If you’re considering installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for your home or business, you may be wondering about an off-grid vs grid-tied solar PV system. Off-grid systems are those that are not connected to the electrical grid – they are independent of the utility company. Grid-tied systems, on the other hand, are connected to the grid and can interact with it in order to sell excess power back to the utility company or draw power from the grid when needed. So, which type of system is better? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between off-grid and grid-tied solar PV systems.
What’s the difference between Off Grid vs Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems
Off-grid solar energy systems don’t connect with the grid, while an on-grid (aka grid-tied) solar energy system is connected to the power grid. The type of system you choose to use, whether grid-tied or off-grid, determines your access to power, the type of equipment required to produce more energy, what happens if grid power is cut off, and the way you’re charged for electricity.
Cost difference between Off Grid vs Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems
The high-cost price of batteries means that off-grid solar panels are more expensive than grid-connected systems. They can cost anywhere from five to four times more than grid-tied systems. The ideal setups for off-grid solar are power-starved, remote locations, or ones without grid electricity. Off-grid systems are expensive to set up since they require batteries, a string inverter, and a charge controller. There’s also the issue of regular maintenance and periodic replacement of batteries.
Power output difference between Off Grid vs Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems
The average off-grid solar system produces about four kilowatts of power. That’s enough electricity to power a home with two people during the daytime. If you have a larger family or want to use more appliances, you’ll need a bigger system. Off-grid systems can be expanded by adding more panels and batteries as needed.
Grid-tied solar systems, on the other hand, can produce an unlimited amount of electricity since they’re connected to the grid. The average system size is around eight kilowatts. But, you can go as big as you want and produce as much power as your needs require.
Power outage difference between Off Grid vs Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems
If the grid goes down, an off-grid solar system will keep working. That’s because it’s not dependent on the grid for power. If you experience a severe storm or other events that disrupt energy, your solar panel will continue to function. There won’t be any changes to your access or service electric power.
If you own a grid-tied solar panel and the grid is cut off, you won’t have electricity except if you choose grid-tied solar systems with backup batteries.
What is the reason for this? The power grid is shut down for solar panels when the grid goes out as required by Underwriters Laboratories (UL 1741). It is to ensure the safety of the utility workers fixing power lines.
It is considered a disadvantage of grid-tied systems as opposed to off-grid systems. If you want to keep your system functioning during a power outage, you might consider adding batteries to your grid-tied system.
Electric bill difference between Off Grid vs Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems
In the event that your solar PV unit isn’t connected to the grid, it won’t be charged any electric bills at all. But, even without an electric bill, off-grid systems can be more costly due to the other equipment, such as batteries required for it to be viable.
If you decide to go with grid-tied systems, you may receive a few minor charges on your electricity bill regardless of whether your solar system can provide 100% of your energy.
The most common type of charge you’ll be seeing is the delivery or service fee. This is the charge imposed on customers who connect their homes or businesses with the power grid. For most utilities, this charge is a flat fee that isn’t affected by the amount of electricity you consume.
Another kind of charge that you will see is demand charges which are generally imposed on commercial properties. They represent the increase in the electric rate you pay for the energy that you consume in peak demand. The peak demand time typically is the 15-minute period during which your company uses the most power.
Which is better off-grid or on-grid solar system?
There are a few things to consider when determining whether an off-grid or on-grid solar system is right for you. One of the most important factors is your location. If you live in a remote area, an off-grid system might be your only option. However, if you’re connected to the power grid, an on-grid system might be more convenient and cost-effective.
Another thing to consider is your energy needs. An off-grid system requires batteries to store solar energy for use at night or during cloudy days. This can add to the initial cost of the system. On-grid systems, on the other hand, can send excess solar energy back to the power grid, giving you a credit that can be used when your solar panels aren’t generating enough power.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how much control you want over your energy usage. An off-grid system gives you the freedom to generate and use as much energy as you want, but it also means more responsibility for maintenance and repairs. An on-grid system is easier to set up and maintain, but you’ll be subject to the rules and regulations of your utility company.
Both off-grid and on-grid solar systems have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to evaluate your needs and preferences before making a decision.
Hybrid Solar PV Energy Systems
If you cannot choose between an off-grid vs grid-tied solar PV system, pick the hybrid one. Solar hybrid systems can store the excess solar energy that is generated and provides power backup during blackouts. This is ideal for homeowners however, for the vast majority of firms that are operating during daylight hours, a typical grid-feed solar system is the most affordable option.
Hybrid solar systems can be used for a variety of applications, including providing power for homes, businesses, and industrial facilities. In many cases, hybrid solar systems can provide a more cost-effective and reliable source of renewable energy than either technology alone.
Install Reliable Solar PV Energy Systems today!
Solar PV energy systems are a great way to save money on your energy bill, and they’re good for the environment too! Whether you prefer an off-grid or grid-tied solar system or maybe a hybrid one, EcoPlex is your reliable solar system installer.
Here at EcoPlex, we can help you choose the right system for your home or business, and we’ll make sure it’s installed properly so you can start saving money right away. We only use the highest quality products, so you can be confident that your solar PV system will last for years to come.
Our team is always available to answer any questions you have about solar PV energy, the difference between off-grid vs grid-tied solar PV systems, and hybrid solar PV energy systems. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today and let us start maximizing the power of the sun!