A narrow trail leading to a yellow house in a forest with thick trees on either side of the trail.

Why Would You Want a Battery That Doesn’t Get You Off-Grid?

An off-grid vs. hybrid solar system: What's the difference? If you want to get off-grid, that may not be your best option! Learn more here. 

An off-grid vs. a hybrid solar system: Which offers you the most benefits? Most people think having a solar panel system (including a battery) makes you completely independent of the grid. But having a battery and hybrid solar panels connected to the grid is actually the best option when going solar

Here, we’ll look at the difference between off-grid and hybrid solar panels, why investing in a battery is wise and the top reasons to have a grid-tied hybrid setup with backup battery for homes. 

Off-Grid vs. Hybrid Solar Systems: What’s the Difference? 

Off-grid solar panel systems enable you to be completely self-reliant in terms of power generation. You’re wholly responsible for your energy needs and don’t rely on your local utility company with off-grid solar panels.

You can certainly combine solar panels with a battery such as the Tesla Powerwall to store energy for rainy-day use. But if there are multiple rainy or cloudy days in a row, your panels likely aren’t producing enough energy to power your home. And as a result, you won’t have any stored backup energy to lean on. 

You can use backup power solutions such as batteries with hybrid solar panels, too. But let’s say you’re dealing with those back-to-back cloudy days again. Hybrid panels allow you to still source energy from the grid if you need to. 

Consider this setup another form of insurance in terms of power sourcing. You have your panel system and your battery. Then, when necessary, smart or preferred, you have energy from the grid. 

[Related: Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?]

Why Are Solar Batteries Beneficial?

Well, batteries are beneficial when your panels can’t produce enough energy to power your home and general lifestyle needs. 

But not all batteries are created equal. Ideally, you want a battery that can store enough energy to meet your energy demands, as well as stay reliable if your local grid sees an outage. 

While some newer-model generators can charge on solar power, batteries rely solely on electricity, which makes them ideal for solar panel owners. You can even recharge batteries during grid outages — both with off-grid and hybrid solar panel systems. 

Overall, batteries are the smarter investment. Lithium ion batteries are typically best because they have a long life span, maximize power usage and offset energy costs. They have a higher initial cost than a generator, but they rarely need maintenance or repair work. 

Top Reasons To Have a Battery for Your Grid-Tied Solar Panels

Here are three top reasons to have a battery connected to grid-tied (hybrid) solar panel systems:

  • Time-of-use
  • Net metering
  • Offset power costs

When you’re looking at an off-grid vs. a hybrid solar system, these factors make a world of difference.

A Solar Battery Allows Time-of-Use

Grid-tied solar panel systems let you choose whether you want to source power from your panels, battery or the grid. Meanwhile, these systems work to your financial benefit.

For example, it’s smart to source power from your panels during the day, when the sun is out and bright. But when the sun is down, you can source energy at night from your battery or the grid. 

Or if energy rates are particularly high, you can source energy from your battery instead of the grid. The ability to source energy from your battery rather than the grid gives you greater freedom and financial benefits. 

A Solar Battery Provides Net Metering

Although you can connect batteries to both off-grid and hybrid solar panel systems, net metering applies only to hybrid systems. Off-grid solar panels are completely independent from the grid, so you can’t earn energy credits through a local net metering program

For example, if you live in a region that gets lots of sunlight, your panels will probably produce much more energy than your home requires. You can still store some of the excess in your solar battery, of course. But sending any (or all) of that remaining excess energy to the grid allows you to earn credits.

Essentially, you’re actively putting money in your pocket.

So if days or weeks pass where your panels aren’t producing enough and you don’t want to use all your stored power, you can source energy from the grid at a discounted rate through your solar credits. 

Solar Better Offsets Power Costs

Some of the more innovative hybrid solar panel systems, such as SunPower, let you connect your system to the grid when energy rates are low. You can program the system to do this automatically when energy rates hit a certain point. Alternatively, you can do it yourself when you want to take advantage of those low costs. 

This helps offset your overall power costs if you routinely connect to the grid. You can take advantage of your system and local energy rates to get the best deal for yourself. In turn, you ultimately get greater energy independence

[Related: Guide to Federal Solar Panel Incentives]

Contact Freedom Solar for Hybrid Solar Panels and Batteries

If you’re ready to harness power from the sun, contact solar panel company Freedom Solar. We provide hybrid solar panel systems as well as backup power solutions, whether through a battery, generator or Tesla Powerwall. 

Freedom Solar also has it’s own solar repair and maintenance service department if needed. Our experienced team can maintain, repair and upgrade any system for maximum energy production and efficiency

Call (800) 504-2337 or complete our inquiry form if you’re ready to get started!

Featured image via Unsplash