Types Of Solar Electric Systems

Types of Solar Electric Systems

There’s more than one way to generate renewable solar energy. It all depends on the type of solar electric system you choose. And for that, you need to understand the various classifications used for types of solar electric systems, which is determined by the functional requirements, the component parts, and how the solar electric system is connected to any other power sources.

Generally speaking, there are two main types of solar electric systems: those that are connected to the local energy grid, and those that stand-alone, but some systems function as hybrids of these two types. Each system type has its own advantages and disadvantages, though grid-tied solar electric is becoming much more common worldwide, making up close to 70% of the residential solar market today.

Grid-Connected Solar Electric Systems

A grid-connected solar electric system goes by several other names, including utility interactive, grid inter-tied, and grid-tie systems (GTS). The basic set-up of a grid-connected solar electric system involves solar panels that are linked to the local electric utility grid. But of course, the connection between the solar array and the utility grid is a bit more complex than that. The following are the required components for a grid-connected solar electric system:

Solar panels


DC disconnect

AC breaker panel

Kilowatt-hour meter

Utility disconnect

Electrical wiring in your home
All of these components function together in an intricate design to collect and distribute clean, renewable energy. It starts with the solar panels that collect sunlight and convert it into an electrical current. The electricity that these panels produce is direct current (DC) energy, but since your home and the grid function on alternating current (AC) energy, the raw solar energy needs to be converted.

For that, the solar electric system relies on an inverter (sometimes called a power conditioning unit, or PCU), which is one of the most important components in your solar electric system. The inverter will convert the DC energy to AC energy which can then be used inside your home and or be safely sent to the local utility grid. From there, the electricity travels via your home’s normal wiring through the AC breaker panel.

A grid-tied solar electric system also requires an array DC disconnect, which is essentially a switch that allows you to stop the flow of electricity from your solar panels. This is used to shut the system down in emergencies or when maintenance needs to be performed. You will also have a utility disconnect which is used by the local utility to stop the flow of energy when they need to perform maintenance on the utility grid.

At this point, a kilowatt-hour meter provides a read-out of how much power your solar array has produced in order to calculate your monthly utility bill. This leads us to one of the biggest benefits of a grid-tied solar panel system. When connected to the existing power grid and producing energy, your solar panel will pump all excess clean energy you produce into the grid. Through a program called net metering, which many (but not all) communities now have, you will get credit from your local utility for all of the power fed into the grid. In essence, the meter will spin backwards during these times!

Conversely, at night and during times when your solar system doesn’t make enough energy for your home, you can draw power from the local utility grid. As a result, most grid-connected solar system do not include a battery since all of the energy is consumed as it is produced.

Stand-Alone, Off-Grid Solar Electric Systems

Unlike a grid-tied system, a stand-along solar electric array is usually sized to provide a minimum amount of energy in order to generate an entire home’s energy requirements (sometimes combined with geothermal, wind, or hydro power). Most grid-connected systems, on the other hand, normally provide only a portion of the energy needed by the home.

The components used in an off-grid solar electric system are very similar to those used in a grid-tied, but for a few additional components. Here’s the complete list:

Solar panels


Back-up generator

DC disconnect


AC breaker panel

Kilowatt-hour meter

Utility disconnect


Electrical wiring in your home

So how does an off-grid solar system differ from a grid-connected one? It collects solar energy in the same way and then converts it into an electrical (DC) current, but in this case, it can either funnel the electricity into your home or the battery system. It does not ever send electricity into the local electric utility grid.

In a stand-alone solar system, sometimes the DC energy is pumped straight into the DC battery, but it can also send the energy through an inverter to convert the DC energy into AC energy, just as before. Most often the electricity is then piped into your home or the batteries which can either store the energy for later use or be consumed immediately by your home, depending on the time of day and the amount of energy being produced and used. As with a grid-tied system, your off-grid solar array will also have a DC disconnect to allow you to shut the system down in an emergency and for maintenance, but it will also have a rectifier which is like a reverse inverter for changing AC to DC power for charging the batteries.

Batteries are finicky pieces of equipment, and as such they require some additional components to ensure they run well and last a long time. A system meter, for instance, will measure how full your battery is and how much energy is being produced by your panels versus how much you are using. This will give you a detailed look at how well your system is performing and whether or not you have any problems.

Another important component for battery health is the charge controller which also monitors and manages the charge coming from the panels into the batteries. For homes that are completely off the local electric grid, a back-up generator is usually part of the energy package as well. This gas or diesel-powered system provides electricity during periods of lesser sunlight and at night as needed. These can, however, be very noisy and produce a lot of fumes, so are often not preferred by solar owners.

Hybrid Solar Electric Systems

A hybrid solarelectric system combines some of the best characteristics of an off-grid and a grid-tied system. These systems are connected to the local utility grid, but also have a battery back-up system. The battery allows the homeowner to store energy for use during non-producing hours (at night or during black-outs). These systems are ideal for homes where the energy grid is unreliable because of inclement weather, an unstable utility generation system, and so on. This is of particular importance for those who rely on a constant source of energy for their home or business.

Choosing between a grid-tied, off-grid, or hybrid solar system does take a little expertise as you weigh the various options. This brief solar training guide should help you determine the right system for your home or inspire you to jump into a renewable energy career!

To learn more about solar electric systems sign up for a solar training course.

Remote Control Toy Boats – The Best Under $100

Due to the advancement of RC technology, hobbyists can buy several toy boats for lower than $100. The list below shows the best that you can possible find at this price.

18-inch RC Sundancer Boat for $29.99

This model features forward and reverse motions as well as left and right steering. It weighs 2.1 pounds and measures 20 by 8 by 7.7 inches. The package includes a controller, display stand and battery clip. It requires 2-AA batteries (not part of the package) and 1 to 6V rechargeable battery pack. This RC boat is recommended for ages 8 and above. It is not advisable for children below 3 years of age because of choking hazards.

30-inch Super Power RC Electric Racing Syma Boat for $99.99
This is a blazingly fast RC boat model with a deep-V design. It can traverse waters at blinding speeds due to its dual motors and PC twin propellers. It was engineered to be reliable, stable, smooth and fast making it a perfect choice for affordable RC boat racing stunts. It is powered by standard Sub C 7.2V rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries, similar to those used to run Tamiya cars. It has a fast turning radius and can achieve a speed of more than 25 miles per hour due to its vector-push design. It uses durable plastic material made of LEXAN Polycarbonate. It can be operated at a maximum range of 300 feet and a running time of approximately 20 to 30 minutes. It is ready to race and fully assembled so it can be used immediately after taking it out of the package. It comes with an AC adapter and rechargeable battery pack. But the remote requires eight AA batteries.
Atlantio Radio Remote Control Replica Electric RC Boat for $99.99
This ready to run electric RC boat is an exact replica of the original Atlantio. The exterior is very detailed with a vector push design and measures 25 by 7.9 inches. It comes with a charger, rechargeable batteries, pistol grip radio, 8 AA batteries and a display stand. It has a 2 channel radio control with full functions and can be operated at a maximum range of 300 feet. It is very durable because of its 100% metal actuating mechanism.
22-inch Balaenoptera Musculus Electric RC Racing Syma Boat for $89.95
This model is an electric powered RC boat that can run at fat speeds due to its PC twin propellers. Its power source is a standard Sub C 7.2V rechargeable Ni-Cd pack similar to those used for Tamiya cars. It is made of durable plastic with a vector-push design. It can run at more than 25 miles per hour and can be operated at a maximum range of 300 feet with 20 to 30 minutes of running time.

Megatech Water Elite RC Speed Boat at $64.99
This RC boat model weighs 17.6 oz and the hull measures 17 inches. It is electric powered and can run at a speed of 22 feet per second. It is a high speed racer that can run through the waves at blazing speeds. The package comes with a display stand, transmitter, 9v battery and charger.

How Many Types Of Electrical Transformers Are There

Applying the principle of magnetic induction between coils, an electrical transformer is a device which transforms the voltage from higher to lower. The electric transformer transfigures the alternating current or AC electric energy from one circuit into another with electromagnetic induction.

The transformers are composed of ferromagnetic core and two or more coils labeled as windings. Any electrical changes in the primary winding create an alternating magnetic field in the core, which multiplies the field and the flux through the secondary windings. This in turn, incites alternating voltage in each of the secondary coils.

If another wire is present near an electric current that is changing strength, the electricity will flow into that wire as magnetism changes. An electrical transformer takes in electricity at a higher voltage and allows it to flow through several coils wound around an iron core.

The magnetism in the core changes as the electric current does. Surrounding the core is an output wire with fewer coils. The electric current within the wire is derived from the fluctuating activity in the magnetism. If the coils are fewer, the voltage is low. This incidence is called stepped-down voltage.

Electrical transformers are used in utility poles of electric companies and in changing the voltage in a toy train set. In the household application, when electricity moves from a power plant, it is placed into a high voltage to enable it to travel long distances. The high voltage lines can range between 155,000 to 765,000 volts to have the capacity to travel hundred of miles.

In order to use the electricity in a household or store, it needs to be at a lower voltage. The electricity should be on a stepped-down to a lower level using an electrical transformer.

The lower voltage electricity is placed into local electric wires at a substation, which breaks down the larger amount of power into smaller electricity at a lower voltage. Hence, the voltage is stepped-down.

Now, when the smaller transformers take the voltage down to 7,200, the power leaves such substation. The transformer on a utility pole or underground wires transfigures the 7,200 volts into 220-240 volts, which is then sent into your household over three wires.

These three wires go through the electric meter that measures the amount of electricity consumed. Two of the wires are electrical-charged and the other wire serves ground. The Step-up transformer contains greater number of windings on the side where it outputs the energy. It increases the voltage as it reduces the current. It is used in appliances that use 220 volts.

The step-down electrical transformer is used to reverse the winding ratio. Examples of its applications include a battery-run device than can be plugged into the wall, so the radio may run on 12v batteries, and on 110v through adapters having a step-down transformer inside.

Isolation electrical transformers have many applications. They break circuits into primary and secondary. They are also used to prevent capacitance buildup between the primary and secondary which causes high-frequency noise.

Benefits Of Electric Breast Pump

Seeing the child grow healthy, moral and successful is one of the greatest achievements of the parents could get. So make sure at the early stage of your child, you have provided him what he needed and the best of what you can give. Breastfeeding is the way to feed your new born child. It is a great experience where you can feel that you are connected with your child and it help provides health benefits.

Many women have dreamed to supply their child nutritious breast milk but sad to say some has difficulties in giving the breast milk. No matter what the reasons are, many have suggested using electric breast pump in feeding your infant. The two kinds of breast pump are the manual and electric. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Today, Electric breast pump is one of the most regularly use of the mothers today. It is more costly than the manual yet it has some benefit and it performs better. In hospitals, it is suggested to use the electric because it is more proficient to drag out the breast milk more. It is faster and eases up your hands from pumping than the manual option. Not all the time, you are with your baby due to work. Due to that fact, electric breast pump was designed. It is now easier for working mother who has permanent worked and traveled oftentimes. To sustain a sufficient supply of milk, mothers are still advised to nurture and breastfeed their infants naturally when they are at home. The quality and prices varies depending on the grade. Mostly electric pumps are intended for personal use not only for hospital used. Generally, it is portable that weigh eight pounds or less. Some of the accessories included are AC adapter, clips, storage bags, nipple ointment, bottles and battery packs.

When buying, you look at several choices available and must consider the price before you decide what to buy. If you are tired wandering along the local markets, you can shop online where you can find huge selection of different electric and manual breast pump. You will be even surprised to see the latest and efficient breast pump you are looking for.