Renewable Solar Power
Provided by Bluewater Energy
With energy costs forecasted to increase into the future, renewable solar is one of the most important aspects of a Net Zero home. Photovoltaic solar panels capture the sun's energy and converts it into electricity to run household appliances and lighting. When the home produces more electricity than is needed, the surplus can be stored for later use or sold back to the grid.
Not only do solar panels significantly lower a home’s energy bills but the green renewable energy produced does not release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the environment, thereby decreasing a homeowner’s carbon footprint.
With photovoltaic solar panels, a Net Zero homeowner can save up to 166 tons of greenhouse gases and 7,732 of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years.
In our Net Zero Discovery Home, the system is set up so that it will generate power, supply the power to the home when there is enough solar energy, “sell" the excess back to the grid when there is excess solar energy for a credit, and “buy” from the grid when there is not sufficient solar energy to supply the home.
When there is solar energy available, but not enough to power the entire demand from the home, it will “shave” in power from the grid so that it is only using what it needs and not more. This results in the home running entirely on solar during the day and feeding the excess back to the grid. It then uses grid power in the evening. The Discovery Home is actually producing far more that the home is consuming in 24 hours, so the credit is building each day, which will then be used in the winter.
The battery bank stays charged at all times, and will power the home instantly in the event the grid fails. This method takes advantage of net-metering, and uses the solar power most efficiently.
Solar modules produce DC power, which is changed to AC power by the inverter, synchronised with the grid and then exported (when in a surplus situation). When the DC power is sent from the solar modules to the battery bank and then is drawn out of the battery bank, there are losses due to heat, wires, connectors, fuses, etc., and efficiency is lost each time the electricity passes through a junction. To get the most out of the system, it is best for the electricity from the solar to take the most direct path possible from the solar modules to the loads or the grid. This means going in and out of the battery bank as little as possible. If the battery bank is depleted every night to power the home and then charged back up in the day with solar, we reduce the amount of net energy being sent to the grid once the battery bank is charged due to the system losses.