Solar Power Grid Systems

Types of Residential Electricity Solar Power Systems

Grid types in solar power system

There are 3 main types of residential electricity solar power systems

Grid inter-tied, Grid inter-tied with battery backup and Off-grid.
These types vary in how closely connected they are to the traditional power utility infrastructure, known as the grid. Each type has its benefits and strengths that determine how suited they are to your needs.


Solar Power Grid Inter-Tied Systems

Residential grid inter-tied solar power systems are directly connected to the home and to the traditional electric utility grid. Inter-tied grid of solar power systems allow the owners to get power from either the home electric system or the utility grid. Switching between the grid and the residential system is seamless.

Grid tied solar power systems

The main advantage of this type of a system is the ability to balance the system production and home power requirements. For example, when a grid inter-tied system is producing more power than the home is consuming, the excess can be sold back to the utility in a practice is known as net metering and when the system is not producing sufficient power, the home can draw power from the utility grid.

Solar electricity system gridResidential grid inter-tied systems are the lowest cost type of electric solar power systems, due to having fewer required components.

Solar Grid Inter-tied System with Battery Backup

Residential grid inter-tied solar power systems are also connected to the traditional utility power grid and adds battery-backup to the system. Addition of a battery backup protects against power outages, enables the system to balance production.

Hybrid grid solar power systems

Solar power system production depends on the available sunlight. When sunlight is sufficient, production can exceed demand. When production is more than demand, the excess power can charge the batteries and store the electricity. If consumption is more than the system is producing, the batteries can make up the shortfall.
Grid inter-tied systems offer more flexibility, but they are also not without disadvantages. Cycle of charging and discharging batteries reduces the overall efficiency of the system, these systems are more complex to design and install and thus more expensive.

*** Residential grid Inter-tied systems are also connected to the utility power grid. It enables the owners to draw from the grid during periods of excess demand and to sell power to the grid when there is excess production.

Off Grid Solar Power Systems

Residential off-grid system is completely disconnected from the traditional electric power grid. As without a connection to the utility grid, batteries are essential to balance periods of excess production and excess consumption.

Off grid solar power system

For protection against shortfalls of power when the solar system is under production and the batteries are discharged, an electric generator is usually added to the system. The generator in system is used as a power source during periods of prolonged excess production or unusual demand.

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Among each type of system there are subtle variations in design that effect efficiency and convenience. To understand which system is best for you, review your requirements with a solar installation professional, who can guide you through the detailed choices of specific systems that best match your needs.