Photovoltaics (PV), or solar power, is used to convert the sun’s energy directly to electricity. From single cells used to power calculators to multi megawatt solar farms, PV has numerous uses in the modern world. In recent years the cost of PV has decreased dramatically, so much so, it is competitive with non-renewable energy sources like oil and coal.
The most cost effective PV system is one that is Grid Tied using a battery-less inverter system to process the energy. A group, or Array, of PV panels are connected together in sub groups or strings. These strings or groups are all connected together in a Combiner Box which is located near the Array. The DC electricity from the PV panels flows through Combiner Box to the Inverter. At the Inverter the DC is converted to AC electricity which is normal household power. The AC electricity them goes to a safety switch for the utility located outside near the power meter. From there it goes to the main electrical panel. Once in the electrical panel the electricity is used by the loads connected to the panel to power lights or appliances. Any extra electricity that is not used in the panel is pushed out or "sold" to the utility grid. New electronic power meters that read power flow coming and going track the energy sold to the utility. Here in Nova Scotia we have a Net Metering program that allows people to sell power to the utility, Nova Scotia Power Inc.
1000 watts to 10,000 watts Larger commercial systems available
6 KWH to 60 KWH
DC 200 - 600 Volts
AC - 120, 208, 240, 277 Volts
Panels can be roof or round mounted.
Panels can be 100 meters from Inverter.
Inverter located in utility area.
Utility disconnect is outside near Utility meter.
Installation: 3-5 days
Clean renewable energy
Most cost effective PV system
Virtually no maintenance
Needs unshaded exposure to the sun
No backup power if grid is down*.
Starting at $6000 - $27,000 +Tax