Saving the environment and saving money does not need to be separate. As a matter of fact, it can be done at the same time. The only problem is how to execute it and of course, how much money you are going to spend to make it happen.
The solar power system is one of the ways you can save the environment and save money at the same time. Also known as the PV or Photovoltaic system, the solar power system is one of the most popular set up these days. Before we delve deeper between the grid-tie and off grid PV systems, let us define both so we can understand them better.
What is Grid-Tie PV System?
The grid-tie solar array is a type of PV system that is dependent on the national grid for additional power. When the power that is produced by the solar array is not enough to run your appliances, it will get the required energy that your house needs from the electric company. There is also an option that when the PV has excess production, it will sell the energy back to the energy company. You would have to apply for this program with your local power distributor first, though.
Here is a sample diagram of a grid-tie solar power system:
What is Off-Grid PV System?
The off-grid PV system is a type of solar power system that is completely independent of the national grid. This is meant for long term self-sustainability, most especially in remote areas where the national grid does not operate. The off-grid setting can provide power for your appliances without using fossil fuel. However, large energy demand would also mean large solar array to support it.
Below is a sample set-up of an off grid PV system:
Grid Tie Pros and Cons
Before deciding to get a grid tie PV system for your home or business, you need to know the pros and cons in order to maximize the money that you are going to invest on it.
- Pros: If you own a business and you don’t want to rely too much on the national grid for powering your equipment, the grid tie setting is your best option. You can use the solar power system as a back-up if the national grid shuts down. Furthermore, it can help you lessen your financial burden because you sell the excess energy that the solar power system generates back to the power company.
- Cons: The drawback of choosing grid tie is when you have low energy production especially during the days when the sun is not fully showing in the sky and the national grid shuts down. This will definitely create a huge problem especially if your whole business is dependent on the electricity that the solar array and the national grid provide. Many people erroneously believe that the solar array will kick in as a backup all the time; however, if the power produced by the solar array is low, the electricity that can be used is also low.
Off-Grid Pros and Cons
If you are thinking about living independently of the power company, off grid is probably the perfect setting for you.
- Pros: The electricity that your solar array produces is completely free. You can produce the electricity based on the amount of power that your whole house needs. This will truly free you from paying up another cent to the power company. In turn, it can be used to pay for other important things in your household. In addition, the whole solar array will provide you with necessary power without making any noise that will disturb you in the process.
Another benefit that you can get from choosing off grid PV system is that you don’t have to worry about leaving too much carbon footprint. Solar energy is completely clean as it leaves no residue that can harm the environment.
- Cons: The weather plays an important factor in your power conversion. If you are consuming at least 600W of electricity per day and the sun is not fully showing for two straight weeks, you will face a power deficit. This means that you are going to sacrifice some of the conveniences such as watching TV or using the computer in order to power up other important appliances especially during night time.
Another major disadvantage that you may face along the way is when one of the panels start to malfunction. This will certainly affect the collection of sunlight that will become electricity for your household. Replacing a non-working solar panel is definitely costly especially right after the warranty expires. You definitely won’t be able to turn to the national grid for power backup once you experience issues.
The sunlight is the most abundant energy source that we have today. We can fully take advantage of it by choosing to install a solar array in our residence or in our business. The energy that you are going to consume will come from a clean and most importantly, completely renewable source. By learning these two popular choices, you will be able to plan your way to managing your finances while enjoying the benefits of solar energy in your life.
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