What is the difference between grid-tied and off-grid solar electricity systems.

Grid-tied Solar:

Grid-tied or grid connected solar is a solar electricity system without batteries. Your home is hooked up to both the national grid and your PowerSmart solar electricity system, so you will always have electricity available at the flick of a switch; even at night, or if it is cloudy. You can install a solar electricity system of any size and you will only ever be billed if your power consumption is in excess of the amount you are generating.

The electricity grid acts as a 100% efficient and maintenance free battery while also providing unlimited ‘on demand’ energy. This is what makes grid connected solar electricity so attractive. It has all the benefits of being attached to the electricity grid but with a portion of your electricity bill never increasing in price.

However we do offer grid-connect solar power systems with back-up for customers with special requirements.

Off-Grid Connected Solar:

Off-grid connected solar is a solar electricity system with battery backup. During the day the sun shines and charges the batteries as well as supplies power to your home. During the evening or on rainy days when the sun isn’t shining you use the power stored in the batteries. Your house is not connected to the national grid hence the name: off-grid.

Although there have been large price reductions in the cost of panels and inverters, batteries are generally quite expensive and require regular maintenance. Generally the idea of being off the grid is quite appealing but it does requires more investment.

Most of the time it is more cost efficient to connect to the grid and offset your electricity consumption with a grid-connect solar PV system than to go off-grid. However if you are building a new house or holiday home in a remote location off-grid solar can work out to be a lot cheaper than paying to be connected to the grid.

There is no absolute standard off-grid system and it should be designed to suit your specific electrical loads and use patterns. At PowerSmart we have designed systems that run whole pacific nations. We love off-grid systems and would love to help design yours.

All Common Questions

How much will a solar electricity system cost me?

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I want to go completely off the grid, can I do that?

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How do I choose which solar electricity system is best for me?

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How long will my solar electricity system last for?

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How long does it take to get a PowerSmart solar electricity system installed after I order it?

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Who buys back excess electricity?

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What is the difference between grid-tied and off-grid solar electricity systems.

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What is a hybrid solar electricity system?

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Do solar electricity systems require council consent?

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Do solar electricity systems require maintenance?

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Are there Government subsidies?

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How much extra load do the solar panels put on the roof?

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Where are the solar panels and inverters manufactured?

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Will my roof orientation and roof slope affect my solar electricity system performance?

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What is the difference between monocrystalline, multicrystalline (or polycrystalline) and thin film solar modules?

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What is the difference between kW and kWh?

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Can I still use all of my electrical appliances at all times?

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Will I still have power if there is a grid power outage?

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Is a grid connected solar electricity system environmentally friendly?

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Can solar panels resist salt, sulphur, strong winds & hail?

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Do you install on all types of roofs?

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How can I reduce the amount of power used in my home?

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I have three phase supply to my house, do I need to get a single phase inverter or a three phase inverter?

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Can I keep my current electricity retailer?

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Does the mounting system allow airflow under the panels to help cool them?

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What will my electricity bill / rebate look like?

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Can I see how much electricity my system is producing?

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Can a system be up-scaled later on?

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What is internalised power usage?

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Testimonials

"We have never had a project go so smoothly, they finished two weeks ahead of schedule."

Dan Udy - Director: Udy Group

"We deal with a great number of contractors and would rate PowerSmart's delivery onsite as amongst the very best"

 

Jason Happy - National Facilities Manager at Kiwi Property

We are delighted to be supplementing our existing renewable energy supply, which already incorporates solar water heating, wind and biological initiatives with solar PV electricity. This will certainly assist us achieve our ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.”

Peter Yealands founder Yealands Estate Wines.