What is The Hybrid Inverter 2024 Guide

Hybrid Inverter

In a world where renewable energy is becoming more popular, homeowners and businesses are looking for ways to save on energy use and be more environmentally friendly. With solar panels installed on rooftops across the globe, hybrid inverter are an important step toward a simpler and more seamless green energy setup.

A hybrid inverter is an electronic device that combines the functions of a micro inverter and a battery charger in a single unit. With this guide, we’ll cover what a hybrid inverter is and give you all the information you need to know about it, so let’s get started!

What Is a Hybrid Inverter?

Hybrid inverters is a kind of integrated inverter that integrates solar and battery inverters. You can imagine that it is a combination of the advantages of both solar and battery converters. In this way, solar energy can be stored in batteries and then used when needed.

Its function is similar to that of an ordinary grid-connected solar inverter, but it can usually operate in one of several different modes depending on the application. This includes a battery backup mode that provides limited backup power in the event of a power outage. Most hybrid inverters can operate without batteries and operate like grid-connected solar inverters by exporting excess solar energy to the grid.

Bringing all the key functions of solar and battery storage together in a simple plug-and-play inverter means that hybrid inverters are typically much less costly and easier to install than more complex off-grid inverter systems. However, they have some limitations and are generally not recommended for permanent off-grid installations.

How Does a Hybrid Inverter Work

The hybrid inverters is like a smart power processing center that can operate in different modes depending on your home’s power consumption and backup power requirements. It has many similarities with common solar inverters (also known as series inverters), such as converting direct current generated by solar panels into alternating current used in our daily life. Any extra solar energy can be used to charge the batteries connected to the hybrid inverter.

How Does a Hybrid Inverter Work

To manage the flow of electricity, it relies on a device called an external energy meter (or CT meter) to measure your home’s electricity usage and determine when there is extra power available to recharge the battery. This meter can also provide load data so the inverter knows when it needs to discharge to power the appliances in your home.

Most hybrid inverters can be set to the following four modes:

Grid-connected mode: It functions just like a normal solar inverter without batteries.

Hybrid mode: Excess solar energy is stored during the day and used at night to improve self-sufficiency.

Backup mode: When the grid has power, it functions like an ordinary solar inverter, but it can automatically switch to backup power mode when the grid is cut off.

Off-grid mode: The working principle of this mode is very similar to that of an off-grid inverter, which will use excess solar energy to charge the battery and power the appliances in the home without an external grid connection.

However, not all hybrid inverters are designed to operate in off-grid solar systems. Only a few will turn on and run backup power, such as generators, when needed. Examples of such hybrid inverters include the Deye inverter.

Hybrid inverters are affordable for ordinary households that want to become more self-sufficient with solar and batteries, but don’t want to be disconnected from the grid or experience frequent power outages.

What is The Difference Between an Inverter And a Hybrid Inverter?

Inverters convert direct current to alternating current, which is the type of electricity that powers most household appliances. When used in combination with solar panels, they allow you to convert the energy collected from solar panels into usable electricity for home appliances.

However, it is important to note that very small solar configurations (such as those of calculators or watches) do not require inverters because their power requirements are small enough to operate directly on solar energy. However, any larger device requires an inverter to function properly, which is why you’ll see the vast majority of solar systems equipped with an inverter.

Hybrid inverters take the concept of inverters one step further. It can not only convert direct current to alternating current, but also convert energy interchangeably to alternating current or direct current. This opens up new possibilities for solar energy storage; Hybrid inverters allow you to store solar energy in a battery pack for later use without having to use all of the energy generated.

One of the most beneficial features of a hybrid inverter is that it allows you to sell power back to the grid. When you’re not using all the energy generated by your solar panels and don’t need to store the excess energy (for example, because your battery is already full), it can send the excess power back to your utility company in exchange for a credit on your next electric bill. This is a great way to help offset the cost of installing a solar array, which can be a very lucrative proposition if your utility offers a high buyback rate.

There Are Three Main Types of Hybrid Inverters

Hybrid inverters are like a super versatile tool, with three main types that can cope with different energy requirements.

1. Basic hybrid inverter for solar energy storage

2. Hybrid inverter for solar energy storage and backup power

3. Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

It is worth noting that some hybrid inverters do not have a standard backup power function, and you may need to purchase additional backup power equipment if you want to be able to maintain power in the event of a power outage. Even so, they remain an important part of the power supply scheme, especially for the use of solar energy.

What is The Difference Between Hybrid Inverters And Other Types of Inverters

Compared with traditional grid-connected and off-grid inverters, hybrid inverters have several advantages. They offer greater flexibility and can be used for a wider range of applications. For example:

Greater energy independence: It allows you to store excess energy generated by solar panels and use it when needed, reducing your dependence on the grid.

Lower utility bills: By using stored energy during periods of high utility prices, you can save money on your energy bills.

Enhanced energy security: In the event of a power outage, power can continue to be provided, thanks to the compatibility of their energy storage with their battery packs.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Hybrid Inverters

Modern hybrid grid-connected inverters do have some benefits, but there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of. Here are some of its advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

Advantages

Hybrid solar inverters are more efficient than traditional inverters, and they are also more versatile. They can be used with a variety of different battery storage systems, making them a good choice for anyone who wants to get the most out of solar power. Let’s look at their main advantages as follows:

Power elasticity

Having a solar power system does not always guarantee that you will still have power during a power outage. If your system uses a traditional solar grid-connected inverter, it will still automatically shut down the power to the solar panel system during a power outage for safety purposes.

Hybrid inverters paired with solar cell storage systems are an excellent solution for this situation. It ensures that you have both off-grid and on-grid capabilities, so you always have access to power, even during outages.

Easily retrofit battery storage

Installing complete solar power can cost a fortune, especially if you have to add a separate system to store electricity. Hybrid inverters do this very well, integrating the ability to store power when needed, which means you don’t have to worry about installing battery storage. After installing a hybrid inverter, when you want to increase the battery pack, it will become very simple, and you can still enjoy the benefits of solar energy.

Easy energy monitoring

Hybrid inverters also make energy monitoring a lot easier. Because you can check important data such as performance and energy production through the inverter panel or connected smart devices. If your system is composed of two inverters, then you need to monitor them separately. But if you use a hybrid inverter, you don’t have this problem.

Disadvantages

Not suitable for upgrading existing systems

If you want to upgrade your existing solar power system to include battery storage, choosing a hybrid inverter may complicate the situation, while a battery inverter may be more cost-effective. What you really need is an AC-coupled battery with its own battery inverter to extend your system. Since you already have a grid-connected solar inverter, if you want to replace it with a hybrid inverter, you may need to reconfigure your solar panel system, which can be both thorough and expensive.

Equipment cost increase

The initial installation cost of hybrid inverters may be higher than that of conventional solar inverters. If power outages are frequent in your area and you want to choose to add backup batteries in the future, having a hybrid inverter may be worth the higher cost. However, if your grid is stable and you already have net metering, then a regular grid-connected system may be sufficient, and it may be more economical than a hybrid inverter plus battery storage.

Less flexibility in future design

As technology advances, solar cell designs are constantly changing, and not all hybrid inverters are suitable for every type of cell. If you install a hybrid inverter now and intend to add solar cells in the near future, your future options may be limited by compatibility issues. For example, some solar panel energy storage systems are now equipped with built-in inverters, eliminating the need for a separate hybrid inverter at all.

How Much Does a Hybrid Inverter Cost?

How Much Does a Hybrid Inverter Cost

The cost of a hybrid inverter is difficult to quantify because prices vary according to the brand and model of the inverter and its capacity. In general, it is more expensive than traditional single-function inverters, but as solar and battery technology continue to evolve, this may not always be the case.

For example, if your PV system ends up costing about $22,500 (the average cost of a 7.5kW residential system), you can expect to spend about $1,350 to $2,250 on a hybrid inverters.

The reason why hybrid inverters are more expensive than traditional inverters is that they integrate the three most important functions of renewable energy systems into one, and they are smaller. However, compared to buying and installing a separate battery system, it is more likely to pay for itself in the long run because it has higher efficiency and lower installation costs.

In addition, it helps households and businesses reduce their energy bills through self-sufficiency. Intelligent monitoring of grid power and the ability to sell excess energy when it is not needed is also a way to reduce energy bills.

Should You Invest In a Hybrid Solar Inverter?

While hybrid solar inverters do require a large initial investment, the extra cost may be worth it if you plan to install solar cell storage during or shortly after your initial solar installation.

Hybrid inverters help eliminate problems such as intermittent sunlight and unreliable utility grids, so their performance is excellent compared to other types of solar inverters. Even better, it helps you store energy more efficiently for future use, including backup power for use during outages or peak times.

Hybrid inverters can also enable more efficient generation and management, especially when it comes to relationships with the wider grid through net metering and usage time rates. In addition, ultra-modern technology allows you to easily monitor and manage your solar system from anywhere through a connected smartphone app.

Conclusion

As inverter technology becomes more efficient, hybrid solar inverter systems offer an affordable way to maintain backup power when you need it most, without compromising efficiency.

GYCX Solar can help you choose the best solar energy solution for your home or business. We’re making it as simple as possible to use solar power. Contact us today and we’ll take care of everything from designing your unique solar system to installation, maintenance and monitoring.

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