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Grid Tie Renewable Energy Setup

Aug 31, 2008
A common route to take when you decide to switch over to renewable energy is a "Grid-Tie" setup. What this means is your house is tied in with your renewable energy system and tied in to the power grid. The reason this is such a popular route to take is that it allows you to move to renewable energy as you can afford it.

The beauty of a grid-tie system is that it can be configured two ways. The first way is to set up your system with solar panels and wind generators and hook them up to a battery bank. This battery bank is then hooked up to an inverter and powers some of the appliances in your home. This system costs more and is harder to install for several reasons. Firstly, you need to do some re-wiring of your home to integrate you renewable energy system. This requires a licensed electrician and can be a time consuming process. Secondly, you have to buy a battery bank to store the electricity that you generate.

The second setup which is more cost effective and easier in the long run is to simply wire your system directly into the power grid. What this means is that the electricity you produce is being fed through your meter. It's really cool to watch it spin backwards. There are some things that you should know about this setup though. You will have to check local laws to see whether this type of system is allowed, and you will have to check with your energy company to see whether they will allow you to run this type of system. Lastly, you will need a licensed electrician to do the setup. This way has several advantages though. You don't need to initially spend a huge amount of money to get up and running, and expanding simply means hooking another solar panel up. You also don't have to do any re-wiring to your house.

As time goes on you can add solar panels faster because your electricity bill has gone down, and after it reaches $0 you can start buying batteries for the storage system.

For those of us who can't afford to make the switch to off grid living all at once this is the way to go. It allows you to build your system one piece at a time as you can afford it. It may take you 2-5 years to get running completely on renewable energy, but it is definitely worth it.
About the Author
Andrew Oke is very interested in renewable energy.He has 16 years experience living off the grid, and has completely built his own renewable energy system. Visit his website at Living Off The Grid
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