These inverters are connected to your electric utility company and do not use a battery bank. The system is to reduce your consumption of grid provided power, thereby lowering your electrical bills. Many utilities will "buy back" power should you generate more power than you use.
"Grid-tie" systems are lower in cost because they usually don't use batteries. However, if utility power goes down then your system will not produce power. If blackouts are frequent in your location or you want to have backup power, consider purchasing an inverter that is both on-grid and off-grid capable.
Until now installing a grid tie system in Ontario was a personal statement or a contribution made to lower your personal carbon footprint, but not an investment that would pay back in under twenty years. Ontario's standard contract offers $042/kw.hr; we calculate that your cost is closer to $0.75/kw.hr. Not decision that can be made based on a monetary investment payback.
Recently the Ontario Government proposed a more aggressive pricing plan which will pay for power produced by solar voltaic rooftop systems equal to or less than 10kW in size. On April 13/09 a Toronto Star editorial reported opposition from the Conservative party opposed to the act based on cost. While opposition may modify the bill and certainly drag this out a bit, the Ontario Liberals have a majority and will in all likelihood pass the bill. Let's hope this passes! Talk about getting our economy moving. Similar legislation in Europe ignited a whole industry and has lowered demand on the electrical infrastructure.
Diagram courtesy of Xantrex
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