Different Types of Solar Power Systems


Solar energy is considered to be one of the cleanest and most reliable sources of energy today. It is also the most affordable form of energy, which is the reason why many people are embracing solar electric systems for their power needs. The best thing about solar energy and solar systems is that you can have a system installed in your home/workplace for specific power needs. Solar systems can be used for specialized needs such as powering a water pump, lighting, patio, backyard waterfalls, and even home security systems. Solar systems are rarely affected by bad weather since they are powered by an independent source.

Solar systems are categorized into 3 different types: utility (grid) connected, battery backup, and standalone systems. The three systems are designed to meet specific electrical requirements that a user may have. All one needs to do is pick the right system for their needs. Discussed below are the different types of solar systems to help you choose well.

1. Grid-Tied Solar System (Utility Interconnected)

These systems are designed to provide power all day long (not for backup power) and mostly used in sunny states. Solar panels (high wattage) are installed on the roof and contribute to more than 80% of your power needs. The best thing about these systems is that any excess power generated by these solar panels is added back into the grid. This helps lower electricity bills as power contributed back to the grid act as credits or savings. Grid-tied solar systems are therefore designed for net metering or to reduce power demands.

For help with a grid solar system, contact a professional solar contractor.

2. Standalone Systems

Standalone systems are specially designed as a substitute for utility power. These systems come in a complete package of charge regulators, solar charging modules, and backup batteries. These are the most common solar systems in homes and office setups as they are an excellent alternative for noisy generators and kerosene lamps. Standalone solar systems are mainly preferred in recreational vehicles, boats, or even remote homes. The system works by charging the backup batteries during the daytime. This power can then be used when there is no sunlight or at night. Standalone systems come in two types: DC and AC-DC systems. AC-DC systems come with built-in DC to AC inverters that make it possible to power household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, computers, kitchen appliances, and washing machines.

3. Backup AC Solar Systems

This is an advanced version of a standalone system in that it comes with at least ten arrays of photovoltaic modules, a huge battery bank, and AC-DC inverters. The system works by storing electricity harnessed by these solar modules in the battery bank, and it makes the power available when needed. The backup system is mainly connected to the house in the same way a backup generator is connected. Should there be a power failure, the solar backup system kicks in providing the much-needed power. This helps provide uninterrupted power to your home or office.

For questions with any type of solar, consult with a solar expert St. Charles to get help with your project.

If you’re unsure of the solar system to buy for your needs, you can always consult with different suppliers for advice. These professionals should be able to help you find the right system for your needs.