A grid tie solar PV system is the easiest and least expensive way to use clean solar power at your home or business in most cases. This is generally true for two reasons:
With a grid tie solar system, your electrical demand will be satisfied first and foremost by your solar panels. When your panels can't meet your demand (at night or during heavy overcast weather), electricity from the grid will be used instead - seamlessly and without the need for you to do anything. This means that in most grid-tied solar systems, the electrical grid replaces the battery backup portion of a system that would be required for off grid solar setups.
Shop for grid tie solar system kits or components individually.
Yes. Grid-tie inverters are designed to shut of when they sense the power grid is down. This is to prevent your solar power from traveling through the grid on potentially damaged equipment and from presenting a safety hazard to the people making repairs on grid infrastructure.
However, if your system includes batteries or an inverter with a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) or SPS (secure power supply) feature, you will not lose power.
Yes, although the vast majority of grid-tied PV system owners choose not to due to the significant cost increase batteries add to the system.
When shopping for solar panels and grid-tie inverters, think in terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh); this is how your utility bills you for electricity. You can find your daily and/or monthly kWh usage on your monthly electricity bills, or you can estimate your daily Watt-hours using our Solar Load Calculator (divide your total Watt-hours per day by 1000 to get kWh per day).
Our Solar Techs have answers! Contact them at 800-919-2400 or [email protected]
Solar Tech Erik Frye explains the Secure Power Supply feature found in many grid tie inverters from SMA.