Residential solar power is solar power that is used in homes and it is different than commercial solar power that powers up businesses, or even when it is electricity generated through use of solar power and which is then sold to customers. When you think about residential solar power, there are two possible types that are solar power that is ‘off grid’ and that which is known as ‘grid tied,’ or net metering. Knowing the difference between these two types of solar power is important to choosing the type is best for you and your electric needs.
Residential Solar Power: Off Grid
One type of residential solar power or off grid is something that is not in any way connected to the grid, and is actually separate from the electric utility system. In this type of residential solar power there is not going to be power lines going to the home.
Instead of power lines there are different needs like a battery system which will provide back-up power and which can even provide electricity during the times when the sun has gone down. In the daytime however, the photovoltaic array can store the excess energy in the batteries which is then turned into electricity.
In the off grid type of residential solar power systems, there is also need to have a generator which is useful when there is no sunshine as it helps in charging up the batteries rather than use the power from the sun. It is important to have the generator because otherwise on those rainy days you may not have power!
Grid Tied Residential Solar Power
Another type of residential solar power is grid tied or net metering system in which there is need to have power lines that are connected to the electricity utility system which takes the place of the batteries and acts as a huge battery array.
When the sun is out, the electric meter actually spins in a backward direction, while when the sun has gone down, or when there is a pressing need for solar power, the meter spins in the forward direction.
This can actually a great way for people to control their electric bills because if their meter spins backward a lot you may actually not have to pay anything for years at a time! Simply put, residential solar power is the way to go if you want to help the environment, not have to rely on your power company, and also want to pay less for your power usage from month to month.