Grid-Tie PV System VS Off-Grid PV System

There are basically three types of solar PV systems existing today for solar power generation at home, including grid-tie, off-grid and hybrid PV systems. However, as expense and efficiency are concerned, grid-tie and off-grid systems are more popular and most installed around the world. Now let’s compare them with each other and help you decide which system should be suitable for your house.

grid-tie solar PV system
grid-tie solar PV system

Grid-Tie System

1. This installation requires your system is connected to the local national (utility) grid.
2. After the connection, the system can feed the electricity (usually extra electricity) it generates to the national grid (this helps it earns money from the grid), and your home can get the electricity from the national grid once your system stops generating electricity at night or in special conditions.
3. The current form your solar panels generates is direct current (DC), which must be converted into alternating current (AC) for home use by going through a PV inverter. The current converted by the inverter must be compatible with the voltage of the local grid.
4. The inverter also needs to be a grid-tie type. An off-grid one cannot be used here.

Off-Grid System

off-grid PV system
off-grid PV system

1. Off-grid means the system is disconnected from the local national grid and cannot feed extra electricity to earn money.
2. This installation needs storage batteries, which usually cost a lot of budget.
3. This system is suitable for installation in areas where houses cannot be connected to the national grid or where residents are far away from grids and cities.
4. It needs a charge controller which is used to charge the batteries of the system.
5. The DC from solar panels usually goes to a battery and then to an inverter.
6. This inverter is an off-grid inverter.

Grid-Tie Advantages

1. It can constantly power your house unless the national grid is down and the system meets its special conditions.
2. It can help earn money from the local government by selling extra electricity.
3. It costs less compared with an off-grid system because it doesn’t need expensive batteries.
4. It works more efficiently because its DC doesn’t to go into a battery. This process causes energy loss.

Off-Grid Advantages

1. It can be used in remote areas where national grids cannot reach.
2. It can store extra energy and use it whenever your house needs.
3. It doesn’t need the grid-connecting process.
4. It is totally environmentally friendly.

Current Condition

In comparison, residents around the world prefer a grid-tie system more, and many countries like the UK, the US, the Netherlands and China are encouraging their residents to install this system. But In India, an off-grid system seems to enjoy more welcome because many regions in the country cannot reach national grids.

5 Basic Tips to Know for Home Solar

Home solar is one invention of the new century, but it has expanded to different parts of the world. Since it becomes so popular, it is possible you may decide to power your house with solar power someday. As for home solar power, there are five basic tips you need to know before you build such a system. Below are the five basic tips for you.

Tip 1: Learn the process of how electricity is generated at home.

To generate electricity with sunlight is not a very complicated process. Generally speaking, you need to install a solar PV system in your house which consists of solar panels, a PV inverter (or microinverters), a two-way meter (optional), batteries (optional), racks, wires and so on. These solar panels function to convert sunlight into direct current, which will the be fed to the PV inverter that converts it into alternating current. Why should it be converted? Because your house’s power system can only consume alternating current.

Tip 2: The system does need a rooftop or a spot on the ground.

Since solar panels are part of the system, and they must be installed somewhere. The common installation area is a rooftop which must be under your name. If possible, the roof had better face south, west or east but never north, for these directions guarantee more sunlight can be absorbed. At the same time a slant roof is better than a flat one for the sake of absorbing more sunlight. This has so much to do with the sunlight angle. Or if you don’t think it is possible to install them on your roof, and your alternative is to install them on a piece of ground that belongs to your house.

Tip 3: Keep a clear idea about the lifespan of the system.

The average lifespan of it is about 25 years, while some business owners say their systems can last for 30 years. Indeed this is also possible if the system is well-maintained by you. Another question is: what is the lifespan of your solar panels? They are really good stuff, for they can last for 30 years or so. The flaw is their efficiency declines as they become old. The last question is: what’s the lifespan of your inverter? The maximum figure is between 10 and 15 years. Therefore, you will have to replace your inverter once during the system’s entire life.

Tip 4: You can keep track of the output of your system.

As solar technology improves, you can use some certain software to monitor your system. By doing so, you can learn how much electricity your system generates each day, month or year. What you do is download some software provided by the solar system installer or supplier on to your PC or mobile phone. The power generation statistics will be automatically transmitted to your devices daily.

Tip 5. The system installer will offer you his warranty.

The warranty usually can be available for 5 to 10 years. Besides, each installer also offers extra maintenance options. This means you can get a longer warranty as long as you pay some money for him. Usually this expense is not that expensive, but this service also differs from country to country. Before buying this service, you should let them clearly tell you how much you do enjoy.

These tips are just very basic ideas about home solar, and can be helpful for some who have no any idea about home solar power. If you need to know more, please consult professionals, who will explain even every detailed step for it to you.

How to install and maintain your PV system?

home PV system
home PV system

How do install a home PV system? This is a question always asked and concerned about by those who wish to go solar. But others think this is not a big issue because installers will help you solve the problem. My answer is you had better learn something about it.

First, you should make your self clear that your community permits this. I have heard that some communities don’t approve this. So, making sure of this will save lots of your energy.

Second, before the solar panels are transported to your home, you need a slant rooftop with an area of at least 30 square meters. The rooftop had better be a slope with a certain angle, for this is the best for absorbing sunlight. If you don’t have such a rooftop but only a flat one, you need racks to support your solar panels with such an angle. Or if you don’t think installing panels on your rooftop is possible, you can also ask the installer to install them on the ground to which you own the property right.

Third, when your panels arrive, you may pick out a spot on your rooftop or ground to install them properly. No matter whether you install them on your roof or on the ground, you should make sure they face south, east or west, so that they can catch the most sunlight and generate the most direct current.

Fourth, install some racks on your roof or on the ground to fasten solar panels. After this process you can install the panels on them in the angles that suit your local latitude condition the most.

After the installation, you may connect your panels to the solar inverter or microinverters for the sake of converting direct current into alternating current. Finally, connect your whole PV system to the local utility grid. If you are intended to do so, you may also need to install the prepared batteries into the system to satisfy the constant power supply for your house. Some who have enough financial support can connect to the grid and install batteries.

Once the installation job is over, you must be considering how to maintain it. To be honest, such a system doesn’t need too much of your time for its maintenance. You only need to make sure the panels are always clean, without anything like bird droppings, dust or snow on them. Three or four times of cleaning in a year is enough, unless you meet special extreme conditions. In addition, make sure your solar inverters are free from dust and moisture.

The PV power system and its working principle

omnik solar power system
omnik solar power system

What is a PV power system?
It is a system which consists of solar panels, power-charging and -discharging controllers, a solar inverter, a tester, and other computer and mobile electronic devices, storage batteries, and other assistant power geenration devices. It works to generate electricity by absorbing sunlight and converts it into home use electricity.

What are advantages of the system?
1.It doesn’t have moving components that often produce lots of noise. It is home-friendly.
2.It is environment-friendly and will never emit polluted air or water.
3.It doesn’t need a procedure which needs biofuels to power itself.
4.It is easy to repair and maintain, and so you don’t have to spend so much money on its repair and maintenance.
5.It is reliable and stable.
6.The solar panels all have a long lifespan and they often span up to 25 years.
7. You can easily expand your scale of power generation according to your individual demands.

Use of the PV power system
It is now a widely used system that can be generally divided into two types: stand alone and grid-tie power generation systems. So far, developed countries such as the UK and the US have begun to install the grid-tie power system in their cities. China and Japan are now following this fashion too. They are mainly building residential rooftop PV power systems and MW-level large-scale grid-tie power generation systems. It can be used in different areas, such as home, transport, communications, space and others.

Working principle
Although they have different sizes and forms, their working principle is the same. Generally speaking, it is a system that generates electricity from sunlight by its solar panels, and then charges the storage batteries through the control of the controller, or supplies the direct current load if the load requirement is satisfied. If there is no rich sunlight or if it is at night, controlled by a controller, electricity will be transmitted to the direct current load. If the electricity needs to be used in a house, the direct current must be converted by a solar inverter into alternating current.

The Installation Process for a Residential PV System

Solar energy has been used to generate electricity in large solar power plants. As solar technology advances, even a family can generate electricity on its own by installing a small PV solar system at home. It is a new thing and so how to install it in a house still remains a mystery for many who wish to go solar. Now it is time to know how this solar power system is installed at home.

1.Search the web and learn needed information.
No mater whether you search Google, Bing or Yahoo, you had better make clear of two things: the advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity with solar energy and the requirements of installing such a home use power plant. Usually solar power generation doesn’t need biofuels like coal and gas and its costs are relatively low. But in the beginning it requires some amounts of investment. If you wish to install such a system at home, you should at least consider the amount of electricity your family consumes, where its components should be installed, function tests and so on.

2.Investigation on the spot
In common conditions the company you want to hire to do this business for you will send some of its installers to investigate your house conditions. For example, they will need to know the area of your rooftop, the shading area on it, the style of it (some are slopes and others flat), the direction your house faces and so on.

3.Making an installation plan.
By investigating your house conditions, the experts will probably need to make a plan of how to do the job for your family. Different families have different physical conditions, and so the plans will tell the house owner how the work can be done smoothly.

4.Signing a contract with the installer.
After getting the customer’s permission, the two sides need to sign an agreement to protect the profits of each other.

5.Applying for connecting to the utility grid.
You need to wait for the PV devices (including solar panels, a PV inverter, racks, wires and other components) to arrive and apply for installation and inspection by the county or the utility company. The installation usually won’t take long, and then the inspectors will inspect your system and confirm it. After everything is done, the utility company will install a new two-way meter and connects your house’s system to the grid.

6.After installation maintenance.
Usually the system is not easy to meet trouble. If something troublesome occurs, you need to call the contractor and let him do the job for you. For a common installer, this warranty will last from 5 to 25 years.

What Can One Micro Inverter Do for the PV system?

Micro INverter
Micro INverter

A mircro inverter is to directly integrate an inverter and a single PV pack, which will equip each PV pack with an inverter module which has alternating and direct functions and MTTP. The device will directly convert the electricity from the PV pack into alternating current, which is used for a family or for transmission.

When one part of the solar panels cannot work well, this part will all be affected. Other PV panels will work in the best condition, which makes the entire system work much better and generate more electricity. In practice, if the string type inverter meets malfunctions, the solar panels over 1000 KW will not work well. But if the mircro inverter is installed, the malfunctions occur at the moment will be reduced a lot.

In each micro inverter, you will find some shiny advantages as shown below.

Firstly, the inverter can improve the amount of electricity for the power source and track the biggest power. By using this function, the PV system’s electricity generation can be improved by 25%.

Secondly, the mircro inverter can help adjust the voltage and current of each array until the whole system reaches the balance, in case of losing balance.

Thirdly, each part of it has the monitoring function, which lowers the maintenance cost of the entire system, and makes operation more stable.

Fourthly, its configuration is flexible. If this pv inverter is installed at home, the number of the solar panel installation should be in accordance with the financial condition of the user.

Fifthly, this inverter doesn’t have high voltage and it is safer and easier to install. With its lower maintenance cost, the user will never have to depend so much on the installer. Therefore, the user will become more independent in generating electricity.

Sixthly, its cost appears lower than those of other types of solar inverters.

A Solar System Designed for Your Home

Does your home need something like a system which can help generate electricity? No doubt about this, for it works intimately for your home.

As environment pollution worsens, more and more calls for environment protection rise day by day. For a common family, what can you do about this serious issue? At least, installing a solar system that generates electricity from the moment it is installed should serve as one of the most favorable ways for your home.

Without too many sophisticated devices, this system is only comprised of some solar panels, some wires for connection, a solar inverter that functions to converter direct current into alternating current, an extra electricity meter that shows the amount of electricity generated by the system, some monitoring kits and an app downloaded onto your smart phone for monitoring. The installer will piece together all such components and make them become a perfect solar system.

In this system the most important element is the solar inverter (also called pv inverter), for it is like a transformer that converts the direct current generated from sunlight into alternating current which will sustain your family’s electricity use. The solar system is very simple and not space-consuming. As long as your rooftop is as large as 50 square meters, and you have a small area to install that PV inverter, everything is done. Once the PV system is installed, you will benefit. This is guaranteed!

As energy becomes less and less, all forms of energy become more and more expensive. Using the traditional methods to generate electricity is energy-consuming. Naturally their prices will surely increase. But when you have such a system installed at home, you don’t have to worry about this annoying problem anymore.

Also, using the system, you can flexibly control your solar system. To tell the truth, the system has some kits which help monitor the electricity amount it generates. Now, you also have one app downloaded onto your smart phone. The kits inside the pv inverter will send signals to the app, which tells you how much electricity you have got. By this way, you can also learn how to save your energy too.

As this solar system is installed, you will be far away from the public grid. This can help you save money and keep yourself independent on your own. There are many renowned pv inverter systems available online. You had better check out which one is most suitable for your home before buying it.