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Solar Engineering Services

Solar array being moved by MDW to a new home for a client in Anderson, SC

Maier Design Works provides the knowledge and expertise to recommend, design, and install alternative energy solutions. Technologies offered include active solar, passive solar, solar hot water heating, and daylighting. Stand-alone as well as grid-tie systems can be designed to suit any need from remodeling, to an upscale new home, to a cabin in the woods.

With today's rapidly rising energy prices, solar energy is becoming more and more attractive. Demand for solar equipment has never been higher; lead times for solar panels are already several weeks, rather than being off the shelf. If you are at all interested in going solar, Contact us for a free initial energy audit of your existing or proposed structure, to determine what equipment you will need. Prices are sure to go up industry wide as demand continues to soar. The sooner you can get started, the better deals you will get on your equipment.

Browse the information below to see what kinds of systems and options are available.

Grid-Tie Active Solar Systems

Basic grid-tie system. Image courtesy Xantrex, Inc.

Grid-tie systems are quickly becoming an economical way for homes to reap the benefits of solar electricty without much of the equipment and hassle needed to be completely off the grid. Or add a few batteries, and enjoy the peace of mind of having your own backup power supply without the need for a noisy generator. This is a perfect option for homes where severe weather (such as hurricanes and ice storms) can cause power outages.

In a grid-tie system, your home produces its own electricty, just like a small power plant, enabling you to sell electricty back to the power company! Rates and policies vary between different utilities, but grid-tie systems are moving into residential neighborhoods all across America.

Off Grid Active Solar Systems

Basic off grid system. Image courtesy Xantrex, Inc.

Can't get power to your remote home or cabin, or just want the extra peace of mind of never having to depend on the electric company and never having to pay a power bill again? Then consider an off-grid solar electric system.

Whereas a grid-tie system can be sized independently of the energy needs of your home (since the grid can supply any lack or buy back any surplus), an off-grid system needs to be sized specific to your exact home and its immediate environment and climate. By evaluating your home and its site, we can help determine what size system will be needed. Also, if you have not yet built your home, we can recommend energy saving construction alternatives to reduce the home's power demands when built. Many modifications are also possible for existing homes. Super-insulation, day-lighting, passive heating and cooling, and energy efficient appliances are all valuable options.

Solar Hot Water Systems

Basic domestic solar hot water system. Image courtesy Solartwin.

Domestic solar hot water offers the highest value of any solar technology. Traditional electic and gas hot water heaters waste a lot energy and money because they need to keep water hot all the time, even when you're not using it. A solar hot water system complements a traditional hot water heater by letting the sun do the heating when the sun is out. Typically, a solar hot water system will pay for itself in less than five years. An active solar electric system, in contrast, will take two to three times the time to pay for itself.

The Solartwin system shown above is one of the simplest around, eliminating the extra pipework and controls of other systems. However, for specific applications, higher-efficiency alternatives do exist, although they are more complicated.


Maier Design Works
PO Box 527
Westminster, SC 29693

Phone: 864-647-2024
Toll Free: 1-866-647-2024

Fax Toll Free: 1-866-311-7042

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