Grid-Tied Systems for Low Consumption and Low Costs
This entry was posted on October 12, 2012.
If you’re looking for an alternative energy solution that will be kind to your budget as well as the environment, a grid-tied solar power kit could be just what you need for your home or office. But how do these solar energy systems work, and what makes them so affordable?
What is a Grid-Tied System?
As we’ve mentioned in the past, a grid-tied solar power system is one that is designed not to replace the Eskom grid, but to work in conjunction with the grid, supplementing the power supply and offsetting the cost thereof. The system uses a grid-interactive solar inverter that feeds alternating current (AC) into the grid. This means that any excess power can be sent to the transmission grid, and standard power from the grid can be used to make up for any power shortfalls.
Advantages of Grid-Tied Systems
Grid-tied solar power systems are easy to install and much more cost-effective than stand-alone systems, or those with battery backup. This is partly because the system operates using fewer components, and partly because the sizing of the system is not dependent on the electrical load.
While battery backup is certainly an advantage in areas that are prone to power outages, a battery is a costly component of a solar power kit, and it is often far more-cost effective to install a grid-tied system with only the essential components, both for residential use and small-scale commercial use, usually in urban and suburban locations. Battery backup is essential for medical and large-scale industrial applications.
Grid-tied solar energy systems in South Africa are growing in popularity, and are fast approaching grid parity. This means that the cost of a kilowatt hour (unit of electricity) generated by an alternative energy source is equal to or less than the cost of a kWh purchased from the grid. Reaching grid parity is therefore the point where a renewable energy source becomes a candidate for widespread development, without the need for financial support from the Government.
The introduction of net meter tariffs in Cape Town is also set to make these solar energy systems more accessible and further boost their popularity; we will discuss this development in detail in a future blog post.
Grid-Tied Solar Kits from Sustainable
At Sustainable.co.za, we have put together a range of solar power kits for residential and commercial use; this makes it easier than ever for customers to find a kit that fits their requirements and works within their budget. Visit our online store and find the ideal solar power kit today.