What are the major types of solar systems available today?

In the previous article, we discussed the features and working of an off-grid solar power system. Let us now see how it compares to the other two types of systems i.e. grid-tied and hybrid solar power systems.

Grid-tied Solar Power System

  • This is the most common type of solar system that is usually found in industrial, commercial, and residential units. As the name depicts, the solar power system is connected to the conventional utility grid which provides electricity to the customers. When sunlight hits the panels, electricity is produced which is consumed by all the connected appliances.

When the generation exceeds the consumption, the excess power is supplied back to the utility company. Hence, grid-tied solar systems are equipped with a bi-directional meter that measures the energy consumption and the export of excess energy back to the grid.

  • In most cases, the excess energy compensates for the times when energy production falls short of the generation demands. This balance of energy on both ends is maintained under a scheme known as net metering.

Grid-tied solar systems are not equipped with energy storage units i.e. batteries. These systems have a few panels, wiring boxes, and an inverter. These systems are most suited for commercial and industrial units that have strong grid connectivity and their energy requirement is very high.

Let us take a look at some pros and cons of grid-tied solar power systems.

Advantages

  • Grid-tied systems are quite low-maintenance, hence they don’t have much operating cost.
  • They have two sources of energy i.e. solar power and the utility grid. This ensures a continuous supply of electricity even when one of the sources is not functional.
  • Selling excess energy to the grid through the process of net metering has considerable financial advantages.

Disadvantages

  • A major disadvantage of grid-tied solar systems is that they do not have storage units. If both the utility grid and solar system are not operational, then you will be left without electricity.

Hybrid Solar Power System

  • This is the third type of solar power system which is quite similar to grid-tied systems. However, the major difference lies in the fact that hybrid solar power systems are equipped with a battery backup. When the electric production exceeds the demand, the extra energy is directed to the batteries where it is stored for later use. After the batteries have been charged, any excess energy is given back to the grid.

major types of solar systemsThese systems are most suited for homes, offices, microgrids, and rural areas where the electricity demand is not too high i.e. not more than 50 KW. Hybrid systems are usually more costly as they require some extra components i.e. a charge controller and a battery bank. These components are not needed in the case of grid-tied systems.

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid solar systems:

Advantages

  • Due to the presence of battery backup, these systems are highly reliable. If both the grid and solar system are not functional, batteries can provide backup for an extended number of hours.
  • If the solar system is not working, then batteries can act as the primary source of power, rather than taking electricity from the grid. This can result in considerable cost savings.

Disadvantages

  • The operational cost of the system is high because batteries need to be changed regularly. The capital cost is also high because these systems require additional equipment.

Irrespective of the type of solar system, all solar panels have a limited life after which their efficiency decreases drastically. Reuse and recycling are the most suitable waste disposal solutions available for end-of-life solar panels. If you are looking for reliable solar panel recycling solutions, contact PV2 Recycle.

We offer large-scale solar panel recycling services for businesses. To avail of our services, visit our website and write to us at info@pv2recycle.com. Our recycling services are compliant with all federal and state-level regulations.

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