Rising Energy Costs Are A Call To Action.
23 February 2011
The price of gasoline has again climbed past $3 a gallon here in Tucson. It's projected to continue to climb and to stay high for who really knows how long. Take a step towards your energy independence to create piece of mind and to save money. Learn about your choices and consult experts who can help you plan and act.
One option is to create your own electricity. Here's a quick summary on photovoltaic (PV) systems from The Solar Store here in Tucson.
There are three basic types of photovoltaic systems: Stand-alone; Hybrid; and Line-tie, also known as Grid-tie. Here is a breakdown of all three:
A Stand-alone system uses an array of PV modules to supply your electric needs during the day; any excess energy is stored in a battery bank for use during the night. The battery bank is generally large enough to store three days worth of electricity without any type of power generation. For cloudy days, you can supplement your electrical needs by using a Hybrid system.
Hybrid systems use other energy generation sources in conjunction with PV and are usually the best option in areas that don't receive as many days of sunshine as Southern Arizona. Wind generators are a good option if your area is windy 6-8 hours a day. Although renewable energy sources are usually preferred, another alternative is to install a fossil fuel-powered generator.
A properly installed inverter and battery bank can provide sufficient power with your generator running only a few hours every other day, saving on wear, tear, fuel and maintenance.
The third type of system is called a Grid-tie because your home is connected to a utility company. With this system, you do not need to install a battery bank, unless you are interested in blackout security. During the day, your system produces its own power. Any excess power is sent into the utility grid and sold to your electric company. At night, or when you need more electricity than your system is producing, the inverter automatically draws power from the grid. Of course, it is also possible to compbine any or all of these solutions.
This article is posted with permission from Katharine Kent, owner of The Solar Store. Be sure to consult her for advice on how to achieve your own energy independence for piece of mind and saving money. Katharine can be reached at 520.322.5180