufacturer advertises low prices and superior quality. You can choose from BP, Kyocera, General Electric, Mitsubishi Electric and others. But, each offers one of three main residential solar systems for your use.

Grid Intertied Electricity System

Let's start with the simplest system which is grid intertied solar electricity system. The grid that they are referring to is the power grid that your home sits on. Each city has constructed a power grid so that the power company can supply electricity to your home. If you are on a grid, then you are paying for electricity as soon as you open an account and switch on the lights.

With the grid intertied system, any solar electricity that you create from your residential solar system is funneled directly into your home electrical network. Electricity created in the solar panel array is then passed through a DC disconnect panel. This device interrupts the electricity flow from the array.

Next, an inverter changes the DC current of solar electricity into AC current for your home outlets. The inverter is connected into your breaker box. When you use solar electricity, you may even see your meter run backwards as you defray the cost of your electricity bills. Inform your power company and employ a skilled electrician to do the rewiring work.

Grid Intertied Electricity System with Battery Backup

The difference between this system and the first is that you can store excess electricity for a rainy day, literally. When the sun is shining bright and strong like during the summer months, you can use a grid intertied electricity system that is equipped with a battery.

Solar electricity still flows from the PV array to the rest of your system, but is sent to a battery dump. A charge control panel regulates the flow of electricity. Electricity then flows to the inverter and the rest of the system just like the grid intertied system. Only the excess is kept in the battery.

Off-Grid Solar Electrical System

This system works well for people who are not attached to a grid. They live too far away from cities and towns to be included. The solar electrical system is their only source of electricity.

This system flows much like the grid intertied system with battery backup. A battery stores energy for days when the sun isn't strong. You still need electricity on those days. From the breaker panel, the energy goes directly into your outlets and not to a meter since you are not on a grid. You'll also see a backup generator with these systems.

Each residential solar system differs in cost. The price goes up with more components. Choose a system that meets your needs to save as much money as you can on electricity for you home.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Monday, November 23, 2009 1:45 AM by Dean's Team
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