How Solar Power Works

How does a Grid-connected (GC) solar PV system work?

 

A grid-connected solar PV system is one of very simple design.

There are three (3) major components installed;

  1. Solar PV modules (the solar PV array)
  2. Inverter
  3. AC Import/Export meter(s)

Most suburban homes in Australia are connected into the electricity grid network, which uses alternating current electricity (240VAC). However, the electricity generated by solar panels is direct current (DC).  That means grid-connected (GC) solar PV systems need an additional inverter to efficiently convert the solar DC electricity into AC electricity that is suitable for ordinary household needs.

 

image

 

  • During the day, sunlight falls onto the solar array and creates DC energy.
  • The solar DC energy is connected into the Inverter input, where it is then converted from DC to AC energy (grid-quality AC electricity)
  • AC electricity at the inverter output is connected directly into the grid, via the AC switchboard and electricity energy (kWh) meter.

During the day, houses with solar systems use the solar power first before sourcing electricity from the grid.  At night, when the panels are not producing electricity, power is supplied from the existing electricity grid.

Advantages:

  • Affordable!
  • Proven system design
  • Reliable
  • Genuine savings off the electricity energy bills

Disadvantages:

  • Only works during the day (when the Sun shines!!)
  • Shuts off during power blackouts