Calculate what your usage will be with a Grid Tied Solar System
Apart from supplying South Africans with the best solar equipment on the market today, we want to make it as easy as possible to choose the right equipment. This is why we've added this grid-tied solar system calculator. One of the most intimidating factors about using solar power is figuring out how much you're really going to need.
Using the Grid Tied Solar System Calculator
Before you start adding info to the calculator, it's best to understand the situation first. With a grid-tied solar system you're still connected to the grid, which means the source power is shared between Eskom and the sun. This is a great way to cut down electricity costs, because you can use solar power to carry certain loads. For example, using solar power for the geyser. Everyone knows that hot water comes with an expensive price tag, along with appliances such as the kettle and stove.
The above diagram pretty much sums up how a grid-tied system looks like. It's more affordable than going off the grid, although it's ultimately the best way to go, and it gives you a backup option when the grid fails. Bad weather and load shedding shouldn't be a problem anymore, because you've got solar energy running through your home. Plus, on days when it's cloudy you simply tap into the grid. How much of each power source you want to use is up to you.
Looking at the grid-tied solar system calculator, the first-bit information you have to provide is your daily kW usage. Then, choose the city you live in and let the calculator provide you with the hourly watts you'll need to function normally. But don't forget about entering the details of the solar panels as well (the size of the panels), because the calculator will also determine how many panels you're going to need.
Notice the Inverter Size
At the bottom of the calculator you'll see a suggestion for the inverter you'll be needing. In most cases it's better to use an inverter that is more than capable of converting the energy you need, because if you decide to upgrade then you don't need to replace the inverter as well. Hopefully your grid-tied system will lead to a completely independent solar array, but until then you can still save substantially.