Types of Solar PV Systems

Solar PV

What types of solar PV systems are available?

As the solar PV system market develops there are different types of solar systems available for customers, enabling them to meet the needs of different circumstances. This includes on and off-grid solar PV systems, as well as hybrid battery storage solar PV systems. But what are all these systems, and which might be the best for you?

What are Solar PV systems?

Solar PV system or solar photovoltaic systems work by catching the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity that can power your household goods and lighting. All the different types of solar systems work in the same way, generating electricity and converting it into usable electricity through an inverter. The difference between the solar photovoltaic systems is what happens to the electricity once it has been generated.

Most UK solar panel installations are grid connected, but as battery technology has advanced and energy prices soared, many installing solar PV systems are starting to incorporate battery storage so they can benefit from all the electricity they generate.

On-Grid Solar PV System

On-grid Solar PV Systems

An on-grid solar PV system is a solar panel system that has been connected to the grid and can export electricity to it. Most UK solar panel installations are on-grid solar PV systems as historically battery technology has been expensive and the UK Feed-In Tariff which has now ended encouraged those installing solar panels to export their excess electricity to the grid. This has been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee which is paid by an energy supplier at a rate agreed with them, and not a fixed rate agreed by the Government. These rates are not as favourable as the Feed-In Tariff but do provide an income for the energy you don’t use.

On-grid solar PV systems are cheaper to install as you don’t need battery storage or the space to accommodate it. Those installing these systems benefit the most if they are able to use the electricity they generate, so are most beneficial to properties that are occupied and using electricity during daylight hours.

Off-Grid Solar PV System

Off-grid Solar PV Systems

With an off-grid solar PV system, it isn’t connected to the grid and therefore it requires battery storage to enable it to store the electricity generated. These types of solar systems are less popular in the UK purely because most areas are connected to the electricity grid, but they are ideal for rural places where extending the electricity network is expensive.

Hybrid Solar PV System

Hybrid Battery Storage Solar PV Systems

A hybrid battery storage solar PV system brings together a grid connected system with battery storage. The advantage of these types of solar systems is that the battery can store the electricity that is produced during the day for use during the evening when there is no sunlight to generate electricity. It enables you to maximise the amount of electricity used from your solar panels which is free rather than buying electricity from the grid.
The key difference to factor in for a hybrid battery storage solar PV system as opposed to an on-grid solar PV system is the space required for the batteries and the additional upfront cost. However, the savings from not purchasing electricity from the grid will be higher.

Choosing which type of solar system is right for you

At SolarTherm UK, we specialise in all types of solar systems and offer a free consultation which can help you understand the cost and requirements of each of the systems. We can demonstrate how each system will save you money and we can assess your home for suitability. Get in touch with us on the form below, or email us on [email protected], or give us a call on 01268 552868.