Traditionally the most common type of system, DC-coupled systems have long been used for a broad range of off-grid solar applications.
How does it work?
- Solar panels produce direct current (DC). In a DC-coupled system, a solar charge controller is used to directly charge the battery from the solar photovoltaic system.
- The solar charge controller, also called a solar regulator, is responsible for regulating the flow of energy into the battery and making sure that the battery is charged sufficiently.
- A battery inverter is also an essential component whose main function is to invert the DC current into AC power so it can be used to provide electricity for appliances and export any excess to the grid at the feed-in tariff rate.
A DC-coupled system offers several advantages that make it the ideal option for specific situations:
- If you set the inverter loading ratio to above 1, generating additional revenue is a possibility as solar energy that is usually clipped or wasted can be captured.
- Unlike AC-coupled units, equipment costs are lower with DC-coupled systems as they don’t require additional components such as inverters and MV switch gears.
- Under a single Solar PPA (Purchase Power Agreement), you can contract solar and storage systems together.
Despite its decades-long reputation and its advantages a DC-coupled system is not necessarily the go-to option for all solar needs and is only ideal for particular situations and not the ideal system configuration in cases where a consumer seeks a high level of operational flexibility.
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