Over the past decade, solar power systems have gained immense popularity in Australia as the cost of solar panels and other solar energy components has significantly dropped. A lot of people have started wondering whether they should be completely independent from the mains electricity grid and rely on solar power systems or stay connected to the grid in case emergencies arise. In the Australian solar market, we have witnessed a few people who have already implemented this idea and are now completely dependent on solar power systems to power their homes. Our team, at Compare Solar Quotes, relentlessly works to make sure that the Australian people get the finest deal and advantages on their solar power systems. In this guide, we will discuss the basics of off-grid solar power systems and whether you should go off the grid or not.
What is an Off-Grid Solar System?
In the world of solar power, going off the grid means to be completely independent from the electricity imported from the mains electricity grid and power your home with the energy generated by the solar panels only. A lot of homeowners stay connected to the mains electricity grid even after they install a solar power system as it allows them to easily import energy from the mains grid in case there is not enough solar energy to power your home completely.
However, the majority of people plan on going off the grid with their solar power systems as these people want to rely completely on solar power instead of using electricity imported from the grid. After all, the idea of being free of the mains electricity grid sounds quite attractive, but there are some advantages and disadvantages that come with off-grid solar systems.
What do you need in order to go Off-Grid?
One of the most common questions we receive about off-grid solar systems is about the solar components needed to go off the grid. We all know that a solar power system requires at least two solar components: solar panels and a solar inverter. Solar panels are needed to generate electricity by absorbing energy from the sun, whereas the solar inverters are essential for the conversion of solar electricity from DC to AC electricity.
In order to go off the grid with solar electricity, solar power systems require a solar battery storage. Solar battery storage stores the excess amount of electricity produced by the solar panels for later use and this stored energy can be used during the night when the solar panels do not generate electricity.
In cases of off-grid solar systems, homeowners have to rely on solar battery storage to power their homes during the night. Installing a solar battery is a must if you are planning to rely on solar electricity completely.
Pros and Cons of Off-Grid Systems
There are quite a few pros and cons that come with the switch from on grid solar to off grid solar. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of off-grid solar power systems.
- Electrical Independence:
One of the major advantages of going off the grid is that you get complete electrical independence from the mains electricity grid powering your home. You will not have to worry about the rising cost of electricity and you will no longer have to follow the terms and conditions of mains grid electricity. You do not have to pay any sort of electricity bills anymore and this type of independence makes you tension free.
- Great Savings:
Going off the grid means that you will no longer import any electricity that comes from the mains electricity grid. This means that you will not have to pay money in order to power your home as the production of solar electricity is free of cost. Transition to off the grid solar power will allow you to save a large amount of money.
- No Blackouts:
Another great advantage of going off the grid is that in cases of electricity blackouts, you will still have power in your home. Blackouts in the mains electricity grid will not affect the solar electricity of your home in any way.
- High Upfront Cost:
The biggest disadvantage of switching off the grid is that the upfront cost of the solar power system is quite high compared to grid solar power systems. You will have to install a solar battery storage along with the solar panels and solar inverters and the installation of solar battery will increase the total installation cost of off the grid solar power systems.
- Limited Storage:
Solar batteries come with a high price tag and are available in fixed sizes. In order to rely on solar energy for your home, you will have to store a significant amount of solar energy; thus, you will need a big solar battery.
Now that we have discussed the pros and cons, let us talk about whether the pros of off the grid solar power systems outweigh the cons or not. The result of this discussion typically matters depending on why you are planning on switching to off the grid solar power systems.
Going off the grid is a good choice if you are planning to gain electrical independence and reduce the risks of damage due to blackouts. But if the purpose is to save money on energy bills, then it is better to have an on-grid solar power system.
Now that we have reached the end of the discussion, the question stands at whether you should go for an off-grid solar system or not. In simple words, yes, you should go for an off-grid solar power system, but there are a few factors that might affect this decision.
Weather conditions, upfront costs, cost of electricity, size of the system, and so on play significant roles when it comes to the decision of going off-grid. It is better if you consult with your solar installer first before making a decision.