A grid-tied solar energy system doesn’t take you off the grid (that is, the electricity sold by the utility company). Instead, your solar panels (PV modules) will direct the power they produce into your home’s electrical service. This power will be used by your home when needed or directed back out through your meter onto the utility grid when there is more being produced than your home is consuming. You’ll be charged for the difference between the amount of excess electricity you produce and the amount you use. Think of the utility grid as a 100% efficient battery where you can store energy and remove when you need it. These systems work seamlessly with the grid, requiring no changes in the way you consume energy.
A grid tie PV system has the smallest number of components of our most popular systems:
- The solar panels, or PV array, is the major component. It can be roof, ground or pole mounted. We strive to mount this array in the sunniest location on your property to harvest the most energy from your investment dollar.
- An inverter processes the harvested solar energy and synchronizes it with the utility grid. This component takes the direct current electricity from the PV array and turns it into alternating current electricity, which is what you home uses.
The electricity matches the voltage of your utility service, so you can continue to use the same appliances you’ve been using. This electricity is either consumed in your home or pushed back out onto the grid and credited onto your electricity bill.
These systems are required to shut down when grid power fails, so unlike battery-based systems[link] a grid tie system will not function when utility company’s service is out.