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A photovoltaic system is a smart energy solution for home or your enterprise. The industry is on the rise: the cost of solar panels decreased by 80% in the last decade while electricity rates are going up. Since the state still encourages and incentivises people to go solar, there is no better time for it than now.
The systems can be different and vary depending on their purpose though. There are three most popular types of systems and the PV system components to build them can be different:
- Grid-tie system is the most popular type of installation. You are connected to the grid, but panels power everything in your house. All the unused energy from panels is going into the grid. Your utility company in return gives you credits that can be used to pay your energy bills. Net metering is the main way in which a solar system pays for itself.
Grid-tie photovoltaic system for home consists of 10-30 panels and an inverter which is connected to the grid and turns direct current from panels into alternating. Notice that this type of a system is reliant on the grid and shuts down during a power outage.
- The off-grid system is good for remote locations where there are no power lines. RV and boat systems are considered off-grid as well. You have no connection to the grid and thus rely solely on solar modules. Panels are paired with batteries that keep your house or van powered at night or at times when panels don’t produce enough — maybe during a week of very bad weather.
Off-grid PV system consists of panels, batteries, a charge controller to keep the batteries safe, and an inverter to convert the DC to AC for appliances.
- Hybrid systems, as the name suggests, are a hybrid of two. You are connected to the grid, but you also have batteries as an energy backup. You can sell excess energy into the grid so the option of net metering is there, but you aren’t affected by power outages in the grid since you can rely on your energy storage.
A hybrid solar photovoltaic system is made out of solar panels, hybrid inverter, a battery and charge controller to protect it. Sometimes a hybrid inverter has a built-in battery and a controller. Hybrid system is a great solution when you can’t risk losing power even for a short period of time.
The initial PV system design is important to figure out at the start, but later on you often can change the configuration of your system. For example, an off-grid system can be transformed into a hybrid one by replacing an inverter and adding batteries. Keep in mind, however, that the interconnection process, where you connect the system to the grid, should be negotiated with your utility company first.
Cost of solar kit depends primarily on panels
Solar system consists of dozens of solar panels so they are going to be your main expense. The photovoltaic system cost highly depends on the brand of panels. Chinese companies Trina and JA Solar have the cheapest panels which are fairly efficient as well. North American brands Mission Solar and Canadian Solar, for instance, try to balance things out: their panels are powerful and quality and the price isn’t too high either. Panasonic, REC, LG offer the most expensive panels that are packed with innovations and are of the highest quality.
Inverter is the most fragile part of your PV system, so we would recommend getting a quality one. The most standard choice is a string inverter, but you can also go for microinverters. They are easy to install, efficient and last just as long as solar panels themselves. However, the maintenance can be more problematic since all of your inverters are on the roof. Besides, going for microinverters increases the final photovoltaic system costs.
If you want to get a rough estimate of how much a system can cost, we suggest using our solar calculator. This simple tool allows you to create your dream system in just a few minutes. You enter your electricity consumption data and zip code which allows the tool to load up the electricity rates in your area. Then it starts sizing PV system that will cover up to 85% of your energy consumption. You can choose any panel from our store to build your installation with. The calculator provides not only a cost estimate, but also potential savings, area that the system needs, and the amount of taxes that you can get back through the Federal Solar Tax Credit program.
We offer all kinds of equipment for solar systems for sale and our staff will be glad to help with your order and answer all questions concerning PV system size, shipping, prices and everything that you might have a problem with. Here is how we operate:
- Our warehouses are located on both east and west coasts of the USA: California, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Missouri
- We process all orders within 24 hours and ship them within 48 hours
- Delivery normally takes between 4-7 business days
- All of our suppliers are trusted solar panel manufacturers
- We offer competitive and affordable photovoltaic system prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose the right system size?
Your utility bills contain the energy consumption data for your home. All you need to do is divide the daily figure by the number of peak sun hours in your area. The result will be a gross estimate of a system size needed to offset 100% of your energy needs. Please refer to our article on sizing solar panel systems for more detailed instructions.
How do I know if a system is good for my house?
You can browse through our catalog and pick a system with desired power output and functionality. Our engineer with 20+ years of experience will adapt it based on the information you provide. He will take into account your location, roof pitch, house orientation and other factors. You don’t need to know a single thing about solar – we will support you at every stage.
Which system (grid-tie, off-grid or hybrid) will work for me the best?
It is impossible to give a good recommendation without knowing any details, but we can share the general principles. A grid-tie system is the standard choice: it is the most affordable and lets you take advantage of net metering. You need an off-grid system if the grid is unavailable or full independence is desired. A hybrid system is a mix of the two, performing equally well with and without a grid connection. You can find a more nuanced take on the difference among the three types in our article.
Does a solar system include all that is needed for installation?
Yes, our systems include absolutely all components. You won’t need to buy any extra parts to install it and start generating power.
Will you install the solar panel system for me?
Currently we do not provide installation services. You will need to contact an independent solar installer.
Do you offer a warranty for your solar panel systems?
All components of our systems come with a manufacturer’s warranty. We also stand behind the work of our engineers who configure the systems and guarantee full compatibility.
How can I get my system?
We work with the top freight carriers like XPO, FedEx, ODFL, R&L, etc. We also offer a free pickup option so that our clients could get the equipment cheaper and faster. Note that pickup is dependent on the availability of equipment in our fulfillment centers, and may not be feasible in your location.
Do deliveries of solar panel systems take longer?
We deliver our systems as fast as the rest of our equipment. Typically it takes 5 to 7 days.
Do you have all the displayed systems in stock?
Yes, we offer full transparency and update the availability of items in real time.
What is the benefit of buying a solar panel system compared to buying all the equipment element by element?
Our systems are configured by an engineer with more than 20 years of experience. We will adapt the kit to your conditions and ensure compatibility.
Does a solar panel system come with a plan or a manual?
The equipment manufacturers normally provide user manuals for their products. These can be accessed via our website or the official websites of the respective manufacturers. Aside from that, we do not provide any other materials, but we're ready to consult you along the way.
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