What is the difference between Off-Grid, On-Grid and Hybrid System?

What is the difference between Off-Grid, On-Grid and Hybrid System?

In the course of making enquiries towards purchasing a solar powered system in Nigeria for instance, you must have been asked, do you want an off-grid or hybrid system? In some countries (Not Nigeria yet), an on-grid system will be included in that question.
So what do these terms mean?

On-Grid System

An on-grid system is also known as a grid-tied system. It is one that works with your local utility’s company e.g Distribution companies.
How? The system generates electricity for your home and sends the excess power generated into the national electric grid for compensation (made possible through feed-in tariffs or net metering) from the distribution company.

Off-Grid System

On the other hand, an off-grid system is a system that is totally independent of the national electric grid.  There are houses and communities that are far from the grid and have no hope of being connected in years to come. Individuals in cities who were formerly connected to the grid can also decide to go off-grid.

Hybrid System

Hybrid systems are systems that have two generation sources e.g a solar powered system with storage and a generator. It combines the best approaches of both on-grid and off-grid systems. It could be connected to the national electric grid too.

Other differences are:

In terms of energy storage, on-grid systems do not need storage; off-grid systems use very large storage, and hybrid systems use a storage size depending on load requirements.

In an on-grid solar system, when there’s no power from the national grid, there is a blackout (if there’s no storage). In off-grid and hybrid solar systems, the energy storage (battery) provides backup power when the national grid is down.

In terms of cost, off-grid solar systems are the most expensive because of the storage, followed by hybrid solar systems while on-grid solar systems are the least expensive.

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Off-grid, on-grid and hybrid system

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