Here’s an example of how a home solar energy installation works.
- First, sunlight hits a solar panel on the roof.
- The panels convert the energy to DC current, which flows to an inverter.
- The inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC, which you can then use to power your home.
It’s beautifully simple and clean, and it’s getting more efficient and affordable all the time.
However, what happens if you’re not home to use the electricity your solar panels are generating every sunny day? And what happens at night when your solar system is not generating power in real time? Don’t worry, you still benefit through a system called “net metering.” Click here to learn more about net-metering.
A typical grid-tied PV system, during peak daylight hours, frequently produces more energy than one customer needs, so that excess energy is fed back into the grid for use elsewhere. The customer gets credit for the excess energy produced, and they can use that credit to draw from the conventional grid at night or on cloudy days. A net meter records the energy sent compared to the energy received from the grid. The utility meter will literally and physically turn backwards, and in most states, the investor-owned utilities are required to offer the energy credit at the retail rate… For now…
With the changing availability of net-metering for some utilities, it is critically important to develop a strategic plan with an energy advisor to get the right system in place for not just the present but down the road when those rules change. Our team members at Rectify will walk you through the pros and cons of installing a grid-tied vs hybrid inverter. You can learn more about how hybrid inverters work here.