Jessica PirroDecember 11, 201910430
When it comes to solar-powered systems it isn’t a one size fits all investment. The sort of solar panel installation one gets is all going to depend on several different factors. In 2019, homeowners will have the option to choose between a few different kinds of solar-powered systems.
All solar panel installations will have solar panels, wiring, and solar power inverters. But there are variations to how exactly your solar-powered system can be set up to provide clean, inexpensive energy. There are three main types of solar-powered system setups that you can choose from grid-tied solar-powered systems with storage, and off-grid solar-powered systems. Each solar panel installation is unique and it comes with its unique benefits and best-use cases.
For the majority of homeowners, grid-tied solar-powered systems will be the option with it comes to the cost of solar. But even with a grid-tied solar panel installation, homeowners will have the option of getting a solar-powered system with battery use for homes, which is often a wise choice. As the cost of solar power batteries continues to fall, the solar-powered systems with batteries for home use will become more appealing and cost-effective.
What is The Grid?
First things first, to understand what the grid is, we will have to discuss what utilities are and what exactly they do. Utilities provide a commodity or a service that is vital to the general public. The utilities are in charge of bringing you power, water, or natural gas. More traditionally, utilities are expected to achieve three goals: production or generation, transmission, and distribution. The grid achieves the transmission and distribution goals, while it’s infrastructure allows power to come from the point of generation into your house. When a blackout occurs, it is typically the grid that has been interrupted. When people start to consider getting a solar panel installation, they are normally interested in achieving as much independence from the grid as possible, to lower their energy costs and exert control over their energy usage. When you install an off-grid solar-powered system, if the grid experiences a blackout, your solar-powered system will most likely continue to produce solar energy.
Grid-Tied Solar-Powered Systems
The majority of solar panel installations in the United States are going to be a grid-tied solar-powered system. Just as you would think based on the name, this solar-powered system is connected to your home wiring and the electrical grid. A home that has a grid-tied solar-powered system uses the energy from the solar panels whenever the sun is shining. When the solar panels aren’t producing energy, you will be able to pull energy from the grid. This means that a grid-tied solar-powered system doesn’t need to match the entirety of your electricity needs with solar power, because you can pull energy from the grid whenever your solar panels aren’t using enough solar energy to offset all of your usages.
A grid-tied solar-powered system has a lot of advantages. The first of which is that this solar-powered system is typically the least expensive. When your solar-powered system is connected to the grid, you can utilize net metering. Net metering allows you to sell the excess solar energy that is generated by your solar panel installation back to the grid, to get credits on your electricity bill. Even though net metering doesn’t lower the upfront cost of solar panel installation, over the lifetime of your solar-powered system, you will see a significant amount of savings.
Grid-Tied Solar-Powered System with Storage
The next solar-powered system is going to be a grid-tied solar-powered system with batteries for home. A grid-tied solar-powered system that comes with energy storage comes with all of the benefits of a typical solar-powered system and batteries for home-usage.
When the sun isn’t out and your solar panel installation isn’t producing enough energy to continue to run your home, a solar-powered system with batteries for home use will allow you to pull the solar energy from it, rather than pulling it from the electrical grid. This is going to benefit property owners who cannot benefit from solar incentives such as net metering because you can access free solar energy as opposed to buying energy from the grid.
A standard grid-tied solar-powered system is going to stop producing solar energy while the grid is down. But, because a solar-powered system with batteries for home use has stored backup power, you will be able to use that stored up solar energy from the solar panels to power you're home. If you live in an area that experiences a lot of blackouts from hurricanes or other weather ailments, though the solar power batteries cost will increase the cost of solar, it may be worth it.
The reason it is still worthwhile to stay connected to the grid is that all solar panel installations are at the complete mercy of the sunlight and even a solar-powered system with batteries for home use may not store enough solar energy for all of your needs. You will also still be able to participate in net metering if it is offered.
Off-Gird Solar-Powered Systems
It isn’t a necessity to stay connected to the electric grid to have a working solar-powered system, which is where off-grid solar-powered systems come into play.
An off-grid solar-powered system is one that combines solar panels and solar power batteries to eliminate the grid component. An off-grid solar-powered system will typically need to be larger than a grid-tied solar-powered system, in terms of solar panels and storage capacity. This is because you will need to produce more energy.
Because you will need more solar equipment the cost of solar for this solar-powered system will be the most expensive. There are also many solar rebates and incentives that you will miss out on with this solar-powered system. Though it is the most solar-powered system is the most expensive it also offers the homeowners the most independence.
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