Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore some rookie mistakes made when it comes to solar.

Click here to read last week’s article on mistake 1.

This week, we’re tackling the second common mistake of solar. Be sure to watch our quick video, and read the article below!


Mistake 2 | Confusing Off-grid and Grid-tied

Solar power allows you to generate your own energy, which means you will subsidise your use of power from the grid. People assume this means they will be going off the grid. But that's not accurate.

In reality, most people are looking for a grid-tied solar system, or a grid-tied system with battery backup for load shedding (Hybrid). In South Africa, unlike other countries around the world, we cannot use the utility/grid to store energy.

A true off-grid application doesn't have access to power lines/the grid, which means that you need another method to store energy for non-sunlight hours.

A true off-grid solution thus requires batteries and a generator which is where the expense comes in. True off-grid solutions are only feasible for locations with no grid connection.

You need to consider what you are wanting:

  1. Do you want a financially rewarding solar solution that subsidises your grid usage? Then a grid-tied system will be the solution for you.
  2. Do you require backup power for load shedding only? Then either a hybrid solar system, or straight battery storage powered by the grid, will be the solution for you.
  3. Do you want to be independent of the grid, irrelevant of the cost implications and return on investment? Then an off-grid system is the solution for you.

Watch our quick video on this common solar mistake... Click here now!

Magnet solar array
Solar array at Magnet's Durban Head Office


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