Tag Archives: saving energy

Your Solar Guide: String Inverters

String Inverters

In order to function properly, solar panels must have inverters to convert the direct current electricity that your panels produce into usable alternating current electricity. One type of inverter that can be used in your solar panels is string inverters, which are one of the oldest and most reliable types of converters on the market.

What are string inverters and how do they work?

A string inverter system connects groups of solar panels in your system by “strings”. Each of these strings connects to a single inverter, most often placed on the side of your home or in your garage, where electricity is converted from direct current to alternating current electricity. Since panels are connected in strings to the inverter, if any of the panels are under-producing energy, the panels on that string will only be able to produce as much energy as the affected panel. Most string inverters are capable of handling multiple strings of panels attached to it. The size of the string inverter in kilowatts and the wattage of the panels you use will determine how many panels you can string on one inverter without wasting energy.

When should you use string inverters with a solar panel system?

String inverters can be very successful for many solar panel systems, but they may not be the best choice in some cases. Since string panel systems can only produce as much energy as the lowest-performing panel on the string, string inverters are not the best choice for solar systems that experience a lot of shade. Also, if your solar panel system will be facing different directions, a string inverter system may not be for you. Since panels facing different directions will be producing varying amounts of electricity, having a string inverter could limit the amount of energy your system may be able to produce.

What should you consider when evaluating string inverters?

There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating string inverters. The first thing to consider is efficiency. Just like the panels themselves, string inverters have varying efficiencies. An inverters efficiency is a measure of how much energy is lost in the form of heat during the conversion for DC to AC electricity. Another thing to consider is the size. Solar inverter sizing depends on several factors such as the size of your system, your geographical location, and other site-specific considerations. Warranties can also be important when looking at string inverters and most of them typically come with a product warranty between five damage to your inverter system. Lastly, price is an important factor to consider. String inverters are not typically the most expensive component of a solar system, but it is still important to consider their prices. and fifteen years. These warranties typically cover problems like manufacturer defects and environmental.

Source: www.energysage.com

Dominion Energy Rebate Disaster: SC Ratepayers Not Getting Rebate Check

Article Here

Author: By JEFFREY COLLINS Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For more than 700,000 customers of a private South Carolina utility, the $1,000 rebate checks aren’t in the mail.

A year ago, Dominion Energy proposed writing the average South Carolina Electric & Gas customer a $1,000 one-time cash payment if lawmakers facilitated and regulators approved their merger. They spent millions of dollars touting the checks in ads that seemed to run on every TV newscast and local show.

During merger negotiations, Dominion executives, consumer groups, and regulators decided on lower power rates over 20 years by roughly $20 a month instead of the rebate. They said it would be a bigger benefit over a much larger period of time than the one-time payment.

But those $1,000 checks remain burned in the minds of many customers, and Dominion finds itself doing another advertising blitz over the next several weeks, this time introducing the Virginia-based company to its new South Carolina customers and explaining to them that the checks aren’t coming.

“We understand some customers will be disappointed that refund checks are not included in the final approved plan, but we believe customers and South Carolina will benefit from the lower payments,” Dominion spokeswoman Rhonda Maree O’Banion said in an email.

Some lawmakers, especially those who represent poorer districts, feel like Dominion pulled a bait-and-switch on their constituents, pushing hard to get support among African-Americans, then backtracking on promises. The original ads touting the rebates urged viewers to call their legislators and give their support for the merger.

“It seems that you were trying to advertise to the black community to impress upon us on this $1,000 charity,” said Democratic Sen. Margie Bright Mathews of Walterboro told Dominion officials attending a meeting of the Black Legislative Caucus.

“Your first order of business was to get a couple of black lobbyists and go to black colleges and advertise in black medium radio,” she said.

SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA Corp., was looking to sell because it spent $5 billion on construction and design of two nuclear reactors that never generated a watt of power. South Carolina law allowed the utility to put all that debt on the backs of its customers, although the merger deal cut the customers’ share of that debt about in half, leading to the monthly reduction in bills.

But the lower bills might not last for long. Dominion can ask for a rate increase for its base costs of generating and distributing power at the start of 2021. Old SCE&G customers haven’t seen the base costs for power increase since 2012, even though there were several rate hikes to pay for the failed nuclear plants.

Consumer advocates warn that any such increase could be massive and if the rebates had been paid, electric bills would have ended up even higher without any monthly relief.

“In the longer term, it was more important people pay lower rates,” said Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and a frequent critic of SCE&G’s management.

The hearings on additional rate changes will start in 2020.

In the meantime, there doesn’t appear to be any effort among a majority of lawmakers or regulators to revisit the terms of merger and the possibility of rebates, although the Public Service Commission has asked Dominion to explain exactly what it is doing to tell customers there was a change in plans.

Democratic Rep. Wendell Gilliard of Charleston said the bad taste over no rebates has left some of his constituents asking if anything with the power company will change even with SCE&G and SCANA out of the picture.

“Dominion is coming in on the same tide that SCANA left out on,” Gilliard said. “That’s not good.”

Solar Myths: Environmental Impacts

There are many misconceptions about Solar panels impact on the environment. Keep reading to learn more.

Making solar panels causes more pollution than the clean energy they produce.

No. A study by the US Department of Energy shows that, depending on your solar panels, the energy payback is 1 to 4 years. Solar panels usually last 25 years, so solar manufacturing is very green. That said, if you buy American made panels, it saves more carbon from the transport costs. Something to consider in choosing your panels.

Solar panels will cause more harm to the environment when they’re thrown away in 25 years.

Actually, most panel manufacturers will recycle the panels after you’re through in 25 years. If they don’t, don’t buy those panels. However, it’s hard to say whether people will actually recycle them because most panels are still being used today. So it’s up to you find out about the manufacturer’s panel recycling program. From what I understand, they will come to you and take them away at no charge.

Source: Solar Power Rocks