Grid Connect Solar vs Off Grid
The prevalence of solar power and battery options make going off grid easier than ever before. Cutting the cord from the electricity grid is an appealing proposition to many people that are tired of high electricity prices and like the idea of being energy self-sufficient.
Certainly, new generation battery technology such as our LG Chem RESU Li-ion battery systems make going off grid an easier and less costly proposition than ever before.
However, there is still a substantial cost involved in going off grid, with potentially a large amount of storage required to supply the difference between winter solar generation and energy demand. The chart below shows the average daily output for a 10kW system in northern Tasmania, overlaid with a typical household energy usage (source: energymadeeasy.gov.au).
You can see that there is a substantial difference between the summer and winter solar generation, due to the decrease in sun angle and daylight hours in winter compared with summer. You can also see that our energy usage is inversely proportional to solar output, due to the typical winter heating load in Tasmania.
Yes, this energy load reflects a home with electric heating, cooling, hot water and cooking, and thus a specifically designed home with wood heating, gas appliances and solar hot water will have much lower energy usage, however it does highlight the difficultly in completely cutting the cord.
It certainly makes sense if you are in a remote location and there is a substantial cost to connect to the electricity grid, which you can offset by designing an efficient off grid house, however if you have an existing electricity connection, it is hard to justify going off grid.
Another option is to install a hybrid solar system, where you retain the connection to the grid, but add your own battery system which charges from solar generation, allowing you to offset the low Feed in Tariff. It can also provide a backup power source to an essential circuit in your home in the event of a power outage.
Talk to us about your future off grid project, or a hybrid power system for your home. We can provide a custom designed system to suit your individual energy requirements.
Call us now on: 03 6332 6999