3 Types of Solar Panel Systems

Installing solar panels in your home is one of the biggest investments you can make in your lifetime,  this is why picking the right solar panel system for your house is very important, in this article I am going to explain 3 types of solar panel systems and provide tips on which one is the best for you.

All these 3 solar panels systems work, but which one is the best for you will depend on what do you need and the money you are willing to invest.

Grid-tied solar panel systems

What Happens to Unused Electricity Generated by Solar Panels

This is the most commons solar panel system, in this system, you have solar panels that are connected to the utility company.

During the day when there is sun and the production is at its maximum, the solar panels will power the house and feed the excess electricity to the grid system. 

During the night or on cloudy days when there is no sun, the house will draw energy from the utility grid, there is a net meter that will measure the energy that is fed or withdrawn from the grid system, at the end of the month if you fed more energy to the grid, the utility company will pay you and if you withdrew more energy from the grid company you will have to pay them.

This is the perfect system for those who live in big cities and they want to go solar but still need support when the solar panels can not produce energy.

The main advantage of grid-tied solar panel systems is that they are the cheapest among the three types and they are the easiest to design. 

The main drawback is that if the grid system is off or there is an outrage, the system will stop working also you need permission from the utility company to connect to their grid, sometimes it can be difficult to get approval.

The off-grid solar panel system

What Happens to Unused Electricity Generated by Solar Panels

The second type of solar panel system is the off-grid solar panel system, as the name suggests, this is the system that is not connected to the utility grid.

The solar panels charge the battery during daylight periods and the battery will provide power to the inverter whenever required.

The inverter transforms the 12-volt batteries’ DC power into 120 volt AC power. This is the most useful kind of current for the majority of applications.

The charge controller will terminate the charging once the battery reaches its full charge. The batteries will not gas out this way and battery longevity is enhanced.

This system is more expensive than the grid-tied system, but it gives you the chance to leave off-grid, the main issue is that you do not have backup from the utility company, so when the solar panels are not producing electricity and the batteries are empty you will lose electricity.

To be ready for this, some people have a backup power generator that uses fuel such as diesel or propane just in case there is no electricity.

I recommend this system for people who live in areas where there is no grid electricity or in areas where there is a frequent power outage. Or for personal reasons what to live completely off-grid.

The hybrid solar panel system-Grid-tied system with battery backup

The hybrid solar panel system combines the first two systems, hence the name hybrid, it is a system that is connected to the utility grid, and at the same time, it contains backup batteries. 

This solves the main problems in each of the first two systems, the first system will stop working when there is a power outage and the second system will stop working if there is no sun for a long period of time.

The main advantage of this system is that it enables to keep important things like fridge, lighting, computers, and perhaps a gas furnace during a power outage. 

There are two disadvantages of this solar panel system, the first issue is that the system is very sophisticated and more complex to design it needs someone with huge experience to design this type of system

The second disadvantage is that since it is very complex and it needs most components, it is the most expensive system you can have.

I recommend this system to people who have extra cash to invest in their solar energy generation system and they need a reliable source of electricity whether there is a power outage or there is no sun.


These are the 3 types of solar panel systems, which system is the right one for you? it depends on what you need, your financial situation, and sometimes your geographical location.

If you have any questions regarding these systems, let me know in the comment section below and I will get to you as soon as I can.

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