Off the Grid Guide: Grid Tied Solar Systems

Grid tied solar systems can be considered your first steps towards getting off the grid completely. As mentioned in the introduction of this guide, it doesn't have to happen over night. The great thing about solar power is that you can always add more as your budget allows it. In fact, there are some benefits for staying tied to the grid during the transition period.

What Grid Tied Solar Systems Mean

You've probably heard the term before, but just to spare any confusion, it's when you utilize both solar and Eskom power. Depending on the size of your solar setup, you can actually have a dramatic impact on electrical expenses.

  • For Example

You want to start saving money, so you begin your renewable energy search - which brings you to a site like this. You find out a little bit more about all the technical stuff, and decide on just a solar panel or two (you want to make sure it's the right path for your situation). Now you've got some appliances and lights running mostly on solar, and the heavier appliances are kept tied to the grid (geyser, stove, dryer). Surprise, surprise, you see a positive dent in the bill. Have you really discovered the way to silence your Eskom nightmares?

You add a few more panels and convert your geyser. Things are getting serious now, because your bill doesn't reflect anything close to what you used to pay. Before you know it everything from your television and the fridge to your garage door opens with solar power, and you forget how electricity price hikes affected you.

grid tied solar systems

It paints a pretty picture, doesn't it? Another reason why some people like staying tied to the grid is because they don't want to use batteries just yet. In other words, the solar system gives power on demand, but the energy can only be used during the day. A lot of people like using solar during the day and grid tied at night, because it still makes a big difference.

It's Your System - It's Your Choice

The best thing about using solar power is that nobody can tell you where your limits are. There is so much energy coming through the atmosphere that's clean and free, nobody can hog it for themselves. If you want to stay tied to the grid in order to have a backup, it's a perfectly logical call. You'll still receive a bill, but it won't bother nearly as much as it used to. But it's also a good place to be when getting off the grid completely is your long-term goal.

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