Off-Grid Solar Systems and ideal Residential Alternatives

by | Jul 11, 2022 | Solar

We often hear the terms on TV and radio –  “going off the grid” and “off-grid living”. A very popular one that has turned into a buzzword over the course of the last decade. If there was to be a third instalment of the “Trainspotting” movie, we’d even speculate they would add the line “Choose off-grid solar

The term has been romanticized, and the good news is that switching to solar with Versofy does not mean choosing expensive off grid solar exclusively. Not in its most exaggerated form, where all power on your property comes exclusively from the sun. An off-grid solar setup is reserved for very specific environments and not what we would recommend to you unless there is no other option.

That would be the big one, the really big hole in your pocket the term (thrown around so loosely) will imply. A very unaffordable choice for too many.

The good news is that it is not what we specialize in or try to bring to you at Versofy.

Because you can still get a solar system, stay on the grid and save at home. Having renewable solar energy indefinitely, without interruption, while still being connected to the national power grid at the same time. 

Let’s explain …

Understanding Off-Grid Solar Systems

Off the Grid Solar means your home solar system runs completely independently from energy suppliers.

Off-grid homes in South Africa generally apply to remote areas where access to power lines is extremely limited. Inevitably, the solar system price is proportionally higher because all energy must now be stored in heavily-priced extra battery packs on-site whilst being managed, maintained and monitored – a key duty our supplied Sunsynk Solar Inverters perform. 

Off-grid inverters work independently of the national grid. Which gives one full independence from the grips of our state owned entity, and with it, no worries of sudden increases or the dreaded rolling blackouts. There is a tradeoff however, having no access to the grid simply means, that if something goes wrong with your system, you will be left in the dark (literally) until such time as the system is restored – by you or your installer.

Practical Examples where Off-Grid Solar works Effectively 

  • A luxury Game Lodge in the Central Karoo desert
  • A House deep in the Kalahari
  • A lighthouse far up the West Coast
  • A home right on our border where our national energy grid does not provide physical power lines

Grid-Tied Solar Systems

Going 180 degrees in the other direction, grid-tied solar systems prove to logically provide the most financially-friendly solar solution. But a pitfall within our current national energy situation in South Africa is grid-tied solar’s serious drawback of possessing no batteries whatsoever. Rendering them less than ideal as a cheaper alternative to expensive off-grid solar systems if you really want to go The Full Monty on it.

These grid-tied solar systems thus will not provide power in times of outages or poor weather. They only supplement energy, and are a better solution for commercial entities with peak trading hours. Certainly not recommended for residential use as an exclusive source of power.

Solar System for a House – The Smart Solution

The choice and price of switching to solar in residential areas can thus be done in two ways :

  • Staying on grid but with a smart-managed system that can both draw the minimal power from it when required as well as feed your surplus energy raised back into it.
  • Choosing a solar subscription package, such as what Versofy offers the general public, with a Sunsynk solar Inverter included. These units are Hybrid, meaning they cleverly switch to where the supply is coming from or stored. Never leaving you in the dark. So in extended cases of bad weather, smaller battery packs will be your third line of defense as opposed to the first line of it. 

These comprehensive packages, particularly those that cater for higher outputs (Versofy CHARGE and Versofy PLUS) come with 10kW/h battery banks that will be sufficient to protect you against scheduled outages based on what your needs are during those times.

The solar cost of removing your home from the shackles of Eskom debacle, through Versofy, varies between R3499 and R5499 per month across our three main packages – Versofy GROW, Versofy CHARGE and Versofy PLUS. All of which provide complete solar power kits and consumption monitoring/optimisation for homes in South Africa to join the energy revolution.

Which Solar Package is right for me? 

Most residential properties will be able to benefit from an entry-level system provided by the Versofy GROW subscription, maintaining smaller residential houses with two or three bedrooms that generally consume between 20 – 30kwh per day.

Slightly larger setups (three to five-bedroom – 30 to 50 kWh per day) will have their energy consumption needs adequately met through the Versofy CHARGE package. 

Packages must be qualified for but we have a unique onboarding and solar application process that ensures that the paperwork is handled in a fast and effective way so that we can get down to the business that matters. Paving your way into the sunset.

Versofy SOLAR  – Feeding Electricity Back into the Grid South Africa

By tailoring solar subscription packages that are closely aligned to customers’ existing electricity bills, we believe that we offer a reliable, affordable and sustainable alternative to off-grid solar. At Versofy, we believe that solar doesn’t have to be complicated and should be available to everyone. By investing in a rent-to-own solar subscription journey with us, you can potentially save you up to 80% of your electricity bills with Eskom – a place (regrettably) where the likelihood of tariff hikes is better guaranteed than its energy generation.

So banking your money on the sun rather will help feed the grid that is already hopelessly constrained.

Book your Site Inspection today, or contact our team to bring the boots for your solar journey. One that is less arduous than you were made to believe when off-grid solar is not necessarily the answer at all. Join the energy revolution by partnering with us – we’ll handle the rest. 

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Switch and become a part of the renewable energy revolution. By switching to solar you help protect the environment and reduce your reliance on the National electricity grid.

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