With the growing awareness about the benefits of solar power, more and more people are willing to install a solar system for home. After all, the possibility of never having to pay for electricity any longer is an enticing one. But the road to choosing between the different types of solar systems is not an easy one.

We have curated this guide in order to not just explain to you the three types of solar systems available but also the pros and cons of each type so that you choose what’s best for you. Dive in if you want to reap the benefits of switching to solar. 

Top 3 types of solar systems 

There are mainly three types of solar systems that you can choose from: an on-grid solar system for home, an off-grid solar system, and a hybrid solar system. Let’s walk you through all three now. 

#1. On-grid solar system for home

An on-grid solar system is also known as a grid-tied solar system. Why? Because although it uses solar power to generate electricity, it is still connected to the grid. 

An on-grid rooftop solar system generates DC power that’s converted to AC power to run household appliances. Excess power is exported to the grid. During the night, electricity is imported from the grid. 

There’s a clear exchange of units to and from the grid. This feature is facilitated with the help of a bi-directional net meter. 

Here are the equipment and components that are a part of an on-grid solar system for home:

  • Solar panels that generate electricity
  • An on-grid solar inverter that converts DC electricity into AC electricity 
  • Mounting structures that hold the solar panels in place
  • A bi-directional net meter that measures units exported to the grid and units imported from the grid
  • AC and DC cables
  • AC and DC combiner boxes
  • Conduit trays
  • Earthing wires
  • Lightning arrester
  • MC4 connectors 

Pros of an on-grid solar system for home

  • It is an affordable option since no batteries are needed.
  • The government offers a subsidy for the installation of an on-grid rooftop solar system to individual homeowners and housing societies.
  • The upfront installation cost breaks even soon.
  • The system lasts for a minimum of 25 years. Even after 25 years, it keeps working at an efficiency of 70%. 

Limitations of an on-grid solar system for home

There aren’t any cons as such, just the one limitation: the system stops supplying electricity when the power from the grid is cut off. However, this feature is incorporated to ensure the safety of linemen. 

#2. Off-grid solar system for home

This system is just the opposite of an on-grid solar system for home. It’s not connected to the grid; hence, is known as a stand-alone system. It’s connected to the batteries instead of a grid. 

The solar panels charge the batteries during the daytime. The house runs on solar electricity from the panels during the day. During the night, the batteries supply stored power to keep the household running. 

This system is more expensive because of the batteries involved. If you’re living in a far-off place or in a village where there’s no grid yet, this system is a good option. Otherwise, cities that have a reliable grid are better off with an on-grid solar system for home. 

Equipment and components for an off-grid system:

  • Solar panels that generate electricity
  • An off-grid solar inverter that converts DC electricity into AC electricity 
  • Mounting structures that hold the solar panels in place
  • Solar batteries 
  • AC and DC cables
  • AC and DC combiner boxes
  • Conduit trays
  • Earthing wires
  • Lightning arrester
  • MC4 connectors 

Pros of an off-grid solar system for home

  • It’s the only option for remote villages with no grid
  • With high-capacity batteries, it can run a house throughout the day and night

Cons of an off-grid solar system for home

  • It is expensive 
  • It requires frequent maintenance because of the batteries involved
  • No subsidy is offered

#3. Hybrid solar system for home

A hybrid solar system is connected to the grid as well as batteries. Hence, the issue of power outages gets resolved because if the supply from the grid is shut down, the batteries offer backup. However, it’s expensive. And since most smart cities in India have a reliable grid, an on-grid solar system for home is still the smartest choice. 

Equipment and components for a hybrid solar system:

  • Solar panels that generate electricity
  • A hybrid solar inverter that converts DC electricity into AC electricity 
  • Mounting structures that hold the solar panels in place
  • Solar batteries 
  • Bi-directional net meter
  • AC and DC cables
  • AC and DC combiner boxes
  • Conduit trays
  • Earthing wires
  • Lightning arrester
  • MC4 connectors 

Pros of a hybrid solar system

  • It supplies electricity even during a power outage
  • It can run all appliances 

Cons of a hybrid solar system

  • It is expensive
  • The batteries require maintenance; thereby, making the system even more expensive

Which solar system for home is the best?

Considering all factors involved, an on-grid rooftop solar system for home is the best choice for everybody with a reliable grid. 

It’s affordable, the government offers financial assistance for its installation, and it isn’t high maintenance either. 

The concept of subsidy in India

The subsidy that the government offers for an on-grid rooftop solar system for home to individual homeowners is as follows.

  • Systems up to 3 KW: 40% of L1 rates
  • Systems above 3 KW and up to 10 KW: 20% of L1 rates

For housing societies, a 20% subsidy on L1 rates is provided for systems up to 500 KW. There’s no such grant available for commercial purposes. 

In order to be eligible for a subsidy, the following conditions have to be met:

  • The system should be a rooftop on-grid solar system for home or housing societies.
  • The installation should not be for commercial or industrial uses.
  • The solar panels should be Made-in-India and ALMM-approved.

The subsidy will not be offered forever. The aim is to promote solar so much that by the end of December 2024, at least 4 GW of solar electricity will be generated from on-grid rooftop solar systems installed in individual homes all over India. Once this target is achieved, the subsidy will cease to exist.

Conclusion: 

Installing a solar system for home is a big decision. You have an upfront investment ahead of you. Choosing the right system is, therefore, very important. 

And now that you know the types, the pros and cons of each type, and their benefits and limitations, we hope you’ll be able to make the best choice based on your requirements.