Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on the planet. Today, residential solar power is mainstream and much more affordable. It’s clean, reliable and maintenance free.
At Independent Power, we have over 15 years’ experience sizing and designing solar electric systems for residential customers throughout the state of Maine. Give us a call to learn more.
Save Money – A grid-tied solar power system can significantly reduce your electric bill on day one. In the case of an off-grid system, there is no electric bill. Many new systems can pay themselves back in 5-10 years with the help of state and federal rebates when available. With net metering, homeowners are able to “bank” the excess electricity their solar system generates. What’s more, solar power can increase your home’s value and make it more attractive should you decide to sell it in the future.
Energy Independence - Generating your own electricity can be an empowering and liberating experience. Solar energy provides peace of mind that you are building a more financially secure future for yourself by providing independence from utility company electricity rates and control over your home expenses. With an off-grid system you are your own power company. That means no electric bills and no blackouts.
Environmentally Friendly – A well designed and well maintained solar power system provides clean, highly reliable electricity and is good for the environment. It does not pollute the air like other energy sources and therefore does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
If you have a nice sunny location and you’re already connected to the power grid with infrequent power outages, a batteryless grid-tied solar “photovoltaic” system may be the right fit for you. These systems are more affordable, easier to install and maintain, and operate more efficiently than battery-based systems of comparable size. The main drawback to a grid-tied system is that when there is a power outage, the solar system will not provide power. If the grid in your area is mostly reliable and power outages are infrequent, a batteryless grid-tied system can offer the best payback for the least price.
How Grid-Tied Solar Works
When the sun shines on the solar panels it creates DC, or direct current, electricity. The DC inverter converts the DC electricity to AC, or alternating current, the same type of electricity used to power your home. Insulated wire is used to connect the electricity produced by the solar panels to either power your home or feed the excess electricity back to the electrical grid. Your electrical meter, installed by your utility, is replaced by a bi-directional meter, which records the amount of electricity you use as well as the amount of electricity you’re returning to the grid.
If you are producing more electricity than you’re using, your meter will run backward and you’ll be saving money! The power company is your battery bank. If you produce more electricity than you can use, the excess is stored by the utility and you can tap into that when the sun is not doing the job.
An off-grid system is an electrical system that is not connected to the “grid”, a term used to describe power provided by a utility company. With an independent, or off-grid solar electric system, you become your own power company generating your own electricity. That means no electric bills and no blackouts.
An off-grid power system is ideal for new home construction, remote sites, seasonal camps and cottages and island properties. In the case where your little slice of heaven just happens to be too far to reasonably plug into the grid, or power line easements are unattainable, an independent power system may even help maintain the privacy you were looking for when you purchased your remote site.
How Off-Grid Solar Works
When the sun shines on your solar modules, direct current (DC) is produced. The DC power is stored in a bank of batteries specifically designed for your application. A generator will charge batteries when there is not enough sunlight. The generator can also be wired to handle certain heavy electrical loads. The stored DC current from the battery bank is then converted into AC house current by an inverter. The household current produced by the inverter is the same, if not cleaner than, utility power.
The cost of your power system depends on its size. System size is not determined by the square footage of your home, but by how much electricity you need to generate and how much solar gain is available. The more energy efficient you are, the more money you will save on the size of your power system. The rule of thumb is that for every dollar spent on energy efficiency in your home, you will save approximately $3 to $5 on your power system.
Give us a call to get your project started. Rick will discuss your needs with you and properly size a system. We’ll then provide you with a written quote and you’ll be on your way to energy independence!
Independent Power also offers whole house heating options like Maxim outdoor wood pellet boilers and Central Boiler outdoor wood gasification boilers. We also offer Mitsubishi Electric cooling and heating systems and Kohler generators.