ON GRID / OFF GRID / HYBRID SOLAR SYSTEMS - Differences
On grid or grid-tie systems are linked to the municipal electricity grid and have no battery backup supply.
Off grid or stand-alone power systems are not linked to to the municipal electricity grid and therefore require battery storage. The considerable cost of batteries means that for now, off grid systems are reasonably more expensive than on-grid systems.
Hybrid systems are linked to the public electricity grid and with battery storage can accumulate solar energy during the day. When the stored energy is exhausted, the grid is there as backup. Hybrid systems with battery storage are able to automatically isolate from the grid (Eskom) and continue to operate during a blackout (load shedding). The Hybrid system offers the 'best of both worlds'.
What size solar system do I need?
The size of the solar system installed (or to be installed) will usually depend on the home's energy consumption and usage patterns as well as the size range of the batteries which can be paired with it. If a home uses a lot of energy during the day, there will be less solar available to go into the batteries.
Does having a solar installation increase the value of my home?
Installing residential solar panels is a sound investment. A newly purchased solar system with efficient technology, more time on its warranty, and less need for maintenance may significantly add to property value.
How is going solar going to save me money?
Electricity costs make up a large portion of the overall budget in a household or business. With a solar system, you'll be generating your own free electricity from the sun. Even if you don't produce all of the energy that you consume, your monthly utility bills will still be less. With a full PV solar system, you'll be generating power over your system's 25-30 year life cycle. Either way, you'll be saving money.