Hybrid Solar Systems: A Smart Solution for Your Home or Business

hybrid solar system

Solar energy has become vital in seeking sustainable and renewable energy sources. As technology advances, so do the possibilities for harnessing solar power. One of the intriguing developments in solar energy is the hybrid solar system, which combines the best of both worlds: photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and battery storage systems. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of hybrid solar systems, their benefits, components, and applications.

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What is a hybrid solar system?

A hybrid solar system is a type of solar power system that combines solar panels with a battery storage system and a grid-tie hybrid inverter. This allows the system to generate electricity from the sun, store it in the battery, and use it when needed, even when the sun is not shining. 

Systems that employ both solar and wind energy, commonly referred to as hybrid systems, should be distinct from hybrid solar systems that store energy in a battery while remaining connected to the grid.

Components of a hybrid solar system

  • Solar panels: The solar panels generate electricity from the sun.
  • Battery storage system: The battery storage system stores excess solar energy for use later.
  • Grid-tie or hybrid inverter: The grid-tie or hybrid inverter converts the DC power from the solar panels to AC power that your home or business can use. It is a special type of inverter that can interact with the battery storage system and the grid. Read more about the Best Solar Inverters 2023 | Reliable And Intuitive Inverters. Energy Matters recommends cost-effective hybrid inverters such as:
  • Control system: The control system manages the flow of electricity between the solar panels, battery, and grid.
  • Bypass switch: A bypass switch is a simple device that allows grid power to flow directly to your home’s electrical system during a power outage.

Why is a bypass switch important?

  • It ensures your home has power during a power outage, even if the inverter fails.
  • It protects the inverter from damage caused by backfeeding.

Backfeeding is when power flows from your solar panels back to the grid. This can happen if the inverter fails or the grid has a problem. Backfeeding can damage the inverter and other electrical equipment on the grid.

The bypass switch prevents backfeeding by opening when the grid power is lost. This ensures that the inverter is not damaged and the grid is protected.

How does a bypass switch work?

In normal operation, the bypass switch is closed. This means that power flows from the solar panels to the inverter and then from the inverter to your home’s electrical system.

In the event of a power outage, the bypass switch opens. This allows grid power to flow directly to your home’s electrical system, bypassing the inverter.

The bypass switch is typically installed when the solar panels connect to the inverter. It is a simple device that can be operated manually or automatically.

How does a hybrid solar system work?

During the day, the solar panels generate electricity and send it to the battery storage system. The electricity is sent to a hybrid inverter and battery with a hybrid solar system. When the battery is full, a smart meter directs any remaining energy to the grid’s power lines. This enables the homeowner and business owner to keep some of the electricity, which can be used to power the home and business in the event of an energy blackout and on cloudy or dark days. The system automatically draws power from the grid if the battery runs low.

sonnen DC-coupled-and-hybrid-system-AC

What is a battery ready system?

A hybrid inverter is used in ‘battery ready’ systems instead of a standard string solar inverter. Most contemporary hybrid inverters already have a battery charger and connector built-in, making future battery additions considerably simpler. It is important to note that hybrid inverters are more expensive. If batteries aren’t added when the inverter is first installed, acquiring appropriate batteries in a few years may be challenging because technology is developing quickly.

Can hybrid solar work without solar batteries?

Yes. Hybrid solar systems can work without batteries. This type of system is attached to solar panels and the power grid, which supplies power from both. When the sun is shining, the solar panels will generate electricity, which will be used to power your home. Any excess electricity will be exported to the grid. At night or during periods of low solar output, the power grid will supply electricity to your home. This means you will always have power, even if your solar panels are not generating electricity.

Hybrid solar systems without batteries are a good option for people who want the benefits of solar power without having to pay for a battery. They are also a good option for people who live in areas with reliable grid power. However, it is important to note that hybrid solar systems without batteries will not provide backup power during a power outage. If the grid goes down, you will lose power as well.

solar batter storage

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Let us discuss and choose the best quote that suits your needs and budget, and we can connect you with our trusted local installers, who will provide up to 3 FREE quotes for your business solar and home battery system.

Advantages over traditional solar systems

  • Increased energy independence: Hybrid solar systems can provide backup power during a power outage, giving you peace of mind.
  • Reduced reliance on the grid: Hybrid solar systems can help you reduce your reliance on the grid, saving you money on your electricity bills.
  • Increased self-consumption: Hybrid solar systems allow you to store and use solar energy when needed, which can help you maximise the amount of solar energy you use.
  • Reduced electricity bills: Hybrid solar systems can save you money on your electricity bills, especially if the electricity grid has high peak demand charges.
  • Backup power during grid outages: Hybrid solar systems can provide backup power during grid outages to keep your lights on and your appliances running even when the power goes out.
  • Solar rebates: Solar rebates are often available for installing solar energy systems. These can help offset the cost of installing a hybrid solar system.

Disadvantages of hybrid solar systems

  • Higher upfront cost: Hybrid solar systems typically have a higher upfront cost than traditional solar systems. However, the long-term savings can offset the initial investment.
  • Maintenance requirements: Hybrid solar systems require more maintenance than traditional solar systems. They have more components, such as the battery storage system.
  • Battery life: The battery storage system in a hybrid solar system has a limited lifespan. This means that the battery will need to be replaced eventually, which can add to the overall cost of the system.

How much does a hybrid solar system cost?

The cost of a hybrid solar system is typically higher than the cost of a traditional solar system, but the additional cost can be offset by the savings you realise on your electricity bills. A hybrid solar system is a good option if you are looking for a solar system that can provide you with backup power, increased energy independence, and reduced reliance on the grid.

Some of the factors to consider when choosing a hybrid solar system

  • Your energy needs,
  • The local climate,
  • The availability of solar rebates and incentives.
  • The size of your home or business: The size of your system will depend on the amount of electricity you use.
  • The amount of sunlight in your area: The more sunlight you receive, the more electricity your system will generate.
  • Your budget: Hybrid solar systems can range in price from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.
  • Your energy goals: What do you hope to achieve with your solar system? Do you want to reduce your reliance on the grid, save money on electricity bills, or both?

Working with a qualified solar installer is important to choose the right hybrid solar system for your needs.

Still can’t afford to switch to solar power?

Are you considering getting solar panels but are currently short on funds? You can still invest wisely, and Energy Matters can help you. 

Powow and Energy Matters have teamed up to provide consumers with an alternative to switching to solar power and battery storage. 

The biggest obstacle to installing solar and battery storage is typically finance. With Powow’s PPA and VPP, our customers will have a $0 upfront option and financial stability in the uncertain energy market.

Get up to 3 obligation-free quotes by getting in touch with us right away. Find out what payment plan options suit your needs and budget!

Check out our page for Powow: Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

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