On-grid, off-grid and hybrid solar system
Solar power is one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient power sources, which is easy to get as long as the sun shines. If you’re considering installing a solar power system at home, you may be confused about how to choose the solar system.
And there are three types of solar system setups and each type of solar system has its advantages and disadvantages. Well, you can combine with your own actual situation and demands to analyze what type of solar system is appropriate to choose.
Do you mean to ask what do I need before constructing a solar system? As illustrated in the following figure, the main components are solar panels, batteries, and solar inverter.
Three main components of a solar system
1. Solar panels
Solar panels are composed of many silicon-based photovoltaic cells (PV cells). A solar panel uses the photovoltaic effect and converts solar power or solar energy into DC current electricity when there is sunlight. The solar panel is to provide DC power. And if you want to know more about the option of solar panels, please read the article How to choose a solar panel?
Batteries are used to store solar energy for home loads emergency response. There are generally two types, lithium-ion battery, and lead-acid battery. In the daytime, the PV power is enough and the batteries are charging. At night, solar panels produce a small amount of energy, and the energy storage system can support household electricity to balance your energy usage strategy to save energy bills. About how to choose the batteries, please go to Battery storage options for luxpower inverter.
3. Solar inverter
This is the most important part and what I'm going to focus on. Different solar systems use different solar inverters. The primary role of the solar inverter is on the one hand to convert DC power from solar panels into AC energy supporting domestic electricity or feeding back to the grid, on the other hand to convert the DC power from battery system into AC power supporting the home power usage. In some special cases for example an unstable power supply of electricity, solar inverters are used to convert the AC power from the grid into DC power to batteries for the situation when the electricity is shortage.
Three types of solar systems
1. On-grid solar system
On-grid, grid-tied, grid-connected, grid-feed, grid intertie, and utility-interactive, are the same concept, that is connecting a solar system to the utility power grid.
The on-grid system is widely used for home and business for there is no need for batteries so the whole system is relatively cheap. Based on home electricity consumption and the energy generated by solar panels, an on-grid solar system has two modes of operation.
When the solar power is sufficient for loads to use you usually can save your bills, even the excess solar electricity will simply be exported to the grid, you will get paid a feed-in-tariff or the export energy credits. But generally, the government regulates the amount of exported electricity. when the export solar power maximized and the excess solar power is superfluous and wasteful. On the other hand, when the electricity grid is damaged and blackout, the on-grid solar system is not to feedback into the grid because If the solar inverter was still feeding electricity into a damaged grid it would risk the safety of the people repairing the faults in the network. It’s very dangerous.
Do you want to add a battery storage system to store the excess solar power at that moment? But conventional grid-tie inverters have no battery storage capability. And now I recommend AC coupled inverter, which the main function is to retrofit existed on-grid solar system to solar energy storage hybrid system.
2. Off-grid solar system
An off-grid solar system is equipped with battery storage and a generator because of not connected the grid. For those places far away from the electricity grid in more remote areas or the electricity is often cut off, an off-grid system is usually needed. The PV power is first used for your family loads and then the excess power will be sent to the batteries. When the solar system isn’t working at night, your battery bank will discharge and support the loads even trigger the generator working to generate electricity to supply your house and charge the batteries at the same time when the batteries are low on charge and the weather is very cloudy.
An off-grid solar system is a stand-alone system that avoids the hassle of not being able to supply the grid power. But it’s much more expensive than simple on-grid systems because of the batteries and generator especially off-grid inverters.
Luxpower Off-grid solar inverters can support the system to work as back-up power or a replacement of a diesel generator. The off-grid inverter support two working modes, pure off-grid working mode, and hybrid working mode. If you want to know more about an off-grid inverter, please go to Off-grid inverter.
3. Hybrid solar system
According to the above descriptions about the on-grid solar system and off-grid solar system, do you want a solar system not only connected to the grid and with solar energy storage but also be economical and convenient? So you need a hybrid solar system combined the best between on-grid and off-grid solar systems.
For a detailed description of the hybrid solar system, please go to the article What is the meaning of hybrid solar system?
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