A Beginners Guide to a Solar Power System Part 2

Jessica PirroSeptember 11, 202013252

A Beginners Guide to a Solar Power System Part 2

There’s a lot of information regarding a solar panel installation that may deter some homeowners from installing a solar power system. It’s not because the homeowner doesn’t think that the solar energy benefits are worth it, it’s because they don’t understand how the solar power system works.

When you’re making a major investment, in anything, you are going to want to know all the ins and outs of making it work. The same goes for solar panel installation. When a homeowner makes such a big investment in a solar power system, they are going to want to know exactly how it works.

In Part 1 of a Beginners Guide to A Solar Power System, we briefly discussed what solar power is, the basic components of solar panel installation, and the pros and cons of solar energy. Today we will get a little more in-depth when it comes in regards to a solar power system.

The Difference Between a Grid-Tied Solar Power System and an Off-Grid Solar Power System?

First things first, not all solar power systems are independent of the grid. This information may shock some people. Homeowners will have the option of getting a solar panel installation that is still connected to the grid, or they can get an off-grid solar power system.

A Grid-Tied Solar Power System

Getting a grid-tied solar power system can save homeowners a lot of money, which is the reason that most of the residential solar panel installations that you see today are still connected to the grid. A grid-tied solar power system has a lot of benefits and it is a lot cheaper than buying electricity from the utility company. The solar power system will generate power for your home during the day and then will send the excess solar power that it generates back to the grid for a credit. Then when your solar power system isn’t generating any solar power, you can use the credit to purchase solar power from your utility.

An Off-Grid Solar Power System

An off-grid solar power system is typically used in an area where the home doesn’t have access to a power grid. The cost of an off-grid solar power system, it typically higher than a grid-tied solar power system due to the fact you will need to install a solar battery alongside the solar panel installation to store the excess solar power that is generated by the solar power system. When it comes to an off-grid solar power system there are going to be two main benefits:

- You can store the backup solar power in case of an emergency. In states like California, where rolling blackouts are common, you can store the extra solar power in a solar battery to protect yourself from an outage in your area.

- It stores your excess solar energy so you can use it and even sell it at a late time!

Solar Energy Storage

When a homeowner installs a solar battery it is going to provide them with extra peace of mind and offers them the most from the electricity that your solar power system generates. Ultimately it is the homeowner's choice if they want to install a solar battery alongside their solar power system. If they have any additional questions about the benefits of installing a solar battery, they can read about them here, and they should be sure to ask their solar installer.

Solar Incentives

Solar incentives are something that gets homeowners excited! Why? Because solar incentives reduce the cost of solar panels

The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The federal ITC is one of the most well known solar incentives. You should keep in mind that this, along with most solar incentives, is only eligible if you own the solar power system. If you are leasing the solar power system, the owner of the solar power system is going to benefit from the solar incentive,

Currently, for residential solar panel installations, the federal ITC offers homeowners looking to install solar panels a 26% tax credit for the overall cost of the solar power system. This tax credit will reduce to 22% in 2021, before being eliminated in 2022.

Net Metering

Another beneficial solar incentive is going to be net metering. Keep in mind that depending on where you live, you might not be eligible for this solar incentive. Net metering is majorly beneficial to homeowners with a grid-tied solar power system because it allows homeowners to send the excess solar power being generated back to the utility grid. Your utility company will then give you a credit in exchange for the solar power that you can use at a later time.

When the energy demand is low (during the day), a solar power system will typically produce way more solar energy than the home needs. Net metering allows the homeowners to still utilize solar power with a credit that can be used at night. At night the solar power system isn’t going generate any solar power, but a homeowner can use the credit to get power from the utility company.

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