Grid-direct PV Systems
A grid-connected PV system consists of PV modules, output cables, a module mounting structure, AC and DC disconnect switches, inverter(s), grounding equipment, and a metering system, as shown in the diagram below. The Grid-Tie System Worksheet is designed to help contractors size a PV array to offset all of their client’s electrical usage with the largest system that would be cost-effective to install. A smaller system can reduce part of the electric bill, and in locations with tiered or progressive rates, it may have a faster financial payback. Compare the worksheet result with the amount of space available to mount the PV array in order to get a rough idea of the maximum PV array size.
Below is a diagram of a typical batteryless grid-tie system (utility intertie). Many grid-tie inverters have built-in DC disconnect switches, while some have both a DC and an AC disconnect. Some models also contain a PV array string combiner so a separate one may not be necessary. Separate overcurrent protection for each series string of modules in a PV array (typically provided in the array combiner box) is required only if there are three or more series strings of modules connected to a single inverter input. Inverters with multiple MPPT input channels can have one or two series strings per channel without individual string fusing.
Grid-Tied Solar Diagram
Image Source: AEE Express
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