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Different Solar Power System Options in 2020

Jessica PirroFebruary 6, 20202310

Solar panel installations aren’t going to be a one size fits all project. The size and type of solar power system you get will depend on several different factors. In 2020, homeowners are going to be able to choose from a few different solar power systems.

Different Kinds of Solar Power Systems in 2020

All solar panel installations are going to come equipped with solar panels, solar power inverters, and wiring. But there are variations to how you can install your solar power system. There are three main ways that you can set up your solar panel installation. Homeowners will have the option to choose from a grid-tied solar power system with solar batteries for backup power, and off-grid solar power systems. These solar panel installations come with their unique benefits.

For most homeowners, grid-tied solar power systems will be the best option for the cost of solar. But, even if you have a grid-tied solar power system you are going to have the choice of installing solar batteries alongside your solar power system. Because the cost of solar batteries is continuing to drop, solar panel installations with solar batteries for home use are becoming not only more appealing but cost-effective as well.

What is The Grid?

First things first, if you want to understand what the grid it, we will need to discuss what utilities are, and what exactly they do. Homeowners' utilities are going to supply the general public with gas, water, or sewerage. In a more traditional sense, your utilities are supposed to achieve three main goals; to produce (or generate), to transmit, and to distribute their services. The utility grid is going to attain the transmission and distribution goals, and the grid's infrastructure will allow power to be transmitted from its point of generation to your home. If a blackout occurs, normally it is the grid that has been interrupted. When homeowners begin considering getting a solar panel installation, a lot of them want to achieve as much energy independence as possible. By achieving independence from the grid, homeowners can lower the cost of their energy usage and can exercise control over their use of energy. By getting an off-grid solar power system, when your grid does experience a blackout, a solar panel installation will more than likely still generate solar power.

A Solar Power System That Ties to The Grid

Most of the solar power systems installed in the United States will be grid-tied solar panel installations. As the name insinuates, a grid-tied solar panel installation is going to use the solar energy that is the solar panels generate when the sun’s rays hit the solar panels. But when the solar panels aren’t generating any solar energy, the homeowners that have a grid-tied solar power system, you will be able to pull electricity from the grid. Meaning that grid-tied solar panel installation is not going to need to match all of your electrical needs with solar power because you’re able to pull electricity from the utility grid when your solar panels are not producing enough solar power to offset all of your energy usages.

Grid-tied solar panel installations are going to have a lot of advantages. The first, and what most people think to be the best, is that this kind of solar panel installation is going to be the least expensive. By connecting your solar panel installation to the grid, you will have the option to utilize net metering. Net metering allows you to sell the excess solar energy that is generated by your solar power system back to the grid, to get credits to use on your electricity bill. Keep in mind that net metering isn’t going to lower the upfront cost of solar panel installation, but over the entire lifespan of your solar panel installation, you are going to see significant savings.

Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems with Solar Batteries

The next solar panel installation is going to be a grid-tied solar panel installation with solar batteries. This solar panel installation is going to be unique because it comes with the combined benefits of grid-tied solar panel installations and an off-grid solar power system with solar batteries.

When the sun is not shining your solar power system is not going to produce enough solar energy to power your home, a solar panel installation with solar batteries for your homes use is going to allow you to pull the excess solar power from the solar batteries, rather than pulling electricity from the grid. If you live in an area that doesn’t off net metering, this solar power system will benefit you, because you will have the option to draw free solar energy from the solar batteries as opposed to buying electricity from the grid.

A standard grid-tied solar panel installation will stop producing solar power when the utility grid is down. However, because a solar panel installation that is paired with solar batteries, stores back up solar power, homeowners are going to be able to use the stored solar power that your solar panels are generating. If you’re an area where blackouts commonly occur, due to fires or other weather ailments, even though solar batteries are going to increase the overall cost of solar, it may be worth it.

But, the reason that it’s worth getting a grid-tied solar power system is that solar panel installations are at the mercy of the sunlight and even a solar panel installation that is paired with solar batteries might store enough solar energy for all of your electrical needs. Homeowners still may be able to participate in net metering if your area offers it.

Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

It is not a requirement for your solar power system to stay connected to the grid for it to continue working. This is where off-grid solar panel installations shine.

An off-grid solar panel installation combines solar batteries and solar panels to remove the grid aspect. An off-grid solar power system is going to typically need to be lager than a grid-tied solar panel installation, in terms of both solar panels and storage capacity. This is due to the need to produce and store more solar energy.  

Off-Grid solar panel installations are going to need more equipment, the cost of solar power is going to be more expensive. There will be plenty of solar incentives and rebates that homeowners won’t be afforded with this solar power system. This solar power system is going to be the most expensive and will also offer homeowners the most independence.

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