There’s more to watching TV than just turning it on. The electricity that powers the TV comes from a complex, wide-spread system that moves electricity from a source to your television. Electricraft, Inc. the San Luis Obispo solar installation company is providing the following information to help you understand the public power grid and how solar energy fits into this grid.
The power grid is the system that delivers electric power and it starts with sources that generate electricity. That electricity is then distributed over a connected system of above ground and underground grid of wires and cables, transformers, substations and switching stations.
Substations transform voltage to appropriate levels for use. Switching stations generally operate only at a single voltage level and are used as collectors and distributions stations or for “switching” current to provide power in case another station fails.
On its way from being generated to arriving at your home or business, electric power flows through several substations at different voltage levels.
How does ‘the grid’ generate electricity?
Electricity for the grid is generated from:
- Coal and natural gas: Coal has lost popularity in the United States in recent years and being replaced by natural gas and sustainable sources. Both coal and natural gas produce electricity by being burned in a boiler to produce steam. The steam, under great pressure, turns turbines and generators, which generates electricity.
- Nuclear power: Electricity is generated at nuclear power plants by splitting uranium atoms (fission), which produces steam used by a turbine generator.
- Hydroelectric power generates electricity by water flowing through a pipe and turning a turbine to spin a generator.
- Wind power: The blades on wind turbines, those futuristic looking windmills that cover entire hillsides, are turned by wind, which is transmitted to a generator which converts the wind into electrical energy.
- Solar panels generate electricity by collecting the sun’s energy into photovoltaic cells that is then converted from DC to AC. Because solar panels can’t provide electricity without the sun, the energy is stored in batteries. The San Luis Obispo solar installation technicians from Electricraft, Inc. have published several articles about solar power, such as how solar systems convert AC to DC.
When the electricity that is generated from any source, reaches its destination, such as your home or office, it travels through another system, or “grid,” of circuit breakers, wiring, switches and outlets that makes it possible to watch TV, work on a computer, cook, have hot water, or all the other things that electricity powers to make our lives easier.
Solar power and the grid
Solar energy from onsite solar panels is one exception to how the grid works. When you have installed solar panels on your property you get power from that solar energy system, instead of “the grid.”
Because solar panels can only collect energy when the sun is shining, you are probably still going to be getting some energy from the grid. But, any excess energy from your solar system that you don’t use can be fed back into ‘the grid.’ Not only can you reduce your electric bill and your reliance on the power company, you might even be able to receive compensation from the power company for the extra power.
It is possible to be off grid with the right array of panels and storage batteries, but not everyone has the capacity to install a solar system that is 100% of grid.
The economics of solar power
Installing your own solar system can reduce the monthly power bill and add value to your property.
There’s never been a better time to invest in solar energy. Electricraft’s experienced team of San Luis Obispo solar installation technicians work diligently to answer any question you may have about the design, installation and more.
The company is a California Central Coast local business since it was founded in 1984. The team is trusted, experienced and knowledgeable. The work includes:
- Troubleshooting, design, installation, service
- High quality and custom solar panel designs
- Free estimates
- Lease options available
- Low interest loan/financing program
- Rooftop and ground mount systems
- 25 year product warranty
- 10 year workmanship warranty
- Turnkey design, permitting and installation
Call today to learn how Electricraft help you with your goals.