SBS-Solar offers consulting, design and installation services for grid tied residential and commercial solar photovoltaics (PV) systems. SBS-Solar has designed a wide variety of solar systems and has the experience to make your solar project a success. Check out our extensive video library.
Solar Electric Basics
Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight directly into electricity.
The system consists of:
* Solar PV Panels –– Generate DC electricity
* Inverter — Converts the DC to standard AC electricity that is compatible with the electrical grid and capable of powering electrical devices.
* Utility Meter — Tracks the solar electricity that your system produces and feeds to the utility grid, thereby keeping track of your credit from the utility.
A grid-tied solar electric system can generate power on-site to supply a home or business that is connected to the utility grid and offset the usage from the utility company. Grid-tied systems are the most common types of solar systems.
Net-Metering is the process that allows a solar system to produce electricity from the sun and “sell” it to the utility at the same rate you pay for electricity. In Montana solar panels generate significantly more power over the summer months. The excess power feeds back into the utility grid for your neighbors to use and you receive a credit from the utility that you later consume during the cloudier months.
A system owner can put as much power, per year back into the grid as they consume. Therefore one cannot send more into the grid than you consume. The utility will not send you a check, they will let you displace the power you use.
If your solar system produces more power over a year than you use, the utility takes this power and will not reimburse you. This is why we typically size your system to produce between 95% and 98% of you power usage.
An off-grid solar system with a battery back-up can supply power to a remote home or area that would otherwise not have access to electricity.
Add Value to Your Home
Solar is an investment that adds significant resale value to your home. An excerpt from a 1998 article published in the Appraisal Journal notes:
“A home’s value is increased by $20,000 for every $1,000 reduction in annual operating costs from energy efficiency.”