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What is Solar Energy?
Energy from the sun is called solar energy. Solar energy provides light, heat and energy to all living things on Earth. The sun is the most inexhaustible, renewable source of energy known to man. Solar energy is free energy from the sun for life.
Solar thermal energy captures heat from the sun and typically transfers this heat to water (for heating domestic water systems and swimming pools). While solar thermal energy is becoming very common today, Intervolt Electric provides photovoltaic solar solutions – solar energy that is designed to generate electricity from light. See below for more information on photovoltaic technology.

What is Solar Electric or Photovoltaic (PV)?
Solar electric technology converts sunlight into electricity through a photovoltaic (PV) cell, commonly called a solar cell. A photovoltaic module made from a set of PV cells is a nonmechanical device commonly comprised of silicon alloys. Sunlight is composed of photons, or particles of energy. These photons contain various amounts of energy corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV panel, they may be reflected, pass through or be absorbed. The absorbed photons provide the energy to generate electricity. When the panel absorbs enough sunlight (energy), electrons are excited and dislodged from the material’s atoms creating the flow of electricity.

What is Net Metering and how do you connect to the grid?
Photovoltaic (PV) modules create Direct Current (DC) electricity. In order for you to use this electricity, an inverter is needed to convert DC electricity to Alternating Current (AC) electricity. A grid-tie PV system, using a Utility Interactive Inverter, means that batteries are not needed to store excess electricity. The utility interactive inverter converts DC electricity into AC electricity and allows the power to be used in your business or home. During the day, excess electricity generated from your PV modules is sent back into the utility grid, causing your utility meter to spin backwards. At night, you will draw electricity from the utility grid. You only pay the net difference. This process is called Net Metering.

What are the environmental benefits of solar electric power?
Every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced from your solar system will displace electricity produced from conventional power generation stations using fossil fuels that contribute to CO2, SO2, NOX and smog. In the summer, clean renewable solar electricity production reduces suspended particles (smog) and produces electricity at its peak level of performance. Reductions in greenhouse gases and smog are directly proportional to the size of the system. Each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by a coal fired plant results in emissions of 1 kilogram of CO2, plus SO2 and NOX.

Who regulates and manages energy/electricity in Ontario?
Energy and electricity is under provincial level jurisdiction. Therefore rules and incentives vary from province to province. Currently these systems need to work with your local utility distribution company. Ontario has introduced legislation mandating any home or business owner the ability to participate in a Net Metering program if they choose. Ontario has also introduced financial incentives for local distribution companies to Buy Back excess energy from Solar Power homes and business at a premium 42 cents / kWh. In addition, the federal and provincial governments provide financial grants and incentives for businesses and homeowners to invest in renewable energy systems and upgrades.

What size of solar energy system should I install?
Solar energy is flexible and scalable. How big you want your solar system depends on your available space and how much solar electricity you want to generate. At Intervolt Electric, we will work with you to design a system that meets your specific needs and facility. Contact us today for a solar energy consultation.


The following are links to government and commercial websites that can provide additional information on green energy, grants, incentives and solar technology.




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