Different Types of Solar Power Systems

Hi, this is New Physicist again. Today we are going to learn about three different types of solar power systems. We all know that solar power is gaining more and more attention these days. In the past, solar power system components were very expensive but recent technological developments have made a drastic reduction in the cost of solar power components, mainly solar panels and batteries.

By installing solar power systems you can reduce your electricity bills. But there are different types of solar power systems that you can adopt for your property. You can decide which one is suitable for you after learning about them. Let's get started.

Different Types of Solar Power Systems 

1. Off-grid Solar Power system

AC based Offgrid Solar System

An off-grid solar system is a stand-alone unit that is not connected to the electricity grid. These systems are typically remote where the cost of running a utility connection is more expensive then purchasing an off grid solar system.Off-grid Solar Systems work by generating electricity from solar panels and using it to charge a solar battery via a charge controller. An inverter converts the direct current(DC) to alternate current(AC) so that it can power your home or business appliances. Excess solar power charges your solar battery so that you can use the electricity at night or during times when your system is not generating power.

DC-based Solar Power System

 In a DC system as the name suggests the entire system is DC based, but still there is no grid connectivity. Its basic components would be a solar panel, solar charge controller, batteries and DC load. There isn’t any DC to AC conversion here. But the property's wiring has to be properly designed to handle a DC current. The Advantage of a DC based system is that they do not need an Inverter, because all equipments are running on DC. So we can save money as well as energy since there's no DC to AC conversion loss.

2. On-Grid Solar Power System

The on-grid solar power system is a solar power generation system where it is connected to the utility grid. The electricity produced by the system is routed to the grid from where it is used to run the various appliances. The excess power at any point in time is transmitted back to the grid.

This system works in two-ways — the supply of electricity can flow from the grid to which it is connected to the user’s home and from the user’s home to the grid. This feature makes the on-grid solar system affordable and highly useful. The solar panels, installed on the user’s home are ‘tied’ to the grid. The solar panels convert sunlight into electric energy, which is Direct Current (DC). This current is then sent to an inverter. The solar inverter then converts the DC to Alternating Current (AC), thus making it power the electrical items. This electricity is then routed to the grid where it is supplied for day to day use. 

The grid-tied inverter additionally regulates the amount and voltage of electricity fed to the household since all the power generated is mostly much more than a home needs or can handle. An important feature is a net meter. It is a device that records the energy supplied to the grid and the energy consumed. At the end of each month, the outstanding is recorded and the consumer is provided with a bill. This ‘converted’ power supply is then used by homes through the main electricity distribution panel. 

3. Hybrid Solar Power System

Hybrid solar systems generate power in the same way as a common grid-tie solar system but use special hybrid inverters and batteries to store energy for later use. This ability to store energy enables most hybrid systems to also operate as a backup power supply during a blackout, similar to a UPS system.
In the solar world, the term 'hybrid' refers to a combination of solar and energy storage which is also connected to the electricity grid. Hybrid solar systems utilize battery-based grid-tie inverters. These devices combine can draw electrical power to and from battery banks, as well as synchronize with the utility grid.

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