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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
ON-GRID AND OFF-GRID
SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS

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Written By: GEE Energy    26 April, 2022

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As a renewable power source, solar has long been considered one of the best sources of alternate energy in the world. Constant developments and innovation in this field also means that how one gets to consume or utilise solar power can be a choice between different types of solar systems.

Let us first understand how solar systems are different from a typical grid system.

Solar Power Vs Grid Power – How are they different?

The ‘Grid’ is basically a network of transmission wires that transfer high voltage electricity across large expanses.

The electricity that powers through a typical grid system in a region is often generated from traditional energy sources like coal and fossil fuels, which, for years, have gained notoriety for being extremely polluting and harmful for the environment.

On the other hand, a solar power system is used to generate solar power via solar panels that absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect, i.e., electrical current generated by a material following exposure to light.

Since the source of power in this case is sunlight, it makes solar a renewable, sustainable, and environment-friendly energy source. Most solar power systems are either on-grid or off-grid.

On-grid Vs. Off-grid Solar Power System – Which one is better?

Over the years, there has been immense discourse on the potential of solar power and how it can serve as a viable replacement to conventional sources of power generation, especially in sunny countries like Australia. However, it can get confusing to find out which solar system best suits your needs.

Let’s find out the main differences between on-grid and off-grid solar energy so you can make an informed decision.

On-grid Solar Power System – How it works, advantages, and things to consider

How it works

On-grid or grid-connected solar systems are those where any excess electricity generated by the solar system is sent to the Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) via grid. When sunlight hits solar panels, it is converted into DC electricity, which then passes through a solar inverter that converts DC into AC power. Any excess power generated can be fed back into the grid.

Advantages of On-Grid Solar System

Some of the major advantages and benefits of on-grid solar power include:

Hassle-free installation

On-grid solar systems are fairly easy to install as it doesn’t require any additional components apart from the ones that produce electricity for consumption.

Low maintenance

Grid-connected solar require minimal maintenance and upkeep, only requiring periodic check-ups every once in a while. You can schedule operation and maintenance checks with your CEC-approved solar retailer.

Feed-in Tariff

You may be eligible for a feed-in tariff from your electricity retailer, which refers to the amount paid when excess solar is fed back into the grid. These are credited via the electricity bill, with rates varying between states and territories.

Things to Consider

With any technology, there are some concerns that should be resolved, and on-grid solar systems are no exception.

No protection during power outages

Since you are still connected to the grid and utilise its power, there is always a chance of blackouts and power outages that can affect homes and businesses that have installed on-grid solar systems.

Deriving energy from conventional energy sources

While you do get to enjoy using a renewable energy source, being connected to the grid means that you still have to rely on a traditional energy source, which may or may not be eco-friendly.

Off-grid Solar Power System – How it works, advantages, and things to consider

How it works

An off-grid solar system is one which is not connected to a utility grid and works completely independently. Any excess electricity generated is stored in off-grid solar batteries for later use; and in some cases, backup generators can be used. Off grid power systems are an excellent option for those based in rural or remote regions and have little to no grid access.

Advantages of Off-grid Solar System

The various advantages and benefits of off-grid solar include:

Self-sufficient operations

Being off-grid means self-sufficiency at its highest form. These solar systems allow businesses and households to become self-supporting with no additional hurdles.

Energy independence

Similar to being self-reliant, off-grid solar systems allow you to be your own producer of electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid. You get to generate your own power without any hassle.

No effect during power outages

An independently working off-grid solar system means that you won’t have to face the effects of power outages during grid failures, load shedding, or emergencies.

Things to Consider

Some concerns regarding off-grid solar systems could include:

Initial costs high

Off-grid solar systems require solar battery storage solutions and generators to ensure any excess power generated can be stored for later use. However, these can add up to the overall costs and may not be feasible for everyone.

Requires regular maintenance and monitoring

Off-grid solar systems make you completely responsible for ensuring its regular upkeep in order to keep it working smoothly.

Conclusion

Irrespective of which solar system you choose, it is still a smart decision to invest in a green source of electricity that can fulfil all your energy requirements without affecting the environment.

 

Connect with our experts to get a free, no-obligation quote on solar power systems today!

Call us on 1300 707 042 or send us an email via [email protected]

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