A on-grid solar power system generates energy from the sun and stores it in the utility grid, so you can use it anytime you need it.
If you have access to the utility grid, and your main concern is getting the most value from your investment, grid-tied solar is the way to go. It has the lowest upfront cost because you don’t have to buy batteries to store the power you generate. The grid takes care of storage for you.
During peak hours, you may generate more electricity than you need to power your home. In most states, you can sell this excess power to the utility company, which stretches the value of your investment even further.
Your on-grid solar power system includes:
Simply put, panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. Panels are rated by power output (in watts).
More efficient panels come at a cost premium, but take up less space on your property.
Solar panels generate Direct Current (DC) power. Your household appliances operate on Alternating Current (AC) power.
An inverter has a simple job: it converts the DC power generated by panels into usable AC power to keep your appliances running and turn back your meter.
Racking System – Roof or Ground
A sturdy mount holds your system firmly in place and protects the components.
Roof mounts tend to cost less because they use your existing roof structure as foundational support.
Ground mounts are more versatile: you can build them anywhere on your property, and point your panels directly at the sun so they operate at peak output.
Roof-mounted systems do not include the flashings or clamps required to attach the racking to your roof. Your roofing material will dictate what type of fasteners you will need:
Here’s what we recommend, based on your roofing material:
Shingle Roofs: The IronRidge Flashfoot 2 is great for shingle roofs.
Metal Roofs: S-5! makes clamps that work with standing seam, corrugated and trapezoidal
Tile Roofs: Quick Mount offers tile hooks and tile replacements to match your roof design.
Ground mounts allow you to install panels anywhere on your property. The panels can be adjusted to face directly into the sun during peak hours, which ensures your system is as efficient as possible.
Adjustable pole mounts make sense if you live in an area that gets heavy snow. They can be set to a steeper tilt angle, which helps your panels shed snow in the winter. Pole mounts also raise your panels off the ground, which keeps them clear of snow banks that accumulate at ground level.
Pole mounts cost more than a fixed ground mount, but work wonders in the right situation.