If you want to harness energy from the sun and save money from paying electric bills, you have 3 options to install: the grid-tied, the off-grid, and the hybrid solar system. Read on to learn how each of them works.
With this option, you can seamlessly switch between the solar panel system installed on your rooftop and your local utility grid. In case the energy you harnessed from the sun isn’t enough, your connection to the grid will automatically provide you with electricity. This prevents you from experiencing a blackout at night or during the rainy season. Such a problem usually happens to residences that are heavily dependent on their solar panel systems.
This is considered the most affordable option partly because you don’t have to purchase batteries, which are quite pricey. But, the main reason it’s cost-effective is the so-called “net metering system.” When you take advantage of this scheme, your local utility supplier will buy the excess solar energy harnessed by your panels during extremely sunny days.
Considered a “completely renewable” system, the off-grid type is no longer connected to your local utility supplier. It means that your solar panels will have to produce all the energy that you need for your home. That isn’t an easy feat, so you have to install additional pieces of equipment, including:
- Extra Solar Cells – You need additional panels, so you can gather more energy from the sun, which will be converted to electricity.
- Extra Inverters – You should have 2 or 3 spare units because a single inverter won’t be enough to convert the amount of energy harnessed by all your solar cells.
- Batteries – This equipment will store any excess power, which you can use at night or during cloudy or rainy days.
The need to purchase extra pieces of equipment makes this system quite expensive. It’s why not many homeowners choose the off-grid type.
The hybrid option combines the other 2 types. It means that you’re still connected to your utility supplier, but you also have batteries in which excess power is temporarily stored. These devices are small, so they’re less expensive and not as heavy-duty compared to the ones installed in off-grid systems.
These batteries don’t store too much energy. When they run out of power, that’s the only time you’ll get electricity from your local grid. Switching between these 2 sources is smooth, so you don’t have to worry about an outage.
You’ll need additional pieces of equipment for this system too. Aside from the batteries, you should have hybrid solar inverters, special panels, and a power meter. It’s a good thing that they’re all affordable and readily available at local shops.