Connecting Solar Panels to the Grid
If you are looking for an eco-friendly, reliable source of energy then solar panels might provide the answers you seek. However, solar panels are expensive, but they can help you save money by making you less dependent on expensive energy suppliers.
The steps required to connect your home’s solar panels to the electrical grid are not that complicated. Below we will outline the process in a concise step-by-step way.
Invest in a DIY solar kit to mount the solar onto your home’s roof. Ideally, you should strive to supply at least 5,000 watts of power each day for your home’s use. To achieve this, you’ll need to install 20 or more 250-watt panels to achieve energy independence. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with how you can successfully connect multiple solar panels.
When professionally installed, solar panels will significantly reduce your dependence on the power grid. You’ll be able to run the home’s lights, refrigerator, and other components in the home using solar power.
When you make the choice to install solar panel batteries, you’ll need to decide if you want to completely replace the grid electricity or install solar power to complement the grid electricity.
Many homeowners opt to use solar panels simply as a backup energy source. If this is the case, then you will not need to install batteries. However, if you opt to switch entirely to solar power then the batteries will back up your solar power during the nighttime hours.
A solar panel cannot be connected directly to the battery. You’ll need to use a charge controller to ensure that the battery’s current and voltage are operational at the proper levels. You must connect the solar panels to the power inverter and then connect the inverter to your home grid. You can also connect the inverter to the battery and then go on to attach it to the home power grid.
Connect the inverter to the battery. You’ll need to have the battery connected to the circuit breaker and then to the electrical shunt. The DC current is delivered to the inverter. You’ll need to ensure the proper installation of a circuit breaker and shunt to prevent damage or overload by breaking the current which is an effective way to control the electricity.
You’ll need to connect the inverter to the AC fuse box. The inverter relies on transformers along with switches to effectively change the DC electricity into AC current. This will power your home’s sockets and outlets, so your appliances and electronics all function properly when plugged in.
When your battery or solar power runs out then you can connect an AC generator to your power inverter to achieve additional electricity. On overcast days, you can use up your stored solar energy, so you’ll need a backup power source.
Connecting a Grid Tied Solar Panel System
You can take two different approaches when connecting grid-tied solar panel systems. You can use what is called a ‘load side’ connection which is connected to the main breaker are you can use a line or supply side connection which is connected before the main breaker.
An inverter functions by converting solar energy into usable energy for your home. A roof panel relies on direct current (DC) and your home then depends on alternating current (AC). The function of the inverter is to convert DC into AC power.
Load Side Connection
The most used connection is the load side. With a load side connection, the electrical panel has a new breaker or circuit breaker. With this method, the double space circuit or dual pole breaker is put in place in the furthest position from the main breaker. Once position, the PV solar system wires are attached to the solar breaker. Before going forward with this process, always make sure the PV service disconnect box is the correct size.
Attach the PV solar system wires to the solar breaker. Always ensure you are using the proper PV service disconnect box size. You can also add a cheap external disconnect or the inverter that you have might already have one attached.
Supply Side Connection (also called a line connection)
A different form of utility connection is the Supply Side Connection which is also called a line side. In this method a junction box is placed between the utility meter and the main service panel. The junction box serves as the place to link wires from the main breaker panel, the PV soler and the utility meter.
Grid Connection Requirements
You’ll encounter varying requirements when connecting to the electrical grid different generating systems such as wind, house, or renewable energy. When you connect to the grid, you’ll discover various power supplier challenges. Laws focus on power quality, contracts, safety, prices, and metering.
Contact your power provider to learn their exact requirements. You can also contact the state utility consumers advocate group or the state utilities commission. Other places to contact include the state energy office or state consumer representation office. Also, find out if your power company has a designated individual who answers questions about grid connection requests.
You must comply with the power provider’s grid connection regulations. You may need the following equipment:
- Safety apparatus
- Gear for power conditioning
Always discuss what equipment you need with your power provider. In many situations, there are unique grid connection requirements, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the differences.
Safety Components for the Grid
All power suppliers want to ensure the quality and safety of your system and all its components such as with the power conditioning equipment.
The power must match the voltage and frequency of the grid’s electricity flow. If a power outage should happen, then it needs to switch and disconnect your system from the grid.
Currently her are numerous organizations working to draft national guidelines for the operation, manufacture, and installation of solar equipment. Your power provider will tell you about all standards that you need to understand and how to effectively use them.
Batteries for Homes Connect to the Grid
Many homeowners want solar power, but they also want to remain connected to the grid. They can use batteries to lower their dependence on grid electricity. In recent years, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has become more affordable. You can use affordable batteries to gain energy independence while still being about to reconnect at any time to the grid when needed.
With a net billing plan, using your own electricity is more cost effective.
If you live in an area where you experience a lot of blackouts then having solar batteries available will give you the power, you need.
Once you connect your solar panels to the grid you can start saving money by using solar generated power. Connecting the solar panels to the grid is extremely easy and will provide you with peace of mind by being energy independent.