Time to read: 5 minutes
Date: May 9, 2023
Join us as we dive deeper into the world of solar power, energy storage, and home standby generators. In this article, we will explore the science behind Solar Powered Systems, Energy Storage, and Home Standby Generators. And for those seeking even more energy and reliability, home standby generators can provide peace of mind knowing that your home will remain powered even in the event of a prolonged outage. At IES Texas Solar, we believe in harnessing the power of the sun to bring about a sustainable future.
How is sunlight converted into energy?
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. The PV cells are made of materials, such as silicon, that are able to absorb photons from the sun’s rays. When sunlight hits a PV cell, it excites the electrons within the cell. This causes them to move and create an electric current. This electric current is then collected by wires in the panel and sent to an inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power homes or businesses.
If the solar powered system generates more electricity than needed, the excess energy can be sent back to the Texas grid. The owner’s account is then credited through a process called net metering. Overall, solar panels provide a clean and renewable source of energy that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower electricity bills.
How do inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity?
An inverter is an electronic device that converts the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power your household appliances and electronics. The process of converting DC to AC involves several steps. First, the DC electricity is fed into the inverter, which then converts it into a high-frequency AC signal. This AC signal is then passed through a transformer to step up the voltage to the appropriate level for use in your home. Finally, the AC electricity is fed into the main electrical panel, where it can be distributed throughout your house to power lights, appliances, and other devices. Now that we know how it works, let’s take a deeper dive into inverters and which inverters IES Texas Solar uses and why.
Let’s talk about Enphase inverters!
Enphase inverters have multiple safety features to ensure that the solar powered system is safe for your home. One important safety feature is the Rapid Shutdown functionality, which ensures that all power flowing through the system is shut off within 10 seconds of an emergency shutdown signal, such as a fire alarm. This feature reduces the risk of electrocution to you and the first responders who may come into contact with the system during an emergency.
Enphase inverters also have built-in arc fault detection, which can identify and mitigate potential fire hazards by detecting electrical arcs and quickly shutting off the system. Additionally, they have a ground fault detection feature that can detect and isolate any faults in the system to ensure that any electrical current is safely directed to ground.
In the event of a grid outage, Enphase inverters also have a safety feature called Islanding, which automatically isolates the solar powered system from your utility company or the Texas grid to prevent any electrical back feed that could be hazardous to workers repairing the grid.
Overall, these safety features are critical in ensuring that the solar powered system is safe for your home. Now that we have covered how sunlight is converted into electricity and the importance of inverters, let’s discuss a Solar Powered System with and without backup power.
What’s Energy Storage all about?
The difference between a solar powered system with energy storage and one without is that systems with energy storage have the capability to store excess electricity generated during the day in batteries for use at night or during power outages. Without energy storage, a solar powered system can only generate electricity when the sun is shining, and any excess energy is sent back to the Texas grid. During power outages, if a solar power system dose not have energy storage the system is unable to provide power to your home for safety reasons.
Energy storage systems can help you reduce your reliance on the grid and save money on your electricity bills by allowing you to use stored energy during peak hours when electricity rates are typically higher. However, there are limitations to how long a backup power system can run. This is dependent on various factors, including the size of the system, the amount of energy stored, and the power load being supplied. Generally, an energy storage system can last from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the backload calculations, design, function and goals you and your solar consultant determine when designing your system. With that being said let’s dive into the benefits of adding a Generac Home Standby Generator and building your very own bullet proof system!
What about home standby generators?
A home standby generator is a reliable and convenient backup power source for your home. They are designed to provide backup power during utility outages or when the main power supply is unavailable. Here’s how they work:
- Automatic Detection: Home standby generators are connected to the home’s electrical system and are equipped with an automatic transfer switch (ATS). When the power from the utility grid is interrupted, the ATS detects the loss of electricity and signals the generator to start.
- Start-up and Power Generation: Upon receiving the signal, the standby generator’s engine starts and begins to generate electricity. Standby generators are typically powered by natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel. The engine drives an alternator that produces electrical power.
- Transfer of Power: Simultaneously, the ATS disconnects the home from the utility grid to ensure the safety of utility workers and prevent back feeding. It then connects the home’s electrical circuits to the generator. This seamless transfer of power ensures that the selected circuits or the entire home receive electricity from the generator.
- Power Restoration: Once the generator is running and providing electricity, it takes over the role of supplying power to the home. This allows critical appliances, lights, and other electrical devices to continue operating as if the main power grid were still available. Standby generators are typically capable of producing enough power to support essential loads, such as refrigerators, heating and cooling systems, sump pumps, and lights.
- Automatic Shutdown: When the utility power is restored, the ATS detects the return of electricity and initiates an automatic transfer back to the main power source. The standby generator runs for a brief cooldown period before shutting down. It remains on standby mode, ready to start automatically if another power outage occurs.
You won’t have to worry about losing power with a home standby generator. You can rest assured knowing that your family’s comfort and safety will always be protected. Additionally, a home standby generator can help you save money on your energy bills by allowing you to use your solar powered system to its full potential, while also providing peace of mind that you’ll always have a backup source of power available when you need it.
Your Needs, Your Energy, Your Terms
At IES Texas Solar, we are dedicated to meeting all your sustainable energy needs when it comes to installing a solar-powered system. Investing in a customized solar array system, coupled with energy storage tailored to your unique usage patterns, can provide uninterrupted power during outages. For added energy and reliability, our team of experts can install a Generac home standby generator that perfectly fits your needs. Let us show you why we shine brighter than the competition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
If you are considering installing a backup generator or switching to solar for your home or business, reach out to us by going to our website, iestxsolar.com, or by giving us a call at (855) 447-6527.