Overview

The hybrid solar energy system integrates on-grid and off-grid solar energy systems into one system. In simple terms, it’s a solar power system that’s connected to the power grid and also has a battery backup. It has the advantage of storing energy in the battery when the solar panel is at its most efficient and retrieving it during peak nighttime hours when electricity rates are high or in the event of a grid failure. In addition, one can sell excess energy created to the power grid and be compensated for it.

In principle, the hybrid system works similarly to an off-grid system. But, after charging the batteries and meeting the load requirements, the hybrid system is capable of exporting the excess solar generation to the grid. Moreover, any shortfall in solar generation is compensated by importing electricity from the utility grid, e.g., to charge the batteries or power the load. The net energy is measured by a bi-directional meter based on the energy imported and exported between the system and the grid.

How It Works ?

The photovoltaic system generates direct current (DC) when solar energy in the form of photons is reflected on the solar panel. The amount of DC energy produced is determined, based on the amount of solar radiation received. This DC energy is delivered to the charge controller, which aids in the regulation of power supplied to the battery. The inverter absorbs energy from these batteries and turns it into a useful alternating current, depending on the power requirements. The wiring system distributes the generated AC energy to various loads. When the battery is fully charged, the solar panel sends the excess DC power generated by the solar panel to the utility grid through the inverter and net metre, and this power will fetch your payment from your grid office. Depending on the need, the battery’s stored energy is extracted during non-sunny days or at night.

Components

Solar Inverter

Without a solar panel, the forceful solar radiations cannot be absorbed and used in a solar energy system. Radiation from the sun in the form of photons strikes the solar panel, resulting in the generation of DC energy.

Charge Controller

This component is combined with the battery and is used to regulate the amount of charge that flows into it. The controller’s main job is to manage charge flow and prevent the battery from overcharging or undercharging, ensuring an extended battery life.

DCDB (Direct Current Distribution Box)

A DCDB (Direct Current Distribution Box) is a combiner box whose principal function is to combine many strings of solar panels into a single string. A microcircuit breaker (MCB), a fuse, and a surge protection device are all included in one box.

Alternating Current Distribution Box (ACDB)

The principal role of the Alternating Current Distribution Box (ACDB) is to safeguard the appliances from any issues that occur within the hybrid inverter. It is made up of protective appliances like a microcircuit breaker (MCB), a fuse, and a surge protection device.

Hybrid Inverter

The inverter is an important part of a solar energy system because it converts the DC energy supplied by solar panels or batteries into usable AC energy. The inverter keeps track of how much energy is expended, received, consumed, or stored in the battery, as well as how well the solar panel and battery are performing.

Batteries

In off-grid and hybrid solar systems, batteries are used to store excess energy generated during sunny days, which may then be retrieved later during cloudy weather or at night when the solar panels are unable to produce enough electricity. Rechargeable batteries, such as lithium or lead-acid batteries, are recommended for renewable energy systems.

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When to select the hybrid solar system?

It makes sense to install a hybrid solar energy system if you have situations like –

  • Low feed-in tariff: Hybrid power systems are worth installing in areas where feed-in tariffs are low. Solar panels operate at their peak throughout the day, especially around noon, but because household use of electricity is often lower during this time, the majority of the surplus energy is exported to the grid at a cheap cost per unit of electricity. However, if the solar panels do not create enough electricity in the evening, we must import it from the grid, which is more expensive than the cost gained when exported.
  • Frequent power blackouts: Installing a solar hybrid system in a location with frequent blackouts and a low feed-in-tariff rate is a reasonable option, but one must ensure that a suitable backup system is in place to run crucial loads.

Pros

  • Reduced reliance on the grid
  • Hybrid inverters include backup power capacity, ensuring that electricity is available at all times. It allows customers to use power from the grid, batteries, or solar panels, ensuring the power is uninterrupted.
  • In the event of a power cut, a hybrid solar energy system can be used as an off-grid solar energy system.
  • During days when the sun fails to come out or during peak evening hours (when tariff rates are high), stored energy can be retrieved, resulting in lower electricity bills.

Cons

  • System is little costlier compared to on-grid and off-grid because of its unique feature

FAQs

This, of course, is dependent on the user’s location and requirements. If you want to be fully independent of the grid, an off-grid system is a feasible choice. It is also an excellent option for rural places where grid access is difficult or areas with frequent power failures. However, it is necessary to ensure that the battery has sufficient storage capacity to accommodate all of the demands.

When the solar panel is unable to generate enough electricity for days and the battery is depleted due to overcast weather, a hybrid energy system is a better option. The hybrid system can switch to the grid system in this situation. A hybrid solar power system is also a more reliable solution to assure a consistent power supply by combining grid, battery, and solar if you live in an area with adequate utility grid connection (few power outages).

To answer this question, you’ll need to know the location of the installation, the power requirements, and the user’s budget. However, if you live in an area where power outages are common, hybrid solar energy systems are an important alternative to ensure constant power.

In a grid-connected or hybrid solar system, net metering is a type of solar incentive for minimising the electricity cost. The local utility provider will compensate for the extra energy exported to the local grid link, based on the state and distribution company’s policies.

Yes, a battery backup can be added to an existing system along with a compatible inverter; the quantity of batteries to be added depends on the individual requirements.

A hybrid system is an excellent way to keep your power supply under control. With solar panels and a backup battery, you could be your own energy supplier with the added security of being linked to the power grid.

Hybrid systems save money by lowering your electricity bills, making the higher initial system costs worthwhile. Instead of selling it back to your utility, your solar battery will store the majority, if not all, of the excess electricity your system produces. While net metering credits will not appear on your utility account, you will still receive the same value for your electricity.

The fact that you will be covered during adverse weather and evening use is what sets a hybrid system apart. You have a fully charged backup battery and access to grid power if you require more energy than your battery can offer, and vice versa. With a hybrid solar system, you can always stay powerful.

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