There are three key types of home solar power systems on Maui. These are grid inter-tied; grid inter-tied with battery backup; and offgrid. All three types of home solar systems on Maui are different depending on how closely connected they are to the traditional power utility infrastructure referred to as the grid.
Each of the solar power system type has precise strengths that define how suited they are for your power needs. Learn about the required equipment for home solar systems on Maui.
3 Key Types of Home Solar Power Systems on Maui
These are the major types of home solar power systems on the island of Maui:
1. Grid Inter-Tied home Solar Power Systems
A grid inter-tied home solar power system on Maui connects the home directly to the traditional electric utility grid. Grid inter-tied systems make it possible for homeowners to get power from either the utility grid or the home electric system. The system is designed to make switching between the grid and the home system easier.
The key advantage of this type of home solar power system is the capability to balance the power the system is generating with a home’s power needs. In the event that a grid inter-tied system is generating more power than a home can consume, the surplus can be sold back to the utility grid. This process is referred to as net metering.
Also, when the system is not generating enough power, the home can use power from the utility grid. The grid inter-tied system is currently the least expensive type of home solar electric system because it requires fewer components to work.
2. Grid Inter-tied Home Solar Power System with Battery Backup
Similar to the first mentioned type of solar power system, a grid-tied solar power system is connected to the traditional utility grid and it comes with a battery backup to the system. The inclusion of a battery backup makes it possible for the system to balance power generation and demand. Also, the battery protects the home against power outages.
The electricity generated by home solar power systems on Maui is based on available sunlight. When sunlight is sufficient, the generated power may exceed demand. In such situations when production exceeds demand, the surplus power charges the batteries which is used for storing the power. Also, when the system is generating less electricity than what is required by the home, the batteries make up for the shortage.
Grid inter-tied systems are connected to the utility power grid too. This makes it possible for homeowners in Maui to obtain power from the grid when demands are higher and to sell power to the grid when power generations are higher than what is required.
Though grid inter-tied systems provide more flexibility, they also have some shortcomings. As the attached batteries charges and discharges, they slow down the entire efficiency of the system. Meanwhile, grid inter-tied systems are more complex to build and install. They also cost more too.
3. Off Grid Solar Power Systems
Unlike other types of home solar power systems on Maui, the off-grid home solar power system is not connected to the traditional electric power grid. As a result of this, batteries are required to balance moments of excess power generation and excess power demand.
To safeguard the home electric use against shortages when the solar system is not generating enough power and the batteries are down, an electric generator is often added to the system. The generator functions as a source of power when there is lengthy excess power generation and unexpected spike in demand.