ACDC Express

Picking the Best Backup Power Solution for your Needs

Backup power solutions are amazing! They can prevent you from losing time to load shedding, letting you continue your work or relaxation with a few changes to your behaviours and power usage. Some systems allow you to ignore load shedding completely! However, they are also rather complex, with a large range of options and technical jargon which makes it feel like you need to study some basic electrical engineering first. On top of this, it is a fairly expensive investment, which can make anyone hesitate before making a purchase.

We are here to make the whole process simpler by explaining the pros and cons of several inverter types, as well as the differences between them. If knowing is half the battle, let’s prep for beating load shedding!

Grid-Tied Inverter

Grid-tied backup power solutions

Grid-tied inverters are the cheapest option available, but load shedding severely impacts their usefulness. In a grid-tied system, the inverter (normally connected to a few solar panels) manages the energy you are making use of. During the day when the sun is shining, you will use energy from the solar panels first, which can drastically lower your electricity bill! 

If you have excess energy from solar panels, you can even feed it back into the main electrical grid, earning you some credits for the power you provide. This could help pay for the installation of this inverter over time.

The big drawback of a grid-tied Backup power solution is that it requires a working grid to operate. As the name implies, the system is tied together with the grid. If the grid goes down or offline in any way, your inverter stops working. So unless you live in an area that skips load shedding slots regularly, the benefits of this system will quickly get outweighed by the lack of power. One could argue that grid-tied systems shouldn’t fall into the category of backup power, but rather be seen as a cost-saving system in places with a stable energy infrastructure.

Off-grid inverter

off-grid ackup power solutions

If you live in a remote location, or you are just fed up with Eskom, you can take your power system completely off the grid with an off-grid inverter system! This system makes use of large battery banks and multiple energy sources (solar during the day, with a generator for emergencies or during poor weather) and works completely off the grid. In fact, you couldn’t connect to the electrical grid with this type of Backup power solution as it is built to only accept DC power sources.

Grid-Interactive Inverter

grid-interactive backup power solutions

Grid-interactive inverters are also called hybrid inverters. These systems will continue to work when your connection to the grid is lost, relying on solar panels or energy stored in batteries. This system combines the benefits of off-grid and grid-tied systems, allowing for a flexible system at a great price point that will work during load shedding!

This type of Backup power solution doesn’t require as many batteries as an off-grid system, but more batteries will keep your lights and appliances working for longer power outages.

Most of the inverters that we stock fall into this category. Hybrid or grid-interactive inverters allow for net metering if you wish, and will give you access to electricity during load shedding. To make it even simpler, many of our hybrid inverters and energy storage systems have built-in solar charge controllers and power management modules, meaning you require fewer products to get your backup power system online.

Now that you know about the three major types of inverter-based backup power solutions on the market and what they are for, you can pick the option that is best suited for you! Visit your nearest ACDC Express and ask to see our range of premium inverters from brands like Huawei, Deye, LuxPower, and more!

Share this

Current Specials

Switch Competition

Follow Us

Find your nearest store

Click here to find the ACDC Express Store closest to you