Solar Panels capture the light from the sun and through the photo-voltaic properties of the panels the light is then converted into electricity. The conversion takes place within the specially fabricated semi-conductor crystals comprising the cells of the Solar Panels. The electricity produced, however, is DC which we need to convert into usable AC power. The role of the inverter is transforming the raw DC power into 240 Volt AC electricity, which is suitable for ordinary household needs.
What does “Grid Connected” mean?
Most homes elect to install “grid-connected” solar PV systems. This type of system has a number of great benefits, not only for the individual homeowner, but for the community and the environment at large. The systems are much cheaper to install and involve far less maintenance than “off-grid” systems. Generally speaking, off-grid systems are used in very remote locations where power is not always available.
The “grid” we are referring to of course is the physical connection that most residential homes and businesses have with their electricity providers. Those ubiquitous powers-poles we’re all so familiar with are an integral part of “the grid”. By installing a “grid-connected” Solar System for your home, you are not “unplugging” from the grid but are in fact helping to improve it!
Each Solar Module installed is connected to the currently existing electrical grid. Central to any solar PV system, it’s the inverter that not only converts the solar energy produced by your panels into 240v AC electricity, but it must also safely pass this “green” power through to your standard meter box and in turn back out onto the grid.
The electricity you produce via your solar module is used first and foremost in powering your home before power from your electricity retailer is sourced. All excess electricity you produce is sent back to your electricity provider where it can be rerouted to other customers. This means that not only do you save money on your electricity bills but if your system is large enough, you could even make money by selling your surplus electricity back to your electricity retailer. Wouldn’t that be a nice change!
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