Grid-Tie Calculator

Grid Tied Solar

Grid Tied is a system where you have Solar Panels that generate electrical energy during the day and you (sell) this energy to your power company and then buy it back at night. This way you attempt to eliminate all or part of your electric bill.

However, this is definitely the least expensive type of solar electric system because you do not need to buy any storage (batteries) equipment. It is simply solar panels, output cables, a module mounting system, AC and DC disconnect switches, an inverter(s) to make AC electricity from the DC generated by the solar, grounding equipment and a metering system. With these few components you simply push the energy you make to the power grid during the sun hours and buy it back at night

Electric companies have cleverly strived to make it less attractive for you and more profitable for themselves however, by buying power from you at wholesale and selling the same energy back to you at retail. In this way attempting to make solar a less attractive investment by making you system more expensive to procure.

The real problem with a straight Grid-Tied System is when the grid loses power, you have no power (no access to the stored power you sold to the grid). Rolling blackouts in California come to mind or hurricanes in the gulf and the east cost can be a problem too, causing you to have to utilize an expensive to run and maintain backup generator.

Due to the public’s lack of knowledge, the Grid-tied system has remained the most common type of solar electric system in North America today. In the end, it is still a plus for the environment, as the power is ultimately generated from a renewable source offsetting natural gas and coal fired power generation.

Grid Tied with Battery Backup

Or simply Battery Backup

As the name implies, with this type of system you have the storage facility of you own to fall back on with a power failure. With the rolling blackouts and disruptions, more and more we are seeing a real need to be more independent, to take the steps necessary to care for the needs of our loved ones and ourselves.

This actually does not even require a grid tied solar setup the system can also be standalone without any solar at all! We can easily design this automatic backup electrical system that will respond immediately to a power failure or a total blackout keeping some or all of the electrical circuits in your house in a constant state of uninterruptible power for medical emergencies or security systems or life dependent medical devices.

This backup system and easily be incorporated into an existing grid-tied system to give you the security and peace of mind knowing your power will never go out. Battery Backup Systems require specialized inverters and other components that must be carefully sized to meet your needs. Call our design engineers for assistance with this type of system

With this type of system, you have energy freedom, you are not dependent on the grid. If the grid loses power, your system automatically keeps your electricity on at your house by using the energy stored in your battery bank. This can be vitally important for those dependent on life giving medical devices, or even for people with security concerns.

Grid-Assisted Systems

Power companies will never stop trying to dissuade folks from going solar. Their lobbyists will keep banging away at legislatures with their agendas. The power companies have everyone on a LIFETIME PAYMENT PLAN and they don’t want to give it up. They will never have the public good at heart.

Power companies in California cooked up the latest, of a long list of urban legends and myths. The current flavor is “those awful people going solar are making electricity more expensive for the rest of us”. They want to argue with folks that the solar people are not paying their "fair share"  but, it is just part of this coordinated push to discredit solar.

Currently the focus of residential solar is shifting away from “Grid-Tied” systems. Grid-tied is what all the Grid tied installation and leasing corporations are sending salesmen running through neighborhoods trying to sell,  it is getting harder to sell, because people are not stupid and they realize that if they have to ask permission for anything from the local power company, at any moment the rules could change. It will never be in the publics favor.

Grid-Zero or Grid Assisted solar systems are an appliance that runs your house “Off-Grid” while remaining hooked to the grid. So, if you ever need a little more energy than you can produce the system very judiciously “buys” a little from the power company and then shuts them off.

The advantages are many, first your bill goes to near zero or wherever you set it at. Second when there’s a power outage the electricity in your house stays on. Third you don’t have to ask permission to do it. Fourth the only cost is the equipment itself. there are no fees, usually no permits or engineering drawings required.

On-Grid Solar Power Calculator

First, you’ll need a copy of your electric bill. Figure the average kW usage for a year and put the answer in the top box.

Next use 100% in the “percent of bill to cover” field to get an idea of the proper size of the system. This will reduce the amount of potential energy you’ll have to buy from the power company.

From the “Sun Hour” map find your location and select the number that appears in that section. Unless you’re willing to move to Phoenix you’re stuck with this amount of sun at your location.

Sun Hours are an engineering term based on the time it takes to produce One Kilowatt of electricity from a square meter of solar panels. So even though you may “see” the sun from dawn to dusk the Sun Hours will always be less time.

For the Watts of the solar panels, it is always best to use the largest watt panels you can get, to conserve space. However, we offer many wattage choices of solar panels, so “Cost” will also be a consideration. Often, 5 or 10 watts difference, will not make a significant difference in the physical number of panels in your array. So, choose the best deal that’s within your budget.

This calculator will then estimate the number of Solar Modules needed to produce your required energy, thus allowing you to see the physical size of the solar array to ensure you have enough space for it.

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