A grid connected system is connected to a large independent grid (typically the public electricity grid) and feeds power into the grid. Grid connected systems vary in size from residential (2-10kWp) to solar power stations (up to 10s of MWp). This is a form of decentralized electricity generation.
In the case of residential or building mounted grid connected PV systems, the electricity demand of the building is met by the PV system. Only the excess is fed into the grid when there is an excess. The feeding of electricity into the grid requires the transformation of DC into AC by a special, grid-controlled solar inverter.
In kW sized installations the DC side system voltage is as high as permitted (typically 1000V except US residential 600V) to limit ohmic losses. Most modules (72 crystalline silicon cells) generate about 160W at 36 volts. It is sometimes necessary or desirable to connect the modules partially in parallel rather than all in series. One set of modules connected in series is known as a 'string'.