A grid-connected photovoltaic power system or grid-connected PV system is an electricity generating solar PV system that is connected to the utility grid. A grid-connected PV system consists of a number of solar panels, one or several inverters and grid connecting equipment.
The solar modules generate a DC electrical current and the inverters convert this DC electricity into an AC electrical current that matches the local grid voltage and frequency.
The grid connecting equipment monitors the whole system and automatically switches the inverter off if the mains grid should fail. This equipment is usually built into the inverter.
Grid-connected PV systems range from small residential and commercial rooftop systems through to large utility-scale power stations with many 1000’s of solar modules.
As they are connected to the Grid, these systems don’t need expensive battery storage systems. Excess energy can be exported to the Grid and any energy shortage at the property can be met by the Grid.
With no moving parts, a professionally designed PV solar system will give reliable power for many years and earn an income that will more than pay for itself.
The UK Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme is designed to let grid PV solar systems earn and income, which will pay for their installation costs. The payback period is usually between 8 to 12 years, depending upon the individual system and property features.