Off-Grid vs On-Grid Comparison
On-Grid Solar Power System
On-grid means your solar system is tied to the power grid of your local utility. People who are on-grid can use their utility company's energy during times of low sun or when there is an outage, but if they generate too much electricity this will be exported back into the grid.
Sell Excess Energy
You can be an electricity producer and a consumer at the same time. If you produce more energy than your home uses, excess power is sold to electric companies which in turn gives you credit that builds up over the course of a year.
This process called net-metering allows grid-tied homeowners not to have to purchase batteries for storage because they use their utility company as one big battery space.
Access To Grid
On-grid solar systems work best for households without good access to the electric grid.
One of their biggest benefits is that they can provide power during a blackout, which many people have experienced in recent years due to natural disasters like hurricanes or consistent cloudy days.
Easy To Install and Maintain
The best advantage of an on-grid solar power system is that there are fewer parts and installation is simpler. The lack of maintenance for batteries makes it even easier to use!
Grid Is Your Backup
With an on-grid system, you'll still be able to get electricity if your panels are broken because it's connected with other power sources in different locations.
For those who have a need for electricity at all times, installing an on-grid solar system is the perfect solution.
You will always be able to access power regardless of if your panels are producing or not and you also won't ever run out of battery life either!
The consumer only has to pay for the surplus electricity that is consumed, as the solar system is connected to the grid.
Installing an on-grid solar system is the perfect way to go green, get off fossil fuels and save money.
Unlike off-grid systems with batteries that store excess electricity generated from your panels for future use, you can export surplus power back out into the grid when net metering programs are available in your area, earning more than just credits.
Buy expensive, sell cheap
However, there are drawbacks to this type of system. The energy grids work like investment bankers who buy electricity cheap when you sell, and more expensive when you want to buyback.
The way our grid system prices electricity according to energy demand. You can end up paying much more than the price you sell electricity to the grid.
Must meet stringent requirements
The on-grid solar system must meet several standards to be installed within the grid.
For example, it has Interconnection with Grid Specifications and Standards in order for your electric company to transmit power back out whenever you're not using them.
Minimum & Maximum threshold
Your on-grid solar installation may be asked to meet the minimum and maximum power capacity thresholds in order to be eligible.
Talk with your grid company about specific details, like what these are in particular.
Off-Grid Solar Power System
Off-grid solar power is when the PV system produces electricity without being connected to a local grid.
This means it can function as an emergency backup or alternative energy source if necessary, but its main purpose is not dependent on grid connection.
An off-grid solar system is designed to produce a certain amount of “extra” electricity during the day, which can be stored in batteries. This means that these systems will continue producing power even when it's dark or cloudy outside.
Most people who live away from any form of transmission lines have their own electric grid called an “off-the-grid” (OTG) system for generating and storing energy.
These OTGs are often set up with large battery banks so they can store excess daytime electricity generated by panels on the roof until nighttime when it is needed most usually.
Because there would not otherwise be enough sun shining through all those clouds to meet everyone's needs at night without some storage capacity built into your local.
Not guaranteed to respond demand
Despite even the best and most accurate estimates, there's no guarantee that a home solar system will be able to produce as much electricity as is needed.
If your weather patterns are cloudy for an extended period of time you may end up without enough power stored in batteries to meet all your energy needs.
In response, homeowners can purchase more expensive backup batteries or surplus panels but this comes with the added expense which isn't always feasible especially if it was unforeseen.
Requires battery installations
Living off the grid means never having to worry about your monthly energy bill again. One of the benefits is being 100% self-sustaining with your electricity use, which eliminates expensive monthly bills and lets you get as much solar power in as possible.
But there are also downsides. These batteries for backup can be both expensive and environmentally unfriendly which takes away from one of the reasons why people go solar in the first place (saving money).
Freedom from Grid
An off-grid solar system is a practical choice for those who live in areas without access to the grid or are otherwise cut off from the power sources.
These systems function independently and don’t rely on outside electricity, making them perfect for remote regions that may experience blackouts.
They generate enough energy that can be collected during daylight hours so they provide power at night as well.
When you install off-grid solar, there is a chance that your system will produce more electricity than the house/building consumes.
Depending on how large of a system one installs and when they use their energy to power devices with it, excess production may happen at any time.
One's options for what should be done if this happens to depend on whether or not an inverter was installed in the installation process; without inverters, surplus electrical charge can't be stored long term so owners are forced to sell it back into their grid line provider as needed.