Grid-Tied Vs. Off-Grid Solar Power System – Which One Is Best?

When installing a new solar power system at home or in the office, most people often get confused about selecting the right type of solar energy system. This is mainly because of the lack of understanding of different solar technologies in the market, like on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems. If you’re investing in solar equipment and aiming to benefit from it for years to come, you would want to make the right choice and understand how each type of solar technology can be utilized.

What’s The Main Difference Between Grid-Tied And Off-Grid Solar Systems?

Grid-tied, also known as the on-grid solar system is connected to the utility grid, whereas the off-grid solar system is not connected to the utility grid. You may also need to attach batteries, and sometimes, a backup generator with your off-grid system, while in case of a grid-tied system, you don’t need batteries.

An on-grid mechanism requires the use of fewer components as compared to an off-grid arrangement. You don’t necessarily have to attach energy storage devices, sophisticated control electronics, or backup generators to your grid-tied system.

A grid-tied solar panel is cheaper and simpler to install than its counterpart. Having a stable and accessible grid near your residential or commercial property favors installing an on-grid system. However, if you’ve got an unstable or non-availability of a grid in your area, installing an off-grid solar power system will make more sense.

Energy Storage Concerns

The difference between the two solar power systems (off-grid and on-grid) revolves around storing the generated energy. Every solar power equipment requires a designated place for energy storage so that the stored electricity can be utilized later as per requirements.

Energy Storage In Grid-Tied Solar Power System

The access energy generated from an on-grid system gets sent back to the grid. Your grid-tied solar panels feed electricity into the utility grid, which can be distributed to nearby areas. As a result, you get to receive credits for energy generated by your on-grid solar panels. This allows you to use electricity throughout the day from your utility grid even when the sun goes down.

Energy Storage In An Off-Grid Solar Power System

Off-grid solar mechanisms have no access to the utility grid, so you need to find another way to store energy, such as a battery device with dedicated storage. It’s mandatory to attach batteries with your off-grid solar power equipment due to a lack of access to the power lines.

Excess Energy Production With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced with an on-grid solar system can send it to the utility grid it is connected to, and you’ll get compensated for it depending on your power supplier’s policy.

Excess Energy Production With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced during the daytime by the off-grid solar system will be sent to batteries for storage. You can access and use the stored energy in the evening and night when the system is not producing electricity.

You can enhance the capacity of your off-grid system for increased energy storage to cover your electricity needs during cloudy weather. However, in case of abnormal weather conditions for several days in a row, your off-grid solar apparatus may not produce enough electricity to charge batteries and fulfill your energy requirements.

Power Outages With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

When using an on-grid solar system, you get to receive non-stop electricity from the utility grid. However, if the grid goes down, you won’t be able to receive electricity unless you’re using an on-grid solar power system with battery backup. This means that you can only use electricity in case of a power outage if you add batteries to your on-grid system.

Power Outages With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

An off-grid solar power system operates independently from the utility grid. In case there’s a power outage in your locality due to some uncertain weather conditions, your off-grid system will continue to supply you with electricity, thanks to the solar energy stored in the batteries.

Dandelion Renewables provides environment-friendly solar energy solutions to its residential and commercial clients across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Check out our professional solar power services in detail or contact us for personalized care.