Grid-tie systems provide extra power to your electrical panel, so your home can use electricity from both the solar power system and the utility grid at the same time, reducing electricity use from the grid.
Sometimes more solar power is generated than the home is using. In this event, the extra solar power flows onto the grid. The utility meters and purchases this power at a specified (usually wholesale) rate.
Basic grid-tie solar systems do not include batteries and do not have back-up power capability. When the grid is out, solar power shuts down until grid power returns.
Battery-based, off-grid power systems are designed to integrate multiple energy sources including solar and other generators to charge a battery and power the home. In most cases, solar power is the primary energy source, and propane is the secondary source for a backup generator, heating and major appliances.
Off-grid solar is best suited to locations where grid power is unavailable or unreliable. Standard system capacities suit small and energy efficient homes, but can be scaled up for larger buildings.
With the latest technology, living off-the-grid can affordably provide the comforts of an efficient modern lifestyle. Planning for energy efficiency and a suitable choice of appliances is essential for maximum satisfaction. To promote maximum self-reliance, we strongly encourage off-grid homeowners to learn principles of energy management and system operation.
Combining a grid-tie solar power system with a battery system provides the benefits of both in a flexible, hybrid system package. Features include backup power, solar self-consumption, demand limitation, and time-of-use management.
A hybrid system differs from an off-grid system in that a hybrid system is normally supported by grid power and is not necessarily sized to provide for the full electrical load. Hybrid systems may be sized to provide back-up power to critical loads only, or may be scaled up for higher capacities to achieve net-zero or grid-zero goals.
Some hybrid systems can also integrate a backup generator.
To enhance charging speed and efficiency, an EV charging solar inverter can simultaneously charge the vehicle directly from solar power at boosted speeds while also being connected to the home and grid like a regular grid-tie system.
Charging schedule settings tell the inverter to charge from the grid based on time (i.e. at night during off-peak times), or to charge only from solar when solar power is available.