How a Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic System Works

A grid-connected solar PV system is easy to understand, it includes several components working together to convert the sun’s energy into electrical power that can be connected to a building’s standard electrical infrastructure and the utility grid.

It has no moving parts and requires no user intervention required in the day-to-to-day operation of the system. It is designed for automatic, unattended operation.

The solar power system generates electricity in proportion to the amount of sunlight on the solar array. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels are generally fitted on the roof in a northerly direction (east or west is also possible with some trade off’s) and at an angle to maximise the amount of sunlight that hits the panels.

When there is adequate sunlight the solar panels will produce Direct Current (DC) energy from the sun. The grid connect inverter converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into 240V AC electricity, which can then be used by the property/household.

Your home appliances will consume their immediate needs and if a grid connect system is producing more power than is being consumed, the surplus is fed into the mains power grid. Your electricity provider will meter the electricity fed into the grid by your system and provide a credit on your bill.

When the solar cells are not producing power, for example at night, your power is supplied by the mains power grid as usual. The energy retailer charges the usual rate for the power used.

In normal operation of the inverter a LED light will be on. There will be no LED’s on when the sunlight level is low or at night time. The inverter has a display on the front that shows the operation and output of the PV (photovoltaic) system.

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