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PPhotovoltaics (PV) Systems make use of renewable energy from the sun to generate power, resulting in money saved on your electricity bill and, equally as important to some, reduces pollution, lowering your carbon footprint. These systems have no moving parts and are 100% maintenance free, with most PV panels having a life expectancy of 30 years. PV panels can withstand severe weather including; extreme heat/cold, hail stones, and also creates energy on cloudy days. Solar energy production leads to power independence which in turn, among other things, adds value to your home.
Terralta specializes in the use of the Enphase, Solar Edge and Fronius microinverter which converts the sun’s energy to useable AC energy at the panel. Data collected by the microinverters is transmitted to their designated websites giving the client 24/7 per-module monitoring and analysis service. Performance information and environmental benefits are automatically calculated and viewed from any web browser.
Below are descriptions of the 3 variations of Solar PV that Terralta currently offers.
Also known as on-grid, grid-tied, or utility interactive, grid-intertied solar-electric systems generate solar electricity and route it to the electric utility grid, offsetting a home’s or business’ electrical consumption and, in some instances, even turning the electric meter backwards. Living with a grid-connected solar-electric system is no different than living with grid power, except that some or all of the electricity you use comes from the sun.
In many provinces, the utility credits a homeowner’s account for excess solar electricity produced. This amount can then be applied to other months when the system produces less or in months when electrical consumption is greater. This arrangement is called net metering or net billing. The specific terms of net metering laws and regulations vary from province to province and utility to utility. Consult your local electricity provider or provincial regulatory agency for their guidelines.
Without a battery bank or generator backup for your grid-intertied system, when a blackout occurs, your household will be in the dark, too. To keep some or all of your electric needs (or “loads”) like lights, a refrigerator, a well pump, or computer running even when utility power outages occur, many homeowners choose to install a grid-intertied system with battery backup.
Incorporating batteries into the system requires more components, is more expensive, and lowers the system’s overall efficiency. But for many homeowners who regularly experience utility outages or have critical electrical loads, having a backup energy source is priceless.
Although they are most common in remote locations without utility grid service, off-grid solar-electric systems can work anywhere. These systems operate independently from the grid to provide all of a household’s electricity. That means no electric bills and no blackouts—at least none caused by grid failures. People choose to live off-grid for a variety of reasons, including the prohibitive cost of bringing utility lines to remote home sites, the appeal of an independent lifestyle, or the general reliability a solar-electric system provides.
Those who choose to live off-grid often need to make adjustments to when and how they use electricity, so they can live within the limitations of the system’s design. This doesn’t necessarily imply doing without, but rather is a shift to a more conscientious use of electricity.