Have you considered what set-up is right for you? Do you need back up in case the grid fails or do you want to be completely independent of the grid? You might be building a new property in a remote location and find that it is too expensive to get connected to the grid. There are many things that you will have to consider before deciding which set up is right for you. Below we will discuss both types of setup to help you decide.
off grid system
With an off-grid system, you are completely reliant on solar energy produced by the sun, this energy is then stored in batteries which you can use to power every day items in your home. You are completely independent of the grid. Whether you live in a house, boat or converted vehicle anyone can live independently of the grid with an off grid setup. The sun has an infinite supply of renewable green energy and the solar power that shines on the earths surface every day is more than enough to power the worlds energy requirements.
Grid Tied system
A grid-tied energy storage system stores excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines. It is designed to integrate with the electrical grid and supply power to the building or facility when the renewable energy source is not producing enough electricity. In other words, it is a system that allows you to store and use excess energy instead of sending it back to the grid.
The main difference between these two types of setup and the most important to note if you go with a grid-tied system is that if it is going to be greater than 16A per phase then prior permission will need to be granted from the relevant District Network Operator (DNO). The DNO is responsible for distributing electricity from the National Grid to your home or business. This approval is required because the grid needs to conduct a network study to determine whether the local grid can handle the added load. Once approval is granted the setup can be very easy.
Other things to think about for both types of systems
When installing solar panels onto strings whether it be an MPPT or an AC string inverter they must all be facing in the same direction and be of equal size, make and type. The optimum direction and angle is due south with a 30 degree angle. If you have solar panels that are different sizes or directions then it is recommended that they go on separate string inverters, MPPT’s or optimisers so that they can be managed individually.