Also referred to as feed-in-tariff programs, this process involves installing solar panels on your property and selling that power back to the grid. The power generated by the solar panels connects directly into the electric utility feed. In Cayman Islands, this process is called the CORE program.
Q. Why choose Solar Power?
A. The Affordable Solar team consists of internationally experienced solar power and roofing specialists.
- Energy costs have increased dramatically in the last decade and evidence suggests that energy costs will continue to spiral. Installing a solar system can save you money.
- Feed-in-tariff programs supported by government programs such as CUC’s CORE program provide competitive payback terms and the security of remaining connected to the country’s main energy supply. Twenty year contracts are available to purchase the power produced from your rooftop.
- The cost for renewable energy systems continues to decrease, and manufacturing systems for solar systems continues to produce better quality products. Import duties for these items continues to decrease and/or be eliminated. Higher energy costs + lower solar system costs = greater savings.
- Adding solar power to your commercial or residential property is becoming the environmentally right thing to do. It sends a positive message to clients, colleagues, friends and family members.
- A solar powered pool pump will reduce your yearly electric bill by as much as 20 %.
Q. Will solar panels last in this environment?
A. Solar panels are salt and humidity tested to UL standards to endure environments as harsh as that in the Cayman Islands. They are warranted for 25-30 years and frames 10-25 years, depending upon the manufacturers.
Q. Do I need to remove the panels in the event of a hurricane?
A. No, all systems must be designed and engineered to withstand a minimum 150 mph winds as per Cayman Islands regulations.
Q. Can my pool pump be run by solar?
A. Yes, but it is not cost effective to do so. The best solution is, when your pump needs replacement, replace it with a solar-powered DC pump with runs off 3-4 panels. Payback for this is about 2.5 years.
Q. Do carry Tesla wall packs? Can I put one wall pack in my house and go off-grid?
A. First of all, the Tesla PowerWall2 is not readily available at this time. If you have a 3 bedroom 3000sqft. home you will need 3-5 of these wall packs, along with the appropriate fittings in order to get enough storage to meet your daily energy needs. Going off-grid will need 3 days of storage, so you will need 10-15 wall packs. We do carry a LG wall pack that is just like the Tesla PowerWall2 but it is both available now and less expensive than the Tesla version.
Q. Is it worth going off-grid?
A. No – currently CUC will pay you more than what they charge you for the power that your solar system produces. Also, your system will not need batteries for storage, so you system will me much less expensive.
Glossary of Terms:
Grid Tie Systems:
Grid-Tie Inverters (interties) convert DC power from PV modules into AC power to be fed into the utility grid. There are two major types of grid-tie inverters: string and micro inverters.
The name “string” comes from the way the PV modules are wired together in series to achieve a higher voltage. String inverters are designed to run at voltages up to 600 VDC. String wiring is faster to install and allows the use of smaller gauge wire. DC voltage this high can be very dangerous and life-threatening, so string inverters should be installed and serviced by qualified electricians
Micro inverters convert the DC output of each module in a grid-tie system to AC, replacing the dangerously high DC voltages with comparatively lower AC potentials and a greatly simplified system design. The micro inverter output connects directly to the breakers in the AC load center using conventional wiring.
Meters and Monitoring
Monitoring allows residential and commercial system owners to see, track and share their energy production in real time, on the internet via a graphics-rich public online dashboard.
This type of power system is independent of the utility grid. It can use solar modules, a wind generator, a micro-hydroelectric generator, or a combination of any or all of them to produce your electric power. Owners of this type of system often use a gas or diesel generator for backup when the power system does not meet all of the needs or use battery storage.
Photovoltaic Panels (PV)
In a grid-tie in system, the sun’s power is collected by the photovoltaic (PV) panel. The DC (direct current) energy is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into AC (alternating current). The meter measures the amount of power collected, and then supplies it to your power company. Electricity from your power supplier’s grid enters your property via the meter. The amount of power that enters your property is based on your consumption, and is in no way related to the amount of power generated by the panels installed on your property.
Small panels are used for outdoor lighting projects. Medium size panels are often used for powering emergency and roadside lights, or powering pond pumps. Large panels are used to collect solar energy for conversion to electricity.