Grid-tied solar power systems are indeed economical and excellent means of producing alternative energy. But, do you know how to connect solar panels to the grid?
You’ll need to prepare solar panels and an inverter when connecting the solar PV systems to the grid. The solar panels transform solar energy into DC electricity, while the inverter converts DC electricity into AC.
This process allows energy production to run different devices at home.
We’ll discuss the materials and steps required for attaching solar PV systems to the grid below.
Table of Contents
The Main Components Needed for Connecting Solar Panels to the Grid
Before we proceed to the steps on how to hook up solar panels to the grid, you need to prepare the following materials first:
- Solar Panels
- Solar Inverter
- Charge Controller
- MC4 Connectors
- Nuts and bolts
7 Steps to Connect Solar Panels to the Grid
Before installing the solar panels, you need to figure out your required solar system size. To determine the size of your system, check the wattages of all the electrical devices you’ll be using at home. From there, you may compute the number of hours you’ll use the appliances per day.
One more thing is to refer to a solar power grid connection diagram first. Carefully studying the on grid solar system wiring diagram can help you learn the critical guides on how to hook up solar panels to the grid properly.
Here are the detailed steps on how to connect solar panels to house:
Step 1: Prepare the mounts that will provide solid support to your panels.
You can choose flush mounts or roof-ground mounts, whatever you think is best for you. A good rule of thumb is if you reside in the Northern Hemisphere, your solar PV systems must face the South, East, or West. Meanwhile, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you need to install the panels facing the North.
When setting up solar panels, you need to install them slightly tilted, preferably between 18 to 36-degree tilt.
Step 2: Set up the solar panels.
For the mounting structure of your panels, secure it by screwing the nuts and bolts. Before proceeding to the next step, you have to check if your panels are correctly secured.
Step 3: Work on the electrical wiring.
MC4 connectors are generally used for the electrical wiring process because you can connect or use them with any solar panels.
Please take note of the following:
- Parallel Connection
- This setup goes like this: connect positive (+) to positive (+) and negative (-) to negative (-). In this case, the wiring voltage of each panel is unchanged.
- Series Connection
- You should connect the positive wire (+) to the negative wire (-) of another PV module. It’s essential to understand that such a form of wiring purposely extends the voltage.
Step 4: Attach the solar panel to your solar inverter.
You need to connect the positive wire from the panel to the solar inverter’s positive terminal at this stage. In the same way, you need to connect the negative wire from the panel to the negative terminal of the solar inverter.
To start the power generation process, you have to connect your solar inverter to the grid input and the battery.
Step 5: Link your solar inverter to the battery.
To do so, you need to attach the battery’s positive terminal to the inverter’s positive terminal. Then, connect the battery’s negative terminal to the inverter’s negative terminal. It’s worth noting that batteries are handy for power storage or backup.
Step 6: Attach your solar inverter to the grid.
You’ll need to utilize a standard plug to attach to the primary power switchboard. In this step, you have to connect the output wire to the electric board to enable electricity generation for your home.
Step 7: Check your solar inverter.
Once you have accomplished all the electrical connections and wirings, you may test the solar inverter by turning on the main switch in your house. If your solar inverter features a digital display, it’ll be easier for you to determine the stats that indicate the production and consumption of your solar unit.
What Are Grid-Connected Solar Power Systems?
As the name suggests, a grid-connected solar system is tied to the utility grid. What distinguishes it from other solar setups is that the energy runs in two different ways. When your household requires more energy than your solar system generates, the house draws in energy from the utility.
Likewise, you supply the grid with your solar energy when your solar generation rises above your household’s needs.
If you noticed, grid-connected solar systems largely depend on the utility for excess energy when necessary. They also depend on the utility grid so they can run continuously.
What Makes Installing a Grid-Connected Solar System Advantageous
There are several reasons why deciding to go for a grid-connected system can offer you limitless benefits. Nonetheless, the three main reasons are:
- Grid-tied systems are cost-effective.
- On-grid solar systems allow homeowners to save more dollars because they work more efficiently. Moreover, they offer net metering. They’re relatively straightforward to set up and don’t require super expensive equipment costs.
- They help increase the value of your property.
- Having a grid-tied solar system setup at home does not only help you set aside some bucks from your energy bills. If you have plans to sell your property in the future, your solar panel system can significantly increase the selling price of your property.
- This is because a grid-tied solar setup makes your property more attractive and a worthwhile investment in the eyes of most buyers.
- They provide homeowners with more security from the rapidly increasing costs of electricity.
- Energy costs undoubtedly make up a considerable part of any household’s overall budget. Undeniably, electricity generation is mainly dependent on fossil fuels, which are likely to be affected by unsteady and fluctuating foreign markets.
- Hence, if you have a grid-tied solar system at home, you can protect yourself against increasing electricity costs. The delightful news is that you no longer have to suffer from unstable electricity rates in the future
The Bottom Line
A grid-tied solar system is ideal for homeowners who do not have a considerable budget for setting up a solar PV system that’s large enough to satisfy all their energy consumption.
You can benefit from this system because it allows you to continuously draw power from the grid, if necessary. It’s cost-effective, easy to set up, and increases the value of your property. Or another option is off-grid, click here for more features and applicability of off grid solar systems. In addition, there are many types of solar panels, such as 100 watt solar panels, low light solar panels.
As stated in the guide, installing a grid-connected solar system can be accomplished with the right equipment and instructions. Did you like our tutorial about how to connect solar panels to the grid? If yes, please give it a like and feel free to share it with your friends who plan to go solar too.
As the founder of the Avasolar team, I aspire to solve the problems for households in selecting, installing, and utilizing solar mechanical devices.