Planning to slash your power bills by getting a rooftop PV solar system for your home or business? Feeling confused about on grid and off grid solar systems? If you are looking at investing smartly in a solar system it is necessary to understand the differences between off grid and on grid systems to see which one suits your needs. In case it is too technical for you to understand the difference, get in touch with our experts today to learn more.
On grid as the name suggests are connected to the grid. On grid solar system requires basic electricity from the grid to function just like other electrical appliances. Here, the grid acts as the battery, the extra power generated, goes back to the grid and the owner can get feed in tariffs for the same. In Australia, there are a huge number of financial incentives provided with the On-grid system, which includes the rebates provided by Solar Victoria, feed in tariffs and STCs.
Off grid is a stand alone, completely independent solar PV system. It doesn’t rely on grid power to generate electricity. It requires huge battery storages to keep it sustaining when the power goes down.
Now you might think if you can generate your own electricity through an off grid system without relying on the grid. Why do you need a grid? Well, it is not as simple as it seems to be. Off grid systems are far more expensive than on grid systems. It requires you to install a lot of panels with a huge battery backup for the time the sun goes down. And this is not all, for an off grid system you shall need a shed that can secure the batteries, you need an electronic controller that ensures the batteries charge and discharge correctly. Moreover, off grid systems come with a lot more maintenance than an on grid system. However, according to a study, people with following conditions have no option other than installing an off grid connection for solar:
1. You live in a remote area, where there is no electricity grid connection. The only option you have is installing an off grid connection as that shall be cheaper than getting grid over there. Yet it doesn’t come without challenges. A study from a springer highlights the number of challenges associated with installation of off grid in remote areas.
2. There are frequent blackouts in your area and you need a system that can function without a grid.
If these aren’t the problems for you, consider going on grid. On- grid systems have a lot of benefits. They are both economical and environmentally friendly. Standard off- grid system costs $20,000 whereas the standard on-grid system costs $3,000. The payback period for an off grid system will usually be higher than on grid. Off grid systems aren’t environment friendly as they need battery replacement regularly thus releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Have you considered the situation other than summer? What about rainy days and other climates? Can an off-grid system generate enough power to sustain your needs? Lastly, if you look at selling your home in future, an on grid system will have higher value after sale than an off grid system. Speak to one of our experts today to understand how solar increases your property value.