Photovoltaics, (PV) is the technology used in converting the sun’s energy into electricity. The process involves the excitement of electrons and management of their flow utilizing solar panels/arrays, and a balance of system component structure, to bring useable A/C electricity to the home or business.
Three main system structures: Grid-Tied, Battery backup, and Grid-Interactive.
Grid-Tied systems take the solar array’s energy and invert it from DC to AC. The electricity is tied into the home or business’s electrical system at the breaker box, with a breaker. When the sun shines, the Grid-Tied system provides electricity to the home or business. This electricity “offsets” the use of electricity normally coming from the utility grid, and is the most efficient use of PV. It is also the least expensive system structure. When the grid goes down, (a power outage), the Grid Tied system shuts down. This is called “anti-islanding” technology, and protects the line workers from an electricity back-feed situation. This is for line worker safety and is a code requirement.
Battery Backup systems
and off-grid systems rely on a storage bank of batteries to provide the
electricity for the home or business. These systems are designed for
environments where there is either no utility power, or there are
multiple power outages throughout the year.
are a combination of battery backup and grid tied technology. The
battery bank is the priority energy absorber in a grid- interactive
system. The system is designed to maintain the battery bank at full
charge. In the event of a power outage, a “critical load” sub-panel is
toggled “on” and those circuits are powered by the battery bank. Under
normal conditions when the battery bank is charged to full capacity,
the system will act as a Grid-Tied system, and provide electricity to
the balance of the home. This system is more complex than the Grid-Tied
Solar Domestic/Commercial Hot Water
Solar Domestic Hot Water uses the technology of converting the sun’s energy into heat. Here, excited electrons generate heat, which is exchanged into a liquid medium, and used to heat water for the home or business. The system includes solar collectors to capture the sun’s energy, a solar storage tank to contain the water heated by the collectors, piping, pumps, valves, gauges and a controller. The system will “pre-heat” the water that supplies the existing gas or electric hot water heater. Instead of heating city or well water, which is supplied at 55F to 60F degrees, the gas or electric hot water unit will be receiving water that has been “pre-heated” to between 100F and 140F degrees, and stored in the solar storage tank. This means the hot water heater will use little, if any, of the energy it would normally require to heat the water. This is the most efficient use of solar radiation available to every home and business.
Wind Turbines capture the naturally occurring movements of air and convert this energy into electricity. Wind turbines require steady wind with high average speeds. We have wind turbines that are direct grid-tied machines, producing AC electricity directly to support the loads of a home or business. We also have wind machines that generate DC electricity that support the charging of battery banks for our off-grid and backup power systems. Good wind sites are very valuable renewable energy sources.
Energy Efficient Home Building
Energy Efficient Home Building – Passive Solar Design, combined with Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) wall construction and Structural Insulated Panels (SIP), provides the basis for our new home construction philosophy. This structural design formula provides a highly efficient dwelling that will consume very little energy throughout the year, and can have most, if not all, of its energy needs supplied with renewable energy systems.