As soon as radio waves of the Sun strikes the earth, we receive energy from this sun. Generally speaking, the gift of the sun keep us alive.
As you can see on the picture right, PV (Photo Voltaic) panels are able to convert sunlight to DC current. This type of energy can be used for charging a battery, drive machines and pumps or another purpose.
For a daily household or a small businesses we need AC current.
To get AC-current from the PV panels we have to convert DC power. This DC power might come from the PV-panels directly or indirect via the batteries.
The DC-power will be converted to AC-power via an inverter. This inverter will deliver your necessary 120/240 Volt AC at home.
If you are located in an area, where the utility company will pay you the same price for the energy you deliver to them and they charge you that same price for consuming it, then you might consider for an on-grid connection.
In brief, this means that your PV-system transports electricity to the grid also named utility network. The balance, more produced than consumedor more consumed than produced, means that one of these two parties needs to be compensated. Fair deal.
Which type of PV installation with AC power capabilities, should I take?
We have three basic options:
a. We go off-grid and you produce your own energy. In plenty cases, this is the reality for a lot of households in the country or the woods. You are not connected to any utility company and thus independent. How does this system work?
A charge controller watch the batteries all the time, if they are well charged. From the batteries an inverter invert DC power to AC power. In many cases the the AC-power is 115 Volt and should be connected to your breaker panel. This is the voltage, which covers 90% of your appliances and more. In case, the batteries may be not charged enough, due to long periods of rain or overcast, you may consider a generator for back up.
b. We go off-grid and on-grid. We call this a hybrid PV-system. Which means, we connect the PV-panels to a battery system, but we have a possibility to obtain power from a utility grid too.
You want to be more self-sufficient in power consumption scenario. How does this system work?
A charge controller watch the batteries all the time, if they are well charged. The smart inverter watches your electricity demand at your Distribution Panel.
The smart inverter will balance your power usage, in a way that energy loss is minor. If there is low power demand and the batteries are well charged, energy left over may be transported to the utility network.
In situations where your batteries do not become charged enough, you can consider a wind turbine, a generator or the utility grid. Some hybrid inverters provides your power immediately for direct consumption.
c. We go on-grid in cases where it is not necessary to go off grid or hybrid. These forward thinking utility companies do apply fair rates to you, as a consumer. You produce and the utility receive electricity. They charge or refund your consumed/produced electricity almost for the same price. You may use batteries for back up reasons. How does this system work?
The PV-panels are directly connected to an inverter. This might be a string inverter or a (micro) inverter per panel. The micro inverter per panel option is most popular. It has three main benefits;
A. If one PV-panel fails or have shade it will not affect the others,
B. Each PV-panel is unique, so each micro inverter will maximize the power output,
C. A micro inverter is the most economical solution in residential and small business situations.
Still matters, your are dependent of the utility company's strategy and willingness to implement and accept small power production plants in their grid.
In general, the PV-panels will supply your electricity for at least twenty years. Inverters and batteries have a lifetime, which varies between 5-20 years.
What is Solar Power?
We hereby explain in brief what Solar power is and what it does. We try to explain as easy as it is. As long as you stay on the main pages you will not drown..
However, we'll go more technical, as you go deeper into our pages. Photo Voltaic energy is an innovative industry and soon you will get the vibe too. No worry, it's positive energy.
Another case is that utility companies in Georgia do not pay you the same price for producing your Eco-friendly energy. Even worse, they may charge you 2-4 times more for consumption, when you return your clean energy to their network. That's the way how they say thank you…Sad!
However, there are very effective technical solutions within the PV-industry, when power companies do not encourage eco-friendly energy systems.
Applying the diagram below, shows you which components and directions, to create your own electricity.
Click on each button for more specific explanation.