On-grid And Off-grid Solar Power System – Which One To Go For?

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On-Grid or Off-Grid Solar Power Systems: Which is Better?

on-grid & off-grid solar Power System

Have you been trying to decide between on-grid and off-grid solar systems for your home or business? If we want to make the best decision, we need to learn the essential difference between on-grid and off-grid solar systems.

What Is On-Grid and Off-Grid Solar Power System?

An off-grid solar energy system is not connected to the utility grid, but an on-grid (also known as grid-tied) solar energy system is. Your access to electricity, what equipment is required for extra production, what happens when the grid goes down, and how you are billed for electricity will all be determined by whether you use an off-grid or on-grid system. 

Off-Grid vs On-Grid

The Difference Between the On-Grid and Off-Grid Solar Power System.

1.Your Electricity Access 

Electricity Access with Off-Grid Solar

What exactly are off-grid solar systems? Off-grid solar systems rely only on the sun and energy stored in batteries to power your home or company.

If you choose a non-grid-connected solar system and do not have a generator, you will only have electricity at two points:

  • When the sun shines and your solar system generates electricity.
  • When you draw electricity from a solar storage device, such as batteries, that was previously generated by your solar system.

If you don’t have batteries or a way to store your energy, you’ll have less or no power when it’s cloudy, and you won’t have power at night.

You will not have access to extra electricity if you use an off-grid solution. All that is available to power your equipment is what you are making and what you have stockpiled.

Access to Electricity via On-Grid Solar

If you install an on-grid solar system, you will always have access to electricity (until the grid goes down), whether your solar system is producing or not.

If your system is not producing any electricity or is not producing enough electricity to run the devices, lights, equipment, and so on that you are using, you can supplement it by drawing energy from the utility grid. This guarantees that you always have enough power for your needs.

2. What Happens When There Is Too Much Production?

Excess Production with Off-Grid Solar 

Depending on the size of the system you install, how much electricity you consume, and when you use it, your system will almost certainly produce more electricity than you use. What happens to the extra energy is determined on the equipment you install.

Most off-grid solar systems are designed to generate “excess” electricity during the day, which is then delivered to batteries for storage. When the system is not producing, such as at night or during overcast weather, the energy stored in the batteries can be utilized.

Depending on your energy goals, systems can be designed to generate enough excess electricity throughout the day to cover your whole energy consumption around the clock.

Despite the greatest and most precise forecasts, the weather is unpredictable. If you have unusually overcast weather for multiple days in a row, your system may be unable to generate enough electricity to charge the batteries and meet all of your needs.

While having extra batteries might provide peace of mind and a reserve of stored electricity in case something happens, they are also costly. Buying more batteries than you need may be prohibitively expensive, depending on your budget.

Over Production from On-Grid Solar

Many people who install on-grid solar systems, like those who install off-grid solar systems, wish to cover 100% or nearly 100% of their energy demand. This is also possible with on-grid solutions.

Your solar system may produce surplus energy depending on the time of day you utilize electricity. Instead of storing it in batteries as in an off-grid system, you can send it to the grid and get compensated for the electricity you use.

Many people in the United States will be rewarded through a process known as net metering. When your utility company compensates or credits your account for electricity generated by your solar system and transferred to the grid, this is known as net metering.

Grid-connected solar electricity has a major advantage over off-grid systems since net metering and other utility compensation mechanisms provide virtually free storage.

3.What Happens When the Grid Goes Down? 

Off-Grid Power Outages

Your solar system is independent of the electrical grid. If a severe storm or other catastrophe knocks out power, your solar system can continue to operate. There will be no modifications to your service or access to electricity.

Power Outages in Grid-Tied Systems

You gain access to electricity anytime you need it by connecting to the grid. You are, nevertheless, bound by some rules. If you have a grid-tied solar system and the grid goes down, you will lose power unless you have a grid-tied solar system with battery backup.

3.Electricity Billing 

Electricity Bills with an Off-Grid System

If your PV system is not connected to the grid, you will not receive an electric bill. Even if there is no electric bill, off-grid systems are frequently more expensive due to the additional equipment, such as batteries, required to make it practical.

Power Bills with a Grid-Tied System

Even though your solar system produces 100% of your electricity, if you choose a grid-tied system, you may still notice a few minor costs on your electricity statement.

The service fee or delivery charge is one form of charge you may continue to see. Customers must pay this fee to connect their home or company to the grid. This price is often a set rate that is unaffected by how much electricity you use.

Demand charges are another form of charge that you may encounter. Demand charges, which are often charged on commercial premises, are the higher electric rates you pay for the power you consume during peak demand periods. Peak demand is often the 15-minute time when your organization consumes the most electricity.

Because utilizing a significant amount of electricity at once strains the grid, the utility will charge a higher rate for the electricity used during that time period. 

If your peak demand period is during the day, you may be able to reduce it with solar because the energy produced by your system will compensate for some of the grid energy you need. If you have really high demand charges, you may wish to investigate peak demand shaving with solar and batteries.

Depending on how much energy your solar system generates and how much energy your house or company consumes, you may be charged for the electricity you drew from the grid and utilized that wasn’t covered by your net metering credit.

Conclusion

On-grid vs off-grid is a question that always comes to mind when it comes to solar systems. Both off-grid and grid-connected solar systems have their pros and cons, but which one is best for you depends on your situation. Complete independence from the utility is possible with an off-grid solution, but it usually comes at a higher cost. With a grid-tied system, you may save money on electricity while still being completely reliant on the grid to power your home or company. GSE Renewables is committed to facilitating investment in Renewable Energy Projects in India that is clean and sustainable to businesses. Whether on-grid or off-grid, GSE Renewables caters to all of your solar power needs.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us!

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