Even before consider the type of solar system brands you want to go with, the first question you should be asking when considering a solar energy system is “what type of solar system should I get”. This blog will go through grid connected solar systems (AKA solar grid-tie systems).
Basically, there’s three types of solar systems out there which are determined by how you’re connected to the grid:
- Grid connected: You consume your solar energy, but when you don’t produce enough, you draw from the grid (i.e. night-time).
- Off-grid: you’re totally independent from the grid.
- Grid hybrid: You optimise your consumption by storing electricity for low solar periods. You also sell excess electricity in the form of feed-in tariffs to your grid utility.
In this blog we will go through why you may consider going with grid connected solar systems – it’s advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Grid Connected Solar System?
Grid connected Solar systems are common in built-up areas. The reason for this is when the home uses up all the electricity generated from its solar panels, it draws electricity from the utility grid.
The same goes for when the solar system produces too much electricity. It sends excess solar energy to the grid and you receive a payment in return (these are called feed-in tariffs).
Grid connected systems involve the following components:
- Inverters: Convert the captured photo-voltic (PV) current into an AC current, so it can be used by your home
- Panels: capture the solar energy using individual solar cells
- Grid connection equipment: such as wiring and electrical components
Unlike standalone solar systems, grid connected systems don’t involve solar batteries. The most common reason people choose this option is because it’s significantly cheaper.
- On top of the government incentives to lower Solar Systems costs, feed-in tariffs offset your electricity bills
- Grid-connected systems cost less on installation as they don’t require installing and calibrating a battery
- Grid-connected systems use generated power straight-away. This means there’s no incremental loss of electricity which can be lost during storage.
- Like all Solar systems – it’s incredibly carbon negative over it’s lifespan.
- The intermittent nature of solar power means rapid changes in voltage. Because the voltage regulators are frequently adjusting, home circuitry can wear-out faster.
- Grid connected systems don’t contain batteries. This means you’re relying more on purchasing grid electricity (during night’s or when using high amounts of electricity). Additionally, these systems sell less electricity back to the grid. This is especially the case if you have a small kW system (click here for PV size recommendations).
Still Unsure About Grid-tie Solar Systems?
That’s alright! Here’s a short YouTube video explanation.