Don’t all good things come in threes? How can Solar Photovoltaic systems be any different? Solar photovoltaic systems can be of three types – grid-tied, grid-tied with battery back-up and off-grid system. But how on earth would you determine which of these is right for you? Well, the next five minutes you spend reading the article will help you know!
1. Grid-tied (On-Grid system)
- In this set-up, your solar PV system is integrated with the grid. ‘Grid’ is what they call the conventional electricity infrastructure. This is the most popular mode of going solar. Here are its features:
- This is the cheapest mode of going solar of all the three.
- You will still be dependent on the grid. On an average, up to 20% of your energy needs might still be fulfilled by the grid.
- Your dependence on the grid rules out the ambiguities and disadvantages associated with going solar on its own. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your system is producing enough energy; this is very crucial as solar power is heavily contingent on weather and availability of sunlight (and thus can’t be generated during the night).
- The surplus power your system generates would be supplied to the grid, earning you credits for the times you extract power from the grid. Well, isn’t it truly a win-win relationship?
2. Grid-tied with battery backup
This goes a step further. Not only will your Solar PV system be integrated with the grid, but will also have its own battery back-up. Batteries are meant to store excess electricity that gets generated by the Solar PV system.
- Well, batteries used in solar PV systems tend to be very expensive; hence expect to have your overall cost increase manifold.
- Your dependence on the grid will be much less when the on-grid system is backed up with the battery as well. This is because the batteries act as your primary source for power when your system isn’t generating electricity, say, during night time. Thus, you will be more or less immune to power outages and disruptions of the grid!
- The overall efficiency of the system may suffer because of the constant charging and discharging of the batteries. Not to talk of the complexities they would add to the system’s design, installation, and maintenance.
- This is an ideal choice if your grid is prone to frequent power outages and isn’t a reliable energy source in the first place.
3. Off Grid System
If you live in a remote geographical location and hence doesn’t have access to the conventional grid, this is your ideal choice! As the name suggests, you are completely off the hook of the grid if you opt for this.
- Batteries are a must here unless your solar power is combined with other renewable energy resources like wind, generator etc.
- This tends to involve higher initial investment and installation costs. But isn’t that a good price to pay for energy self-sufficiency
- Also, you don’t need to spend on electricity bills at all!
- Ideal for remote locations that haven’t yet been electrified by gird, these are usually combined with a backup generator.
We at Minus CO2 know how important it is to have the right knowledge for one’s transition to solar power to go smooth and hassle-free; thus, we are always delighted to hear your queries on solar PV systems. Feel free to talk to us at +91 90226 50560 | 022 4976 6944