Grid-tied solar systems

These types of system with a grid connection will allow you to save money with solar panels through feeding back into the grid if you have the correct meter installed by council. They are generally cheaper to install due to lower equipment and installation costs, and better efficiency rates but don’t have all the benefits of a Hybrid System.

Your solar panels will often generate more electricity than what you consume.
With net metering or back feeding ( selling power to Eskom), homeowners can put this excess electricity onto the utility grid instead of storing it themselves with batteries.

Eskom and council are committed to buying electricity from homeowners at lower rate than they sell it but one needs the special bi directional meter to be installed at a cost of around R12000. As a homeowner, you can use these payments partially to cancel out your electricity usage charges bear in mind the council does charge a user fee for this pleasure hence the savings are not really worth the investment yet.

grid tie systems

Lower upfront costs and ease of installation
Grid-tied solar systems are the only type of solar system that doesn’t require a battery to function hence these systems are cheaper and simpler to install, and also means there is less maintenance required in the long term.

Equipment for grid-tied solar systems
The equipment needed for grid-tied systems namely rely on the following components:

  • Grid-tie inverter (GTI)
  • Power meter to control power flow to the eskom grid.

Grid-tie inverter (GTI)
A Grid tied inverter regulates the voltage and current received from your solar panels. Direct current (DC) from your solar panels is converted into alternating current (AC) which is the type of current that is used by most household electrical appliances.

G-tie inverters, also known as grid-interactive synchronize the phase and frequency of the current to fit the utility grid .The output voltage is also adjusted to be higher than the grid voltage in order for excess electricity to flow outwards to the grid but the inverter manages all this automatically.

These systems are great for saving money on your monthly bill but unfortunately don’t offer any solution towards load shedding and lost of grid power hence are not very popular anymore as most clients want the freedom to be able to have continuous power and also have the option to back feed into the grid if allowed.

Hybrid solar systems

Hybrid solar systems combine the best of grid-tied and battery power solutions. These systems are normally described as off-grid solar with utility backup power and battery storage. These are the most popular solution to be installed and most municipalities recognize them as the best load shedding solution option.

In a hybrid solar system, energy generated from the solar panels is first used to service the battery till its full (flow #2). After the battery is full then the home’s energy needs get supplied, solar power is used to supplement the load (flow #1). If there is still a surplus of solar energy, it will be exported to the electric grid in return for credits (flow #3) if allowed. If not then the inverter will only make whatever power is needed. The system pictured above shows an AC-coupled lithium battery. The balance is very important as the system that is over specked will be less beneficial as you can only make as much power as you consume unless you allowed to back feed. A CT coil is fitted to control the power flow

Benefits of hybrid solar systems
The system has a battery backup to keep you powered up during load shedding. If you find you don’t have enough power you can always add a 2nd battery as all systems are modular and will be much cheaper than operating a generator but should you want to you incorporate one too.

New inverters let homeowners take advantage of changes in the utility electricity rates throughout the day and have management systems to maximize the usage of battery and solar power.

Solar panels output the most electrical power during the day hence its best power as many items in your home during the day to consume power such as your geyser, pool pump and heat pump etc. If the power is available you maze well make use of it to best savings from your system

You can store electricity your solar panels generate in your batteries so they get charged from the sun for free, and only charge from the utility grid when you really need to or there is bad weather.

Equipment for hybrid solar systems
Typical hybrid solar systems are based on the following components:

  •  Inverter
  • Battery bank with FUSE disconnect
  • Solar panels and DC protection
  • Ct coil for back feeding prevention

The bottom line is this: Right now, for the vast majority of homeowners, tapping the utility grid for electricity and energy storage is significantly cheaper and more practical than using battery banks and/or backup generators.

We offer a few hard wired solutions for battery back in the home / office and commercial with solar as additional way to supplement the load.

All the systems can be connected to Solar panels as we install Hybrid Inverters only and all systems are installed by our licensed electrician who provides a COC with the installation on completion as well as assistance with registration with the city.

A few points to note:

  • Where is your DB box located ? Its best to put equipment in the garage but a storeroom or kitchen will also work as long as there is plenty ventilation and the equipment is not near any heat sources.
  • The equipment would you like to power which can either be a few lights and tv and smaller appliances or the larger units can then supply a larger load and more appliances during load shedding such as the aircon, coffee machine etc.

Most clients go with a 5 or 8 kw inverter and battery solution. The more battery storage you can afford the better you will cope during load shedding.

With the 5kw we suggest one or two 5kw batteries and with the 8kw system at least 1 x 10kw battery or two if budget allows as your batteries are one of the most important parts of the system. The more storage you have the more you can run and for longer.

All systems are also solar ready hence you can add panels onto the inverter at any point. Our normal suggestion would be to start with 10 x 540w panels that are mounted on stands on the flat roof or on the pitched. They will give around 4-5kw per hour depending on the time or year and direction hence you should generate around 20 – 25kw per day as we work on a average of 5hrs of good performance.

Estimated system prices are as follows :

  • 5kw with a 5.1kw lithium ion battery – R65000 installed + R55000 for the panels
  • 5kw with 10.32kw lithium ion battery – R85000 installed + R55000 for the panels
  • 8kw with 10.32kw lithium ion battery – R95000 installed + R55000 for the panels
  •  8kw with 20.2 kw lithium ion battery – R135000 installed + R55000 for the panels
  • 12kw with 10.32kw lithium ion battery – R195000 installed + R55000 for the panels
  • 15kw Solax HV inverter and 16kw of battery capacity – R240000 installed + R55000 for the panels

These prices are for a good quality Deye/Solax inverter and Volta battery combo that comes with a 10 year guarantee if paired together and are subject to site visit or information as each roof is different and has its own challenges.

We also do Sunsynk inverters too.

Prices are including vat and installation and all equipment needed including COC and installation by our resident electrician

We install:

All systems come with COC and installed by licensed electrician.

Solar panels from 400w to 570w – Ja Solar/Astronergy/ Jinko

Solax Installations

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