to grid or not to grid
Earnest Tilley Solar Expert Posts: 56 ✭✭✭✭
i have 8 85 watt 12v panels and i was wondering if i should grid tie them or not is it worth it. I do not have a grid tie inverter and would have to purchase one.
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Not worth trying. You've only got 680 Watts there, which would be a Sunny Boy 700u. The permitting process is basically the same for 200 Watts on a microinverter or 20,000 Watts on central units. Doing it without the right process and using those El Cheapo GT inverters that are hyped on sleazy web sites is not recommended by anyone who actually knows what they're talking about.
As a rule, off-grid goal is to reduce loads as much as possible and make a very minimal system whereas grid-tie you want to at least offset the household consumption and maybe have some to sell back to the grid. Considering its pretty much the same operation for small GT as for large, going as large as you can afford makes more sense.
You have to check with your utility, their rate structure, your power usage, and the local building department and figure out:
In my area, it appears these day that vendors are looking for 5-10kW GT installations--Their ads appear to not even want to tackle a smaller installation (mine is a 7 year old 3.5 kW installation and supplies way more power than my home needs, on a cost adjusted basis. ~4,800 kWH per year).
#2 the utility comapny comes out and puts in a meter after supplying info on setup information.
#3 right around 630kw a month at .09 a kw
#4 Yes my panels are ul, iec, csa, ce, and tuv
they require a 10 year contract and my system has to be inspected by a electrition. they pay .12 cents over comercial rates. the system also has to be insured which i have no idea how much that will cost. they also require my system to be able to produce a minimum of 500w and a max of 20kw. Im realy not doing anything with my system accept running a ac and my treatment plant pump which works well never drawing over 1.4kw at any given time.