1. Solar Power and Batteries

    May 20, 2013 by Max

    Battery bank

    When some people think about solar, they might think that they will become free from the electric company because a battery will allow them to store any excess power they generate, thus taking them off the grid. While this is possible with solar, it does not make financial sense for most people. Batteries are still very big and bulky. They are also expensive and need to be replaced every five to ten years; depending on the type, and how well you take care of them.  Battery technology is evolving and batteries may become more viable in the future, but for most people right now, it’s more practical to simply tap the grid in off hours and use the grid (like a battery) to store any excess power.

  2. Grid-Tied? What’s That?

    May 9, 2013 by Max

    Grid-tied: A “grid-tied” solar array is one that is connected to the power grid. It is actually connected to your home’s circuit breaker panel the same way all of the other circuits are connected. The power from the solar array gets used “first” and is “added” to the power already coming in. This is an over simplification but is a good way to picture what is going on. If the array produces more than the house is using, the excess passes through the electric meter in reverse and is recorded by the power company (hopefully) as a credit to your account. You can find more about net metering and grid-tied solar at this link: https://www.comed.com/customer-service/rates-pricing/interconnection/Pages/net-metering.aspx