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Different Solar Powered System Options in 2019

Jessica PirroJuly 2, 20193730

When it comes to solar powered systems, it isn’t a one size investment. The sort of solar powered system, solar panels and solar panel installation all depends on different factors. You will have the option to choose between several different kinds of solar powered systems for your property - grid-tied, grid-tied with storage and off-grid solar panel systems.

The Different Types of Solar Powered Systems

Solar Powered systems will always include photovoltaic solar panels, wiring, and inverters, but there are variations to exactly how your solar powered system can be set up to provide clean, inexpensive energy. There are three main types of solar powered systems for your property: grid-tied systems, grid-tied systems with solar energy, and off-grid solar panel systems. Each solar panel installation is unique and comes with its own unique benefits and best-use cases.

For the majority of homeowners, a grid-tied system is going to be the best option when it comes to the cost of solar panels, but if you get a grid-tied solar powered system you also have the option of getting a solar system with batteries for home use, which is also a wise choice. As solar power batteries cost continues to fall, the solar system with batteries for home use will become more appealing and cost-effective.  

Grid-tied Solar Powered System

The majority of the solar panel installations in the United States are going to be a grid-tied solar powered system. Just as you would think based on the name, this solar powered system is connected to your home wiring and the electrical grid. A home that has a grid-tied solar powered power system uses the energy from the solar panels whenever the sun is shining and when the solar panels aren’t producing energy, it pulls the energy from the grid. This means that a grid-tied solar powered system does not need to match the entirety of your electricity needs with the electricity that is coming from the solar panels, because you can pull energy from the grid whenever your solar panels aren’t using enough solar energy to offset all of your usages.

A grid-tied solar powered system has a lot of advantages. The first of which being that this cost of solar system is typically the least expensive. An off-grid solar powered system will require more specialized equipment and when it comes to the solar panel installation procedures, they’ll also have to be more specialized. A grid-tied solar system with batteries for home use will require you to get more components which will also drive up the costs. When your solar powered system is connected to the gird, you are also able to utilize solar incentives such as net metering, which will allow you to sell the excess solar energy that is generated to the gird to get credits on your electricity bill. Even though net metering doesn’t lower the upfront cost of solar system, over the entire lifetime of your solar powered system, you will see a significant amount of savings than without net metering for your solar panels.

An important thing to keep in mind is that when your solar powered system is connected to the grid there are a lot of advantages, but if the grid is experiencing a power outage, your solar powered system will usually stop working as well. In order to continue to use the power that is coming from your solar panels while there is as a power outage you will need to install a solar system with batteries for home and the solar power batteries cost will drive up the cost of solar system, but it may be worth it.

Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems With Storage

The next solar powered system we will discuss has the same standard grid-tied solar powered system except that there is energy storage or it is a solar system with batteries for home. A grid-tied solar powered system that comes with energy storage comes with all of the benefits of a typical solar powered system as well as the benefits of a solar system with batteries for home usage.

When the sun isn’t out and your solar panel installation isn’t producing enough energy to continue to run your home, a solar system with batteries for home use will allow you to pull the solar energy from it rather than pulling energy from the electrical grid. This will benefit property owners who cannot benefit from solar incentives such as net metering because you are able to access free solar energy as opposed to buying energy from the grid.

In addition to having a solar system with batteries for home installed with a grid-tied solar powered system is that your solar panels are able to still produce electricity even while the grid is down. A standard grid-tied system is going to stop producing solar energy while the grid is down, but because a solar system with batteries for home use has stored up backup power, you’ll be able to use that stored up solar energy from the solar panels to power your home. If you live in an area that experiences a lot of blackouts from hurricanes or other weather ailments, though the solar power batteries cost will increase the cost of solar system it will be worth it.

If the solar panel installation you choose is a solar system with batteries for home use, the upfront cost of solar system will be more because the solar power batteries cost will be an additional cost. But most people find that the additional solar power batteries cost is worth it, even more so over the time of the solar panel installation, especially now since the solar power batteries costs are continuing to fall. For customers who are interested in solar panels and their utility company charges time-of-use (TOU) rates. In the TOU plan, electricity costs are usually higher when you need to buy power during peak hours when it is higher, which is normally in the late afternoon and evening. By installing a solar system with batteries for home use, allows you to forgo those costs completely.

The reason it is still worthwhile to stay connected to the grid is because all solar panel installations are at the complete mercy of the sunlight and even a solar system with batteries for home use may not store enough electricity for all of your needs. You also will still be able to participate in solar incentives such as net metering if it is offered.

Off-Grid Solar Panel System 

It isn’t a necessity to stay connected to the electric grid to have a working solar powered system, which is where off-grid solar panel systems come into play.

An off-grid solar panel system is one that combines the photovoltaic solar panels and solar system with batteries for home use to eliminate the grid component completely. What an off-grid solar panel system is, is a grid-tied solar powered system that produces enough solar energy to work independently from the grid. An off-grid solar panel system will usually need to be a larger solar powered system then a solar powered system that is tied to the grid, both in terms of solar panels as well as storage capacity, this is due to the fact you will need to produce more energy.

Because you will need more solar equipment this cost of solar system is the most expensive of solar powered systems for the solar panel installation. There are also many solar rebates as well as solar incentives that aren’t available with this solar powered system. This solar powered system is the most expensive but it does give you solar powered system the most independence.

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