A typical solar photovoltaic (PV) system captures the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity. The solar panels have an arrangement of PV cells that, when exposed to sunlight, produce electricity in the form of Direct Current (DC). This DC power is passed through an inverter, a device that converts the DC power into Alternating Current (AC) – the power we all use for our household lighting and appliances.
Grid-intertied solar electric systems
If you use less power than you produce in a grid-intertied system (shown in Figure 1), excess power is transferred back to the utility grid. Many states have laws that allow renewable energy systems to sell excess power to the utility, using net-metering.
Here is a snapshot of the role of each component in a grid-intertied solar power system:
- Solar modules: Solar modules mounted on the roof or grounds of your property convert sunlight into DC power.
- Inverter: An inverter (power converter) transforms the DC power from solar modules to AC. This power keeps your appliances up and running.
- Electrical panel: The power from the inverter travels to your electrical service panel and distributes it the electrical devices in your home.
- Utility meter: When your solar power system generates excess power, it flows into the grid through a utility meter. This will cause your meter to run backwards, thus gaining you a credit with the utility company.
- Utility grid: The utility grid automatically provides electricity when needed – at night and during the day, when your demand exceeds your solar production.
- Net metering: Net metering legislation states that the utility company must credit retail rate to your account, for all the clean energy you generate and share with the grid.
Grid-intertied solar electric systems with battery backup
Figure 2 depicts a grid-intertied solar power system with battery backup. A battery allows you to store the electricity produced by your panels, for usage at a later point in time. At GreenBrilliance, we design your battery for a pre-determined ‘number of days’ of storage.
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