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What are the different types of solar?

Solar, also referred to as photovoltaic (PV), is not a “one-type-fits-all” technology. In fact, there are four different ways that solar can provide home energy:
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On-grid PV without batteries is by far the most popular and economic solar installation because of its lower initial cost and maintenance-free operation. Integrated inverters convert the DC electric energy the panels generate into the AC current that your home uses. Its energy feeds directly to the home’s loads with any excess going up to the grid.  However, it will not operate during a grid outage (this is a safety feature).  

On-grid PV with batteries, a hybrid system, marries the solar PV system described above with batteries (energy storage system or ESS). The ESS helps maximize solar production that may have been more than what was needed in the home during the day — storing the energy for use during dark hours, rather than exporting it to the grid.  It can also provide back-up power to select circuits during utility outages.

Direct PV is solar panels connected to DC-only powered devices and appliances. Without an ESS – batteries, it will only operate when the sun shines and at varying levels of current. connected to DC-only powered devices and appliances. Without an energy storage system (or ‘ESS’ – batteries, mainly) in between the two, it will only operate when the sun shines and at varying levels of current.

Off-grid PV with batteries is used primarily when access to grid-supplied energy is impractical and/or too expensive.  The solar energy system generation maintains the ESS, both having been sized appropriately to the number of loads and their run times.

How to choose which solar option works best for my needs?

The easiest way to find out is to have us help you answer several simple questions, and if your residence is a good fit, that’s great!  You can count on SVE to suggest the best options to suit your particular needs. We:

  • Assess your options, budget & timeline

  • Perform a comprehensive solar site energy survey (looking at your roof, grounds, shading, etc.)

  • Show you cost analysis comparisons over time

  • Design the best customized solution
  • Guide you in designing the best customized solution

  • Make the solar installation process easy

  • Answer questions every step of the way

  • Celebrate your greener, smarter, less expensive and more independent choice

If your residence is not a good candidate for solar, you can trust that we’ll tell you so.  And if there are options for improving your home’s energy conservation we’ll gladly lend you our expertise there, too.

Want to get started?  Send us a message or give a call!     

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Find out more

For more information on solar and how Southern View Energy is different from other solar installers, watch our video here or go to Solar 101. We’d also love to chat about your solar needs and questions. Call 678.833.5191, email us at or fill out the form below.

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Recent Projects

See some of our Residential and Commercial solutions.
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Residential Solar Gallery

We can help you find the solar solution that is right for you. Take a look at project gallery for ideas on how we could help you.

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Commercial Solar Gallery

Could your business benefit from a solar energy solution? Take a look at recent project solutions we created for businesses in our neighboring communities.  

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Cities we serve: Alpharetta, Alto, Athens, Auburn, Baldwin, Ball Ground, Bethlehem, Braselton, Buford, Canton, Carnesville, Chestnut Mountain, Clermont, Cleveland, Commerce, Cornelia, Cumming, Dacula, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Demorest, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Gillsville, Grayson, Helen, Homer, Hoschton, Jefferson, Lawrenceville, Lawrenceville, Lula, Marble Hill, Maysville, Mount Airy, Murrayville, Nicholson, North Metro, Oakwood, Pendergrass, Sautee Nacoochee, Statham, Suwanee, Talmo, Winder