Choosing the best solar option for your home

Understanding the different solar options for your home

Did you know that there are different types of solar options? Here is what you need to know about each one of them so that you make the best decision for your needs. 

Solar power
Solar power /iStock

South Africa is currently dealing with constant power cuts. 

In many homes and businesses, loadshedding remains a pain, causing frustration and disrupting operations.

Due to this, many people are considering alternative sources of energy. 

One of the popular options is solar power. This is because solar energy is good for the environment and although it is not cheap to install, in the long run it can see you saving money.  

Currently, the cost of solar power installation can range from around R63,000 to R200,000. 

However, before installing a solar power system, it is important to ensure that your roof is fit for installation of solar panels and you get a certified person to do the installation. 

READ: Five misconceptions about solar power cleared up

Let's look at the different types of solar options:

Hybrid solar system

Hybrid solar systems are grid-tied with battery storage. They provide back-up power when the grid is down. 

World Solar website states: 'This type of solar come with a special ‘smart’ inverter that can transmit direct current (DC) power to and from your batteries, and channel alternating current (AC) power between the grid and your home when necessary.'

Christiaan Hattingh, Managing Director at AWPower, says: "If you want to keep running through loadshedding, you will need to invest in either a generator (which has its own negatives) or a solar hybrid system with batteries to store power for savings/energy security. With a hybrid system, some essential loads on your property will stay on during loadshedding, while non-essential loads will be turned off."

The video below explains in more detail how a hybrid solar system works. 

Off-grid solar system

Solar off-grid systems are designed to work completely independently from the grid. This means that the solar panels will have to generate all your power all the time. 

The disadvantage with this is that if there happens to be bad weather or if your system needs servicing, you will be in a disadvantaged position. You will also be required to use your energy effectively. 

However, with the off-grid system, the good news is that it is the most eco-friendly option. 

Learn more about it below. 

READ: The future for motorists looks bright with a solar-powered vehicle

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Image courtesy of iStock/ @sl-f

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