Second Choice Grid Tie Solar Panels or Battery Charging Solar Panels

So we have chosen to do solar electric on our Ann Arbor home, the next big questions is which type of topology. That is: Solar panels connected to inverter connected to the utility grid or solar panels connected to a charge controller connected to batteries, connected to an inverter connected to the home electric system.

In the grid tie arrangement the utility company acts as the power storage eliminating theu don’t have  need for batteries.

The downside to a grid tied arrangement is that if the utility company power actually goes out, the solar panel/inverter system shuts down. So you don’t have any kind of back-up power in a standard grid tie system. (The practical solution for this concern is to just have a back-up generator. )

The upside to a grid tied system is that you don’t have batteries to pay for or maintain. Having enough batteries to power a household for a couple days in case of cloudy weather can cost several thousand dollars. And those same batteries may need replacement in four to six years.

In fact, the cost of batteries and battery maintenance alone makes battery charging systems really only suitable for locations without grid power available.

Also, utility rebates and tax incentives are only available with grid-tie systems.

So the second choice ends up being fairly easy. A grid tie system it will be!

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