The GT Commercial Series grid-tie inverter makes industrial-commercial power production affordable and attractive. These inverters have the highest efficiency of any large commercial inverters on the market. Xantrex GT inverters are available in sizes from 30 kW to 250 kW. The compact, 220-pound, 30 kW inverter is in a wall-mounted aluminum enclosure and requires a symmetrical array input (split array +/-180-500VDC). 100 kW and 250 kW inverters have pad-mounted epoxy-coated steel enclosures with integrated transformers and disconnects.
While renewable energy systems are capable of powering houses and small businesses without any connection to the electricity grid, many people prefer the advantages that grid-connection offers.
A grid-connected system allows you to power your home or small business with renewable energy during those periods (diurnal as well as seasonal) when the sun is shining, the water is running, or the wind is blowing. Any excess electricity you produce is fed back into the grid. When renewable resources are unavailable, electricity from the grid supplies your needs, thus eliminating the expense of electricity storage devices like batteries.
In addition, power providers (i.e., electric utilities) in most states allow net metering, an arrangement where the excess electricity generated by grid-connected renewable energy systems “turns back” your electricity meter as it is fed back into the grid. Thus, if you use more electricity than your system feeds into the grid during a given month, you pay your power provider only for the difference between what you used and what you produced.
Your local system supplier or installer should know about and be able to help you meet the requirements from your community and power provider.
Boyd, who has an electrical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, was involved in choosing the components and designing the system which was installed by Select Solar And Generator and partially funded by DTE, the local utility company.
“Buying solar is a lot like buying a home. You need to know what you are doing and you need to know who you are dealing with. If I had just believed what I read in the local publications I could have spent $20,000 more and not had as nice an installation,” said Boyd. “My 10 years as a design engineer certainly helped me understand the concepts but I also spent about 6 hours a week over six months to become familiar with the current solar PV technology and products.”
Boyd’s system is located in Scio Township just West of Ann Arbor and consists of forty two 230 Watt panels and a large grid tie inverter.
Boyd, who’s Ann Arbor real estate company, The home Buyer’s Agent, only works for buyers, reported that total cost for the mounting, panels, inverter, and labor was roughly $42,000. He also installed a 50 year roof under the panels which cost another $8,000. After the system was operational he received a $23,184 check back from DTE to defray the costs and he will receive about $15,000 in tax credits over the next few years. The system will bring their electric bill down to almost nothing.
Boyd even created a blog site to share pictures, videos, his design process and solar experiences at: http://annarborsolar.org
“We were a little concerned dealing with the bureaucracy of DTE, especially when they seemed to be a little confused with some technical aspects of the design, but they did come through as promised and even had their contractor make a return trip to correct a minor wiring mistake in one of their meters. Overall we were quite happy with their participation and the whole process,” Boyd concluded.