When many people think of the terms:
they often don’t realise that they each have important differences that set them apart from each other.
Refers to a system uniquely designed to power any application that is not connected to the public utility grid. In such situations there is very little scope for compromise in the system design, as energy security and reliability are paramount.
It’s important that the battery storage capacity in off-grid applications includes a comfortable level of ‘Autonomy’. What this means in practice, is that off-grid systems need larger ‘useable’ storage capacities to ride through periods of poor weather or increases in user demand. Off-grid systems also require larger equipment to be able to run all household appliances and loads without being overloaded.
Another key factor to remember is there is no backup should equipment fail, batteries deplete, or the backup generator not start. Your supplier essentially becomes your electricity retailer, so choosing the right supplier is important.
Refers to properties that have grid electricity connected but also have a level of battery storage. Typically batteries are used to store excess solar from a grid connected solar system for use at night.
The ability to store solar energy rather than selling it to the grid at a reduced feed-in-tarrif (FIT) is becoming an increasingly popular concept, as the wave of unhappy electricity consumers protest against the large electricity companies and rising costs.
Grid-tied storage can range greatly in size and capability.
Refers to uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) which provide a level of power in blackout or power failure situations – usually to a nominated appliance/s or load/s. The battery storage can be charged via the electrical grid, solar or fuel generators and the system will sit idle until there is power failure.
These systems are most common for communication and IT equipment, as any power interruptions can cause big issues. For households, battery backup features can now often be incorporated into certain grid storage systems.
Living off the grid has always been a popular choice for individuals who want to live self-sufficiently and sustainably. However, the concept of off-grid living
Before explaining the differences, it’s useful to understand that all lithium batteries need a battery management system (BMS) of some kind.
Over-investment in network infrastructure, that we don’t actually need, is the real reason our electricity bills keep going up.
Many of today’s off-grid homes are just as comfortable and feature-packed as their mains-powered counterparts.