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SUNday Blog: On-grid vs Off-grid solar power system

Nov 15, 2020Consulting, Solar

On-grid VS Off-grid solar power system

When it comes to solar energy, the most common dilemma that preoccupies the average American homeowner or business owner is; which solar energy system is best to choose: on-grid or off-grid solar power system?

There is a lot of talk about photovoltaic systems. Design, lightweight, compact or sturdy equipment is not questionable. In a cacophony of endless possibilities offered to us by solar equipment manufacturers, we are filtering the benefits and disadvantages of on-grid and off-grid systems, so you can easily decide which solar energy installation type is better for your investment. 

On-grid residential solar power system: pros and cons

Smart grid-connected residential solar power systems are working together with the public electricity network.  The solar panel system produces electricity that directly supplies electrical devices in the household or sends it back to “the grid” and often shows up as an “energy credit” on your Evergy energy bill. In the case when consumption exceeds power production from the solar panel system, the required power is taken from the power grid.  

This kind of solar power system is cheaper because there is no need to invest in energy storage – solar batteries, and offers the possibility of selling surplus electricity to an electric energy distributor. But, before you think this is your best solar power solution, get informed properly on required paperwork and permits. At this point in planning your solar journey, our on-grid experts can help you with professional advice. 

In some cases of a power outage (depending on your system setup), you can rely on a solar power system to keep performing, as long as the sun works for you. At night however, you will share the fate of the entire power supply area. But, we have a solution for those cases, too. EnergyONE Renewables smart grid energy generator backup systems provide the possibility of backup electricity sufficient for self-consumption during power outages. This solution can run your security system, charge smartphones, power electrical appliances and other items you choose during a blackout. Generator Backup Systems can also be put in place to run off natural gas lines to power the whole home in case of an emergency.

Let’s sum: with the on-grid solar power system, you will tend to have a lower starting investment, with free solar energy to power your daily needs (or send back to the power company a bill credit), but still using energy from the grid during the nights. Your monthly savings on electricity bills will be steady and constant, the expected repayment period will be between 5 and 7 years, and from that point, every watt from the sun will pay off many times over during the generous 25+ years lifespan of solar panels. Whether you use a solar power system for self-consumption, or you hand over the surplus to the network, your yield will be secure.

Off-grid solar power system: pros and cons

Off-grid solar power systems must be reliable and powerful when you’re worlds away from the grid.

Off-grid solar power systems offer you true energy independence, no matter where you are. 

Off-grid solar power systems rely on daily battery discharge and recharge cycling to power your night and day. Therefore, the complete installation of the solar power system must be personalized according to energy needs. When projecting an off-grid solar system, solar energy companies need to know all the habits, needs, monthly electricity consumption, daily sunshine potential, roof pitch and solar path throughout the year. 

Carefully planned by solar power experts, the off-grid solar power system can bring you decades of energy independence. But, be prepared to invest a significant amount of money in a battery storage system. The good news in both cases is that the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC), rebates, and incentives also apply to an investment in battery storage. Are you ready to say goodbye to utility bills?

Let’s sum: Energy independence can save your home budget from future rate increases in electricity prices. For renewable energy applications that require maintenance-free batteries and optimized performance, battery storage manufacturers compete to upgrade products by providing a high power density enhancing battery performance and extending cycle life. For rural electrification or residential battery backup, large off-grid PV systems, off-grid hybrid power systems, EnergyONE Renewables can quickly recognize the needs for a specific solution to address the varied requirements inherent in renewable energy self-consumption. With an off-grid PV system, every kilowatt hour of sunlight will enable significant savings, so the payoff period varies by installation volume and total consumption. Besides the price, system size limits can be a barrier.  A small rooftop surface can not bring you the joy of optimized energy independence. 

On-grid or off-grid PV system – who’ll win the battle?

There will be no winner in this battle. Together (using on-grid style backup generator systems and off-grid battery-based systems), EnergyONE Renewables’ capability to master challenging energy tasks increased remarkably. For more independence and higher yields – contact our photovoltaic system experts.