Abundant sunlight coupled with an energy supply crisis means that solar power is an obvious answer to South Africa’s problems. But with so many sources of renewable energy and equally as many ways of harnessing it, should you choose an off-grid or grid-tied solution for your home or business?

Off-grid vs grid-tied energy

The difference between an off-grid PV system and a grid-tied system is that the former has no connection to the grid whilst the latter does.

As the name suggests, grid-tied systems rely on the grid for all the components of the PV system to work and will only provide power to a site if the sun is shining. Any extra power harnessed by the solar array will be fed back into the grid and cannot be stored for later use. When there is little to no power generated from the sun — for instance, in winter — grid-tied systems must use electricity from the grid on cloudy days and at night. However, this is not the case for off-grid systems. Instead, surplus energy harvested during the day can be stored in batteries for later use.

But are there any other benefits to choosing an off-grid PV installation over a grid-tied one?

Why choose an off-grid system?

Grid-tied systems simply use solar energy when the sun shines and electricity from the grid when it does not. This can help homes and businesses reduce monthly power bills due to the decreased reliance on costly electricity from the grid. Upfront costs can also be cheaper than an off-grid installation as there is no need for a battery bank.

However, homes and businesses far from the grid are likely to incur high costs to extend the line. Sites relying on power from grid-tied systems will also be left without electricity during grid outages, resulting in inconsistent supply.

Whilst off-grid systems have some drawbacks, such as the higher initial cost, the benefits often outweigh them. Once an off-grid system is installed, users can reduce their monthly energy bills significantly as they rely entirely on the energy generated by the solar array.

With a self-sufficient energy supply, you can also avoid issues like load shedding, electricity price hikes and environmental concerns. Off-grid solar systems give homes constant access to essential power supplies and allow businesses to remain open despite grid disruption.

Why choose KODAK Solar Products?

If you are interested in implementing an off-grid system in your home, KODAK Solar Products are ideal. With a proven reputation for high-quality, comprehensive solar solutions, you can trust KODAK Solar Products to address your energy concerns.

KODAK Solar Products boast a wide variety of batteries and inverters to suit every household need, each providing reliable renewable energy at a reasonable price. The sleek design of these items also allows for a seamless addition to your home.

All KODAK Solar Products are designed with South African energy issues in mind, and customers can choose to purchase an entire PV system together with the KODAK Solar Packages. Plus, to make going off-grid even easier, KODAK Solar Products provide you with access to technical support from local experts if needed.

The off-grid range comprises several different inverters — from small, compact units to large high-voltage models — allowing customers to choose a product that suits their home and its energy supply needs. All off-grid inverters have a Bluetooth function that facilitates smartphone monitoring, making them a highly convenient centre of a domestic system.

If you would like the option of expanding your solar installation in the future, the OGS 5.6 is a great choice. This inverter can be paralleled up to nine units, making it appropriate for a range of system sizes.

The OG-Plus inverter range, featuring the OG-Plus 3.24 and the OG-Plus 5.48 (and soon-to-arrive OG-Plus 6.2!), provides an uninterrupted power supply thanks to zero transfer time between the grid and the solar installation. While the OG-Plus 3.24 is ideal for smaller residential use in rural areas, the OG-Plus 5.48 can support more panels and is thus suited to a larger system.

Whichever product you choose, you can trust KODAK Solar Products for a reliable energy supply.

Interested in off-grid energy? Get started today by finding a skilled installer near you.