Alternating Current (AC) Power
AC power is the form of power that feeds all of our household appliances.
Direct Current (DC) Power
DC power is the form of power that is generated by photovoltaic modules and most battery sources. It’s also the kind of power consumed by electric vehicles.
With the Feed-in-Tariff program, any power that you make at the same time you are using power will offset your bill on a one-to-one basis. However, anything that you make in excess of what you need at the time gets exported back to the grid. For these kilowatt hours, you do not get credited, you get paid, and that subretail rate, is pre-determined by your utility. Rates and policies vary by local regulations, technology, and system size. In Hawaii, the F.I.T. program is offered by HECO, MECO, and HELCO. This is frequently referred to as Solar for Cash.
The grid is the network of power lines created by your local utility company that carries and transmits electricity from centralized power plants to individual homes.
PV generates direct current (DC), but your appliances, lighting, and equipment require alternating current (AC). An inverter converts DC electricity produced by the solar modules into AC electricity, which is identical to the type of power you receive from your electric company.
A meter is an external device added to your home as a way for your electrical utility to measure your consumption and production. A standard meter only counts forward; a net meter counts forwards and backwards. If you want to go solar, you must also get a net meter installed.
A micro-inverter is a smaller inverter that fits behind each solar module allowing you to track energy production on a per-module basis.
Think of net metering as having your own personal energy bank. For every kilowatt hour you earn during sunny times, your meter actually spins backward as if it were banking those hours. On a cloudy day or at night, your meter will spin forward as it used to before solar. At the end of the month, if you have generated more power than you’ve used—or banked more hours than you’ve spent—you get a credit toward the coming month on your electricity bill. This is frequently referred to as Solar for Credit.
Photovoltaic cells, commonly referred to as PV, rely on semiconductors and light to produce direct current (DC) electricity. When sunlight falls on the surface of the photovoltaic cell, an electric field is created that drives electrons from negative to positive, forming a flow of electric current.
RevoluSun has one of the most organized and demanding training programs for our project developers (PD’s) in the country. Our PD’s work through an exacting course that teaches them the fundamentals of electricity and how to design a system from the ground up. They also handle and learn about everything from the bolts to the panels that go into your system. After their course, they do an apprenticeship with a senior developer, and once they are certified, undergo regular continuing education so that they are always on the cutting edge of solar.
RevoluSun employs several Project Managers that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) an official body with an extremely rigorous certification process. This means the people managing your installation are highly trained and skilled professionals committed to giving you their full attention and their best work every day.
Racking is the equipment that holds the solar arrays onto your roof. Correct installation of racking is important to avoid a leaking roof. RevoluSun has a routine method that far exceeds industry standards to assure our customers well-installed arrays with no leaks.
Solar Modules, Strings, and Arrays
Solar modules are collections of individual photovoltaic cells. Solar modules are linked together to form “strings,” which are combined to form “arrays.” The arrays are ultimately connected to your electrical system to deliver solar power to your home.
Watts and Kilowatts
The power generation capacity of a PV panel is rated in watts, just as a light bulb’s power usage is rated. A typical PV panel has a power capacity of approximately 300 watts. When many panels are linked together to form an array, the power capacity is often referred to in units of kilowatts (kW) or 1,000 watts.