Learn how solar works including key components in a solar power system.
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How Solar Works
Con Edison Solutions has extensive experience in developing solar power systems for homeowners and commercial property owners. We want to share our knowledge with you because educated property owners make smart decisions regarding their solar power system and the company that installs it.
We were very impressed by the planning, design and documentation…
We feel very positive about going solar and I credit [Con Edison Solutions] for getting us going. The pre-install estimate indicated we might get 95% of our electricity needs met with solar and in January we are at 66%, so I’m pretty sure we’ll do better than 94% as we move into longer days and shorter nights. My wife and I both check the monitor multiple times each day – fun!“
Solar Panels Produce the Power
Most people know what a solar panel is, since it is the most visible part of any solar power system. Photovoltaic (PV) panels take sunlight (photons) and, through the use of specially designed material (commonly, silicon), create electricity (voltage) that can be used or stored. While solar panels capture sunlight and turn it into electricity, not all solar panels are created equal. Con Edison Solutions works with top manufacturers, whose panels each have their own unique benefits and characteristics. We will recommend solar panels that match your goals and budget. Also, as standard equipment, we install optimizers on each panel that allows them to operate independently from each other, avoiding your entire system from shutting down because of an issue with one panel.
Solar Power World
According to the 2018 Solar Contractor list from Solar Power World, Con Edison Solutions is one of the leading solar companies in the country. Our parent organization is the second largest owner and operator of solar in North America according to IHS.
Raking and Hardware Are Also Important
Solar panels are attached to the roof via racking systems. While racking is often not a key consideration, Con Edison Solutions is focused on every element of your solar power system. We use black racking because of its aesthetics. We use high quality, stainless steel hardware to eliminate any issues now and in the future. We also carefully install conduit and wiring to make sure your solar power system looks as good as it works.
Inverters Convert the Power Generated into Something You Can Use
Inverters convert the type of electricity generated by the solar panels (direct current) into electricity that can be used in your home (alternating current). Modern inverters also prevent electricity from flowing through the solar power system should the local grid go down. This is a required feature designed to protect workers repairing the power grid. There are different types and brands of inverters, and not all inverters are created equal. Con Edison Solutions can recommend the best technology for your application.
Your Electric Meter Becomes an Important Tool
Because your solar power system may produce more electricity than you can use at times, you may also need a new electric meter. This is a good thing. A special meter tracks both inward and outward flows of electricity. Many states allows for net metering, which means the tracking of the excess electricity you are delivering to the grid from your solar power system can generate bill credits for you to apply against electricity you use from the grid when the solar power system is not producing.
The Electricity Grid Also Works for You
The electricity grid is the system which delivers electricity from power generators to power users. For the owner of a solar power system, the grid can, in effect, be an energy storage device, since you are sending excess power into it when your solar power system is producing excess electricity, and you can then draw electricity from the grid when your solar power system is not producing as much power. Con Edison Solutions coordinates the interconnection with your local utility to make sure everything relating to your solar power system is done right.
State codes require additional protection from a physical disconnect, or power shut-off. This is installed between the AC Breaker Panel for your property and the electricity grid. This equipment is provided and installed by Con Edison Solutions as part of your solar power system installation.
Energy Storage Adds an Extras Level of Resiliency
You can store energy on your property using a chemical-based battery like lithium ion. Integrating batteries into a solar power system allows you to draw on solar-generated electricity even when the sun in not shining. Batteries powered by your solar power system also allow you to keep the lights on during a power outage, if properly configured to do so. Con Edison Solutions represents a variety of battery manufacturers so, like the solar power systems we design, we are focused on creating the best system to meet your needs.
Knowledge is Power –
Particularly About Your Solar Power System
In most solar power systems designed and installed by Con Edison Solutions, we include the ability for you to monitor its performance. An application for your smart phone will let you review real-time data from your solar power system from virtually any location.
The application provides details about the electricity production from your solar power system at the panel level and can allow you to monitor an integrated battery so you know the amount of energy that is stored. The application can also include the cost for electricity supply at different times of the day so you can fully understand how much your solar power system is saving you on your electricity costs.