Solar is a renewable form of energy that produces power from sunlight. Panels are placed on a rooftop to capture sunlight and convert it to electricity
Traditional solar cells are rigid panels made from silicon and are generally flat-plated and the most efficient. Second-generation solar cells, thin-film solar cells, are made from amorphous silicon or non-silicon materials such as cadmium telluride. Thin-film solar cells use layers of semiconductor materials only a few micrometers thick. Because of their flexibility, thin-film solar cells can double as rooftop material and are significantly lighter in weight, making them ideal for rooftops that cannot bear the load of traditional solar cells.
The panels will produce electricity but it will be very limited — depending on how much light can get through the cloud layers. Homeowners with solar power will still be able to use traditional electricity from their local provider just as they did before the solar equipment was installed.
The amount of electricity produced will vary with the seasons as the angle of the sun changes from summer to winter. In the winter, the sun angle is low in the southern sky so the amount of sunlight reaching the panels is less. In the summer, the sun angle is high so the panels produce more electricity.
Net metering may also be referred to as a two-way meter. A net meter and a solar netmetering policy allow customers to reap the full benefits of a solar system. When solar panels are installed, the local utility replaces the existing electric meter with a net meter. Whenever the solar system makes more electricity than a facility is consuming, the net meter spins backwards. The unused electricity goes back into the power grid and the customer receives credit for that electricity.
FSEL’s solar engineer in your area can provide the best information on what it will cost to go solar based on your rooftop. However, once customers begin to explore solar options, they often find that the total up-front cost of solar is less relevant than the financing terms, return-on-investment, and cash flow calculation. Financial options such as solar leases and other innovative financing models can help you convert to solar for little or no money along with an efficient design that can also help bring the costs down. Factors influencing cost include:
- Your available, unshaded roof space.
- Your current energy usage.
- Your local utility’s net-metering policy.
There are different quality levels of solar PV modules available in the market (e.g. Tier 1, Tier 2) or Grade (A, B, C). Specialized inspection tools are needed to identify poor quality solar PV modules that are available at much cheaper rates
Grid-connected inverters can provide usable power to all type of residential, commercial and industrial loads.
Smart grid-connecting inverters are designed to sense operating voltage from either the grid or the generator. Once these inverters sense the operating voltage they then start delivering solar power in phase to the grid or generator supply. The solar output power from the inverters is such that it is used as a priority before the grid or generator power is used. Hence you observe reduced units billed or reduced fuel consumption in generators.
The following is a very brief list of advantages.
- Cheaper and affordable electricity. Increased energy security by locking future energy rates from fluctuating global oil & gas prices.
- Reduced on facility line losses.
- Transformer Upgrades can be deferred for day time operating industries.
- Substantially reduced environmental impact. Boost in internal and global Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) performance; safer Operations & Maintenance (O & M); and a healthier labor owing to reduced emissions.
- No operation or maintenance cost apart from cleaning of solar PV modules.