Grid-Tie systems connect the solar system directly to the local utility grid. The solar system owner is typically offered a financial incentive by the utility, making it desirable to give the electricity to the utility. In some cases, a new "Solar Meter" is installed next to the existing house electrical meter, to track the amount of electricity produced. The owner is then credited for the solar power produced. Other utilities use a one-meter system where the solar power produced reverses the meter and the balance is billed or credited to the solar system owner. The Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels produce electricity in the form of DC (Direct Current) which is converted to AC (Alternating Current) by an inverter before it is delivered to the local utility grid.
Battery Backup or Off-Grid System
Battery Back-Up systems, or Off-Grid systems, utilize batteries to store energy produced by the Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The energy may then be used at night, during power outages, or any desired time to offset traditional energy consumption. The solar system may or may not be connected to the local utility grid. The solar panels produce electricity in the form of of DC (Direct Current) which is converted to AC (Alternating Current) by an inverter before it is delivered to the local utility grid. In the case of battery storage, the DC electricity is delivered through a charge controller before charging the batteries in order to efficiently and safely charge the batteries. Then, when the electricity from the battery storage is needed, the DC is converted to AC by the inverter and then consumed.