Grid Inter-tied Photovoltaic Systems
Buying a home solar electricity system that is inter-tied with the electrical grid is becoming increasingly viable and popular due to increasing government financing incentives and the rising price of fossil fuels, such as natural gas.
A grid interconnected solar power system consists of a solar photovoltaic panel or array of panels added onto the regular source of electricity provided by your utility company. The use of solar energy can reduce your reliance on other forms of energy to any degree you choose, depending on how big a system you purchase.
Grid-inter-tied solar energy now makes up over 70% of the world market for solar photovoltaic.
Components of a solar energy system that is tied to the grid
The following elements are found in grid inter-tied solar PV systems, and a basic understanding of them is empowering.
- Solar panels collect the sun's light and convert it into an electrical current. Solar panels are supported by solar mounts (or racks).
- An inverter is an important part of many energy systems. It converts direct current (DC) energy into more widely usable alternating current (AC) energy.
- Wiring to the house's "normal electricity." By this, we mean the house's breaker panel and beyond that, what electricians call your "load": all electricity you use.
Some of the more mundane but of course necessary technical elements of your system will include:
- An array DC disconnect: a device that allows you to halt the flow of electricity from the panel array, during times of system maintenance. This disconnect is required as part of the final electrical inspection of your system
- An AC breaker panel, the same as you find in any household.
- A Kilowatt Hour Meter is used by your local utility to calculate your electricity bill.
- Utility Disconnect is required by the local utility to disconnect the system when the utility is doing maintenance on the electrical utility grid.
You may also want to know about the following:
- tips on choosing a solar provider
- state and federal financing incentives for renewable energy
- net metering
- tips on solar panels and grid inter tied inverters