In this system, the solar panels are connected to the local utility’s electrical grid to complement the normal power supply from the utility company. These systems can be installed on a home’s roof or mounted on the ground.
Grid-connected systems consist of the following:
- Solar panels mounted on the roof or ground
- An inverter to convert electricity produced by the system from direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) energy
- A junction box that connects the solar panel wiring to the breaker panel on the home
- A utility meter that displays how much power the home produces and uses
- A disconnect switch that, for safety reasons, prevents the system from sending power to the grid during power outages (this is called islanding)
- An interconnection agreement with the utility to ensure the consumer’s safety and that of others