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:

Direct PV is solar panels 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 maintains the ESS, both having been sized appropriate to the number of loads and their run times. 

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.  Its energy feeds directly to the home’s loads, with any excess going up to the grid.  It will not however operate during a grid outage.  

On-grid PV with batteries works similar to that of an off-grid PV system with batteries, plus the ESS helps maximize solar production that may have been more than what was needed in the home during the day — for use during dark hours, rather than having exported it to the grid.  It can also provide back-up power to select circuits during utility outages. 

Which solar works best for my needs?

The easiest way to find out is to have us help answer these simple questions for you.  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.  As part of our philosophy of “educating, not selling” we will help:

  • Assess your options, budget & timeline

  • Perform a comprehensive solar site energy survey with you

  • Show you cost analysis comparisons over time

  • 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 may be 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!     

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 [email protected] or fill out the form below.

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Recent Projects

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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.


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