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Grid-tie Solar Systems

A grid-tied solar system generates and stores energy from the sun in the utility grid, so that you can use it whenever you need it.

Grid-tie Photovoltaic Systems Explained

Grid-tie Solar Systems For Home

We take a deeper look at grid-tied solar systems in this blog. These are solar power systems that are connected to the power grid — and that work without any battery backup equipment.

Most people who have solar panels installed on their roofs have a grid-tied solar system; and despite recent battery technology improvements, grid-tied remains the most popular option for solar-going homeowners today.

Read the entire article to check if this is the right choice for you. There are many factors that may determine if this is the case. Not the least of which is your location and the availability of sunlight throughout the seasons.

A quick note: Many other names like 'on-grid,' 'grid-connect(ed),' 'grid-intertied' and 'grid-direct' solar systems also refer to this type of system.

What is a grid-tied solar system?

All solar photovoltaic ( PV ) systems generate energy in the same way: through the use of solar panels to convert sunlight into DC power. So what differentiates grid-tied solar systems?

Grid-tied solar systems are connected via a Grid-tie inverter to the utility grid. The system uses their grid connection to export the excess power to the utility. If enough electricity is not produced by the solar panels, the system can import the shortfall from the grid.

There are two categories of Home solar installations that are not grid-tied:

  • Hybrid solar system (aka a battery backed grid system). Hybrid systems include a solution for battery storage, such as the Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem Resu or the sonnen ecoBattery, while remaining connected to the grid.
  • It may not sound like much to add a battery system, but it does make hybrid solar systems function differently — and cost much more than grid-tied solar systems.

A grid-connected system really only has one disadvantage:

Since as grid-tied system does not use battery backups you will also be left in the dark if there is a grid outage.

Grid-tie Systems Are Still A Popular Choice

Currently the simplest grid-tied solar system is the most common option for both homes and businesses. Grid-tied simply means this type of system is connected to the current utility electrical grid as an integral component of the network, and relies on it.

What if the grid is out and I need power?

Grid-tie systems can be easily designed as grid-hybrid systems, by adding batteries and possibly a generator that provides emergency backup power for selected items in your home that you consider essential. Grid hybrid solar systems combine a grid-tied system's production and financial advantages, with the convenience and security of backup power that is available when your utility power goes out.

All the benefits of a grid-hybrid system are comfort, peace of mind and resiliency. The grid hybrid system is designed in an uncertain future to provide the power security.