A home solar panel system could be installed either as a stand-alone system or a grid-connected system. They are also referred to as an off-grid system or on-grid system.

  1. Off-Grid Solar System

An off-grid solar system is well designed to generate enough power throughout the year to meet the needs of a household, even in the depths of winter, when there is less sunshine. However, since there is no electricity grid connection to an off-grid solar system, battery storage is necessary.

The high cost of batteries and inverters implies that the off-grid solar system is costly than the alternatives, so they are usually needed only in more remote areas far from the grid. Nevertheless, battery costs are reducing at a high rate, so the demand for an off-grid solar system is now increasing, even in cities and towns.

Advantages of an Off-Grid Solar System

  • Such an off-grid solar system can function independently and not rely on the grid.
  • They generate enough electricity that can be collected and used at night.
  • These are suitable for remote areas that do not have grid power access.
  • Shutdowns and infrastructure faults won’t affect the power supply.
  1. On-Grid Solar System

On-grid solar systems are the most widely solar product used by homeowners. Such systems do not need batteries and are connected to the public electricity grid and use solar inverters. Any surplus solar power you produce is sold to the electricity grid, and the energy you sell is usually paid a feed-in tariff (FiT) or credits.

Unlike an off-grid solar system, because of safety reasons, these are unable to work or generate electricity during a blackout. Because blackouts usually occur when the electricity grid is disabled, if the solar inverter had fed energy into a broken grid, it would endanger the safety of the people fixing the network’s faults. Most on-grid solar systems with battery storage can separate itself from the grid (known as islanding) and continue to supply some power during a blackout.

Advantages of an On-Grid Solar System

  • On-grid solar systems are incredibly cost-effective and easy to install.
  • By balancing electricity billsin just 3-8 years, you can recoup the cost of your expenditures.
  • Residential users can earn a passive income for the surplus energy generated by the system.

Choose Between On-Grid & Off-Grid Solar Systems to Fit Your Home

Solar power systems are a form of clean, renewable energy, and they have many benefits depending on the type of system you chose. Knowing the advantages of both an on-grid and off-grid solar system, you can select the one according to your needs. With the right solar system and proper installation, you can have clean and cost-effective energy, without being worried about maintenance problems.

What’s the main difference between on-grid & off-grid solar systems?

The simple answer to this is that on-grid solar systems are connected to the main utility power lines called the grid, while off-grid systems are not. An off-grid system may require batteries and, sometimes, a back-up generator; while an on-grid system doesn’t. In a grid-tied system, there will be a lesser number of components compared to an off-grid one. It’s simply because it does not need an energy storage device, backup generators or complex control electronics.

If you want a cheaper and simpler solar power system, you will go for on-grid system. However, in places where grid power is unstable or not available at all, off-grid solar systems will provide the electricity your appliances need.

 5 Differences: On-grid Vs. Off-grid Solar Systems

On-Grid Solar System

Off-Grid Solar System

Connects to utility’s grid for synchronization and operation.

Does not need any connection to the power system’s grid.

Can export excess solar energy to the grid depending on the utility company’s regulations, which requires approvals and documentations.

Uses batteries to store solar energy for later use.

Does not produce solar energy when the grid is down.

Not affected by grid failures and shutdowns.

Lower maintenance and installation costs.

Maintenance and installation costs are more expensive.

A simple system and has less number of components.

Can sometimes be complex but you will learn a lot more.