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There are two major types of solar electric systems. They are:
Assuming you have a
sunny location with the proper orientation, there is a decision to be
made: Tie into the grid or go with a stand alone system? The differences
revolve around the storage systems, the accessibility of the grid, and the
time and money involved.
For some this is an
easy decision; for others, it is more difficult. And for those who live in
rural areas, there is often no choice but the stand-alone system.
Consider these pros
and cons of each system before making your decision.
An "off the
grid" or "stand alone" system:
An "on the
grid" or "grid-connected" system:
Any PV system can be installed as a single power unit, or as a hybrid
system in conjunction with other sources of electricity such as wind or
Either can also have backup power such as a fossil fuel generator.
A grid-tied system can be installed over a period of years as budgets
allow. It may not as cost effective, or even possible to do that with a
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