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Product Abstract

Residential Off-Grid Solar + Storage Systems: A Case Study Comparison of On-Grid and Off-Grid Power for Residential Consumers

Product ID:3002009150
Date Published:17-Aug-2016
Sector Name:Power Delivery & Utilization - Distribution & Utilization
Document Type:Technical Results
Price:No Charge

This Product is publicly available

   1.37 MB - Adobe PDF (.pdf)


The rapid fall in prices of solar panels and battery storage have led some to suggest that it will soon be advantageous for consumers to create their own independent power systems with locally-installed solar and storage and to disconnect from the grid entirely. While it is technically possible to produce such isolated off-grid systems with present-day technology, there is typically a tradeoff between cost and reliability in their design. This paper explores the design of such off-grid systems and various ways the cost/reliability tradeoff might be mitigated through load management and local backup generation using fossil fuels. It also explores the opportunity costs associated with the absence of the grid connection, such as the loss of the ability to sell unused power and thus avoid energy waste. An analysis finds that residential off-grid solar + storage systems are technically feasible with present-day technology, though at a cost of energy several times that of grid-supplied power. In addition, the off-grid solar + storage systems must be significantly oversized to a degree that a very large amount of the generated energy must be curtailed. The amount of curtailed energy is so large that it would be economically justifiable to reconnect to the grid to be able to export it for sale.

2016 Program 94   Energy Storage and Distributed Generation
  • Storage
  • Solar
  • Residential
  • Microgrid
  • Off-grid

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