What is Off Grid
An "Off Grid" solar system allows you to become completely independent from external energy supplies.
While a "Grid Tied" or "Hybrid" your system remains connected to the grid power supplied by the utility company. Having an off grid system means you are completely self-sufficient in meeting your electricity needs.
Being off the grid means you relay 100% on solar panels, batteries and even a diesel generator for back-up power.
Being off grid is not as easy as it sounds. The challenges of off-grid systems include high upfront costs, capacity, dependency of weather conditions, system maintenance, need for proper system sizing and design. Overcoming these challenges is crucial to ensure reliable and sustainable off-grid power supply.
Many people like the idea of installing an off-grid solar system because of the independence and the stability the solar system will bring to their lives. However, this is only achievable with the appropriate equipment and batteries.
Pros of a Off-Grid Solar System:
- Completely independent from the grid
- A great solution for remote locations and underdeveloped communities
Cons of a Off-Grid Solar System:
- They are more costly
- Batteries are required to deliver electricity consistently throughout the day and night
- It could require a lifestyle change to reduce energy consumption
- Surplus energy production could go to waste
- Cannot rely on the grid at night or on cloudy days
- Batteries require maintenance, have a relatively short lifespan, and degrade rapidly
For most people, a grid-tied or hybrid solar system is a solid investment that provides security and predictability for their business, farm or home. The payback for a grid-tied and hyrbid solar system is shorter and there are fewer components that could need to be replaced in the future. An off-grid solar system is a good option for some cabins and more isolated areas, however at this time, off-grid systems struggle to compete with the payback and ROI of a grid-tied system.