Grid Tie vs Off Grid SystemAugust 17, 2012

Typical System




A smart grid-connected system

Most residential houses work on a grid-connect system – these systems export electricity to a larger network when excess electricity is generated. Stand-alone systems supply a local load of electricity, usually supported with a battery backup. These systems often incorporate a second power generator, such as a diesel generator and are usually installed where it’s more cost-effective than connecting to the grid network.

Panel Technology Type

Panel technology types vary depending on where you are located. Traditional panels, like monocrystallines will often be chosen when installation space is limited or where frames and installation costs are high. Newer technologies, like thin film, might be chosen where installation space is plentiful.


Solar panels on fixed arrays will generally be oriented towards the north in the southern hemisphere. This will expose the panels to the greatest amount of sunlight through the course of a day. East facing arrays will receive morning light, and west facing arrays will receive afternoon light. Arrays might be faced east or west so that power generation matches the times when loads are expected to be high.


The tilt of an array will impact the time of year that the solar panels receive the most sunlight – a flatter installation will receive more sunlight in summer, and a more extreme angle will receive more sunlight in winter. Positioning an array to the installation site’s angle of latitude will expose the panels to the greatest amount of sunlight over a year.

Your current energy usage

Many of our customers start considering solar power due to their escalating power costs. One of the biggest influences on your system design is your current electricity use. It’s a good idea to check your average monthly use before contacting us so that our advisors can give you a better idea of what you need.

The amount of space available

Each panel technology type have differing energy generation capabilities. Your Renewable Energy Advisor will work with your current roof area to develop the optimum solution for you.

Your location

Different locations ( Jamaica vs Barbabos) have different levels of sunlight throughout the year. It is the average potential output of the system across the year that will provide you with the greatest benefit from going solar. Specific areas within Caricom are categorized into different zones of solar radiation (the zones also determine the number of STCs you will receive).

Your motivation


Solar generation supply and demand 

We’ll also talk to you about your budget and whether you’re aiming to reduce your electricity bill, eliminate it or try and make money. When meeting our Renewable Energy Advisors during you free in-home consultation, they will consider YOUR individual needs and circumstances.