On-Grid solar panel systems, otherwise known as Grid Tie, are the most common and most widely used by homes and businesses globally. On-Grid solar panels in the Philippines blend or interconnect solar power with grid power using solar inverters. These systems do not need batteries. When you produce more power than you consume, the excess or surplus power generated can be exported to the grid using the Net Metering program of the utility company. The exported power is paid via credits, which can be used later on. Electricity sent to the grid from your solar system can then be used by other consumers on the grid (such as your neighbors). When you use more electricity than your solar is producing, then you will start importing from the grid – in other words, you will be consuming electricity from the utility company.
Benefits of On-Grid or Grid-Tie Solar
The top three benefits of On-Grid: most efficient system, fastest ROI, and most cost effective to install. These are the simplest systems and come highly recommended because the systems pay for themselves by offsetting utility bills. ROI is typically between 3 to 5 years for the typical average sized 5kWp solar panel in the Philippines of a Filipino homeowner.
Disadvantages of On-Grid Solar
On-Grid systems can only generate power when the grid power is available. During power outages, there will be no power from the solar system, because on-grid solar systems are not able to function or generate electricity during a blackout due to safety reasons.
If you want to lower your electric bills and reduce it from 30% to 70%, or even eliminate it and make it a #ZeroBill, then the On-Grid system is the best solution. You save money and you reduce your carbon footprint, thus saving the environment at the same time.
Off-Grid systems are not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires storage of power in batteries. Off-Grid systems allow you to store your solar power in batteries for use later on. Power is first sent to the batteries, and then to the appliances. In an off-grid setup, you are not on the grid, meaning even if the grid has a power outage, you are not affected. An off-grid system should be designed appropriately so that it generates sufficient power and have enough battery capacity to meet the requirements of the facility – whether it be a home or a business. Designing an off-grid system with the right solar array size is complex. Professionals and engineers need to conduct a detailed analysis and comprehensive study of your load requirements and your minimal critical needs.
Benefits of Off-Grid Solar
The number one advantage and number one benefit of off-grid solar is the fact that it provides power for your loads even when there is no grid power or even in the midst of a city-wide power outage.
Disadvantages of Off-Grid Solar
The high cost of batteries dictates that off-grid solar systems are much more expensive than on-grid systems. They cost about four to five times more than on-grid systems. Ideal setups that require off-grid solar are remote, power-starved areas or locations, the ones that do not have grid power. Off-Grid systems are costly to install as they require a string inverter, batteries, and charge controller. Then there’s the issue of ongoing maintenance and periodic replacement of the batteries.
Off-grid systems are not recommended for the average Filipino home or business. They are not cost effective and they do not achieve ROI within five years, due to the higher costs involved. The usual recommendation is to install an On-Grid solar system and invest in a backup generator, in the event of power outages. That is the most cost-effective and most efficient solution available today.