Harnessing the Sun

Solar power is the new cool.  More and more Texas businesses are turning to sustainable energy to run all things electric.  There are three basic kinds of solar power that can be employed in commercial structures and they are perfect for big cities like Dallas and Austin.•    Utility-tie: This type of solar power ties in with existing electrical input and doesn’t use battery banks to store energy for times when the sun isn’t shining.  During peak hours of sunlight the energy from the solar power is fed directly into an inverter tied into the electrical supply.The solar energy will slow down a business’s consumption of electricity, stall it completely or even feed power back into the system reversing the meter reading for the company.  It’s entirely possible when a business is not run after normal daylight hours that the electric company will owe them money for energy fed back into the system rather than the reverse.•    Utility interactive: This system combines a battery backup with the above utility tie in so that most of the electrical power a company needs can be provided by the solar energy it generates.  Extra energy is stored in battery banks to be used during times when the sun isn’t out.  Some energy that overruns the storage system goes back into the utilities reversing the meter.  At the same time, however, the utilities are available should the need for energy exceed bank stores.  For most businesses, this is the most economical sustainable energy system to install.•    Standalone: This system is completely off-grid.  It has no utility tie in at all and no back up for extra energy needs.  While some small business can make good use of this type of solar installation, it’s virtually impossible for a mid-sized to large business to create enough power with a standalone solar system.

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