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Grid-Tied, Off-Grid and Hybrid Solar Systems

Posted 9-28-2018 | Filed under Solar Education | Comments (0)

Solar systems are available in a variety of different configurations, of which, are designed for different purposes. Today we will be going over the types of systems and pointing out the benefits and drawbacks of each composition. Our goal is to educate and assist in choosing the best set up for your application.

What is a Grid-Tied Solar System?

Grid-Tied Solar Systems, also known as Grid Reliant or Dependent systems, utilize large solar arrays to create DC power (low voltage). This power is then converted to standard AC power (110V-120V) by a power inverter, for household use. In this configuration, when the solar array generates more power than is being consumed, the excess energy is allocated to the utility grid. This helps us create green, reusable energy, while selling it back to the utility company at almost the same rate of cost (varies by location). This process is known as Net Metering and is a fantastic benefit of using solar power.

The main drawback of Grid-Tied solar systems is there dependency upon the grid. In the event of an outage, the solar array will not be able to assist in powering any items in your home. This is where the next type of solar system truly shines.

What is an Off-Grid Solar System?

Off-Grid Solar Systems rely on batteries to store power for immediate or future use. The configuration of all Off-Grid solar systems consists of key components that allow for proper production, transfer, storage and output of power. The Solar array produces power which travels to a charge controller (which regulates the power) via PV copper stranded wire. The power then passes through the charge controller into the batteries where it is stored. From here, the power is converted into usable AC power via an inverter. The main benefit of off grid systems is the ability to store power for use in the event of a power outage or grid failure. On average, these systems are great for powering essentials such as refrigeration, LED lights, Smart devices and water pumps.

The main drawback of Off-Grid systems is typically the upfront cost. Since the power must be stored in line with your wattage requirements, battery costs can quickly add up. However, they are perfect for remote areas that do not have access to hard wire power or for individuals who wish to be self-reliant.

What is a Hybrid Solar System?

Hybrid systems combine the best of both worlds. A hybrid system has access to storage power in the event of an outage, but can still rely on grid power for peak power usage times or during periods of low sunlight, poor weather, etc. Hybrid systems are typically less expensive than a complete Off-Grid application, as less batteries are required. One of the most interesting features of Hybrid systems, like the Humless Home 10 Battery Backup System; is they can be configured to automatically switch over to the battery back up in the event of an outage seamlessly, using demand load shifting technology.

With a Hybrid system you can configure an automatic switch over to the backup power during peak electric rates, saving you countless dollars over time. With the ability to expand battery storage, you can create your own personal powerplant, heading towards eventual complete self-reliance.

With Hybrid systems such as the Humless Home 10, 20 and 30 now being able to offer DC and AC Coupling, Emergency Backup Power and Utility Grid Power have become more harmonious than ever. We are proud to be able to introduce a system that can offer the best of both worlds. As always, if you have any questions or would like a recommendation, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your solar needs!
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