Table of Contents
Grid-Tie and Off-Grid Systems Review
The main characteristic feature of grid-tie solar installations is the connection to power lines that belongs to the utility company.It the balance of energy produced and needed is negative, any home, business or enterprise can get energy for electricity from the grid. Quite the reverse, if the balance is positive and we can observe the excess of it, and then it is injected into the grid. Added electricity will have to be paid when the electricity bill will come to businessmen or homeowner. In the case of net-metering, the credit of electricity is lowered and is accompanied by a smart or bi-directional meter.
Grid-tie installations can keep power using the special battery backup. It is often used when the continuous power is necessary and the outages are undesirable. Utility grid, in this case, can even be down. The cost of these installations depends on many factors; system size and monthly output are several of them. Their cost starts from $3.000 and reaches $35.000. Taxes, the installation process itself, battery backup systems are not taken in consideration, it is additional expenses. About 5 hours of daily sunshine is the basis of these systems.
Off-grid installations represent the other type that is usually used in remote locations without the possibility to reach utility services. The generation of alternative power is the main peculiarity that gives an opportunity to use domestic appliances and devices regularly. Even when there is the lack or absence of sunlight, they still can store power in batteries. Direct current is also generated by this system in order to provide electricity for telecommunication, recreational vehicles, equipment and other appliances. Direct current is cheaper than alternating current and it has an explainable reason. The inverter is not needed, but common home appliances are usually powered by alternating current. The range of prices is also wide enough. Cost range is from $1.000 to $20.000 that is slightly different from grid-tie solar installations.
Average Price and the Role of Factors in establishing it
The costs of PV panels can be different. If you want to know what expenses you will face and what electricity bills you will receive, you need to study information that can be useful and very important:
- How many kilowatts do you spend at home every month? (watch over electricity bill)
- How much roof area where panels will be installed do you own? (south facing is the best)
- How many hours of sunlight does your location get daily on average? (take into consideration year course)
- How many investments are you ready to make to compensate your energy bill?
On average each homeowner living in the United States needs approximately 20-24 kWh of electricity daily. An array that will produce this power should be more than 4kW. It costs from $15,000 to $20,000 including tax and installation, but without the state, federal or local incentives.
Current prices do not differ much from 2012 when a 24 panel 786 kWh grid tie system cost approximately $9.000 and again it doesn’t include various possible incentives. Remember that you should pay also the installation or racking.
Worldwide prices are also variable. In Japan, one watt of solar power system costs nearly $5, in Germany – $7 and in the United States – on average $8. The report was prepared and published by Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews.
There are many factors affecting prices. System configuration, installation type, and manufacturer, building itself and installation company that finishes the work. Manufacturers chose the prices of their products taking into consideration their quality, efficiency, and durability.Expensive panels show higher levels of efficiency and longevity. Monocrystalline installations are the most expensive but considered to be the most productive generating the greatest quantity of watts. Building integrated panels are also popular regardless of its cost because it creates a beautiful appearance and esthetic view.The location also affects the final price. Nowadays there is a big list of various financial incentives that make the purchase more affordable for masses. In sunnier locations, the cost will be lower in comparison to those where weather conditions often change.
The Breakdown of Payback Cycle
When a person decides to install any type of solar energy system it can be connected with economic incentives and the state of the environment. The return on investment also known as ROI is often connected with home improvement and projects reconstruction. Payback period needs calculation. You should consider a cost of one watt, the electricity cost in this or that location, and the number of sunny hours during the year. This information is worthy and necessary if you want to know the future payback.
There is a special chart that shows the dependence of the payback period from the cost per watt and the value of generated electricity. The shortest payback is reached when the rate of electricity in location is high and the costs on installations were low. Financial incentives also affect payback time and do it significantly. Economic rates, weather conditions and the location itself play a great role when it comes to solar power installations. All of them can increase the cost of a watt and also extend the period of payback up to 25 years.