Grid Connected Inverters
Basic Grid Connected Solar Options
If you want to reduce your reliance on grid supplied electricity, the first step would be to save energy using a solar hot water system and energy efficient light bulbs.
If you want to do more than that, you have several options:
- Grid feed only
- Grid interactive inverters with battery bank
- Off-grid system with grid backup (not feeding)
All three systems require specific inverters.
If you would like more information about any of these systems, please do not hesitate to contact us so we can design a system to meet your needs.
Grid Feed Systems
A plain grid feed system takes all the electricity you produce through an inverter to the grid. Grid feed inverters do not use a battery bank and therefore they do not give you any power back up in the event of a grid power failure.
The power you produce is either measured with a Net meter or a Gross meter. Gross meters count everything you produce, regardless of your consumption, whereas Net meters deduct your household's consumption first.
While grid feeding does in no way reduce your reliance on the electricity grid it sure reduces the amount of money you pay to your energy provider. As solar panels are getting better and cheaper (and they come with a 25-year warranty), grid feeding is a lot more feasible today than it was 10 years ago. Check out Australia's current rebates & incentives.
Grid Interactive Systems with Battery Bank
Grid interactive inverters perform the same function as grid feed inverters, however they allow power to flow 'both ways'. They also incorporate a battery bank and have an automatic built in charger. This type of system gives you back up power in the event that the grid fails or goes out of tolerance in terms of its voltage and frequency.
Grid as Backup
The last main option is to obtain a solar system (panels, battery, regulator and inverter) and transfer some or all of your loads to this system.
This is probably the most useful and cost effective solution unless you are likely to produce (sell) more power than you use. This option means that a few of your important loads can keep running in the event of a power failure. It is a 'simpler' system than grid connected and you won't need the consent of the power utility. You could manually top up your battery with a small charger connected to the grid if you get prolonged cloudy weather.