Difference between on-grid, off-grid and hybrid solar systems
For many, going solar means environmental responsibility, eco-friendliness and total energy independence. The first two are indisputable truths, but are you really going to become independent from the national energy grid? Well, the answer is not always yes. It depends on the solar system you choose. Let’s see what the difference between on-grid, off-grid and hybrid solar systems is and which one will suit you the best.
Advantages of Grid-Tied Solar Systems
Grid-tie solar systems, also referred to as on-grid, utility-interactive, grid intertie or grid backfeeding, are popular with both homes and businesses. They are connected to the utility power grid, which is necessary to run the PV system. It allows you to export any excess solar power you generate to the electricity grid, receive credits and use them later to offset your energy bill.
With such systems you don’t need to buy batteries, because you’ll have a virtual one. the utility grid. It will require no maintenance or replacements, and thus no additional expenses. over, grid-tie systems are generally simpler and cheaper to install.
High efficiency of 95%
According to EIA data, national annual electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 5% of the electricity transmitted in the US. In other words, the efficiency of your system will be as high as 95% throughout its lifespan. On the contrary, lead-acid batteries, commonly used with solar panels, are only 80-90% efficient at storing energy and will even degrade with time.
No storage problems
Your solar panels will often generate more electricity than needed. With a net metering program, designed for grid-tie systems, you can put this excess electricity onto the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries.
Extra income source
In some regions, homeowners who install solar are awarded Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) for the energy they generate. SRECs can be later sold through a local marketplace to utility companies looking to comply with renewable energy regulations. The average American home can generate about 11 SRECs per year if powered by solar, which can bring around 2500 to the family budget.
SREC price can vary from 5 to 450 apiece depending on the state you live in and the supply-demand ratio.
Equipment for Grid-Tied Solar Systems
Some homeowners prefer micro-inverters, which are much smaller and go on the back of each solar panel. One of the smallest we have is APS YC1000. While micro-inverters are more expensive than string ones, they are proven to yield higher efficiency rates. Those who are suspect to shading issues should definitely opt for micro-inverters.
Finally, you’ll need to purchase a power meter (often called a net meter or a two-way meter) that is compatible with net metering. This device is designed to measure power going in both directions, from the grid to your house and vice versa. Note that some utility companies may issue a power meter for free, so consult your utility before buying.
Advantages of Off-Grid Solar Systems
Many homeowners prefer to install off-grid solar systems to become completely energy independent. The thing is that off-grid solar systems aren’t connected to the electricity grid, so they will continue working even if the public power grid is not functioning. However, this is only achievable with the appropriate equipment and batteries.
Great for remote locations
If you live more than 100 yards from the grid, you should definitely consider off-grid. Such a solar system can be much cheaper than extending power lines. For example, the costs of overhead transmission lines range from 174,000 per mile (for rural construction) to 11,000,000 per mile (for urban construction).
For some people being independent is worth more than saving money. If power failures on the utility grid are a norm for your area, an off-grid system will ensure your house is powered 24/7 whatever happens around. However, to make your system 100% secure, you should install a backup generator in case your batteries run out of charge during cloudy times.
Equipment for Off-Grid Solar Systems
Solar charge controllers are needed to limit the rate of current being delivered to the battery bank and prevent battery overcharging. It is crucial for keeping the batteries healthy and extending their lifetime.
No energy independence is guaranteed without a battery bank, a group of batteries wired together. They store the power generated during peak sun hours for you to use it later at night or on cloudy days. It could also be a single unit, but stackability has its advantages. It allows you to easily replace individual batteries and increase the overall storage capacity of your system. KiloVault CHLX 3600 is one of the stackable options we offer.
All solar systems require AC and DC safety disconnects, but for an off-grid one you will need to install an additional DC disconnect switch between the battery bank and the off-grid inverter. It is important for maintenance, troubleshooting and protection against electrical fires.
over, you’ll need an off-grid inverter unless you’re setting up solar panels for your boat, RV, or something else that runs on DC current. Unlike GTIs, off-grid inverters do not have to match phase with the utility grid.
Finally, you should consider buying a backup generator, as it takes a lot of money and batteries to prepare for several consecutive cloudy days. Generators can run on propane, petroleum, gasoline and many other fuel types, but diesel is believed to be the best choice.
Hybrid Solar Systems
Do you hate the electricity companies?
Do you marvel at the electricity-generating ability of a decent-sized solar power system?
Ever thought “Why can’t I get all the electricity I need right from my roof during the day, store it in batteries, and really give the middle finger to those greedy, polluting power companies?”
Pretty natural thought process, right? And modern technology does agree with you – if cost isn’t a factor. For reasons I’ve outlined in another post it is possible to go completely off-grid with a big old pile of batteries and a boatload of cash.
I’ve taken some heat for suggesting that going completely off grid may not be a great idea if you have a grid connection at your doorstep.
After all, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the grid. It is an amazing bit of infrastructure that has already been built, works very well 99.9% of the time and allows us to share our excess energy with our neighbours.
The problem lies in the attitudes and policies of the people who own the grid. Because the companies that own the grid are so hated, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been accused of being a clandestine agent of the power companies when I dare to say:
“Think twice before spending 30,000 to 50,000 to go off grid in the city!”.
The objective truth is this: Off grid can make sense for you in certain situations (which I outlined in my original off-grid post), but otherwise it is a whole lot of expense for no other reason than a vague desire to “stick it to the power companies”.
Luckily for us, there’s a compromise: hybrid solar systems!
Hybrid solar power systems offer the best of both worlds: You get the guaranteed (well, 99.9% of the time) electricity supply of the grid, with the ability to store your excess solar energy in a battery for use when the sun isn’t shining. You can also switch over to your own battery reserves if the grid goes down.
Hybrid systems are also at least half the price of an off-grid system and don’t require diesel back up. They’re still more expensive than a purely on-grid system, but the benefits of solar batteries are persuading an increasing number of people to pay the premium. In fact, the number of hybrid enquiries to this website is doubling every year.
(If you want 3 competitive quotes for a hybrid solar system, from local hybrid specialists you can get them here. Otherwise read on to learn whether a hybrid system is right for you.)
Here are 4 reasons to consider getting a hybrid solar system instead of a regular battery-free system:
1) To keep the electricity flowing if the grid goes down
Standard on-grid solar power systems shut down if they detect the failure of the grid. This is to protect any lineworkers making repairs to the wires outside your home. They wouldn’t like it very much if your solar panel system sent a current straight to their fingertips while they’re trying to work on the wires in your street.
A properly designed hybrid solar system can safely disconnect your house from the grid in the event of a power outage, and turn your house into a little mini grid. Imagine the smugness as yours is the only house in the street with the lights on, the TV blaring, the fridge humming and the beers cold.
2) To overcome solar system ‘export limits’ imposed by your local electricity network
Some unlucky folks have local electricity networks that are real control freaks. They have really tight restrictions on maximum solar system sizes. They claim their poor little grid can’t handle the additional electricity that larger solar power systems provide (although they’ll be happy for you to install a 10kW air conditioner that intermittently pulls massive amounts of power from the same grid!). This often results in homeowners being forced into a solar power system size much smaller than they need to offset their bills.
The way that hybrid solar systems get around this limitation is by using a Smart inverter that works in tandem with your battery bank. These hybrid inverters can be configured to have a maximum export rate that’s way below what your system can actually produce when the sun is at full whack. So to the grid your 10kW solar power system can look like a puny 2kW system. While only 2kW is exported to the grid, the other 8kW or so is diverted to your batteries.
The result: Everyone is happy. You get your big solar power system, and your electricity company gets to stay in the 20th century with its arcane regulations.
3) To get your bill down at any cost
You just have this strong feeling that it’s unfair to send your generated solar electricity into the grid for half (or less) what you pay the power company. So – by dropping a lot of cash on a battery, you can get your bill to as close to 0 as possible.
4) Because you love technology and just want it on your house
I personally fall into this category! I’m what you’d call a solar geek, and I love testing new technology, so putting solar battery storage on my home was a logical choice.
I already have a regular solar power system – can I add batteries?
To make a standard solar power system compatible with batteries, I’d suggest a system size of at least 6.6kW so you can generate enough electricity to actually charge your batteries in the winter, and when the weather is overcast.
If you currently have a system that’s under 6.6kW in size, you should consider adding more solar panels, unless you have a really efficient house and a really small battery pack. If you are adding panels, you may need to increase the size of the inverter to cope.
It is actually fine (and often a very Smart move) to oversize your solar panel array to your inverter. kW won’t harm the inverter (as long as the voltage and current specs are maintained – which your installer can confirm). Your installer can advise on whether your inverter needs to be upsized based on your local climate, your battery size, and your household energy usage.
The simplest way to retrofit batteries to an existing solar power system is to use a technique called “AC Coupling” – which means you don’t touch the existing solar wiring, and simply connect the battery into the houses existing 230V AC circuit.
Examples of batteries that can be retrofitted using AC Coupling are the Tesla Powerwall 2, the Enphase AC battery and the Sonnen battery.
How much does a hybrid solar system cost?
Now we’ve reached the million-dollar question: How much extra can you expect to pay for a hybrid solar power system compared to a standard, on-grid system?
It all depends on how many batteries you want. But the short answer is: you’ll pay more than double for a hybrid solar system.
At the time of writing, a good 6.6kW system costs about 7,000 installed. If you want to add 10kWh of usable storage (a decent amount for the average Aussie home) to this, expect to pay about 18,000 for the complete system.
What kind of batteries can you use for a hybrid solar system, and how often will they need to be replaced?
There are now a wide variety of batteries available for the home residential market, and you can see them all on our Battery Storage Comparison Table.
In terms of lifespan – we aren’t seeing many battery manufacturers warrant their batteries for more than 10 years – that should tell you all you need to know about how long they expect them to last.
Is hybrid solar worth the extra money?
In mid-2023, if you are buying a battery for purely economic reasons, it may not pay for itself before the warranty expires. But that doesn’t mean the battery will be useless or fail the day after the warranty is over. And if you are buying a battery for the other reasons we mentioned above, then only you can put a price on those reasons and just how much they’re worth to you.
One thing to be careful of the concept of “blended payback“, where a solar company will sell solar batteries in a package and rely on the incredibly fast payback of the solar panels to reduce the otherwise uneconomic payback of the battery system. To demonstrate this, try our solar and battery calculator, which will show you overall payback along with payback for solar panels and the battery system separately.
If you want 3 competitive quotes for a hybrid solar system, from local hybrid specialists (including payback calculations), you can get them here.
About Finn Peacock
I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer, solar and energy efficiency nut, electric car and e-bike owner, dad, and founder of SolarQuotes.com.au. My last “real job” was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009 more than 685,000 Australians have used my site to get quotes for high quality PV systems from pre-vetted solar installers.
Types of solar systems (On-grid, Off-grid and Hybrid) and their use cases
Types of solar systems (On-grid, Off-grid and Hybrid) and their use cases
In the last few years, the world has witnessed a remarkable transition to clean energy and solar is shifting it into top gear. Solar energy production embarked its journey in India with a humble 39 megawatts capacity in 2009, which increased to 39000 megawatts in 2020.
In the feat to achieve grid parity – homeowners, decision-makers, architects, industrialists and businesses are making a foray into the world of sustainable energy. Grid parity is a stage where alternative energy can generate electricity at a Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). It means the point when electricity from solar cost can break even or cost you less than electricity from the local grid.
It is no surprise that the sun is an inexhaustible source of energy. But when it comes to its energy output there are numerous variables at play – temperature, the orientation of panels, weather, the position of the sun and many more. Therefore, to accommodate the day-to-day energy demands and to supply ample power to the load, it is integral to utilize a compatible backup source.
The graph of solar production is not linear, it sees its dips and peaks depending on factors such as heat and Cloud. Given the aforesaid characteristics of solar power output, it is essential that a supplementary source of power (either the grid, the battery or some other source).
When you are selecting a solar system, there are several decisions to be taken as an investor. You would like to make a Smart decision and would like to choose a system that lasts you longer.
This is why collaborating with reputable EPC players like Novergy is imperative to ensure maximum solar harvest. It also eliminates the time-consuming assembly and installation process with its ready-to-use system. It also aids you in choosing the right solar system for your property.
A solar system is made of the following components;
- Solar panels
- DC protection system
- AC protection panel
Factors that determine the selection of solar systems are;
- The accessibility to electricity
- Frequency in power outages
- Number of equipment required for energy production
- The cost of residential/commercial electricity
Following are three types of solar systems available in the market for investors to opt for;
ON-GRID SOLAR SYSTEMS
Here, the systems are tied to the local utility grids and they act as a complementary source of electricity. Further, Investors can supplement the low energy yield with the grid or transfer the surplus energy produced by the solar system to the grid via net metering to get compensated for the same.
However, in case of a power shutdown, your electricity supply will be affected if it is not tied to a battery backup system. Even if your solar system can accommodate your monthly electricity usage, you will be charged the basic service fee and demand charges for grid connection. When you have a commercial connection, you are often levied to pay an enhanced rate of electricity during a peak period.
It assists you in earning a faster return on investment (ROI), lower electricity overheads and savings through netmetering.
Components employed in on-grid systems – Panels, Meters, Grid-tied inverters and the local grid
Use Cases – Suitable for residential, commercial, industrial properties with robust grid availability
OFF-GRID SOLAR SYSTEMS
Widely known as standalone systems, they are systems that help you in building a self-reliant powerhouse on your premises. Here, the MPPT(Maximum Power Point Tracker) helps the PV array to charge the battery bank, then transfer it to the inverter. Hereafter, the inverter sends the current to the AC load to support the energy demands at night and during the outcast as well.
The system needs to be engineered and designed seamlessly to uphold the energy demands in peak times. The batteries and inverters play a very crucial role in the successful installation of these systems. However, if everything is assembled well, the system will remain unaffected by the changing weather patterns and acute power outages. The upfront cost is generally higher than the grid-tied systems as it needs complementary elements like batteries for energy storage.
These systems are independent of the local grid and offer higher ROI while ensuring complete peace of mind.
Components employed in off-grid systems – Solar Panel array, batteries and inverters
Use Cases – They are viable for agricultural lands, industrial properties, rural and remote areas and construction sites.
Hybrid solar systems
Hybrid systems are solar systems that are dependent on the grid and can also accumulate extra electricity in a storage unit. Here, the extra energy produced by the solar system after the energy consumption by appliances is transferred to the battery bank. Once they are completely charged, they can export the extra energy to the grid.
These systems deliver the functionality of both off-grid and grid-tied systems, at once. They are a more steady, secure and cost-effective way for power generation as compared to the other systems we mentioned earlier. Because it does not necessitate you to invest in large storage systems. This is the reason why they are more popular among solar investors, they remain unharmed because blackouts don’t hamper their yield or supply.components employed in hybrid systems – Solar Panel array, batteries and inverters, meter and grid
Use Cases – They are best suited for the agricultural sector, residential applications, micro-grids, rural areas and offices.
Way Forward with Novergy
With a track record of faster, seamless and reliable installations, Novergy provides an end-to-end solution to meet all your residential and commercial energy needs. We provide Smart combinations of solar kits with our pre-engineered, designed and arranged components to fast-forward the installation process and to give you a strategic advantage.
The solar kit comprises our high-efficiency solar modules panels offering numerous benefits such as an increased collection solar energy yield, a 25-year linear guarantee, an IP67 junction, ARC coating backed by advanced notable technologies. Our IGPB, IPCL, IPCT and IPCV series are top-grade inverters to fully support the energy conversion in all kinds of systems.
To know more about us and our products in detail please visit Novergy or write to us at email@example.com today!
By admin | 2022-02-28T06:39:1300:00 May 29th, 2021 | Solar Inverter, Solar Kit | Комментарии и мнения владельцев Off on Types of solar systems (On-grid, Off-grid and Hybrid) and their use cases
What Is a Hybrid Solar Panel System?
Hybrid solar systems use solar power and electricity and are an excellent backup power source for blackouts, like an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). Their hybrid inverter system makes them ideal for homes that need extra energy since the batteries store power for later use.
If you want to learn more about this home investment, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about hybrid solar panels, including how they work and how they compare to the other solar energy systems in our guide below.
What Do I Need to Know About Hybrid Solar Panels?
After you install solar panels, the energy generated will convert into power for your home. To power your house this way, you can remain connected to the grid, go off-grid or use a hybrid system.
Hybrid solar energy systems are similar to the familiar solar panel setup, though they use batteries alongside the sun’s energy.
During the day, your solar panels gather energy from the sun and charge the backup battery unit for use in your home. You can then use the hybrid solar electricity at night when your solar panels aren’t drawing power or if there’s a power outage. Hybrid solar’s battery-ready system makes it perfect for you if your home needs energy at all times.
Hybrid solar panels allow energy independence, and they don’t require as much maintenance and storage space or as many batteries as off-grid systems.
Benefits of a Hybrid Solar Power System
Hybrid solar power systems for the home have steadily gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. A hybrid solar setup provides homeowners more options when it comes to harnessing energy from the sun. The main benefits of using hybrid solar panel systems include the following:
- Best of both worlds: Hybrid systems use solar battery storage and low-cost electricity.
- Continuous power: By generating power and storing additional energy for later use, hybrid solar systems for homes offer the advantage of continuous energy supply.
- Extra energy when you need it: Using solar energy at peak electricity usage times is possible with its backup power source.
- Advanced energy management: A compatible inverter allows the batteries to communicate with each other to run the system. Due to this technology system, hybrid panel setups give you easy-to-follow information regarding your system’s output and how much power you’re pulling from the grid.
- Load management: Hybrid solar power systems also allow you to manage your load by storing energy when demand is low and using it later on when demand increases during peak hours.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Hybrid solar panels are an excellent way to reduce grid power consumption by using stored electricity.
- Low maintenance: Hybrid power systems require little maintenance and offer low running costs compared to other types of systems. Once the equipment is installed, you can expect years of worry-free use with minimal need for repairs or replacements.
- Great for your budget: Hybrid systems are more affordable than off-grid solar systems since they don’t require diesel backup and their battery storage can be downsized.
Some considerations to keep in mind when using hybrid solar systems for your house include:
- Potential appliance limits: They can limit the number of appliances you can run at one time according to the hybrid inverter’s capacity.
- Increased cost: Since they require batteries, hybrid solar systems are almost double the price of purely on-grid solar systems.
How Does a Hybrid Solar Panel Work?
The only difference between hybrid solar power systems and the more commonly known grid arrays is the addition of batteries and a battery inverter. Hybrid solar panels are grid-tied, meaning your solar connects to your utility provider’s power line while using batteries for additional energy.
Hybrid systems use solar first, then the battery, then grid power. Your hybrid solar panel works using this process:
- It sends solar power to your inverter.
- Your inverter sends energy to power your home.
- Extra energy goes directly to your home battery for storage.
Hybrid solar panels are an economical option due to using both a battery inverter and solar inverter. Hybrid inverters are effective for high-energy use because if your battery can’t provide enough power or your solar panels aren’t producing energy, you can trust the grid to give the deficit.
Generally, the batteries in a hybrid system offer adequate electricity to get you through the night, though they can also provide power during the day when you need it. Hybrid systems use backup power to keep your lights and some appliances running during an outage.
The battery technology in hybrid solar panels is different from traditional off-grid battery backup units due to the lithium batteries. Lithium batteries allow more capacity, so hybrid systems have more space for a single battery backup unit. Other unique offerings depend on the product you choose, so it’s essential to research the different hybrid systems before installing one.
Pros and Cons of Storing Energy in a Solar Battery
If you have been seriously looking into building a sustainable home, it’s worth evaluating whether a solar energy storage battery will work for your property. A few key considerations regarding these systems include:
Storing energy in a solar battery offers several advantages by allowing homeowners to:
- Save money on electric bills: Solar batteries cost less than other storage systems and help you minimize what you spend on utilities, which is especially important given the rising cost of energy.
- Take advantage of solar power even when the sun isn’t shining: Solar batteries store energy when the sun is out, then release it for use at night or on darker days.
- Use your own energy rather than relying on external suppliers: Solar batteries are great for anyone who wants more control over their energy use. These systems are ideal for those who live off-grid or want a backup system for emergencies or seasonal changes.
However, there are also some drawbacks to storing energy in a solar battery. For instance:
- Batteries tend to be more expensive than solar panels alone: A battery storage system is the best bet for those who want the most efficient system possible for storing energy from their solar panels, but it does represent more upfront expense.
- Solar batteries eventually need replacement: Solar battery materials can degrade over time, so you may need to replace yours every five to 15 years. Before purchase, ask about the life expectancy of your solar battery so you can plan accordingly.
- Your solar system will need more maintenance: Although batteries are relatively low-maintenance, they need periodic checks to monitor their condition. Proper care and maintenance will greatly minimize replacement frequency.
How Does Hybrid Solar Compare to Other Systems?
It’s essential to learn about the different solar power systems to make an informed purchase for your energy needs. On-grid, off-grid and hybrid energy systems each have their own set of benefits.
On-Grid Solar Energy
A benefit of on-grid power is that you can decrease your expenses by using a process called net-metering. You earn credits for the energy you send to the grid with net metering. When you need to take power from your grid, you’ll owe that money like normal. But the bill you receive at the end of the month will be net energy — what you owe minus what you generated.
A disadvantage is that purely on-grid systems won’t work during power outages since they don’t use battery backup power. Additionally, you’ll still rely on fossil fuels with on-grid power.
Hybrid systems will save you money by lowering your electricity bills, making the higher upfront system costs worthwhile. Your solar battery will store your excess power instead of selling it back to your utility, and though you won’t see net metering credits on your bill, you’ll still get the same value for your electricity. If your utility company doesn’t offer full retail net metering, you might even save more with hybrid solar.
Off-Grid Solar Energy
Off-grid systems are great for reducing your carbon footprint and remaining independent from your utility company. However, you won’t have backup power when your solar is down due to a week of overcast days, for instance. Additionally, you won’t be able to easily manage your energy in the way you can with hybrid systems.
There are numerous benefits to installing hybrid energy for your home. With any solar energy system, choosing equipment that works for your present and future electricity needs is essential.
Suppose you need help budgeting your energy expenses. Most hybrid inverters can be installed before battery backup installation, which means you can integrate your system into your home with solely solar panels and inverters before adding battery backup in the future. This way, you can implement the hybrid system later if your energy priorities change.
Trust SH Solar for Your Solar Power Needs
Now that you’ve learned about hybrid solar systems, you can make an informed decision about the right kind of energy setup for your needs. Hybrid solar panels present many benefits for your project by providing the best of both worlds — solar battery storage and electricity.
SH Solar is a one-stop shop for all your solar needs. From property evaluation to lifetime solar maintenance, we’ve got you covered. Our experts will help you decide on the right solar energy system for your needs or install one that allows for hybrid solar energy later down the road.
To learn more, contact us online or request a free quote today! Many people who use solar power enjoy the idea of being completely off the grid. However, remaining on the grid while using a battery backup provides many benefits worth considering for your home.