On-Grid Systems tie directly to your utility grid, offering an alternative source of energy in addition to what your utility company provides. By utilizing on-grid solar systems, you can greatly or completely reduce your electricity bill. In addition, depending on the size of your on-grid system, you may receive monetary returns.
Off-grid systems do not tie to the utility grid and are sustained using a battery bank. The battery bank can be hooked up to an inverter, which converts DC voltage to AC voltage allowing you to use any AC appliances or electronics. Common off-grid applications include cabins, Off-Grid vehicles, boats, and dry camping. Off-grid systems can also be used in a variety of other applications, including emergency power backup during a power outage.
There is a difference in the manufacturing technique, and as a result monocrystalline cells are more efficient. The monocrystalline cells can produce more power in a smaller space. Also, monocrystalline panels have a darker blue color, almost appearing black, and are usually higher in price due to the increased efficiency. Polycrystalline panels on the other hand are less efficient and require more space. However, the difference is size and efficiency do not impact power. A 100 Watt monocrystalline panel and a 100 Watt polycrystalline panel will both output 100 Watts, neglecting power loss in the system, but a monocrystalline panel will output 100 watts with a smaller surface area.
Solar Panels have a typical performance of 25 years. A primary factor in longevity is the quality and ridgidity of the frame structure. The conventional thinking is that after 5 years they should output more than 95% of the rated power, after 10 years it is 90% and 25 years it is 80%.
Solar panels typically operate in temperature ranges from -30°C to 90°C. Charge controllers have a typical operating temperature of -30°C to 55°C. Most solar panels are water proof (or should be!) and do fare well in extreme conditions. For components such as charge controllers or inverters that are not stored in well ventilated dry places, a NEMA rated enclosure would be best.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Among its standards are those for electrical enclosures, receptacles etc.
In a word, probably. This will depend on the amount of sunlight filtering through the clouds. See our video on RETScreen to help plan your solar plants likely performance.
Off-grid, sure, as long as the sun is shining. Grid connected systems are automatically disconnected in this scenario so that hydro line personnel don’t face electrocution.
For a well constructed solar plant all you should need to do on a fairly regular basis is clean the panels so the sunshine gets through.
Most items that we sell are covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty, service, or support policy (if any). In the event that there is a technical problem that occurs with your product upon receipt or installation of your product we urge you to contact the manufacturer directly.