A “True Zero Energy” building would allow for energy storage as well as production and be able to operate autonomously from utility grids. Zero Energy and or Net Zero Energy can also simply mean that a equal amount of energy was produced and consumed; example, If a building uses 15,000kWH per year some at night and some by day, it can also produce 15,000kWH to off set that usage either by night or day, at the end of the year the NET is the same or negative. The use of Net Energy Metering (NEM) or Advanced Energy Storage (AES) makes this possible.
Net Zero Energy Costs- is what most people are interested in and because utility providers offer different rates for power at different times, this strategy is more common. In 2017 California reached the (NEM) Cap forcing people to look more closely at AES and Off Grid solutions. We work with building designers and various types of clients in this regard and look forward to what the future brings. Our most recent storage design uses a combination of existing early model string inverters with a new customized Outback Radian inverter in an “AC-Coupled” system with storage or “Back UP” capabilities. This is the answer for those people who have Grid tied solar and want to use their solar systems when the local grid goes down, as well as providing stored power at a lower price than the utility can supply it.