There are three types of solar panel systems, a Grid-tied solar panel system, an Off-grid solar panel system, and the hybrid solar pane system ( this is the combination of the first two), in today’s post, we are going to analyze the Grid-tied solar panel system.
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What is the grid-tied solar panel system?
The grid-tied solar panel system is one that is connected to the electrical grid. The system is always connected to the utility grid and has no means for storing energy onsite.
The system is reliant on this grid to produce usable solar energy and funnel excess energy for net metering, clean energy credits, or later usage.
It is the most common type of solar panel system, the reason for this is because it is the simplest, and the least expensive.
Advantages of Grid-tied solar panel system
The grid-tied system has several advantages, here are some of them.
Among all solar panel systems, the grid-tied is the simplest one to design and implement, this makes the design and installation process easier.
The system does not contain batteries, it does not contain a controller, which makes it cheaper compared to the other two systems.
The batteries alone can add between 40% to 60% of the total cost of the solar panel system installation.
Since the grid-tied system have fewer components it means that you have fewer components to maintain, the only maintenance that you can do is to make sure that your panels do not have a shadow and clean them once in a while if they become dirty.
Disadvantages of Grid-tied solar panel system
There are also some disadvantages of the grid-tied solar panel system, let’s analyze them below.
You can not use them during an outage
My main problem with the grid-tied solar panel system is that when the grid power goes down so does the system.
The system is designed this way for safety reasons, to avoid what is called self islanding. Self islanding is a condition in which solar panels continue to supply power to the local loads during a catastrophic utility failure and this can be very dangerous, so the safe way is to turn it off when there is an outage.
You need a permit to connect to the utility grid
You can not just install solar panels to your house and connect them to the grid utility, you will need to acquire permission from the utility grid company so that you can connect your solar panels to their network.
This process will cost you money, some utility companies will provide you with a net meter and some will make you buy it on your own.
That is it, the Grid-tied solar panel system is the most used solar panel system in the world, this is because it is simple to design and connect, its low cost, and needs very little maintenance, the main disadvantage is that if the grid power goes off so does the solar panel system.