Solar power systems

What is the main difference between solar power systems?

The difference between solar power systems lies in the directly unused energy. You have the option of storing the unused energy in a battery for later use, but you can also choose to recycle the generated but unused energy back into the electricity grid.

Solar power system feeding into the network

Operation: The directly unused energy is fed back into the electricity grid, so you may even get paid by the service provider for electricity generation. The service provider is obliged to ‘buy’ the green energy you produce at the price for which it provides electricity.

Characteristics: The condition for this solution is to have an available electricity network nearby. You can only supply power to the network through standard, controlled inverters. The service provider buys the surplus electricity from you, and if there is not enough sunshine to produce your electricity demand, you can ‘borrow’ electricity from the network. Settlement with the service providers is currently possible annually.

Off-grid solar power system

Operation: Directly unused energy is stored in our own battery for later use. This solution does not feed power back into the electricity network, only to the battery.

Characteristics: This solution does not require a nearby electricity network, the system is completely self-contained and self-sustaining. True, the extra energy produced is not bought by the electricity supplier, but even in the event of a power failure, you are not left without electricity (up to the amount of energy stored in the battery).

Hybrid solar power systems

Operation: These solutions combine the two systems. Up to the capacity of the battery, energy is stored in the battery, while the surplus power is fed back into the network.

Characteristics: This solution has the advantages of both systems: your energy stored later can be used in the event of a power failure, and the surplus energy is bought by the electricity supplier. Of course, this system also needs to have an electricity network available nearby.


Solar power systems feeding into the network in detail

Our solar power system generates electricity. This energy needs to be directed somewhere. The appliances you use – tv, fridge, fryer, computer – do not require the energy exactly when it is produced by the solar panels and not in that exact amount. That would be ideal, but unfortunately it is not possible. Therefore, the method commonly used today is to ‘feed’ the surplus into the system of the local service provider. That is, what you do not use is taken over from you by the electricity supplier and returned to you later.

The solution has two parts: technical and material.

From a technical side, you are immediately faced with a problem: the solar panel produces direct current, but the mains power is alternating current. Therefore you need a device that converts the current from the solar panels into alternating current. This is the inverter. You cannot install just any kind of inverter because the conversion has to comply with a number of factors, therefore the local service provider publishes the inverters accepted by it. Before installation, you need to decide which of these fits the system you have in mind. Fortunately, you can now choose from a fairly wide range. Permission must be sought before preparing the necessary technical documentation, as you cannot choose just any size for the system. The maximum size is determined by the service provider based on technical specifications.

Fortunately, its material side is much simpler: the newly installed meters also measure the amount we consume and recycle into the system. The balance of the two determines how much you pay, usually on an annual basis. IF you have produced more than you have consumed you will have to issue an invoice (they pay you!!).

Off-grid solar power systems in detail

If there is no mains power nearby and you do not want to operate large appliances, an off-grid solar power system may be an affordable design.

In this case, the energy produced by the solar panels is directed to a charger, which charges the batteries. In this case, of the electrical equipment it is advisable to choose those operating with 12-24V, as the conversion of the current always involves a loss. The appliances which require normal mains voltage are supplied with the appropriate current by inverters.

With this system, it is no longer the solar panel but the batteries that store energy that are the biggest cost.

You would like to switch to clean and economical energy but have questions?

Contact our advisor and ask for a free consultation with the following form or on the following contact details.