Grid-Tied vs. Off-Grid Solar Systems: Which Is Best For You?December 10, 2021
There are a few categories that solar power is divided into. Two of these categories are grid-tied vs. off-grid solar systems. When it comes to residential solar power, much of what you will see, learn, and experience relates to grid-tied solar systems, such as the ones installed by SunPower by BlueSel Home Solar.
However, some solar systems are considered off-grid solar systems that you may be curious about. Today, let’s explore both of these solar power methods and help you decide which method is suitable for your home.
What Are Grid-Tied Solar Systems?
As the name suggests, grid-tied solar systems are installations where your home remains connected to your local grid. These solar systems still rely on electricity to operate. Only after they are powered up can they begin converting solar rays into electricity for your home. Then, you can use the electricity generated from your solar panels to power your home, relying less upon grid-based energy sources.
Advantages of grid-tied solar systems include:
- Typically less expensive and easier to install than off-grid systems.
- Grid-tied systems can take advantage of local net metering policies.
- Solar battery storage is an option, rather than necessity.
- Great options for those that don’t have the space or budget for the amount of panels to power their entire home.
However, it’s worth noting that, without solar battery storage, your solar panels cannot produce energy for your home without the grid. So, without battery storage, when the power goes out, so does your solar panels. Those seeking complete energy independence will have to look towards off-grid systems.
What Are Off-Grid Solar Systems?
Off-grid solar systems are completely cut off from the local grid. This can be an appealing method for those that wish to gain complete energy independence. These systems can also be utilized in remote locations or as a solution in underdeveloped areas that may not have a reliable central source of electricity.
However, while this method does achieve complete energy independence, there can also be heavy drawbacks if the homeowner isn’t properly prepared for full grid separation. Off-grid systems rely on the use of very specific, and often expensive, additional equipment to ensure functionality. And, without solar battery storage, there’s no way of powering your home after the sun sets, regardless of the local grid’s status.
Which System Setup Is Best For Your Home?
So, which system is best for your home? For most homeowners, a grid-tied system is the best route. While complete energy independence is a lifestyle benefit, many residential homeowners simply do not have the resources to live an off-grid lifestyle effectively.
This is especially true when you consider that, if you have the space and budget, grid-tied systems can power your entire home with minimal electricity, and you can rely on the grid whenever you need it. In addition, solar battery storage is an optional add-on for grid-tied solar systems, so you can still potentially power your home during power outages and the nighttime hours.
So for most, we recommend a grid-tied solar system.