Solar panels - absorb energy from the sun and turn it into DC current
Inverter - Converts DC current into AC current so power can be utitlised by consumer or fed back into the supply grid
Main Switchboard - The distribution point of electricity into your home. Contains solar compatible meter to either utilise or feed power back to the grid.
Supply Meter - Any electricity consumed or sent back into the grid from the solar system will be registered via the meter
Utility Grid - Supplies electricity to your home when you exceed the amount of power being produced by your solar system
A Grid connected solar system gives you the best of both worlds.
While ever there is light shining on the solar panels, the solar cells generate DC electricity. The grid connect inverter converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into 240V AC electricity, which can then be used by any load connected to the electricity meter on the property that the solar is connected too.
If a grid connect system is producing more power than is being consumed, the excess power is fed into the mains power grid via the solar compatible meter. Most electricity companies will meter the electricity fed into the grid by your system and provide a credit on your bill.
When the solar cells are not producing power, for example at night, your power is supplied by the mains power grid as usual. The energy retailer charges your contract rate for the power used as usual.