What Is The Difference Between Off The Grid And On The Grid Solar Power?
Buying solar panels for your home can be a life-changing event for you and your family. However, the change can be more difficult than most families expect.
If you are considering solar panels for your home, it is important to know what to expect before committing. To answer all of your pressing questions about home solar panels, I've created this guide as a tool to help you decide if solar panels are right for your home and family. So let's dive into it.
Short answer: Yes, solar panels alone can power a home.
Long Answer: It is entirely possible to run a home by harvesting solar energy through solar panels. The sun's power is available to everyone (although some areas may have a harder time accessing it), but it requires a lot of expensive equipment. However, solar power is more affordable than it was even twenty years ago, so you still may be able to afford solar powering your home.
Let's look at how much it costs to solar power your home and what materials are needed.
Solar panels aren't cheap. Especially if you own a larger home.
As you probably have guessed, the amount of solar panels needed and the cost of adding solar panels to your home depends on the home. For example, on average, a 1,500 square foot house needs 16 panels and will cost $18,500. Source: Alternative Energy
A hefty investment, but solar panels have a long lifespan (which we talk about later in the article).
To determine what you need to buy besides solar panels, you will need to decide if you want to live off the grid or on the grid.
The difference is quite clear. An on-grid solar energy system is connected to the utility grid, whereas an off-grid is not. If you want an off-grid system, you will have less access to electricity. When using an on-grid system, you will always have electricity unless the grid isn't available. Source: Paradise Energy Solutions
It is important to weigh your options and if you want to do off-grid solar energy or on-grid before making the plunge. The below table displays what you will likely need for each option.
For off-grid, you will likely need:
For on-grid, you will likely need:
Of course, buying solar panels is part of the process of converting to a solar-powered home. The only way to avoid this is to buy a home with solar panels already installed. However, if you are looking to install solar panels yourself, it is important to know how to buy solar panels and what to look for when buying solar panels.
There are many places to find solar panels. Even large online sellers like Amazon have options available! If you need help with installation, there are many locations where solar installers will sell and install the panels for you. Furthermore, it may be necessary to research the different types of solar panels to figure out which ones work for your situation. Whatever your choice, it may be a good idea to compare options before deciding.
The average lifespan of a solar panel to work at peak performance is about 25-30 years. Typically sometime between the 25-30 year mark, the solar panel's productivity starts to degrade 0.8 percent each year. Source: energysage
Make sure when purchasing solar panels to check out their warranties. They should have a performance warranty. Solar panels are incredibly sturdy and should work at peak performance for at least 25 years as they can withstand most weather conditions.
It depends on your energy bill. Electricity prices fluctuate, so keep that in mind when evaluating if solar panels are a good option for your home. Additionally, you would want to check your location's sunlight exposure. The more sunlight you can harvest, the more energy you can produce. Roof type, your home's orientation towards the sun, amount of shade, etc., all are also factors that need to be considered to determine how much sunlight you can harvest.
Additionally, you will want to look and see if you can get a tax incentive for going solar. The incentives vary based on where you live, but you should be able to score a decent tax incentive in most cases.
Solar panels can be worth the initial investment and upkeep (you will have to check them often to ensure that they are working properly) if the following factors are met:
There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to solar energy. Below I have included some of the top advantages and disadvantages.
The three main advantages to solar energy:
The three main disadvantages to solar energy:
While these advantages and disadvantages to solar power aren't the only factors to consider, they are the big ones that must be considered before all others.
You can use solar panels to run your air conditioner, but there is a catch. A good portion of the capacity of your solar panels will be used for your air conditioner, roughly about half. Source: Temperature Master
When it is especially warm in the summer, your air conditioner uses a lot of energy. Keep this in mind when considering off-grid solar-powered energy.
Solar power can be a great energy source for homeowners depending on the situation. While making the plunge to solar energy may be a huge commitment, there are ways for homeowners to determine if solar energy is right for their situation. Therefore, they can make the right decision as to what energy source works for them.
Using the above tips as a homeowner can help you during your journey to discover if solar power is right for you.