Romtec has solar packages that can be installed on any of our buildings or structures. Adding solar power is a great way to give your building clean, sustainable energy that can reduce the cost of owning and maintaining a building. Solar packages are also a great way to earn points toward LEED certification, but you don’t need to be working toward LEED in order to experience the benefits that solar packages have to offer for your building project. Romtec typically works with Grape Solar to supply solar packages for our buildings and structures. There are three basic options for how to configure solar power: off-grid, grid-tied, and grid-interactive. Let’s take a look at these options to see how the benefit your building project.
Off-grid solar packages have the biggest benefit or the smallest benefit depending on how you look at it. The big draw to off-grid solar packages is that you do not need any outside power source for your building. On waterless restrooms that are located in the wilderness or rural settings, off-grid solar power opens up a lot of options to benefit your building. These options include features such as indoor/outdoor lighting, ventilation fans, heaters, and more. Another benefit to off-grid solar packages is that they do not require any grid power. Even if they power goes out elsewhere, your building will still have electricity. The big drawback to off-grid configuration is that it cannot interact with a power grid. In some jurisdictions, adding power to the grid can earn money, but an off-grid configuration will not. Also, if there is limited sunlight, there is no other available power source.
Grid-tied solar packages supplement the grid power supplied to the building. With a grid-tied solar configuration, most buildings can actively sell power back to the power authority. This is true in many jurisdictions across the United States, but before purchasing a solar package for your Romtec building, it is prudent to contact the power authority where your building is located to see if payment is available. If it is available, grid-tied solar packages are a great way to reduce ownership costs of a building. The downside to a grid-tied configuration is that the solar package cannot operate without grid power. If the power goes out in your area, your building will be affected until power is restored. However, if there is limited sunlight, your building will still be able to be powered from the grid. For this type of system, Grape Solar offers packages for 100-410 Watts.
Grid-interactive solar packages solve the drawbacks of the other two options. This type of solar configuration can supply extra power back to the system and potentially earn money. This configuration can function without grid power. If the power goes out, your building will still be operational. This configuration also function without sunlight. If there is no sunlight to generate sufficient power, your building electrical system can operate with grid power until sunny conditions return. The grid-interactive configuration is the best long-term option for a solar package, but it does cost more for the initial setup.
Solar power has very real, measurable benefits for building owners over the life of a building. There are also a number of unquantifiable benefits such as sustainability, eco-friendliness, and environmental pride. For some building owners and project managers, these latter benefits are more important than the utilitarian returns. Whatever the motives are, solar packages are a great feature to add to a building. So as you’re going through life in these summer months and bemoaning or relishing in the heat, just think of all that sunlight as potential revenue and sustainable power.
For more information on Grape Solar, visit their website.