Solar power systems collect UV from the sun. Even on cloudy days UV still provides energy although not as much as a sunny day. The solar panels collect the UV in the form of DC (direct current). The inverter then converts the energy from DC into AC (alternating current) which is generally what we all use as power. The inverter manages the power and allows you to utilize the power collected from the solar panels first before buying from the grid. Any excess power not used from the solar panel collection is then sent back to the grid and obtains a feed in tariff from the electricity retail providers that are agreed upon. If you need more power than what the panels provide at any given time the house pulls power from the grid to offset the shortfall. On-Grid system though will not work if the grid fails as they need the grid to profile themselves. This is done so if the grid fails you do not send electricity back into the grid and electrocute technicians who may be working on the grid if it has failed as often is the case.
This is the basic operation of an On-Grid system and generally if you have lines to the property it is by far the least expensive option to start saving money with solar power. Use the grid power already there as it is far cheaper to use the existing grid and install an On-Grid system for lower upfront cost than to disconnect from an existing grid line and go OFF-GRID at substantial cost. OFF-GRID (explained here) is expensive and even a Hybrid system (explained here) is expensive to install. Many companies will try to up sell you on all kinds of niche market products which will increase your capital outlay. Our suggestion is to design a versatile On-Grid system that has the capability to be expanded on and keep it cost effective so you can get a nice return on the investment. The more you spend upfront on special devices promised to help as a general rule only will lower your return on the investment.
You don’t need batteries, diversion systems, hot water systems, energy management systems, monitoring systems, in order to simply generate power and save money. Keep it simple at first until you understand how your system works and the benefits you will get for your home before you go adding extra costs up front for things you don’t understand and may not need in your case. Many professional installers will try to suggest and even pressure you to get extras but just get power savings first. Then if you want, use the savings to get other stuff.
Use our solar calculator (here), or get a solar engineer to design your system and then get your equipment here at Solar Direct in Nelson. You can install an On-Grid system pretty easily and start shaving your power cost as a DYI project. All you need is an electrician to wire the system into your house with about an hour or two of billing by your electrician. This of course is dependent on your comfort level on your roof and we do not recommend you push yourself beyond your comfort zone. But if you or your neighbor are comfortable in your case to DYI solar it is possible. Most solar companies wish to convey solar as this complex risky business that they need to do for you. If you purchase our E-book instruction manual (here)to go along with your equipment you can install solar safely, following the regulations, and save yourself thousands on installation costs. You will also understand your system much better and how to manipulate it to save you thousands on your power bills each year.