Learn about off-grid and on-grid photovoltaic installation systems. What are the differences and which one to choose for your home? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
Photovoltaic panels are becoming more and more popular, especially among people who appreciate ecological and economical solutions. There are different types of installation systems. Currently in our market we can meet with two types – on-grid installation and off-grid installation. What are the differences between these two options for installing photovoltaic panels? Which of them will be better and more functional in your home?
Many people are currently considering installing photovoltaic panels on their home. This method of solar energy allows you to produce electricity from the sun in both summer and winter. It may happen that sometimes there is too much energy for our needs or too little. How then to give the surplus energy or make up for its lack? Deciding on the installation of photovoltaic panels we need to know whether we want to connect to the power grid or operate fully independently. In the following article we will present the differences between these two installation systems
On-grid installation system
A system that is connected to the electric grid is called on-grid, otherwise known as a grid installation. With it, the electricity produced by the photovoltaic panels is consumed on an ongoing basis, and the resulting surplus is transferred to the electricity grid. On cloudy days or evenings, the system may not produce enough energy.
Then any shortfall can be collected from the electricity grid, using the surplus produced earlier. Thanks to this solution, we can use electricity generated by solar energy practically all year round. This is certainly an ecological and economical solution, because electricity bills are much lower. The best way to check whether this installation system will work in our home is to perform a photovoltaic audit. The main disadvantage of the on-grid system is the dependence on the power grid. When there is a failure or interruption in power supply panels stop working and thus produce energy
What are the elements of the on-grid system?
To install the installation based on an on-grid system, you need to provide photovoltaic panels, inverter – inverter (through which direct current is converted into alternating current), meter for the production and consumption of electricity and connection to the power grid and security. The meters show clearly and transparently the amount of electricity produced by the installation, as well as how much electricity was sent to the grid and how much was taken from it. In this way you can control the situation of consumption and production of electricity with photovoltaic panels
Off-grid system – island system
Installing an off-grid photovoltaic installation system at home allows you to be completely independent of the distribution grid. This is, however, a more expensive system, whose costs can be recouped by reselling the surplus energy produced. The excess energy is stored using a special battery
The off-grid system, however, will not ensure electrical continuity in the household. This is an excellent solution when you want to power an object where there is no possibility to connect to the electrical grid. Great for allotments or cottages and small buildings. Energy stored in the battery will be great at the time of failure or interruption of power supply
In addition to the higher cost of off-grid system, a big disadvantage may be the fact that the installation must be individually designed. The person who will create the project, must analyze the total power of devices connected to the system, their working time and how long they will work, drawing energy only from batteries. Based on this, he must decide what will be the number and capacity of batteries and what technology will support them. The connection of excessive devices to this system can lead to damage to the batteries or the inverter