What Is a Hybrid Solar Panel System?

What is a Hybrid Solar Panel System?

Hybrid solar systems use solar power and electricity and are an excellent backup power source for blackouts, like an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). Their hybrid inverter system makes them ideal for homes that need extra energy since the batteries store power for later use.

If you want to learn more about this home investment, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about hybrid solar panels, including how they work and how they compare to the other solar energy systems in our guide below.

What Do I Need to Know About Hybrid Solar Panels?

After you install solar panels, the energy generated will convert into power for your home. To power your house this way, you can remain connected to the grid, go off-grid or use a hybrid system.

Hybrid solar energy systems are similar to the familiar solar panel setup, though they use batteries alongside the sun's energy.

During the day, your solar panels gather energy from the sun and charge the backup battery unit for use in your home. You can then use the hybrid solar electricity at night when your solar panels aren’t drawing power or if there’s a power outage. Hybrid solar's battery-ready system makes it perfect for you if your home needs energy at all times.

Hybrid solar panels allow energy independence, and they don’t require as much maintenance and storage space or as many batteries as off-grid systems.

8 Benefits of a Hybrid Solar Power System

Hybrid solar power systems for the home have steadily gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. A hybrid solar setup provides homeowners more options when it comes to harnessing energy from the sun. The main benefits of using hybrid solar panel systems include the following:

  1. Best of both worlds: Hybrid systems use solar battery storage and low-cost electricity.
  2. Continuous power: By generating power and storing additional energy for later use, hybrid solar systems for homes offer the advantage of continuous energy supply.
  3. Extra energy when you need it: Using solar energy at peak electricity usage times is possible with its backup power source.
  4. Advanced energy management: A compatible inverter allows the batteries to communicate with each other to run the system. Due to this technology system, hybrid panel setups give you easy-to-follow information regarding your system's output and how much power you’re pulling from the grid.
  5. Load management: Hybrid solar power systems also allow you to manage your load by storing energy when demand is low and using it later on when demand increases during peak hours.
  6. Reduced carbon footprint: Hybrid solar panels are an excellent way to reduce grid power consumption by using stored electricity.
  7. Low maintenance: Hybrid power systems require little maintenance and offer low running costs compared to other types of systems. Once the equipment is installed, you can expect years of worry-free use with minimal need for repairs or replacements.
  8. Great for your budget: Hybrid systems are more affordable than off-grid solar systems since they don’t require diesel backup and their battery storage can be downsized.

Some considerations to keep in mind when using hybrid solar systems for your house include:

  1. Potential appliance limits: They can limit the number of appliances you can run at one time according to the hybrid inverter’s capacity.
  2. Increased cost: Since they require batteries, hybrid solar systems are almost double the price of purely on-grid solar systems.
Difference between Hybrid and Grid Solar System

How Does a Hybrid Solar Panel Work?

The only difference between hybrid solar power systems and the more commonly known grid arrays is the addition of batteries and a battery inverter. Hybrid solar panels are grid-tied, meaning your solar connects to your utility provider’s power line while using batteries for additional energy.

Hybrid systems use solar first, then the battery, then grid power. Your hybrid solar panel works using this process:

  1. It sends solar power to your inverter.
  2. Your inverter sends energy to power your home.
  3. Extra energy goes directly to your home battery for storage.

Hybrid solar panels are an economical option due to using both a battery inverter and solar inverter. Hybrid inverters are effective for high-energy use because if your battery can’t provide enough power or your solar panels aren’t producing energy, you can trust the grid to give the deficit.

Generally, the batteries in a hybrid system offer adequate electricity to get you through the night, though they can also provide power during the day when you need it. Hybrid systems use backup power to keep your lights and some appliances running during an outage.

The battery technology in hybrid solar panels is different from traditional off-grid battery backup units due to the lithium batteries. Lithium batteries allow more capacity, so hybrid systems have more space for a single battery backup unit. Other unique offerings depend on the product you choose, so it’s essential to research the different hybrid systems before installing one.

Pros and Cons of Storing Energy in a Solar Battery

If you have been seriously looking into building a sustainable home, it's worth evaluating whether a solar energy storage battery will work for your property. A few key considerations regarding these systems include:

Pros

Storing energy in a solar battery offers several advantages by allowing homeowners to:

  • Save money on electric bills: Solar batteries cost less than other storage systems and help you minimize what you spend on utilities, which is especially important given the rising cost of energy.
  • Take advantage of solar power even when the sun isn't shining: Solar batteries store energy when the sun is out, then release it for use at night or on darker days.
  • Use your own energy rather than relying on external suppliers: Solar batteries are great for anyone who wants more control over their energy use. These systems are ideal for those who live off-grid or want a backup system for emergencies or seasonal changes.

Cons

However, there are also some drawbacks to storing energy in a solar battery. For instance:

  • Batteries tend to be more expensive than solar panels alone: A battery storage system is the best bet for those who want the most efficient system possible for storing energy from their solar panels, but it does represent more upfront expense.
  • Solar batteries eventually need replacement: Solar battery materials can degrade over time, so you may need to replace yours every five to 15 years. Before purchase, ask about the life expectancy of your solar battery so you can plan accordingly.
  • Your solar system will need more maintenance:  Although batteries are relatively low-maintenance, they need periodic checks to monitor their condition. Proper care and maintenance will greatly minimize replacement frequency.

How Does Hybrid Solar Compare to Other Systems?

It’s essential to learn about the different solar power systems to make an informed purchase for your energy needs. On-grid, off-grid and hybrid energy systems each have their own set of benefits.

On-Grid Solar Energy

A benefit of on-grid power is that you can decrease your expenses by using a process called net-metering. You earn credits for the energy you send to the grid with net metering. When you need to take power from your grid, you’ll owe that money like normal. But the bill you receive at the end of the month will be net energy — what you owe minus what you generated.

A disadvantage is that purely on-grid systems won’t work during power outages since they don’t use battery backup power. Additionally, you’ll still rely on fossil fuels with on-grid power.

Hybrid systems will save you money by lowering your electricity bills, making the higher upfront system costs worthwhile. Your solar battery will store your excess power instead of selling it back to your utility, and though you won’t see net metering credits on your bill, you'll still get the same value for your electricity. If your utility company doesn’t offer full retail net metering, you might even save more with hybrid solar.

Off-Grid Solar Energy

Off-grid systems are great for reducing your carbon footprint and remaining independent from your utility company. However, you won’t have backup power when your solar is down due to a week of overcast days, for instance. Additionally, you won’t be able to easily manage your energy in the way you can with hybrid systems.

There are numerous benefits to installing hybrid energy for your home. With any solar energy system, choosing equipment that works for your present and future electricity needs is essential.

Suppose you need help budgeting your energy expenses. Most hybrid inverters can be installed before battery backup installation, which means you can integrate your system into your home with solely solar panels and inverters before adding battery backup in the future. This way, you can implement the hybrid system later if your energy priorities change.

Hybris Solar Systems by S&H Solar

Trust S&H Solar for Your Solar Power Needs

Now that you’ve learned about hybrid solar systems, you can make an informed decision about the right kind of energy setup for your needs. Hybrid solar panels present many benefits for your project by providing the best of both worlds — solar battery storage and electricity.

S&H Solar is a one-stop shop for all your solar needs. From property evaluation to lifetime solar maintenance, we’ve got you covered. Our experts will help you decide on the right solar energy system for your needs or install one that allows for hybrid solar energy later down the road.

To learn more, contact us online or request a free quote today! Many people who use solar power enjoy the idea of being completely off the grid. However, remaining on the grid while using a battery backup provides many benefits worth considering for your home.

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