The hybrid inverter is common in many renewable energy systems today. In addition to offering multiple operating modes, it combines various technologies in one device, which makes it more versatile and less costly to use. For more about this type of inverter—how it works and benefits — we suggest that you continue reading to the end. We’ll have everything about the hybrid inverter explained.
What is a Hybrid Inverter?
To start with, the hybrid inverter meaning: The hybrid inverter is defined as a type of electricity inverting device that allows the use more than one energy source. More specifically, it integrates renewable power sources — such as solar and wind turbine — with a storage system and, most often, a traditional source like the grid or standby generator. It comes equipped with the following capabilities:
- Circuits to convert DC to usable AC.
- Away of charging a storage system.
- When designed for use with the grid, it often comes with ability to charge your batteries using grid power.
- The on-grid type may also transfer your loads to the grid, via a transfer switch, or synch with the utility system to supply AC.
Most hybrid inverters today are used in solar installations. These usually come with the option to connect them to the grid, allowing you to one, export excess energy to the utility system and two, charge the storage in bad weather or at night.
What Does a Hybrid Inverter Do?
Let’s now discuss the hybrid inverter function or, in other words, how you could use this type of electrical device in your home or business energy installation. Your hybrid inverter may be one of these options when it comes to application:
- An inverting device for a system that combines solar panels (day time) and wind turbine (night time)
- An off-grid hybrid inverter for use with an array and storage system
- A hybrid inverter for solar installations that connect to the grid
Solar/Wind Hybrid Inverter
The solar/wind hybrid inverter alternates between the power provided by a PV array and wind turbine, storing it in batteries for later use. The array produces power during the day, while the turbine can produce power both during the day and night time, but not always. Since these two energy sources are not always available, the storage system ensures reliability.
On Grid Hybrid Inverter
An on grid hybrid inverter is designed to reduce your dependence on the grid. When used in a PV system, for instance, it lets you use the energy of the sun when it’s readily available, charging your batteries and, if installed alongside a net energy metering system, sending surplus energy to the grid for credits.
Off Grid Hybrid Inverter
You can use the hybrid inverter in a system that’s not connected to the utility company network. The off-grid hybrid inverter will only charge your storage for back up energy, and will not need to connect to the utility network. In this type of system, it acts as an off grid inverter.
Types of Hybrid Inverters
An electrical system can be a single phase (lower voltage) or 3-phase (higher voltage). Likewise, your hybrid inverter is either a single or three phase device: more about the single phase hybrid inverter and the three phase hybrid inverter below, including when to use what type.
Single Phase Hybrid Inverter
These types of hybrid inverters work with single phase electric systems. So they typically suit residential power installations where voltage and current needs are low. Less complex and rated low for both current and voltage, these types of hybrid inverters are the most common.
3 Phase Hybrid Inverter
The three phase hybrid inverter is designed for use with three phase systems. These are normally found in commercial and industrial settings where heavy-duty electrical equipment is used, and operate on higher voltage levels than the single phase types.
How Does a Hybrid Inverter Work?
A hybrid inverter is meant to let you use renewable power sources with energy storage systems. Most often, it also lets you use the renewable source and storage with the grid or backup generator. So, how do hybrid inverters work?
How a Hybrid Inverter Works
Inside the hybrid inverter, several circuits and electrical components work hand in hand to ensure the required functions. These include converting DC to AC and vice versa, monitoring the utility company power and that of the primary source, and so on.
More importantly, your hybrid inverter system is able to intelligently alternate between two or more energy sources a storage unit such as battery bank. This ensures power reliability with only a single inverting device.
Hybrid vs. Normal Inverter
Advantages of Hybrid Inverter
Hybrid inverters are becoming common in many homes and even commercial places, owing to their versatility and other benefits. The advantages of hybrid inverter systems include the following.
- It’s more versatile, allowing you greater flexibility in your energy system
- It ensures an optimal utilization of your renewable energy source while also reducing your reliance on the traditional source
- By incorporating the working modes of different inverters in one device, the hybrid inverter provides for a less costly inverting option.
Before choosing a hybrid inverter for solar system or any other power generation system, you probably have many questions that you may want answered. So here, we selected (and answered), the most asked questions about hybrid inverters.
Can a Hybrid Inverter Work Without Grid?
It can. A hybrid inverter with battery and no grid connection will only charge your storage system and not send any power to the utility’s power system. This situation is mostly seen in remote regions where grid power is non-existent or regions that experience outages more frequently.
Can a Hybrid Inverter Work Without Battery?
Despite being meant to work with storage systems, hybrid inverters can still work without batteries. Using a hybrid inverter without battery storage makes it function like the grid tie type, directly powering your loads during the day and exporting surplus power to the utility system.
Does a Hybrid Inverter Need Charge Controller?
It does. Because of its specialized use with a storage system, it typically requires a charge controller installed. Using a hybrid inverter with charge controller systems serves to control the charging voltage and current, ensuring optimal charging and extending the life of the storage system.
What is the Best Hybrid Inverter?
The “best” hybrid inverter is one that fits your power system rating or size, budget, and comes with the desired features to ensure its proper performance and efficiency. Therefore, our advice is that you compare the available options before taking that important decision to acquire one.
The hybrid inverter for your solar and wind or other power source is a versatile device for your hybrid energy system. Using one, you get to charge your storage batteries while ensuring excess power gets sent to the grid for example, for example. Most commonly, it allows you ensure a reliable energy system by combining a storage system with solar power and the grid using one single device.