Essentially, there are four types of solar energy systems that you can install. The most popular system used is the on-grid solar power system, which includes the Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme offered by our Government. However, depending on the type of property you own and your energy usage, there may be other system that could better suit you.
On-Grid Solar Power System
On-grid (or grid-tied) simply means that your property will still be connected to the utility grid, while still generating solar power on your own. Any excess electricity generated from your solar power system will automatically be sold to the grid through the Net Energy Metering Scheme (NEM). An on-grid solar power system will cost the lowest, as there is no need to install battery to store the electricity generated by your solar power system. The grid will act as a “battery” so to speak, when excess electricity generated is sent into the utility grid. Also, there is less maintenance needed because there is no need to service the battery. Best of all, you can still depend on electricity from the grid without interruption.
Self Consumption (SELCO) Solar Power System
A SELCO solar power system is almost exactly the same as above, but the system will not be connected to the grid. However, your property will still be connected to the grid, and you will still be able to depend on electricity from the grid whenever needed. Any electricity generated from your solar power system will be entirely used in your property, while any excess in electricity generated will simply go to waste. As such, it is important to design the SELCO system to not exceed your electricity usage. Consequently, there is neither a need to apply for Net Energy Metering (NEM) quota, nor with any authorities; as there is no electricity exported to the grid. This will greatly shorten the entire process of installing your solar power system, as well as save in terms of certain costs. A SELCO system will be useful for properties with constant usage of electricity everyday. For example: shopping malls, cold rooms, etc.
Hybrid Solar Power System
Meanwhile, a hybrid solar power system is exactly like an on-grid solar power system, but with a battery. Any excess electricity generated by your solar power system will be stored in the battery. You will only import electricity from the grid when electricity in the battery has been exhausted. The cost for a hybrid solar power system will be higher.
Off-Grid Solar Power System
This will be suitable for rural areas without any access to grid electricity, or for anyone who would like to be energy independent. The system set up will be similar to a hybrid solar power system, but will be connected to a generator. The generator will behave like a “grid”, because all solar power systems require a source of electricity in order to function. This system is also known as stand-alone systems, micro grids, or mini grids.
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