There are two distinct types of solar energy systems with different functionalities; off-grid solar and grid-tied solar.
We do both.
Power Station Off Grid Solar is a division of SolarKing. This means we can provide a solution based on your situation, both off-grid and grid-tied.
Part of our free design service involves helping you decide which option is the best for you.
If you need an off-grid solar solution because it’s not physically possible to get power to your new build or property, then that’s easy. It’s just a matter of talking to us about sizing and pricing.
Likewise, if you’ve had a quote to get power connected, you may want to compare options. For you, understanding the financial viability of off-grid solar vs grid-tied solar will be your goal.
Ninety percent of all our off-grid clients are either building new or moving a house or tiny house onto their land.
The rise in the popularity of tiny houses also sees an increase in tiny house off-grid solar solutions.
But if you have an existing home or business and it’s currently tied to the power grid, you may still want to consider going off-grid.
For you, your reasons might be less to do with the financial viability, and more to do with independence, your philosophy or for sustainability reasons.
Here’s an outline of the differences between off-grid solar vs grid-tied solar:
Off-Grid Solar System
Independence: An off-grid solar system operates independently of the electric grid. It typically consists of solar panels, a charge controller, batteries, and an inverter.
Energy Storage: Off-grid systems incorporate batteries to store excess electricity generated during the day. Power can be accessed during times when solar production is low (such as at night or during cloudy days).
Self-Sufficiency: Off-grid solar systems are designed to meet the entire energy needs of a property or building without relying on the grid. They are commonly used in remote areas where access to the electrical grid is limited or expensive.
Autonomy: Since off-grid systems are not connected to the grid, they can continue to provide electricity during power outages or blackouts.
Sizing Considerations: Off-grid systems require careful sizing to ensure they can produce and store enough electricity to meet the property’s energy demands throughout the year. You can visit our Off Grid Solar Systems page this page which explains our different sizes and estimated pricing.
Grid-Tied Solar System
Connection to the Grid: A grid-tied solar system is connected to the electrical grid. It includes solar panels, an inverter, and a net metering system.
Energy Exchange: Grid-tied systems allow for a two-way flow of electricity. When solar panels produce excess electricity, it is fed back into the grid, and the owner receives credits or compensation for the energy sent.
Option for Energy Storage: Unlike off-grid systems, grid-tied systems can either come with batteries (called a ‘hybrid’ solar system), or without batteries.
Supplementing Electricity: Grid-tied systems, with or without battery storage are designed to supplement the electricity supply from the grid. They can reduce the property’s electricity bill by generating renewable energy and utilising it on-site.
Grid Dependency: Grid-tied systems rely on the availability of the electrical grid. If there is a power outage, these systems will shut down for safety reasons, as they are designed to prevent electricity from being fed back into the grid during outages.
Modern hybrid systems come with a built-in Emergency Power Supply (EPS) function. These can provide a limited but effective solution to power cuts – long term or short term.
In summary, off-grid solar systems are independent and self-sufficient, utilising batteries for energy storage.
Most people considering off-grid solar have either no access to readily available grid power, or they want to disconnect from the national grid for independence or other reasons.
On the other hand, grid-tied solar systems are connected to the grid. They can come with or without batteries. Without batteries, they typically can save between 30-50% off the power-use component of the power bill. If batteries are added (hybrid solar), savings can be as high as 70-90%.
Hybrid solar can provide backup during power outages. While it can’t power the whole house in a power cut, it can still run circuits such as refrigeration, lighting, internet and comms, TV and a few more things.
The choice between the two depends on factors such as location, energy needs, and the level of grid reliability desired.
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