How Do You Hook Residential Solar Panels to the Grid?
Knowing what to do with unused renewable electricity is always a dilemma – hooking up to the grid has to be the preferred option.
If your residential home is grid tied, i.e. connected the electricity grid as opposed to off-grid and you are using solar panels to generate electricity. Then it makes a lot of sense to hook your solar panels to the grid, because instead of losing the unused electricity or having to maintain a bank of deep cycle batteries, you simply feed it back to the grid.
You feed electricity back to the grid via your electric meter which measures the electricity in Kilowatt per hour. This has the effect of reversing your meter which in turn reduces your electricity bills and if you are generating a lot of electricity you could find the utility company owing you money!
The Solar Powered System
Therefore, your solar powered installation would look like this. The solar panel will connect to an “array disconnect” – you need an array disconnect for system maintenance because it allows you to easily shut off the power.
The array disconnect is connected to an “inverter”. The solar panel generates DC power and the electricity from the grid is AC power. Therefore, you need an inverter to convert DC power to AC power.
The inverter is connected to an “AC breaker panel”. This is the interface where your solar generated electricity meets the electric meter and allows you to feed electricity back to the grid.
Now in most countries and states you are not allowed to tamper with the electric meter so at this point you should contact your local electricity energy supplier and ask them to supply an engineer to hook you up to the grid.
If you have anything to add to this article or you have connected your system to the grid – tell us how you did it by writing a comment below.