I have been re-reading my copy of Michael Harvey’s Earth 4 Energy e-book to get some idea for a new blog post.
I came across the chapter where Michael wrote about the “Grid Intertied Solar Electric System” and “Net Metering”. I thought that would be an interesting topic…well for solar power enthusiasts anyway.
For those who are new to the realm of home solar power system, the grid intertied and net metering topics might be foreign to you. I will try to explain them in more detail.
Generally, as you know, a residential solar power unit uses solar cells to generate electricity from the sun energy. The electric power will go through many electrical components such as charge controller, AC breaker, meter gauges, battery bank, power inverter etc before it reaches the load or the electrical appliances.
Do you know the solar energy system does not have to be independent?
An independent solar system is totally disconnected from any external power circuit or grid. There are multiple pros and cons by having an independent system.
Usually, this kind of system is not chosen by choice. Home owners may have to use this system if there is no power grid nearby or it will cost too much to pull a new set of cables.
The independent system is 100 percent dependent on the sun for energy. As you can see, there may be some disadvantages in using this system. What happens during cloudy or rainy days? No sunlight, no power.
Tying Into The Power Grid
For a home solar power system to be more practical, some home owner will tie the system to the existing power grid. Hence, the name “Grid Intertied Solar Electric Systems”.
According to Earth4Energy, there are 3 types of grid tie-in solar systems.
1) On Grid
3) Utility Interactive
Selling Surplus Power Back To The Utility Company
One clear advantages that many home owners like about residential solar power system is the “net metering” or “net billing” effect. This happens when the amount of power generated by the solar system is more than enough to power the household appliances.
What do you do with the surplus power? You sell it back to the power utility company. The exchange happens when you notice the power meter is moving backwards.
When this happens, you will be getting credit on your future electricity bill. Not only are you saving money, you are making money by getting free energy from the sun.
Not all districts have this kind of arrangements. You have to consult with your local electricity provider or statutory regulatory agency for further information.
To experience the net metering effect, your home solar power system would have to be scaled up considerably. Meaning, you have to build larger solar arrays and have a bigger battery bank.
The amount of power generated has to be more than what you require on a daily basis. At this point, you have to consider your Return On Investment (ROI).
There are many other benefits of using a home solar power system. Michael Harvey wrote a comprehensive chapter in his Earth 4 Energy e-book.
If you want to know what you will get from Michael’s renewable energy manual, be sure to check out the Earth 4 Energy review page.