Grid-tied solar installations.
If we talk about developed cities and towns, almost every home is provided with continuous electricity supply by the municipality/Eskom. We say that the home is connected to Eskom or to the municipal grid, from where it receives the continuous electrical supply. A grid-tied solar system is not a stand-alone system, but is dependent upon the supply we get from Eskom/municipality.
Solar/PV panels produce Direct Current (DC) voltages. These Direct Current (DC) voltages are turned into AC electricity by an electrical device known as inverter, be it any type of solar installation. In Grid-tied systems, this inverter is being powered by the grid-power supply and, in turn, converts your DC signals into AC voltages, making it compatible with the home’s requirements as well as the grid power supply.
Grid-tied solar installations, typically, do not require batteries to store excessive energy. Any excessive energy produced by the solar system is fed back to Eskom/municipal grid, and this can add to the national power supply. However, this depends from area to area and requires your utility provider to permit you to supply excessive energy to the grid.
Having Eskom/municipal power supply comes with another benefit. Say suppose, that your solar installation is not able to provide enough energy that fulfils your household demands. In this case, the shortfall can be met by grid-power. So grid-tied solar installations can import energy from the main grid if there would by any need.
Grid-tied solar systems are in general more cost effective than hybrid and off-grid solar systems due to the lower installation and system equipment cost involved. There are always ways in which grid-tied solar systems can be designed to have future proof capabilities in regards to having additional solar panels, inverters or charge controllers and batteries fitted to grid-tied solar systems.