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FAQ

What are the Components of A Residential Solar Electric System?

Solar Panels. Solar panels are the most noticeable component of a residential solar electric system. ... Solar Array Mounting Racks. ... Array DC Disconnect. ... Inverter. ... Battery Pack. ... Power Meter, Utility Meter, Kilowatt Meter. ... Backup Generator. ... Charge Controller.

What is the cost of solar power?

To determine pricing for a system, use our online solar quotes tool. It will ask you a series of questions and then calculate a system to suit your needs; along with pricing.

How does electricity get stored for use after sun goes down?

Generally, grid connect solar power systems direct excess electricity produced during the day back into the local electricity grid; so there is no on-site storage as such. You then receive credit for any power that you put back into the grid. At night time, you automatically use electricity straight from the grid. Off-grid systems store energy produced during the day in deep cycle batteries for use as required.

Is energy storage technology safe?

Yes. Energy storage has been a part of our electricity grid since the 1930s. In fact, energy storage makes up approximately 2% of US generation capacity, and enjoys a safety record that is similar or better than other electricity generation, distribution, or management methods.

How is energy storage useful on a grid scale?

Energy storage is needed on an industrial or grid scale for three main reasons. The first is to "balance load" – to shift energy consumption into the future, often by several hours – so that more existing generating capacity is used efficiently. The second reason is to "bridge" power – in other words, to ensure there is no break in service during the seconds-to-minutes required to switch from one power generation source to another. Finally, power quality management – the control of voltage and frequency to avoid damaging sensitive equipment – is an increasing concern that storage can alleviate whenever needed, for a few seconds or less, many times each day.

What is hydroelectric power?

Hydroelectric power is electricity that is supplied by generating energy from falling or streaming water. Hydroelectric power is a so-called renewable energy source. This means that the source, which provides the energy, can be renewed. This is because, unlike non-renewable energy sources such as crude oil, we will not run out of water fully. It can be renewed after we have used it for energy generation.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of hydroelectric power?

There are several benefits to the use of hydropower. Hydropower has a moderate to high amount of useful energy and fairly low operating and maintenance costs. Hydroelectric power plants emit very little heat-trapping carbon dioxideand other air pollutants during operation. They have live spans of two to ten times those of coal and nuclear plants. The dams that are used in the power plants help prevent flooding and supply a regulated flow of irrigation water to the areas below the dam. However, there are some drawbacks to the use of hydroelectric power. A hydroelectric power plant takes up a lot of space and this may cause animal habitats to go lost. Large-scale projects can threaten recreational activities and disrupt the flows of rivers. Due to the presence of dams and reservoirs, fish may not be able to swim to sea and aquatic life may decrease in the area of the hydroelectric power plant.

What is wind energy?

Wind energy (or wind power) refers to the process by which wind turbines convert the movement of wind into electricity. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth. Humans use this wind flow for many purposes: sailing boats, pumping water, and also generating electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the moving wind into electricity.

How is a wind farm designed?

There are many factors at play when designing a wind farm. Ideally, the area should be as wide and open as possible in the prevailing wind direction, with few obstacles. Its visual influence needs to be considered – few, larger turbines are usually better than many smaller ones. The turbines need to be easily accessible for maintenance and repair work when needed. Noise levels can be calculated so the farm is compatible with the levels of sound stipulated in national legislation. The turbine supplier defines the minimum turbine spacing, taking into account the effect one turbine can have on others nearby – the 'wake effect'. Then, the right type of turbine must be chosen. This depends on the wind conditions and landscape features of the location, local/national rules such as on turbine height, noise levels and nature conservation, the risk of extreme events such as earthquakes, how easy it is to transport the turbines to the site and the local availability of cranes.

What is biogas?

Biogas is a byproduct of the decomposition of organic matter by anaerobic bacteria. Biogas is typically composed of 60% methane and 40% CO2. It is similar to natural gas which is composed of 99% methane. Biogas is a clean and renewable energy that may be substituted to natural gas to cook, to produce vapor, hot water or to generate electricity. At room pressure and temperature biogas is in gaseous form, not liquid like LPG (propane). Bottling biogas is a very expensive process.