A Grid-Connect Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System acts as a mini power station on your roof, feeds power to your home, and surplus power back to the Grid.Most Australians are connected to the National Electricity Grid, a network of electric cables and transformers that links power generating stations to your home.Solar systems for domestic homes generally consist of solar panels, an inverter and a metering system.
Most solar power systems use PV modules (panels) installed on a rooftop to create and collect energy from sunlight. An inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into Alternating Current (AC), the form of electricity conventionally used in homes. The system is connected through a meter to the grid.
Solar systems allow you to use your solar power when it is generating electricity during the day and put any excess back into the grid. As soon as you need more electricity than your system can generate, your electricity will automatically be supplied from the grid. At night, your house draws energy from the grid.
Solar cells are produced from thin wafers of silicon. When light falls on the cells an electric current is produced.A collection of solar cells connected together forms a module.
Most homes or commercial buildings will need around 10 square metres of unshaded, north-facing roof space to mount the modules for a 1kW solar system. Ideally the modules should be tilted towards the sun at around 30 degrees to maximise the solar collection.
You will need an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) power collected by the solar panels into power for your home, or power to send back to the electricity grid. It can be placed inside or outside your home and can give you information about the amount of electricity being produced by your system.
You still need to be connected to the electricity grid to ensure that you have electricity at night-time when no solar energy is being collected. A meter will also enable you to sell back excess electricity. A new digital smart meter will be fitted to your system as part of the solar installation.
For safety reasons, when your electricity supply from the grid is interrupted, your solar PV system must automatically and immediately turn off.