In this article, we will go through the three different types of residential solar energy systems that are most often used for all household purposes. The three solar systems are on-grid or “grid-tied”, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems. We will also talk about the best option for your usage.
In all households nowadays, you will find that people are using "grid-tied" systems or on-grid solar energy systems. These are called 'grid-tied' because the solar panels that you use are connected or "tied" to the electric grid in your local utility. Thus, on-grid solar systems have become the most familiar photovoltaic systems owing to their widespread usage by everyone. Of course, there are many advantages to the on-grid system, so it is the most used solar system in the market.
A grid-tied or on-grid is efficient, and it helps you save a lot of money because it comes with comparatively less expensive solar panels, network metering, and less costly machinery parts, as well as installation costs.
Your solar panels often generate more electricity than what your entire household consumes, so you need to use less electricity from your local power unit. The net metering allows you to send the surplus electric power to the utility grid rather than to store the electricity in batteries by yourself. Net metering is a major element for the optimal utilization of solar power because it would be financially wasteful to use solar energy without it. The net makes the entire arrangement so that the utility grid is your own virtual battery for storage of excess electricity, and you need not pay for its maintenance too!
Of course, it must be borne in mind that on-grid systems cannot save you from the woes of a power cut. When the grid carrying the electricity fails to function, your on-grid system will stop functioning too. This is because if the solar power systems that transfer excess energy to the electricity grid still works, then the workers won’t be able to fix the lines safely to resume the flow of electricity.
If you go for the off-grid residential solar system, then you will receive a steady electric supply all through the day. In this type of solar system, you have to use a battery to store the excess solar energy, and you can tap into your electric storage at any time you want. You are not, by any means, connected to the utility grid, so there is no question of power cuts. Also, you will need a solar inverter for this type of solar system. Your inverter will make sure the Direct Current produced by the solar panels is converted to Alternating Current to be used to charge up your appliances.
You must remember to replace the batteries of an off-grid solar system every ten years or so. This is an expensive process, and thus the off-grid system can be a little less efficient than the on-grid system.
It is very common to see that most households choose either an on-grid or an off-grid solar system to power up their appliances. What many don't realize is that there is a third option that you can explore as well. Besides the regular choices of on-grid and off-grid solar systems, there are hybrid solar systems, which have attributes of both systems. As they are a new innovation, the market is still opting for the on-grid or off-grid solar systems, but experts predict that hybrid solar systems will be a rage in another five years.
The hybrid solar systems give you a best-of-both-worlds kind of situation. You are at an advantage while using the hybrid solar systems because they offer you net metering, which makes on-grid solar systems an efficient choice, but of course, you do not want frequent power cuts at your home—so, the hybrid systems offer you no power cuts! A hybrid solar system has a battery backup to ensure you never get any power cut and your household electricity supply goes on in an uninterrupted way.
Thus, the hybrid systems offer an amalgamation of the advantages of the on-grid solar power system and the off-grid solar power system. Since it has net metering and a battery option, you will have the flexibility to switch between either of the two, depending upon your requirements.
The hybrid solar power systems are powered by sophisticated technologies. Fully programmable and customizable, you can get a hybrid power system that is unique to your needs just by contacting an efficient solar designer. The professional designer will look into your demands, take measurements of your house, check your commonly-used appliances, and provide you with a smart and optimized plan for a residential solar power system.