It’s as simple as 1,2,3!
By Colin Sorenson, owner of Local Energy LLC, Stowe VT: www.localenergyllc.com
We can convert the sun’s energy into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) panels. A solar panel is made of wafers of silicon, either monocrystaline or multicrystaline. Multiple ribbon technology has made the production of silicon wafers more efficient by reducing waste. PV panels absorb light and produce DC power. Straight DC power can only charge batteries and run DC powered appliances. Wired to an inverter, though, DC power changes to the AC power that we use in our homes and businesses.
A PV system that is “grid-tied” means that it feeds power to the electric utility grid when the power produced exceeds what the home needs. Utility companies will purchase your solar generated power. Grid-tied systems can have battery back-up to power critical loads during power outages. Vermont currently has higher-than-average rates for electricity compared to the rest of the United States. So if you use electricity from the grid, now is the time to install a PV system. Energy costs are rising and PV panel pricing is decreasing. Additionally, the State and Federal rebate/tax programs might not be around forever.
Click here for more information (PDF download): Solar PV April 2012
Green Energy Times thanks Colin Sorenson and Mike Gillis, from Local Energy LLC, for this helpful submission, supporting the installation of solar PV systems. This is the second contributed submission from Local Energy LLC — with our Solar Hot Water submission: The Path to Solar Hot Water — from our Feb. 15, 2012 Issue of G.E.T., being the first.