Renewable Energy: Grid-Tied Components

Renewable Energy: Grid-Tied Components

– What we’re looking at here is some of the devices and connections and electrical things, doohickeys, that we associate with a grid-tied photovoltaic system. Remember that grid-tied is a very nice way to use your photovoltaic. In this case, this
building has photovoltaics on the south facing roof structure. And this side is where we have brought the electric wires from the photovoltaic system on the roof down to our balance of system components. This box right here is
sort of an extra box that most homeowners
or users wouldn’t have. This is a lot of instrumentation and data collection because we are at a research facility. A lot of their mission is
to do research on these so this is a lot of data collection. But typically the wires
come down in conduit and then they go to a labeled DC disconnect. And DC disconnect allows us to isolate, disconnect the solar
photovoltaic energy source from the downstream component. This is a national electrical code compliant device. From there the electricity,
which is in DC, direct current, goes into what’s called a grid-tied, or grid-compatible inverter. The inverter takes the DC electricity from the PV panels, and it changes it to AC. Alternating currents and voltages. This is the typical voltage that the electric company produces and sends to our house. So we’re matching the electric company in both type of electricity, and the frequency at 60 hertz. So the AC electricity now goes to some additional data collection devices that again are typically not part of a normal installation. And then over here, finally, we have an AC disconnect that allows us to isolate that part of the system. And then from there, that AC goes inside the house
to a distribution panel just like it would on any house coming from the electric company. In addition to going to
our distribution panel, we also have another disconnect that disconnects the whole system. Again, national electrical code compliant. We have everything grounded. Again, according to
national electrical code. And we have an electric meter. And the electric meter in this case runs forward when we’re taking energy from the electric
company through the grid, we’re using the electricity at night to run some lights in the building, or in the daytime when we’re producing electricity, we’re using the electricity to run everything in the building. And if there’s anything leftover, we run the meter backwards, so we’re actually selling electricity to the electric company. – [Narrator] The
preceding was a production of New Mexico State University. The views and opinions in this program are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent
the views and opinions of the NMSU Board of Regents.

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