Complete Photovoltaic Systems, Receive 30% Tax Credit!
Sunlight to Electricity
Photovoltaic technology converts sunlight into electricity and is emerging as a major power source due to its numerous environmental and economic benefits and proven reliability.
Enough free sunlight falls on earth to supply our energy needs for years to come.
Environmental Benefits: As PV generates electricity from light, PV produces no air pollution or hazardous waste. It doesn't require liquid or gaseous fuel to be transported or combusted.
Economic and Social Benefits: Sunlight is free and abundant. Photovoltaic systems allows you to generate electricity and store it for use when needed. Photovoltaic contributes to our energy security, as a young technology, it creates jobs and strengthens the economy. It frees us from uncertainties and foreign oil dependence.
This energy source is free, clean and highly reliable. PV systems are long-lasting and require little maintenance. The benefits of Photovoltaics far outweigh the initial cost the systems.
A complete system includes different components that should be selected taking into consideration your individual needs, site location, climate and expectations. In this section we review the components' funtion and several different system types.
Major System Components
The functional and operational requirements will determine
which components the system
will include. It may include major components as; DC-AC power inverter, battery bank, system
and battery controller, auxiliary energy sources and sometimes the specified electrical loads (appliances).
PV Modules - convert sunlight instantly into DC electric power.
Inverter - converts DC power into standard AC power for use in the home, synchronizing with utility power whenever the electrical grid is distributing electricity.
Battery - stores energy when there is an excess coming in and distribute it back out when there is a demand. Solar PV panels continues to re-charge batteries each day to maintain battery charge.
Utility Meter - utility power is automatically provided at night and during the day when the demand exceeds your solar electric power production.
The utility meter actually spins backwards when solar power production exceeds house demand, allowing you to credit any excess electricity against future utility bills.
Charge Controller - prevents battery overcharging and prolongs the battery life of your PV system.
In addition, an assortment of balance of system hardware; wiring, overcurrent, surge protection and disconnect devices, and other power processing equipment.
The size of the PV system that will meet your expectations depends on your individual needs, site location and climate. Please contact us and our engineers and consultants will prepare a customized system quote.
The modular design of PV panels allows the systems to grow and change as system needs change and grow. You can start with our storm outage backup system Starter Kit, an all-in-one entry level solar photovoltaic package, and then grow into full independence!
PV System Maintenance
PV systems require very little maintenance. Having no moving parts makes them practically maintenance-free. Hose down the (cool) modules occassionally. That's it.
Types of PV Systems
Photovoltaic-based systems are generally classified according to their functional and operational requirements, their component configuration, and how the equipment is connected to the other power sources and electrical loads (appliances). The two principle classifications are Grid-Connected and Stand Alone Systems.
Grid-connected or utility-intertie PV systems are designed to operate in parallel with and interconnected with the electric utility grid. The primary component is the inverter, or power conditioning unit (PCU). The inverter converts the DC power produced by the PV array into AC power consistent with the voltage and power quality required by the utility grid. The inverter automatically stops supplying power to the grid when the utility grid is not energized. A bi-directional interface is made between the PV system AC output circuits and the electric utility network, typically at an on-site distribution panel or service entrance. This allows the power produced by the PV system to either supply on-site electrical loads, or to back feed the grid when the PV system output is greater than the on-site load demand. During periods when the electrical demand is greater than the PV system output (night-time), the balance of power required is received from the electric utility This safety feature is required in all grid-connected PV systems, it also ensures that the PV system will not continue to operate and feed back onto the utility grid when the grid is down for service or repair.
Stand Alone System
Stand-alone PV systems are designed to operate independent of the electric utility grid, and are generally designed and sized to supply certain DC and/or AC electrical loads. Stand-alone systems may be powered by a PV array only, or may use wind, an engine-generator or utility power as a backup power source in what is called a PV-hybrid system. The simplest type of stand-alone PV system is a direct-coupled system, where the DC output of a PV module or array is directly connected to a DC load.
Since there is no electrical energy storage (batteries) in direct-coupled systems, the load only operates during sunlight hours, making these designs suitable for common applications such as ventilation fans, water pumps, and small circulation pumps for solar thermal water heating systems. Matching the impedance of the electrical load to the maximum power output of the PV array is a critical part of designing well-performing direct-coupled system. For certain loads such as positive-displacement water pumps, a type of electronic DC-DC converter, called a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) is used between the array and load to help better utilize the available array maximum power output.
In many stand-alone PV systems, batteries are used for energy storage. Below is a diagram of a typical stand-alone PV system with battery storage powering DC and AC loads.
Below is a diagram of a Photovoltaic Hybrid System with battery storage powering DC and AC loads and using a using a backup power source (wind, engine-generator or utility power)
The type and size of the PV system that will meet your expectations depends on your individual needs, site location and climate. Please contact us and our engineers and consultants will prepare a customized system quote.
Federal Tax Credit - Energy Policy Act of 2005
Homeowners who install solar energy systems will receive a tax credit worth 30% of the system cost, capped at $2,000 (e.i. If you purchase a $6,666.66 system, your credit is $2,000)
Businesses that purchase solar equipment will also receive a credit worth 30% of the overall system cost. There are no caps (limits) for commercial/business tax credits.
A Tax Credit is not to be confused with a tax deduction, credits are a direct credit against taxes owed. If you overpaid taxes through withholding, it would increase your rebate. If you underpaid taxes for the tax year, it would directly reduce the amount you owe. Additionally, these tax credits are authorized through 2008.
This is a good time to consider purchasing "the whole package"; by taking advantage of the savings offered now, you can add numerous products that can maximize the benefits of solar powered products and make them as convenient as any other conventional system but with the addition of environmental and economic benefits.