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What is a hybrid solar system? How does it work? A guide

May. 20, 2024

What is a hybrid solar system? How does it work? A guide

Going solar doesn't just mean installing solar panels — hybrid solar systems include battery storage so you can save the power your panels generate during the day and use it later, when the sun isn't shining. Learn how Panasonic solar and battery storage systems can help make your home more energy independent..

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A hybrid solar system is a renewable energy system that is grid-tied and includes battery storage. The system uses solar panels to produce energy during the day, while the batteries store excess energy for use later at night when there is no sunlight.

Hybrid solar systems are efficient, reliable, and a great investment for homeowners looking to go solar. 

What is a hybrid solar system?

A hybrid solar system is a solar power system that uses solar panels, a hybrid inverter and a battery bank. The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, while the batteries store energy for later use.

Hybrid solar systems have both on-grid and off-grid capabilities, allowing you to continue running on solar power even if the grid goes dark.

How does a hybrid solar system work?

A solar hybrid system is a renewable energy system that uses solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate clean energy to power your home. A hybrid solar system intelligently switches between using solar power, battery storage and grid power. It allows you to avoid using grid power at peak prices leading to bill savings. 

The system stores renewable energy produced by its rooftop solar panels. During a storm or power outage, the system seamlessly kicks in and powers all of your home's essential loads. Keeping your lights on, refrigerator running, and phones and tablets charged.

The benefits of a hybrid solar system

A hybrid solar system is a great option if your priority is to keep your home running on backup solar power during an outage or whose utility company has time of use rates, demand charges, or does not offer a net metering policy, where they compensate you for the excess energy sent back to the grid. 

The hybrid solar system has the flexibility to manage the time of use electricity rates for maximum solar savings on monthly electric bills.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

A hybrid solar system allows you to lock in low energy rates for years to come and shields you from future rate hikes. It also allows you to manage the time of use electricity rates for maximum solar savings on electric bills.

Photo courtesy of Panasonic Eco Systems North America

2. Flexibility and Scalability

A hybrid system can be designed to meet the specific needs of a home and is scalable for future energy needs.

For example, a customer may want to have a backup power source for essential loads, such as medical equipment, lights, tv, refrigerator, and computers. In this case, the battery bank would be sized to meet the critical load requirements and would be used as needed. A hybrid PV system can offer flexibility and scalability that are not possible with other types of PV systems.

3. Environmental Sustainability

Solar panels are increasingly popular as people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. A hybrid solar system is a great option for those who want to do their part for the environment. 

4. Reduce the Risk of Outages

A hybrid solar system is designed to provide power during grid outages. The main benefit of a hybrid solar system is that when the grid goes down due to technical errors or harsh weather conditions, the system ensures you have electricity at your property even when the grid cannot provide power.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a hybrid solar system is a great option for homeowners who are not only looking to go solar to lower their electricity bill, but to ensure your property is powered during a power outage. If you are interested in installing a hybrid solar system, be sure to do your research and find a reputable solar panel installer.

 

This article was written by Ali Bajwa from TechBullion and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Solar System Types Compared: Grid-Tied, Off-Grid, and ...

There are three types of solar panel systems: grid-tied (on-grid), off-grid, and hybrid solar systems.

Each type of system has a unique setup that affects what equipment is used, the complexity of installation, and, most crucially, your potential costs and savings.

What would be the best in your situation? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of different solar system types.

Calculate the price of a solar panel installation on your home

Grid-tied solar systems

Grid-tied systems are solar panel installations that are connected to the utility power grid. With a grid-connected system, a home can use the solar energy produced by its solar panels and electricity that comes from the utility grid. 

If the solar panels generate more electricity than a home needs, the excess is sent to the grid. In some places, a utility will purchase the solar energy sent to the grid in the form of a bill credit to offset future electricity costs thanks to a billing structure called net metering. 

You will get efficient and thoughtful service from GECONA SOLAR.

Grid-tied solar panel systems are so popular because they provide the best value for how much they cost, especially in areas with full-retail net metering. Their cost is low because they require less equipment than other solar system types. However, this also means grid-tied systems can’t keep your lights on when the power is out.

Pros
  • Cheapest home solar system

  • Less equipment

Cons
  • No backup power

See how much a grid-tied solar system can save you annually

Off-grid solar systems

An off-grid solar system is a solar panel system that has no connection to the utility grid at all. To keep a house running off-grid, you need solar panels, a significant amount of battery storage, and usually another backup power source, like a gas-powered generator.

Sometimes called standalone systems, they’re common among homeowners who don’t have access to the grid, like in rural areas or remote cabins.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of places throughout the country that the utility grid doesn’t service. Off-grid systems give these remote areas access to electricity. Being off-grid also makes you more self-reliant; you’re not beholden to a utility company, and the power is in your hands. 

But, off-grid systems are very expensive. You need a lot of battery storage to power an entire home without help from the grid, and the cost adds up. Going off-grid also requires certain lifestyle changes. You have to be very energy-conscious when you don’t have a grid with unlimited supply. Off-grid homeowners need to monitor their consumption and solar production to ensure they have the electricity needed. 

Pros
  • Provides electricity where there is no grid access

  • Self-reliant

Cons
  • Very expensive

  • Requires lifestyle changes

Hybrid solar systems

Hybrid solar systems combine the best of grid-tied and off-grid solar systems; the solar panels are attached to batteries and the utility grid. You’ll commonly see hybrid solar systems referred to as “solar-plus-storage” systems. 

Solar-plus-storage systems are popular in areas that experience frequent grid failures or in places that don’t have full-retail net metering. Without a battery, solar panels can't run your home when the power goes out. Batteries also allow you to rely less on the grid by using stored energy when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity. This also maximizes the amount of clean energy your home uses! 

Plus, batteries can even save a bit more money if you don't have access full retail net metering. However, the high upfront cost of batteries means they often don't pencil out financially.

Here are some of the pros and cons of installing a hybrid solar-plus-storage system

Pros
  • Provide backup power

  • Increase energy independence

  • Can potentially save more money on electricity bills

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not always the right financial choice

How to pick the best solar system for you

A simple grid-tied system will usually be the best financial choice. Grid-tied systems generally provide the best return on investment because of their low upfront cost and simple system design. 

However, there are some cases where a hybrid system may make the most sense for you, especially if you experience regular power outages. If you really value energy independence and maximizing the amount of renewable energy your home uses, then a solar plus storage system could be just what you’re looking for. 

Off-grid systems are probably the least practical for everyday homeowners. But they are excellent for remote areas and may be the right choice for your mountain cabin.

The best way to figure out the right solar system for you is by contacting solar companies near you. Local solar installers will have the best understanding of the right solar system to install in your area and how you can get the most out of your solar panels. 

Find reliable solar companies near you

If you want to learn more, please visit our website hybrid solar system for home.

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