Solar Power

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Solar Power Conversion – Stand-Alone System
This classic solar power system converts the energy from the sun into usable (120V, 220V) electrical power for the owner’s home or business. It is important to store excess energy available from this system when the sun is “burning bright”. The excess energy is stored in either ultracapacitors or batteries (or in some combination of the two). Then, whenever the need for power exceeds what the inverter can provide at that moment, extra energy can flow from storage to meet the demand.

Please review the block diagram for the Stand Alone Solar Power Inverter:

click the image
to view the block diagram

Stand Alone Solar Power Inverter

Solar Power Conversion – Grid-Tie System
A solar grid-tie system allows the system owner to generate and use their own solar power with the ability to supplement any additional power needs from the local electric utility. In this way, if you do not always have enough power from your solar inverter to meet your needs, then you can supplement with additional power from the local utility.

With a solar grid-tie system, you have two basic options: with battery-backup or without. If you add battery-backup to a grid-tie system, you will be able to store any solar power you create but do not immediately use and then use that power later when you do need it. There are two advantages to a battery-backup grid-tie system over one without:

  • You will reduce your electric bill even more since you can use your stored power instead of power from the electric company.
  • You will then usually have enough power when there is a blackout, day or night.

A combination of ultracapacitors and deep discharge lead-acid batteries is usually best for energy storage of this type.

With a grid-tie system, there is another advantage of beginning small and growing your system as you have the time/money/desire. You (the owner) can start-off with just one solar panel and build your home or business solar power system at your schedule.The more PV arrays in your system, the more money you will save. A grid-tie system allows you to expand your system at our own comfort level and pace.

Please review the block diagram for the Grid-Tie Solar Power Inverter:

click the image
to view the block diagram

Grid Tie Solar Power Inverter

Solar Net-Metering
In many states, a program called solar net-metering can be used with a solar grid-tie system. Net-metering allows the system owner to effectively "sell" excess solar-generated power back to the local electric utility. When power is sold back to the utility, the electric meter will actually spin backwards, generating credit for the owner’s account. Subsequently, when power is drawn from your electric company it will run forwards, using up the credit.

Although net-metering is becoming more popular, it is not available everywhere. There may be some cities or counties in your area that participate in it, but not necessarily all utilities do. Also, the way that each state complies with net-metering differs. Some may require the utilities to "buy" solar-generated power at a competitive rate, while others do not. Some states make it very easy to join the program, whereas others require lengthy paperwork and inspections. You definitely need to do some homework before deciding to participate in net-metering. Check your state legislation first and then with your local electric company. Some states may not allow you to participate in net-metering if you are using a grid-tie system with battery-backup.

A solar grid-tie system offers great financial benefits for all who use it. It also lessens our country's dependence on foreign energy. Solar power is great for the earth - no environmental pollutants are involved with creating usable electric power from the sun’s vast energy.

Richardson RFPD and Solar Power Conversion
We can supply just about every needed component for your solar power inverter design… and we can help you with your design as well. We have experienced engineers on staff whom can help with power inverter designs of almost any type.

Component Selection
We have the specific solar power conversion components that you need to complete your solar inverter design. We can help you select the right capacitors, heatsinks, fuses, thyristors, IGBTs, ultracapacitors, resistors, integrated power-converter modules, etc.

Design Review
Working together, we can review your design goals, provide specific design assistance, and even suggest design alternatives to help you meet those design goals easily and quickly.

Turn-Key Design
Furthermore, we have the ability to provide complete design services for your solar power inverter.

Please check here for more information on any of these Design Support services.