Net Metering — An Investment in Solar Energy
Investment on electricity bills
Investment on electricity bills are beneficial for anyone looking to not only offset the cost of their current electricity bill, but even net a profit by returning some of the gained electrify back to the Ceylon Electricity Board (C.E.B). With so many alternative, green energy options emerging, there is a vast opportunity for investment. Solar Energy is a leading alternative to current utility trends, and with the growing popularity of solar energy, investing in the equipment is become more of a reality, as costs are significantly reduced over previous years. Of course, before anyone should invest in solar energy, it is beneficial to do the necessary research to see if solar energy is profitable and capable of making the investment worthwhile.
Solar energy equipment creates an AC current that, once generated, is sent from the point of generation to the point of use. In laymen’s terms, the electrical current originates in the solar panels and is transported to the power outlet of a home or business facility using the solar energy panels. During the process, an installed meter monitors the amount of electrical consumption used throughout the day. Depending on how much energy is generated through the solar panels, at the conclusion of a billing cycle a statement is either sent to the individual using the solar energy, or the current energy stored on the solar panel’s battery system is sent directly to the utility company, which then pays for the received energy.
Net Excess Generation or NEG
In order to both send the electrical current to the home and back to the utility company, the metering processes takes advantage of something known as bi-directional. This allows the current to both flows to the home utilizing the solar energy and back to the electrical company, which then compensates the users. The energy sent back to the electric company is known as ‘net excess generation or NEG for short. Additional energy that is sent back to the utility company is credited towards the customer’s next billing cycle. This way, if the home or other facility uses more energy than what is produced by the solar panel system, the previous month’s credits are able to cover the shortage, ensuring the individual or company never has to pay extra for further power charges.
The grid-tie without batteries
The net-metering, bi-directional power flow is only utilized in systems that are actually tied back to the grid. Systems not connected to the utility company’s grid system have no way of sending unused energy back to the company. Instead, this energy must either be consumed or stored. Batteries connected to the solar panels are capable of storing only a set amount of energy. Once completely full, further energy may not be absorbed by the solar panels. Additional energy may not be absorbed by the solar panels until the user consumes some of the current energy or additional batteries are integrated into the system. Without a bi-directional system, the user of the solar panel equipment is not able to receive the energy credit or funds from generating the surplus of solar power energy.
With Grid-tie solar energy system, without batteries, the entire system price is reduced significantly, although it is not able to store energy. This is acceptable for anyone looking to gradually move into the solar power market and lives in a consistently sunny environment. The grid-tie without batteries are roughly 10-15 percent more efficient and are capable of sending energy back to the grid for further overall saving compared to a battery based system.
Also watch video on Net Metering based Solar Energy Solutions in Sri Lanka
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