When a solar energy system is tied to a grid or connected to the grid it is capable of sending electricity to the grid that can be used at a later time when the system is not producing electricity. This system is a semi-autonomous electrical generation system linked to the mains feeding electricity back to the grid. The mains being the general-purpose AC electric power supply.
The tied inverter can take the DC energy and convert it into electricity that is phased matched. The local solar energy system is also phase matched allowing for electricity to be interchanged when needed.
A grid tied system works in conjunction with the existing grid. In the most simplest terms pulling energy from the grid when needed and supplying energy to the grid when energy is not being used at the solar site.
Post written by: David Zamostny, Solar Energy World Intern
Solar Energy World is finishing installing a 312kW solar array with 1,248 LG 250-watt panels at the Metuchen Sportsplex in central, NJ. The solar energy system will supply approximately 34%of the building’s energy needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 215 metric tons a year.
Metuchen Sportsplex is the tenant of the property. Owned by its joint venture partner, an affiliate of The Maven Group, the property was originally classified as a “Brownfield” and another affiliate of the Maven Group completed remediation of the site and built the 70,000 sq. ft. indoor recreation center, which opened in the fall of 2010.
As part of its development agreement with the Borough of Metuchen, The Maven Group moved forward with solar energy in late spring of 2011 to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint and affirm its commitment to renewable energy.
Stuart Schooler, the managing partner of the joint venture, was asked about the firm’s decision to install photovoltaic panels. ”We evaluate geothermal, photovoltaics and wind energy for every project we develop. A relatively urban recreational facility sitting atop a former brownfields site is an almost ideal application for solar-generated electricity. In the long-run it will keep rental costs down for teams that use the fields and provide other practical benefits like reflecting heat off of the roof to reduce the need for air conditioning and extend the life of the roof.”
This solar panel installation isn’t a first for The Maven Group, previously installing solar on their Rockville Ice Rink. So, they were familiar with most of the benefits. The project will generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC). These certificates can be sold on New Jersey’s SREC tracking system and will generate approximately $184,000 in revenue during the system’s first year in operation.
“Every installation requires the collaboration of the local government for zoning and permitting, the owner, the user and [while not technically a requirement,] the public utility. During and in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, SEW delivered this rooftop system without losing a single panel and completed its interconnection with PSE&G on time, a testament to the real economic benefits of cooperation even in the face of a natural disaster” said Solar Energy World VP, Geoff Mirkin.
Solar Energy World plans to finalize the solar energy system and connect it to the electrical grid within the coming weeks.
Photovoltaics (PV) is the process of creating electrical power by converting solar radiation into DC current electricity by using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power uses solar energy panels comprised of cells that contain the photovoltaic material.
Photovoltaics can involve a single cell however this is typically not the case, since a single cell cannot produce enough power. Generally the cells are electrically connected to form photovoltaic modules, or as we know them, solar energy panels.
Photovoltaic Effect – this involves the creation of voltage when a specific material is exposed to light. In this process, generated electrons bounce between different bands in the material causing a buildup of voltage (the junction of two substances exposed to light). This effect first observed by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel.
Initially photovoltaics were used to power satellites and space stations orbiting in space, recently the majority is used for grid connected power generation for homes and businesses. With the development and implementation of electric cars, photovoltaics technologies continue to expand.
While there are many positives there are a few negatives. These would include cost and the fact that photovoltaics produce only DC current that must be converted. Secondly, current cannot be produced at night or when it is significantly cloudy. Solar power is also dependent on the limited power density of a locations insolation, a topic discussed in an earlier blog post.
Post written by: David Zamostny, Solar Energy World Intern
In 2009, Congress passed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to extend consumer tax incentives started by the 2005 Energy Act. That equals big tax rebates for you when you choose to invest in sustainable energy home improvements.
So how big are these rebates? Homeowners who invest in solar energy systems will receive a 30% federal tax credit as long as the systems are in place by the end of 2016.
In Maryland, several counties offer property tax credits. Howard County, for example, allows a tax credit that is 50% of the eligible costs up to $5,000 for electricity generating or heat generating systems, and $1,500 for a hot water supply system.
Daunted by the idea of the paperwork and details that go into claiming those tax credits? Don’t be.
We will do all of it for you. Contact us to learn more!
Please note, this post was written prior to the change in the Howard County Property Tax.
You most likely knew that April 22nd was Earth Day but did you know that the month of April is “Earth Month”?
Many events were held all over Maryland (even one of our own!) where people celebrated green jobs, clean energy, organic gardening, recycling and much more. Here are a few highlights around town:
Elkridge Solar Firm Launches Nonprofit Coalition to Lobby for More Clean Energy
Solar Energy World became convinced that community activism would have to be part of their business strategy before their rooftop solar panels would gain wide acceptance. In short, they realized they had to first win the hearts and minds of voters if clean energy–principally solar, geothermal and wind–would garner the same tax incentives oil and coal companies received.
Read more about Solar Energy World and the launch of the Clean Energy Coalition>>
To learn more about the Clean Energy Coalition>>
Here is a clip from the press conference with Solar Energy World guests, Maryland Delegate James Malone and Jim Pierobon from the Maryland Clean Energy Center:
BWI Gets Eight Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for Earth Day
Gov. Martin O’Malley celebrated Earth Day on Friday by announcing the installation of eight electric vehicle charging stations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Read more about the BWI EV Charging Stations>>
All over Montgomery County Earth Day was being celebrated! – brought to you by Patch
Congressman Chris Van Hollen and professional artists from Montgomery County stressed the importance of art to young people and to the community as VisArts at Rockville hosted an awards ceremony for the 8th Congressional District Art Competition for High School Students on Tuesday.
A new community garden will give 50 families the chance to grow and harvest their own food. County Executive Isiah Leggett, as well as community and religious leaders, were on hand at the Emory Grove garden to break ground on Saturday..
It is absolutely critical that all of our solar energy systems be completely reliable, and Mage systems are no exception. Mage Powertec Plus modules are comprised of mono- and polycrystalline cell technologies to keep cell efficiency up to 17.3%. Mage modules allow tolerances of up to +5 watts to guarantee maximum power, while other modules of lower quality deliver less than they claim.
We offer a 10-year product warranty, but it won’t be needed with a Mage module; they’re guaranteed to produce 90% of their nominal power for 12 years and 80% for 30 years – three decades! Mage modules also surpass the most stringent safety procedures.
Are Mage Powertec Plus modules the best solar panels for you? Contact us and we’ll help you decide.
According to a report by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), published March 10, 2011, the US solar energy industry had a banner year in 2010 and is a bight spot in the US economy as the fastest growing sector. In contrast to the US GDP growth of 2.8%, the US solar market grew 67% in value in 2010 (SEIA executive summary).
US demand growth was, however, outpaced by a global market boom driven primarily by Germany and Italy. It’s reported that the growth in Europe was due to the large government incentives available at the time. However, those incentives have since expired.
The US solar market grew from $3.6 billion in 2009 more than doubling in 2010.
It’s expected that the US opportunity to expand its share in 2011 while the global market slows down. The numbers of installations are likely to double in 2011 in the US. Much of the global PV industry is turning its eye to the US with great expectations.
In 2007, only four US states installed more than 10 megawatts of PV. Now, 16 states have accomplished that feat, notably Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Jersey installed more than 50 megawatts. In 2010, New Jersey more than double it’s installations, ranking the 2nd largest state for solar installations with more than 100 megawatts in a single year.
“This report shows that solar energy is now one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, creating new opportunities for both large and small businesses. Every day, Americans across the country are going to work at well-paying, stable jobs at solar companies, from small installers all the way up to Fortune 500 companies,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “This remarkable growth puts the solar industry’s goal of powering 2 million homes annually by 2015 within reach. Achieving such amazing growth during the economic downturn shows that smart polices combined with American ingenuity adds up to a great return on investment for the public. The bottom line is that the solar energy industry is creating tens of thousands of new American jobs each year.”
While New Jersey has outpaced even California, Maryland isn’t even on the map.
Maryland was one of the first states to adopt a Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2004. A solar “carve-out” was added in 2007, requiring that a percentage of the renewable portfolio standard must originate from in-state solar generated electricity; the percentage gradually ramps up to 2% by 2022. In April 2008 Governor Martin O’Malley signed Senate Bill 209, which accelerates the RPS to require that 20 percent of the state’s electricity supply come from renewable sources by 2022. In 2010, the Maryland legislature adopted provisions that further accelerated the RPS requirements in the early years (2011 through 2017), resulting in more residential and commercial solar installations during this period.
MDV-SEIA, the Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia chapter, is working on policy changes to fast track change, making it possible to hit the state requirements by 2022.
Overall, the state is at 27% of its 2022 goal.
Way to go New Jersey! Let’s get going Maryland! Be part of the solar revolution, green jobs and solar savings!
Solar Energy World offers the best products on the market to homeowners throughout Maryland, Washington DC and New Jersey. Throughout the year, we’ll feature various products we use on solar installations.
For our first product showcase is SunPower®.
SunPower is the perfect combination of brawn and beauty. What makes them one of the best products on the market?
Since SunPower panels are the most efficient, that means they require less space. According to third party testing, SunPower produces more electricity than other solar solutions*.
Not all watts are created equal. Solar systems are often described in terms of the amount of power they are capable of producing in a given instant (measured in watts or kilowatts). The most important factor to take into account, however, is the amount of actual electricity the system is expected to generate during its lifetime (measured in kilowatt-hours). When compared to other brands, SunPower panels produce the most electricity in a wide range of conditions.
Higher efficiency ratings mean more energy savings.
Strong Return on Investment
Among the many benefits of a SunPower solar system, the fact that it offers the greatest returns may be the most important.
SunPower generates up to 16% more electricity when compared to other solar solutions.
Solar is one of the wisest investments you can make today. According to Business Week, homeowners can expect a return on investment of 15% or more per year on their solar system.
With a network of best-in-class, certified dealers, homeowners can have peace of mind. SunPower dealers are the most thoroughly trained in the industry. Every certified dealer is handpicked and put through the most rigorous training.
Certified SunPower Dealers handle every step – permitting, incentive applications, testing, connecting with the utility and serving maintenance needs.
Schedule a free in-home appointment to learn more about SunPower.
*Arizona State University: 7% more than Poly-Si (Test dates: June – Aug 2008); Loughborough University (CREST): 9% more than Poly-Si (Test dates: 2007-2008);University of Stuttgart (IPE): 7% more than HIT (Sanyo), 16% more than thin film (Test dates: June 2006 – May 2009); University of Cyprus: 7% more than a-Si (Mitsubishi), 16% more than Mono-Si (BP Solar) (Test dates: June 2006 – May 2009).
Solar Energy World is a Premier SunPower® Dealer
The easiest way to choose the right system for your home is to let us do the work! You can schedule an appointment to learn more about solar energy panels, solar hot water heating systems, and rebates and incentives. We’ll make sure that you understand how various systems can benefit you and increase savings.
You’ll want to contact your energy company to determine your average kilowatt hour usage for the past year. Once you have this information, it helps in choosing a solar system that will eliminate your energy usage.
Once we’ve provided you with a free cost/benefit analysis and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll send our technician to your home to confirm the measurements and energy savings.
We understand that all of the rebates and incentives can be confusing, so we’ll complete the tax credit and rebate paperwork to ensure that you’re getting all the financial support that is available.
The installation is usually complete within 2-3 days depending on the size of your system. Once your system is installed, we set up the final inspection with the appropriate municipality and/or utility company. Then we make sure you’re connected to the grid so you can start receiving the rewards for going solar.
We’ll complete the final paperwork for the appropriate Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) so you’ll start seeing savings and earnings immediately!
While we’ve noted the numerous advantages of solar energy, it is only responsible to note some of the disadvantages, as well.
- Initial cost of installation: Solar energy systems can be costly to install at first, but with various grants and incentives available, that cost can be greatly reduced.
- Larger space required: Because of the equipment associated with solar energy, smaller residential and commercial spaces may be limited in solar opportunities.
- Solar energy requires light: While this is true, the light required for solar energy does not need to be direct. Consumers can also install solar thermal systems that are powered by heat.
- Pollution can impact solar panels: Unfortunately, pollutants in the air can have an effect on solar energy panels. The blockage caused by pollution prevents optimal light from reaching the panels.
Like all energy systems, solar energy does have disadvantages, but the many advantages that we’ve noted so far usually outweigh these points. We are happy to discuss incentives to lessen initial costs and panel placement to ensure optimal light.