Grid-Tie FAQ

Grid-Tie FAQ

Sample bannerWhy invest in a grid-tie system?

Solar users like using their own energy first, and knowing its source is clean, renewable energy production. Solar fixes the energy costs, avoiding utility rate increases. Some provinces like Ontario have a feed-in tariff that offers to purchase the power from your system, creating an income stream.


What happens in winter?

Solar energy does vary throughout the year. The graph above is for Vancouver. In practice, grid-tie system owners don’t usually worry about snow as winter months have low production.


Why are solar panels a good investment?

Solar electric panels feature a 25 year output warranty and will likely last for 30 years or more. This means the HES system you install today will produce free and reliable electricity for decades. As an investment in your home, cottage or RV, your system will enhance its value while delivering clean, quiet energy for you to use. Now that’s a smart investment!


Sample bannerExplain Grid-Tie to me. What can I expect?

Grid-tie solar systems are used for homes in the city. A solar system mounted on the roof can produce some or most of the electricity consumed in the home. Most Canadian houses use between 5,000 kWh (very efficient) and 13,000 kWh (not very efficient) per year. Solar systems can reduce electrical consumption by the following amount:


How does a Grid-Tie System work?

See the cross section of a house with solar grid-tie system. There are two basic components:

Solar array: One to ten kilowatts of solar panels, typically mounted on unused south facing roof space.

Inverter: Converts solar energy (DC) to match utility power.

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What happens during a power failure?

Grid-tie systems safely disconnect in the event of a power failure. We offer the option of a Secure Source battery backup that would run some selected loads like pumps or lighting in the event of a blackout.


How much energy can I gather with a solar electric system?

In most of Canada, a kilowatt (1000 watts) of solar panels (area A. of 80 - 90 ft2), mounted with good exposure facing south, could generate between 1000 and 1400 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The map below shows how this varies around Canada.


Canada's Solar Potential and Insolation


Click on your Province or Territory to learn more.


Interested in learning more about our selection of Grid-Tie products?
Download a copy of our 2015 Solar Catalogue.


Download our 2015 Catalogue