Sunlight is abundant and powerful, supplying BC with limitless amounts of clean energy. Even on cloudy days solar panels turn light into electricity to offset power consumption.
Harnessing the Sun
With solar photovoltaic systems (PV systems), the electricity generated by panels, or modules, can directly power everything from streetlights, to household or business appliances, either off the grid or tied into the utility grid. Excess energy can be stored in battery banks or fed back to the grid for credits, using the BC net-metering program.
How Solar Photovoltaic Systems Work
Panels (modules) are the solar-electric system’s main component, where sunlight is used to make direct current (DC) electricity. Other components in your system such as charge controllers, disconnects and inverters enable the electricity from your solar modules to safely power your utility loads. Solar panels are available in many sizes, voltages, and formats and are virtually maintenance free and very long lasting (most manufacturers offer 25 year warranties). Systems are easily expanded and produce no greenhouse gases.
Grid-Tie With Battery Backup
Same as above, but the inverter also uses energy stored in a battery bank for backup situations where the power is out. Typically, a limited number of loads are run by this battery bank.
Although they are most common in remote locations without grid service, off-grid solar power systems can work anywhere in Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Okanagan. These systems operate independently from the grid to provide all of a household’s electricity. That means no electric bills and no blackouts.
Off-grid systems can be sized to provide power during cloudy periods when the sun doesn’t shine. But sizing a system to cover a worst-case scenario, like several cloudy weeks during the winter when there is no available ambient light, can result in a very large, expensive system that will rarely get used to its capacity. To spare your pocketbook, we can size the system moderately. One may consider a generator or hybrid system to get through those occasional sunless stretches.
Another option is to use an off-grid style configuration as a backup system. When there is a power outage, a smaller battery bank will power a limited number of loads. A generator may also be tied into this type of system.
Whether its to charge batteries or to offset electricity consumption, solar modules (panels) are the most common renewable energy system.
Solar modules (panels) convert sunlight into usable DC electricity. That electricity can either be directing to a battery bank for storage in an Off Grid system or fed to an inverter to be converted to AC for immediate use in a home or business.
The most common system format is a Grid Tie system. These types of systems make use of the utility’s Net Metering program to offset electrical consumption.
Net Metering systems allow solar energy production to be fed directly into a smart meter. That energy production will first help to offset electrical loads. If solar is not providing all of the energy, the grid will supply rest. If solar is providing an excess amount of energy, it will be sent to the grid and the smart meter will keep track of it.
It allows a Net Metering customer to use the utility like a big battery over the course of the year.
Net Metering programs for BC Utilities:
BC Hydro Net Metering Program
FortisBC Net Metering Program
City of Penticton Net Metering Program
Over the years, we have installed solar electric systems on many different locations. Whether you are looking at installing a system on your roof, on a pole, on a ground mount, an awning or as covered patio or carport, Terratek Energy has the solution for you.