Off-Grid vs. Hybrid Solar System: Which Is Right for You?
When it comes to alternative energy sources for your home or business, there are several options on the market today. Off-grid and hybrid solar energy kits are becoming increasingly popular as more consumers are trying to move away from fossil fuel and nuclear energy sources. Schneider Electric single-phase hybrid inverters are making it easier for home and business owners to make the switch to solar energy. Keep reading to learn more.
Off-Grid Solar Systems
As the name implies, off-grid solar systems are independent of a traditional power grid. If you live in or close to a major city, chances are you're already on-the-grid. What’s the grid? In the electric industry, the term grid refers to the layout of electric lines and services throughout a city. Power lines along the road are a part of the grid; they connect homes and businesses to the grid and deliver electricity from a nearby power plant. When your home or business is off-the-grid, you’re not connected to the city’s primary power source. For homeowners who live in undeveloped rural or mountainous areas, the option to be on-the-grid may not be possible. However, it's possible to be off-the-grid even if you live in an urban area.
An off-grid solar system requires the installation of special hardware to establish itself apart from public power. In addition to solar panels, you’ll need a charge controller, a battery bank, and a power inverter. A charge controller works like the meter the utility company uses to monitor and control energy usage. The charge controller determines the flow of energy into the banks. Depending on your energy usage and the amount of energy in the banks, it will use a trickle charge, full-load charge, or it will stop the charge to prevent overcharging the batteries. Lead-acid batteries can be used for solar power storage. However, most experts will recommend lithium-ion batteries because they have a longer average lifespan.
Solar panels are usually installed on the roof of the home at an angle that receives the most amount of sunlight. However, solar panels also can be installed in your yard on stilts if you have space. Compare to traditional electricity and hybrid solar systems, the off-grid system is usually more expensive because of the initial investment in equipment.
Hybrid Solar System
A hybrid system is attached to the city’s power grid and the electric meter already installed in your home. You can switch between using public electricity or your battery banks as needed. In an emergency when the city’s power is out, you still will have power. In some cities, the power company may adopt a special contract for your electric usage in which they will discount their services or pay you in exchange for contributing energy back to the city. While you still need a battery bank for your emergency supply, the batteries usually last longer because they’re not used and charged as frequently as an off-grid system. This also helps keep the hybrid system more cost-effective compared to the off-grid system. Whether you want to stay on the grid or not, Schneider Electric solar inverters from The PowerStore can help you make the switch to natural energy and keep your home running. For all your solar energy needs, visit https://www.powerstore.com.