This is a graphic of a Grid Tied Solar Electric System

  1. The Array is a group of Solar Electric (Photovoltaic, or PV) modules that convert sunlight into Direct Current (DC) electricity which flows into wiring and into the Combiner Box.
  2. The Combiner Box ties together the wiring from the Array to put out the correct DC voltage to the Inverter.
  3. The DC Disconnect contains circuit breakers or fuses, and also ground fault protection.  This is required to make sure that the Array can be disconnected from all power sources.
  4. The Inverter converts DC electricity from the Array to Alternating Current (AC) electricity to supply the building’s electrical needs, or send excess electricity back to the grid.  The inverter also has an integrated disconnect switch and LCD display.
  5. The AC Disconnect also contains circuit breakers or fuses, and ground fault protection.  This allows the utility company to disconnect power from the inverter to the building, and can also isolate the inverter from loads from the building.
  6. The Easy Read Meter is required by NYSERDA to keep track of  the number of  AC kilowatt hours your Solar Electric system is producing.

From here, the electricity from your Solar Electric system flows into the building’s breaker box, and is distributed to circuits within the building to be used to power lights, air conditioning, or other appliances that use electricity.  When your system produces more electricity than you’re using, the excess electricity flows backwards and back to the electric lines outside your home (The “Grid”), which makes your electric meter spin in reverse.  When your meter spins in reverse, so do your electric costs!!