An inverter is a critical element of any solar system, and you need it to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels into distributed current (AC) electricity for your equipment. However, you’ll need a separate battery-specific inverter to convert power back and forth from AC to DC for battery storage and discharge if you install a solar panel system with a traditional inverter and decide to add it later battery system.
However, there is no need for a separate battery inverter when you pair a solar panel system with a hybrid inverter, which acts as both an inverter for solar panel power and a solar battery.
Importantly, while hybrid inverters are designed to be integrated into warehouses, you can install the technology without batteries; in fact, many choose to recommend installing a hybrid inverter in case a battery is added to the system in the future.
Benefits of Hybrid Inverters
Hybrid inverters have many advantages – here are some key ones to consider when comparing inverter solutions:
A common misconception about solar power is that if you install a system, you will always have power during an outage. In most cases, this is not the case: Traditional grid-tied solar inverters automatically shut down during a power outage, cutting off the generation of electricity from the solar panel system, as a safety precaution.
Still, a hybrid inverter paired with a battery is an excellent result if you want to keep your property running on backup solar power during grid outages. Some hybrid inverters have both on-grid and off-grid capabilities, allowing you to keep using solar power when the grid goes dark.
With a hybrid inverter, all of your solar power—whether fed into the grid, used for your own use on your property or stored in your batteries—is converted by a single element. This allows for “centralized monitoring”, meaning you can cover your solar panel system and battery performance from one platform.
Retrofitting Battery Storage Units
One of the greatest benefits of a hybrid inverter is that it combines the functions of two separate biases into one. This could mean an easier installation process for your solar installers. Depending on individual component prices and labor costs, you can save by installing a hybrid inverter at launch rather than paying for a solar inverter and a battery-specific inverter separately. However, if you are not planning to add a battery bank to your system, compare hybrid inverter solutions with traditional grid-tied solar inverters as they are less costly.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Inverters
A hybrid inverter is not the right solution for every solar panel system; here are some disadvantages to keep in mind:
Application of Existing Solar Panel Systems
The easiest way to do this though is to install an AC-coupled battery with an inverter if you previously had a good solar panel system and want to add the battery. Since your solar panel system previously had its own grid-tied inverter, swapping out this element for hybrid results would require rewiring and labor, adding to the cost of the solar-plus-storage system.
Adding a mongrel inverter and battery to your system has an advanced outspoken cost than installing a separate grid-tied result. This redundant cost is worth it if you witness frequent outages or want to use batteries for electricity bill arbitrage; still, if your mileage company has favorable net metering impulses and the grid in your area is dependable, traditional grid-tie The outspoken cost of a solar panel system will be lower.
Future Design Flexibility
Not all hybrid inverters are battery agnostic. Some energy storage systems, such as Sonnen eco, already have an inverter built in, eliminating the need for a hybrid inverter. If you preemptively install a hybrid inverter, keep in mind that your options may be limited when it comes to future storage technologies.
What are the functions of a hybrid solar inverter?
The original purpose of the inverter was to convert the DC input from the solar panels into AC power that the home could use. Take this process to a new level with the capabilities of a hybrid solar inverter, including the following advantages:
DC to AC bidirectional power conversion: In general, solar cells are charged by direct current input from solar panels (DC coupling) or by converting AC power to DC power (AC coupling) through a solar inverter. To release this energy, an inverter needs to convert the stored DC power back to AC.
With a hybrid inverter and battery: one device can do both. A hybrid grid-tie inverter converts DC to AC to power your home, but it also takes AC from the grid and converts it to DC which can be stored in batteries for later use.
Power Regulation: Depending on the time of day and rainfall conditions, solar power will fluctuate as the sun rises and falls. A hybrid inverter regulates this power to ensure that the entire system operates within the required parameters.
Power monitoring: Solar hybrid grid-tie inverters can be equipped with solar monitoring software that measures and monitors your PV system through a display or a connected smartphone app to help identify any faults.
Power Maximization: A hybrid inverter with maximum power point (MPPT) checks your solar conditions and correlates them to the battery voltage. This allows for optimal power transfer and converts DC power to the optimum voltage for maximum battery charge. MPPT inverters can ensure that your solar power system works efficiently under various conditions such as different light conditions, solar panel temperatures, and electrical loads.
What is the difference between a hybrid inverter and an off-grid inverter?
Grid-tie inverters allow your home’s solar system to seamlessly integrate with the grid. Once your solar array generates enough power for your home, you can use any excess power to charge your solar battery system, or you can divert the rest to the grid once your battery bank is fully charged.
What makes a hybrid inverter stand out from other central inverters available for your home is its ability to transfer power in both directions. As we said before, battery inverters convert between AC and DC for use in warehouses, while solar grid-tie inverters manage the relationship between the home, the home solar system, and the grid. (There are three types of solar inverters, string inverters, microinverters, and power optimizers)
A hybrid inverter can do all of this, and it can also use the grid’s AC power to charge your solar cells (if they’re low on energy) or power your home.
Hybrid inverters sense electricity in exactly the same way as regular string solar inverters. The difference is that it has a built-in battery connection that stores energy for later uses. This battery backup feature allows most hybrid systems to also operate as a temporary power source during a power outage.
Off-grid inverters take power from batteries and convert it from DC to AC. The off-grid inverter cannot travel with the mileage grid. These are designed to work alone. Off-grid inverters cannot deliver power from solar or batteries to the mileage grid. Hybrid inverters, on the other hand, can feed power back to the mileage grid.
Can a hybrid inverter work without a battery?
Yes. Hybrid inverters can work without batteries. It’s not the battery, but it’s connected to the odometer. In this case, the inverter draws power from the solar and mileage grid. Nonetheless, the battery backup allows the use of battery power to power any necessary management circuits during a power outage. A hybrid inverter without a battery cannot provide power in the event of a dead battery. However, if grid stability is not an issue, a hybrid inverter without batteries would be a perfect choice. Also, it is easy to maintain as there are fewer factors to maintain.
Can a hybrid grid-tie inverter help me go off the grid?
Most home solar panel systems are still connected to the larger grid, which means they’re not really off the grid. However, if you want to completely disconnect your home from the grid, you must install sufficient battery capacity.
Still, if you really want to go completely off the grid. Hybrid inverters can still help because they are designed to perform multiple tasks as a single device, including solar panel operation.
Should you invest in a hybrid solar inverter?
While hybrid solar inverters do require a larger initial investment, the excess cost is worth it if you plan to install a solar bank system during or shortly after your original solar installation.
Hybrid inverters help rule out issues like intermittent sunlight and unreliable mileage grids, so they perform really well compared to other types of solar inverters. In fact, a hybrid inverter can help you store energy more efficiently for future use, including temporary power during outages or peak hours.
Hybrid inverters also enable the more efficient generation and operation, especially when linked to the wider grid through net metering and time-of-use rates. Plus, ultra-modern technology lets you cover and manage your solar system anytime, anywhere with a connected smartphone app.