If you have been using conventional or Conventional (Regular) Solar inverters, it is time to move to something advanced. Today, we have the new hybrid solar inverters, and Yes, this is a new piece of advanced technology that combines the benefits of a regular battery inverter and traditional inverters in a single piece. This is the new solution for the homeowners who wish to install an old-school solar power system that is upgradable and comes with batteries.
If you have been searching for hybrid solar inverters and want to learn more about them, you have landed on the right page. This article will share every little detail about Hybrid Solar Inverters. Yes, you will learn everything you need, from its functions to how it operates.
So, give this article a read!
- What is a Hybrid Solar Inverter?
- Functions of Hybrid Solar Inverters
- How Does A Hybrid Solar System Work?
- Upsides of a Hybrid Solar Inverter
- Downsides of Hybrid Solar Inverters
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Hybrid Solar Inverter?
A hybrid is something that can combine two different features into one. And a hybrid solar inverter is typically a combination of conventional inverters and solar inverters integrated into one piece. This one-piece equipment can intelligently manage the power from your solar batteries, solar panels, and the utility.
An old-school solar-grid tie can convert DC electricity generated by the PV system [photovoltaic] into AC electricity [alternating current], which is not only known to power our houses but also to transfer excess electricity back to the utility grid.
Whereas a battery inverter is responsible for handling the procedures of inverting the DC electricity stored in the solar battery storage into AC electricity used by our houses.
A hybrid inverter functions as a solar and battery inverter in a single body. A hybrid grid-tie inverter modernizes and enhances all the traditional operations. Again, as solar power depends entirely on seasonality and weather conditions, hybrid inverters can charge themselves by drawing power from the electricity grid.
Functions of Hybrid Solar Inverters
The primary function of a conventional solar inverter is to convert dc electricity input from the solar panels to ac electricity to provide sufficient electricity for your home. Now, a hybrid solar inverter elevates and advances this process to the next level.
Here are the primary functions and benefits of any hybrid solar inverter –
Bi-Directional Conversion of Power
There are two possible ways in which the solar battery charges itself. They are either charged using DC electricity, fetching it directly from the panels, i.e., [DC Coupled], or through DC electricity converted from AC by a solar inverter [AC Coupled].
Again, the inverter will convert the stored DC electricity into AC electricity to release the power.
A battery inverter and a solar inverter integrated into one piece (hybrid model) can carry out both roles. The hybrid-grid inverter can easily convert the DC to AC for powering your home. In addition, it can take away the AC electricity from the power grid, converting it into DC electricity to store the power in the battery bank for later.
No wonder solar power can fluctuate a lot. As you know, it entirely depends on the weather conditions and the time of day. To maintain the power, a hybrid inverter will regulate the power and ensure that the system works within appropriate parameters.
Allows You to Monitor Power Levels
Solar hybrid inverters can also be installed with solar power monitoring software, allowing you to monitor and measure the photovoltaic system through a display screen or smartphone app. This will allow you to identify potential faults.
Features Power Maximization
Solar hybrid inverters with MPPT [Maximum Power Point Trackers] can check the actual solar power output and correlate it to the voltage of the inverter battery.
This allows for optimum power output and appropriate conversion of direct current electricity according to the best-suited voltage for maximum charge. The trackers guarantee that your solar power system will work fine under all possible conditions, such as fluctuating sunlight, electrical loads, and solar panel temperature.
Related: What is an RV Solar Inverter?
How Does A Hybrid Solar System Work?
First, one must understand how a hybrid solar system works.
- A solar inverter converts the energy produced by the solar panels into a form to power appliances in your home. The solar panels trap the sun’s energy. Sunlight contains tiny packs of energy known as photons. The solar panel absorbs photons and converts the energy into electrical energy.
- The solar panel materials are composed of electrons that fall off when the photons hit. Such a material used in the panels is silicon.
- The photons’ electrons fall off their shells, and they get free. Then, the free electrons are pulled by an electric field in the required direction. This is precisely how the electricity is generated, but this is direct current electricity.
After the solar panels produce the DC electricity, it is time for the inverter to weigh in and convert the same to AC electricity.
- The inverter uses its IGBTs [Insulate Gate Bipolar Transistors] to convert the energy. IGBTs are solid-state electronic devices. These durable tools allow the current to pass through and do not take too much to operate.
- The IGBTs reformulated semiconductors and came with three terminals. These are arranged in a manner so that they can form an H-Bridge. However, if you arrange them in different forms, you will get different outputs.
- The H-bridge is the form of a circuit. This form of circuit allows you to apply a voltage in any direction. This is one of the most flexible circuits and features two switches, named S1, S2, S3, and S4. The application will vary according to the combination of the switches.
- The H-Bridge is responsible for converting DC into AC. Specifically, the converted power is sent to the transformer or the step-up transformer. A transformer can either work as a step-up or step-down transformer, which depends entirely on the current direction.
- The transformer comes with two sides. One side is termed the primary side. This is the side from which the current enters, while the other is known as the secondary side, the current exits from the secondary side.
- The primary and secondary side features coils for drawing and delivering current. The transformer converts the same to magnetic energy when the current enters the primary coils. Then again, it will be converted into electrical energy while it exits through the secondary coil.
- Now talking of a step-up transformer, the number of turns in the primary coil is much greater than in the secondary coil. The number of turns is crucial as it helps the transformer function better. Such inverters are pretty efficient.
- Furthermore, hybrid solar inverters come with a backup system as well. The backup system is known as the battery storage system. This allows the inverter to store charge in the battery whenever there is extra energy. Another significant feature of a hybrid solar system is using the stored energy when needed.
- Again, the identical hybrid solar inverters can merge solar and wind energy. Yes, it can shift to wind, solar, or battery.
Upsides of a Hybrid Solar Inverter
If you wish to invest in a hybrid solar system, take a look at its upsides –
- Streamlined Energy Monitoring
Monitoring the inverter’s energy levels is easy using a one-piece hybrid model. You can check all the data through an application, such as power production or performance on the panel or your mobile.
- Power Resiliency
Having a solar-powered inverter will never be able to provide you with a power supply during an outage. Yes, if your system uses a conventional solar power grid tie, it will automatically cut off the power from your panel system during a blackout for safety.
A hybrid solar system comes paired with a solar battery storage system. An excellent solution for such a situation. It ensures that you have both on-grid and off-grid capabilities giving you access to power even when there is a blackout.
- Retrofit Battery Storage
A complete solar power installation is always a significant investment when you wish to add batteries or storage systems to each component. Hybrid solar inverters are designed to integrate storage anytime, allowing you to skip all the costs of installing battery storage.
If you wish, you can install battery storage later!
Downsides of Hybrid Solar Inverters
- Increased Expenses
If you think the place where you live experiences power outages more often, you might feel like keeping the option of adding a couple of batteries more. And no wonder the installation cost is much higher than traditional inverters.
You will have access to net metering with a reliable power grid.
- Design Flexibility
With the technology advancing today, it is common knowledge that all hybrid models will work with every battery.
If you install hybrid solar inverters today to add solar batteries later, you are much more likely to have compatibility issues. And as a matter of fact, today’s solar panel storage system comes with integrated inverters, eliminating the need to add hybrid solar inverters separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a hybrid solar inverter operate without batteries?
Surely, yes! Instead of the battery, hybrid solar inverters get power from the grid and solar panels.
Are hybrid solar inverters good?
Yes! Hybrids are much easier to operate with the features of a battery inverter and solar inverter combined in a single unit. And as it comes with two features in one unit, it is even easier to install this unit.
Furthermore, it is one of the best alternatives, just in case it is cloudy outside. In such cases, the hybrid solar inverters will flip and turn on the grid system.
Now that you have read this write-up, I hope you have figured out whether you need hybrid solar inverters.
Of course, installing a hybrid inverter system is quite a high investment, but when you look at it from a practical perspective, the investment is worth it. If you reside in an area that experiences power outages, you must install this today!
No matter how you look at it, hybrid solar inverters are better than a traditional solar inverter.