Grid-Connect Solar System
Also known as on-grid solar, this type of solar power system makes up the vast majority of solar in Australia. This system connects to the main electricity grid. Any extra power that is generated by the solar system is fed into the grid, and you get paid a ‘feed-in tariff’ for this electricity. This type of solar system does not require batteries.
This option is by far the most common one in Australia. It is a low-maintenance and efficient choice, since if you’re not generating enough power, the solar system will automatically draw electricity from the grid. This system can be built to accommodate almost any size of power requirement. Furthermore, the ‘feed-in tariff’ makes this option cost-effective.
The amount of money generated by the ‘feed-in tariff’ differs between states and territories. Furthermore, the system will not work during a power blackout, as it is designed to switch off to prevent electricity being sent down power lines.
Off-Grid Solar System
As the name suggests, off-grid or standalone solar systems are not connected to the power grid. This system is typically used in remote locations where grid power isn’t available, and it requires backup batteries in order to work when the system isn’t generating enough electricity through solar. This function may be useful in more remote locations of Western Australia, but with the fairly low risk of blackouts in Perth, is likely not a particularly necessary feature.
This system is useful when there is no access to the grid, and in remote locations may even be more cost-effective than connecting to the grid. Furthermore, the system is useful for locations that experience frequent grid blackouts, as grid-connected solar doesn’t work during a blackout. This system also negates the need to rely on a power supplier.
This option is often extremely expensive – much more so than grid-connected solar. The system’s reliance on batteries means that the backup batteries will need to be regularly replaced, which is detrimental to both the environment and your wallet. Furthermore, the use of these batteries means that if they are already full of solar energy, the excess solar you generate gets wasted.
Hybrid Solar System
This type of solar system can be seen as a combination of grid-connected and off-grid solar. It uses batteries to store excess solar energy that is produced, but when these batteries are filled up, the remaining excess energy feeds back into the grid.
The battery storage feature of this system heavily reduces your dependence on the grid for imported electricity. In some of these systems, power is still available from these batteries during a blackout. Furthermore, excess solar power is sold back to the grid for a ‘feed-in tariff’ and is not wasted.
While this system is notably less expensive than a totally off-grid system, it is still far more expensive than a regular grid-connected system. Also, while some hybrid systems can provide power during a blackout, this is not a universal feature. This off-grid function requires extra equipment, and costs more than a basic hybrid system.
Portable Solar Systems
This solar system isn’t designed for buildings or large-scale use; however, they’re worth noting as they’ve been steadily growing in popularity. This system is used for individual appliances such as those for camping or fishing.
This system is designed to be portable and lightweight, making it ideal for campers. It provides a source of energy for appliances without relying on battery or grid power. Furthermore, it is typically very reliable and cost-effective.
This system is only designed for individual appliances, and isn’t effective for larger operations or for generating revenue through the ‘feed-in tariff’.
Choosing a Solar Panel Provider
Now that you’ve got the facts, you probably have some idea of which solar power system best fits your needs. However, you want to make sure that your solar system will be installed by experts, and be built to last – that’s where we come in. Our team of experts install and maintain solar systems to the highest quality standards. Get in touch to see how we can help you.