What is the difference between a Grid-tied and an Off Grid Solar System?

We will try and explain this physically and financially.

 

Solar Power Systems

They have Pros and Cons

Grid-Tied Solar System
VS
Off-Grid Solar Systems
Positive Characteristics   Positive Characteristics
  1. You can feed excess power back into the grid for credit if you apply with the municipality.
  2. This system allows you to install a system within your budget and use grid-supplied electricity to make up the slack.
  3. Shortest payback time compared to off-grid solar systems. You will recover your money sooner.
  4. Seamless operation, you will never notice if you are running off of Eskom or solar power. No downtime.
  5. This is the most efficient way over using power from solar panels. at maximum, you will lose about 4% of power over the whole system.
  6. This system has fewer components, which means a lower likelihood of component failure.
 
  1. You don't need to consume any power from the grid.
  2. You can save your excess power in batteries for night use.
  3. Your payback time is longer compared to grid-tied solar systems, but still within reach.
  4. If your area has load shedding you will be unaffected.
  5. You can choose to upgrade your system as you go.
  6. If you have bad weather you can use grid-supplied electricity for that day and then switch back to solar later.
Negative Characteristics   Negative Characteristics
  1. You will consume electricity during the night.
  2. If Eskom electricity fails, the inverter will shut down for safety purposes.
 
  1. longer payback time.
  2. A Larger cost to grid-tied solar systems.
  3. Batteries need to be replaced after their life span ends.
  4. These systems usually cost more than grid-tied solar systems.