How Do Solar Panels, Batteries, and the Grid Work Together?
To some, going solar means going off the grid entirely. But did you know that grid-tied solar power setups are the most common panel system in the United States? These systems are connected to the grid and can work without a battery. Solar Bear of Tampa takes a closer look at how grid-tied solar systems work together to produce a magnificent product (solar energy, we’re lookin’ at you).
A grid-tied system consists of solar panels that generate electricity from the sun’s rays. Any excess power from the system can be exported to the utility grid while simultaneously earning homeowners’ credits towards their monthly bills through net metering. Seasons are a great example of the ebb and flow of a grid-tied solar system. During the summer, a large portion of excess solar power can be generated. This excess will be sent to the grid and in exchange provides the homeowner with net metering credits that can be carried over and used during the winter when sunlight might be harder to come by.
These systems are similar to others that use photovoltaic (PV) panels to convert sunlight into usable electricity for homeowner needs. They are either installed on the roof or as a ground mount system in an area that receives ample sun exposure. However, there are some differences when it comes to grid-tied systems. They do require an inverter in order to communicate with the grid. This technology allows the home to not only import power from the utility but also export it. Most of these systems don’t require battery storage, making installation easier and more cost-effective. It’s important to note that because there is no battery storage, grid-tied solar systems will provide no backup power should an outage occur. This switch-off is for the safety of utility workers who may be working on utility lines to restore power.