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Renewable Energy

A look at many different renewable energy solutions including net metering, storage systems and hybrid systems

Net Metering

Problems

Solution

Solar generation can be used on the farm or sent back into the grid for a credit which can be used over the following 12 months. Ideally the solar system is sized to produce enough power to cover the electrical needs of the whole facility for a year, when the sun is shining the system is over producing and pushing back to the grid so that when the sun goes down that electricity can be pulled back from the grid. The grid in this case acts as the battery for the system. This type of system requires approvals and studies by the local utility to determine how it effects their system and other customers, there are also constraints on the size of the solar facility which can prevent them from being sized to produce enough energy to net-zero a consumer.

 

 

Load Displacement

Problems

Solution

This system is very similar to a net metering connection but because of grid restraints the system cannot push back to the grid. The solar generation is controlled so that it never exceeds what the load on the property is at anytime so that all energy it produces is used within the facility. This type of system still needs to go through the same approvals and studies as a net metered connection, but the grid cannot be used as a battery.

 

 

Off the Grid

Problems

Solution

An Off the Grid system has no connection to the energy grid provided by the local utility, it consists of something to produce the energy (Solar, Wind, Biogas etc.) and somewhere to store that energy if that energy cannot be produced as it is needed (typically batteries). These systems are best suited to remote locations or locations where the utilities infrastructure does not meet the needs of the user. The cost of batteries is significant in these systems, so it is important to understand where the power is being consumed and to make a conscientious effort to run and build the facility to be as efficient as possible.   

 

 

Storage Systems

Problems

Solution

Energy storage systems can be incorporated into a grid connected system or as an important part of an off the grid system. For grid connected systems energy would all come from the grid but be stored for specific purposes such as peak shaving (reducing the overall demand on the hydro service to increase available capacity or maintaining your demand below what hydro can provide you). Energy can also be bought at lower rates during off peak hours to be used during higher cost times of the day.

 

 

Hybrid System

Problems

Solution

Hybrid systems can incorporate parts of all the other systems to solve energy problems. In some situations, there may not be capacity on the utility grid to connect a net metered or load displacement system so the hybrid system could run off the grid while there is adequate solar production. A solution like this would incorporate some energy storage to cover short times of shading to maintain consistent power, when the system cannot supply sufficient power it would seamlessly transition back to utility power. Hybrid systems can also be used to provide extra power to a system that has maxed out what they can draw from the grid, in this case it would provide energy seamlessly alongside that from the grid using renewable sources (or non-renewable sources if needed) to provide more capacity to the user. These solutions are all custom and tailored to individual projects and their needs.

 

 

Products

Solar Panels
Conext CL-60 String Inverter
Ruby360 Power Shack Canadian Energy CUB 2.0
Context MPPT 80 600 Solar Charge Controller    

 

 

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