3 types of Solar power system
As the demand and prices of electricity have kept on rising, people start to look at renewable energy sources for its power needs. In recent years, solar energy has become a popular renewable energy source because of its falling costs and improving efficiency.
A solar power system is a setup that generates electricity by utilizing the solar energy. A typical solar system consists of solar panels (which absorb sunlight), inverter (which converts DC into AC), batteries (to store the extra generated power), grid box and balance of systems (wires, nuts etc.). A solar system comes in various sizes like 1kW, 3kW, 5kW, 10kW etc.
Generally, solar power systems can be divided into three types.
- Grid-tied Solar Power System
- Off-grid Solar Power System
- Hybrid Solar Power System
Grid-tied Solar Power System
A grid-connected or grid-tied solar power system is one that is connected to both the residence and the standard electric utility grid. This sort of solar energy system is devoid of storage batteries.
Solar energy generated by solar panels is consumed instantly by all the appliances. If the solar energy system generates more energy than the home consumes, the extra energy can be sold back to the utility company through a process called net-metering. When the solar power system does not generate enough power to operate the appliances, the remaining power is pulled from the utility grid.
Initial investment: Investing in a solar power system for your home might be quite costly. However, grid-tied systems are much cheaper since they use less equipment than the other types of rooftop solar power.
Low maintenance: Grid-connected systems have a very low operational cost. Solar panels come with a 20- to 25-year warranty.
Flexibility: You have the option of designing your system using both alternative and conventional energy sources. In this manner, you can modify the system in the future to match your needs.
Off-grid Solar Power System
Off-grid solar energy is a term that refers to a solar power system that is totally self-contained and does not connect to the main utility grid. In an off-grid solar power system, solar panels are the sole source of energy. This energy is either used to power the appliances directly or is stored in the battery for later use.
Off-grid solar energy systems are suited for isolated rural locations or applications where alternative energy sources are unavailable or unfeasible. Off-grid solar power systems can be either AC-based, which requires an inverter to convert the energy stored in batteries to AC power and feed it to AC appliances, or DC-based, which are less expensive because they do not require an inverter but can only power DC products.
This type of system is more expensive because it is larger than a grid-connected system. This will necessitate the addition of solar panels and batteries.
Independence: One of the best features of this type of solar power system is that you are not reliant on the utility company. You are not bound by the utility company’s terms and policies.
There are no blackouts: Another advantage is that even if everyone else loses power, your home will remain fully operational. This is critical for people who require electronic devices or refrigerated medications due to their health conditions.
There are no electricity bills: Because you are generating your own electricity, you will never have to pay a utility company bill again.
Hybrid Solar Power System
A hybrid solar power system is a solar energy system that is similar to a grid-connected solar energy system but includes energy storage, typically in the form of a battery backup. This type of solar power system has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, despite its higher cost. When solar energy production exceeds demand, surplus solar energy is used to charge batteries and stored for future use. When production falls short of demand, the batteries’ stored energy is used to make up the difference.
A well-designed hybrid solar power system provides you with the dual benefit of lower electricity bills and the security of backup power during a power outage. A hybrid system is composed of a photovoltaic array, a charge controller, a battery bank and inverter, and, in some cases, a tertiary energy source such as a wind turbine or a gas generator.
Energy storage system: If your solar power system generates more energy than it needs, it can be stored in the battery. Thus, even in the absence of sunlight, you can power your home. In the event of a power outage, your home will retain power for several hours.
Conserve funds: Additionally, the battery can help you save money by ensuring that you are using its power rather than the grid’s