Previously, IVY have introduced bi-directional meters. Therefore, some customers contact us to know if we have other types of energy meters for solar energy system. The answer is YES. Based on different working way of solar panels, IVY can provide corresponding metering solutions. Let's take a look!
There are two main types of solar energy system: Grid-Connected vs. Stand-Alone. Grid-connected systems make use of the local utility grid to ensure you are never without electricity. If your domestic solar panel system generates more electricity than your household requires in a day, this surplus energy can be exported back to the national grid. On the other hand, if you need more electricity than your solar panels have generated, the grid can supply this. Stand-alone PV systems are not connected to the grid. These solar panel usually produces DC energy, and an inverter is needed to convert into AC energy. A solar battery system may also equipped with this system to store the excess electricity generated by your panels. Stand-alone PV systems are typically more expensive than grid-connected systems because solar batteries are still quite costly.
For Grid-Connected Systems, they combine the cost-saving, energy-independence elements of off-grid solar power with the easily accessed electricity from the power grid. As a result, a traditional one-way meter cannot fulfil all the metering needs. Bi-directional Meters for forward & reverse measurement are usually equipped with these systems. They run in two ways, allowing them to properly account for the net energy you have used, which is all the energy you have consumed minus the energy your solar system produced. The reason for a bi-directional meter is that a solar system can only produce electricity when the sun is shining, and you will need electricity regardless of the weather or time of day. To get around this, your system will be designed to produce "extra" electricity while it's sunny out. Thanks to the net metering policy, by storing excess electricity on the grid, you'll get a credit from the utility company.
When it comes to Stand-alone PV systems, a regular one-directional meter is powerful enough to measure how much electricity your solar system generated and stored in batteries. Due to the installation in the system terminal, it is the most accurate way to measure exactly how much usable electricity your system is generating, as monitoring it at the panel or inverter level won't account for the small amounts of lost production as the energy flows from one component of your system to the next. Furthermore, if you have an IHD (In Home Display), you will know the remained energy at any time, adjust electricity consumption habits and help you to avoid emergency situation.
After reading this article, do you have an idea on how to choose an energy meter for your solar panels? If not, don't worry, IVY can give you a helping hand! For Grid-Connected Systems, EM118019-02 and EM519024 is a mutual choice. Their wide measurement range, MID certificate and high accuracy on bi-directional measurement can help you save a lot via net metering policy. For Stand-alone PV systems, the range are much wider depending on your choice of communication. You are welcome to consult any inquiry related to solar meters via firstname.lastname@example.org. Our detailed technical paper and installation guide can sure let you satisfi