Most people are familiar with solar energy, and the wonderful benefits that come with installing a few solar panels, such as reduced electric bills and helping prevent global warming. What most people do not realize is that there are many different options available when it comes time to switch over to solar energy. Two of the most popular options are known as grid connect and stand alone power systems.
Grid connect is when a homeowner decides to install solar panels, but they remain connected to the grid. The solar panels supply them with all the energy that they need during the day, but when they use up that energy or are not getting solar energy from their solar panels, such as on a rainy day or at night time, they draw that power from the grid.
These are usually cheaper to install and use. They guarantee that a home will have energy all night long, lessen the impact a family has on the environment, and they can drastically lower energy bills.
On the downside, when the electricity goes out, so do the lights in these homes. Most homes that are still connected to the grid opt to use converters that run on electricity, so homes with solar panels will still be in the dark when the rest of the town is.
Stand Alone Systems
Stand alone systems are like grid connect, but the primary difference is that these homes are not connected to the grid at all. Homes in rural areas that do not have power usually opt for these to supply all their energy.
These work in a similar fashion to other solar powered systems, but when the panels generate more energy than the amount of energy that is being used, it is stored in a battery. Then, at night time, on rainy days and so on, the home still has the energy that it needs because of those batteries.
The cost of the batteries tends to turn off most people from investing in stand alone systems if they are connected to the grid, but there are still some individuals that like the idea of having power in the middle of an outage.
Aside from the increased cost of installing a stand alone system, there are very few downfalls. Most households report that they have more than enough energy stored in the batteries to last them throughout the night until the sun comes up again. In addition to that, eco-friendly homeowners enjoy that they are not doing any harm to the planet by being connected to the grid.
When choosing which system is preferable, most homeowners look at the cost of installation, what their estimated electric bill will be if they are still connected to the grid, and then decide if a stand alonepower system will be worth it in the long run. They also take into consideration how well their electricity works. Homes that are connected to the grid but experience frequent outages usually opt for one that does not connect them to the grid at all.
Obviously, a stand alone system is better for the environment, but grid connect systems still help families enjoy reduced electric bills, and they help them lessen the damage that they are doing to the planet. While they do not eliminate the damage, every little bit helps.
It is up to every family to weigh out the pros and cons, and the costs, before deciding which system is perfect for their home. Professionals that work in the solar industry are usually well educated about all the differences, and can answer any questions that potential customers may have.