Off grid solar power has been touted as a viable option for people who want to do their bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become more self sufficient in energy production. Although the cost of such a system is a little higher than a conventional grid-tied system, it brings with it many benefits that offset the slightly higher initial outlay. The biggest perk is that one does not need to rely on an expensive and unreliable utility system. These DIY solar installation guides will show you how to install your own photovoltaic panels (PV) in your home.
An off grid solar system, also called an off grid solar system, uses the energy capacity of the sun to supply electricity to the house or business. It doesn’t depend on the utilization of electric power from the utility grid. It also does not need any state or federal subsidies or tax incentives to get started. It is totally independent. Off grid systems do not generate electricity from the utility grid and therefore are classified as renewable energy systems (RE Systems).
There are two kinds of off the grid renewable energy systems, the first being the hybrid systems. In a hybrid system the sun’s energy is used to generate electricity. In a standard photovoltaic setup (PV) the main function is to generate electricity directly from the sun’s rays. However, a hybrid system takes this one step further and integrates a small diesel generator into the PV array. This small generator is capable of providing the required electricity for the whole home when the sun is not shining and is stored in a non volatile battery.
As the name implies, on-grid or off Grid solar systems are directly connected to the utility company’s electrical grid. They can either be run off the utility company’s grid or you can even build your own independent off the grid solar system. The benefits of on-grid systems are that it doesn’t need any state or federal assistance and can be put together quickly. In addition to that, the cost of setting up an on grid system is significantly less than that of a utility-grid PV system.
Off the grid solar panels are connected to the electric meter through copper wires. This method of installation requires professional installation and skill. A lot of thought needs to go into this type of energy installation. First of all, an on-grid PV system will generate much less electricity than a utility-tied PV system. Hence the size difference in the installation costs.
Secondly, on grid solar panels have a number of disadvantages. These include; higher amperage requirements, shorter peak hours, higher maintenance costs, exposure to more UV, wind and rain. Further more, solar panels create negative amperage which means that they send more energy back into the electricity grid then they use. This creates unwanted volatility in the wholesale electricity prices. Due to these factors many homeowners are switching over to other forms of energy.
An on Grid PV system works only when there is sunshine on the solar energy system. If the solar energy system does not receive adequate sunlight, it will not function. There are two methods to counter this problem. The first method is to install an inverter. An inverter is a device that is able to alter the direct current produced by the solar energy system into alternating current.
Most utility companies offer a special rate for on-grid residential customers. However, some states have passed laws that require all customers to buy off grid power systems. If you live in a state like Texas or California, you can use the net metering method. This type of rate switch gives you the choice to sell your surplus electricity back to your utility company and earn a return on the excess power.