Renewable Energy, Courtesy of the Sun
Reduce monthly electricity bills
Protect from future electric rate increases
Increase property value
Reduces dependence on fossil fuel & foreign oil
Reduces Co2 & Sulfur Dioxide Emissions
Qualifies for 30% Federal Tax Credit
A solar electric system is an environmentally friendly way of producing electricity for everyday use. It allows us to harness the sun's energy to produce electricity without noise, emissions, pollution, moving parts or fuel. The scientific term for "solar electricity" is "photovoltaic" energy, which means electricity from light. A solar electric system collects the sun’s energy using panels mounted on a roof and wired into a building via an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current (DC) energy generated through the solar panels into alternating current (AC), the type of current used to power homes. Solar electricity has been proven to be safe and reliable. By purchasing electricity generated from a renewable energy system on your home, you can demonstrate your commitment to a healthy environment and our national economy.
System Function & Sizing
Solar electric technology features large arrays of collectors made up of silicon-coated cells. When sunlight strikes the surface of a cell, electrical fields are directed to electrons, resulting in a flow of current. Solar electric systems require major components to properly conduct, control, convert, distribute, and store the energy produced by the array. These systems can be designed to provide DC and/or AC power service, can operate interconnected with or independent of the utility grid (power company), and can serve as a direct power source for a specific job, such as a well pump, patio and outdoor lighting, or even a backyard waterfall. We will professionally design your solar electric system based on your unique desires which may include factors such as reduction in monthly electricity bill, environmental benefits, desire for backup power, and initial investment budget. You can use the power of the sun, along with energy efficiency in your home, to help reduce your electricity bills by up to 60 percent or more!
The current high cost of solar electric equipment as compared to other solar applications and electricity rates is the primary limiting factor for this technology. The cost will mainly depend on the system's size, equipment options, and installation costs. Other factors, such as the manufacturer and panel style will also have an affect on costs. Solar electric systems currently average $8500.00 to $20,000.00 after government incentives.
How Does A Solar Electric System Work?
Individual photovoltaic (PV) cells are connected to panels. Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. A unit called an inverter converts DC energy created by the panels into alternating current (AC) for electricity in the home.
The inverter also records the net amount of energy generated through the PV system. When you're creating more electricity than you're using, your meter will spin backwards and the excess electricity is sent to the electric grid. This process is called net-metering and it helps to offset the cost of your electricity usage at night or on cloudy days when your system is not producing.
People who are investing in solar electricity for their homes and businesses are making a difference in our community, our country and world. A solar electric system can reduce or eliminate the amount of electricity you have to purchase from your electric service provider. It can save you money on your monthly electricity bill and act as a hedge against future price increases. You help your community by reducing the electricity demand and provide additional electricity for the grid when you generate more than you use during the day. Most importantly, the electricity generated by your system is clean, renewable and reliable.
The benefits of using solar electricity are clear, so why isn’t everyone using this technology?
While it's true that sunlight is free, the electricity generated by this technology is not. Solar generated electricity is more expensive than buying energy from the power company. That is why it is usually used in areas that do not have conventional source of electricity, such as our barrier islands. Right now, it simply can't compete with the utilities. However, costs are coming down as research is being done, demand and efficiencies are constantly rising, prices are falling, and the world is becoming increasingly aware of environmental concerns associated with conventional power sources, making solar electric a technology with a bright future.
The first focus of anyone wanting to invest in solar electric technology should be conservation and efficiency. Conservation involves changing your energy use behaviors from wasteful, inefficient habits (such as leaving on the lights when you leave a room) to energy-saving ones (turning off the lights every time you leave a room). This is a conscious choice—although you are using the same fixtures, you are making an effort to minimize your energy consumption. Efficiency, on the other hand, is reducing energy consumption—without changing your lifestyle—by using efficient materials such as appliances, building supplies and fixtures. For example, you would use fluorescent lights instead of incandescent and upgrade older units with new extremely efficient appliances as well as using a solar hot water heater. Both conservation and efficiency work hand in hand - by reducing your energy demand and becoming more energy efficient, you will greatly reduce the cost of your electrical bill.
How big should my PV system be?
Solar electric systems are sized for each home or business owner based on several factors: energy production expectations, roof size, reduction in monthly electric bills, environmental benefits, desire for backup power, and initial budget. A good starting point is to review your current annual electricity needs, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Our professionals will be able to determine how much electricity your system will produce, which will also give you an idea of how much money you will save once your system is installed and generating power. In Southwest Florida, the “average” residential customer uses 18,000 to 22,000 KWh per year. A two-kilowatt system would supply about 15% of a customer’s total demand. A five-kilowatt system might supply 35% of an average customer’s needs. These estimates vary depending on the actual electricity load, weather conditions and system output.