Solar Photovoltaic Systems, aka Solar PV, have been a viable electricity solution for “Off-Grid” homes for decades, but haven’t been a solution for the average home due to cheap electricity and prohibitively expensive equipment. Over the past decade, the cost of electricity has risen significantly and the cost of Solar PV systems have dramatically dropped making Solar PV not only a smart choice for our environment, but an economically viable option for the average “On-Grid” home. Solar PV systems installed properly can even make you money! Solar PV is now more cost effective per kWh than buying power from both BC Hydro and FortisBC.
Grid-tied systems have become the most common type of solar PV system. Grid-tied systems are connected to the electrical grid, and allow residents of a building to use solar energy as well as electricity from the grid. Grid-tied systems do not need to produce 100% of the electricity demand for a home or business. When there is no demand for energy, the solar panels send excess electricity back out into the grid for use elsewhere. When a home or business is using energy, but the solar panels aren’t producing enough energy (at night, or on a stormy day), electricity from the grid supplements or replaces electricity from the panels. Owners of a grid-tied system complete a net metering agreement with BC Hydro or FortisBC. This agreement allows utility customers to receive credit for the excess energy they generate, typically credited as a kilowatt-hour credit on the next month’s bill. Net metering policies and agreements are different for each utility. Living with a grid-tied solar PV system is no different than living with utility electricity, except that some or all of the electricity you use comes from the sun. Grid-tied systems do not provide protection from power outages, unless a separate battery backup is installed. When the electrical grid fails, grid-tied systems will not continue to operate. This is a safety feature that allows utility employees to fix the power lines safely without wasting time identifying solar energy systems that are still feeding electricity into the power lines.
Alternatively, Off-Grid systems are also a feasible option to install, especially if powerlines are not readily available. A Solar PV system that is independent of the electrical grid is called an off-grid system, and it requires that the solar panels are able to produce enough electricity to cover 100% of the energy needs of the building. Most homes have higher electricity demand in the evening or at night, so off-grid systems incorporate either a battery (to store energy produced during the day), a backup source of energy (like a generator), or both. Off-grid systems are more complex and less flexible than grid-tied systems.
Off-grid solar-electric systems operate independently from the local utility grid to provide electricity to a home, building, boat, or RV (or remote agricultural pumps, gates, traffic signs, etc.). These systems typically require either a battery bank (to store solar electricity for use during nighttime or cloudy weather) a backup source of energy (like a generator), or both. An off-grid solar system must be large enough to produce enough electricity to cover 100% of the energy needs of the building. In all off-grid scenarios, electrical usage must be monitored and kept below the maximum output of the panels and batteries as there is no grid-source to supply excess power.
Greenway Electrical is a certified solar installer as well as a licenced electrical contractor, we can help you whether you want a grid-tied Solar PV system for your home or businesses, or a large sophisticated off-grid power system harnessing multiple renewable energy sources, we are the team of electricians with the expertise, experience and passion to make it happen.
We will provide to you a site evaluation that will allow us to develop a solar electric system for your home that will benefit you and the environment the most and provide you with a clear picture of how much electricity you can expect to generate and how much that will offset your electrical bill on a month to month basis.
All our Solar panels are backed with a 25 year warranty so you can rest assured that you will receive a return on your investment.
Greenway Solar provides professional electrical contracting services so you can be assured of a cost-effective, high quality installation that makes the most of your solar, alternative, and traditional electrical infrastructure. Greenway Electrical services the entire Okanagan valley.
Greenway Electrical can provide home and business owners with energy independence by installing a reliable solar system. When sized properly and installed by qualified technicians, a solar PV (photovoltaic) electrical system can supply all of the user’s energy requirements using our most abundant energy source, the sun.
Greenway Electrical can also help you assess the efficiency of appliances and lighting so you get the most out of your PV system. We offer state of the art inverters that allow you to monitor the performance of your system in real-time to ensure peak performance, and to show you how much of a difference you are making to your carbon footprint.
On-grid and roof-mounted Solar systems do not have moving parts and are essentially maintenance free. Their modules are robust, extremely durable, and able to withstand harsh environments.
Solar energy is a reliable energy source for those in remote areas. Other options rely on diesel fuel that has to be shipped, with a high financial and environmental cost, or grid-connected options that can cost $10,000s of thousands to setup.
Typically, solar module warranties last 25 years and at the end of 25 years can still produce up to 80% of their rated capacity.