Can Solar Panels Be Used Alongside Mains Electricity? Solar & Mains Power Working In Tandem ...

Using solar power alongside a grid connection is very common due to the upfront installation being far cheaper and most solar inverters and batteries require mains electricity to operate. Not to mention it removes the chance of your home, or place of work, being – quite literally – left in the dark and powerless.

Most solar and battery storage systems do not operate in the event of a power cut, the inverter has to shut off to prevent generated electricity feeding into the grid whilst operatives try to repair faults and damage.

Using your battery storage to power your house in the event of a power cut is possible, but additional equipment is required.

Rooftop Commercial Panel
Can Solar Panels Be Used Alongside Mains Electricity? Grid + Solar Pros And Cons...

There are several benefits to using a dual solar power and utility grid connection. One of the main talking points being how energy converted through your solar panels can be “sold back” to utility companies. Other perks of using a dual system include:

  • A grid connection means you don’t have to worry about your energy usage during the night, or on cloudy days.
  • Provides a safety net if your energy consumption does rise.
  • Massively reduced energy bills. Depending on how effective your solar setup is, and how much energy you use, your electricity bill may even be free!
  • Some smart meters (when combined with battery storage) allow for stored solar energy to be used when grid tariffs are high, saving you more money.
solar panel benefits
Dual System Drawbacks

However, the main reason most people use a dual setup is due to the cheaper upfront cost. This does of course come with some drawbacks.

The first drawback comes to when you “sell” your energy back to the grid. There is no set price for solar energy. This results in your utility company deciding how much to deduct from your bill/ pay to you. As such, the large energy companies tend to pay extremely low prices, only to turn your investment into larger profits for themselves.

Dual System Drawbacks Continued

The second drawback is to do with how a dual system functions. You might think that having a solar system prevents your home/ business from being affected by grid blackouts. However, your solar system relies on the grid to function. UNLESS you have a battery or completely off-grid connection. Which is partly why these systems are more expensive to install.

Should I Add A Battery?

Battery storage can be expensive, so with the grid for backup they can often be overlooked. However, if you have the means to install battery storage alongside your grid + solar panel system there are good reasons to do so.

As previously mentioned: if the grid goes down then so does your whole system. This is due to the integrated grid connection forming part of the “circuit” for your solar system. However, if you have a battery or other voltage reference connection – like a generator – the system will remain functional EVEN if the main power grid goes down.

Should I Add A Battery? Continued

A battery also allows you to store your converted solar energy for when there isn’t as much sunlight. Or when energy prices are at their highest, rather than selling the energy back to utility companies at a reduced rate.

The main thing to consider is WHY you’re installing solar panels. If you simply need a reduction in energy bills then a dual system is an effective way to achieve this. After all, millions of people across the world are already benefiting from a dual solar power and grid system.

Get in touch Let's work together!

If you’re interested in becoming part of our team, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today and let’s start the conversation.

Say Hi