Some solar energy enthusiasts are drawn to the concept of being totally disconnected from the grid. However, there are additional advantages to keeping a grid connection and purchasing a battery backup system.
If your solar battery runs out of power while you are linked to the grid, you may rely on it to provide backup power. Through net metering, you can also sell any excess electricity to your utility provider.
We will discuss what a hybrid solar PV system is, the finest solar batteries, and whether hybrid systems are superior to off-grid systems in this blog. To find out if a hybrid system is the best renewable energy source for your electrical needs, continue reading.
What is a hybrid solar system?
After installing solar panels, you must convert the energy they produce into power for your home. You may do this in a few different ways: you can use a hybrid system or stay linked to the grid.
When your solar panels are part of a hybrid system, they are still hooked up to the grid’s power cables and have a backup battery system to store extra energy. Solar panels use an inverter to convert the solar energy they absorb into useful electricity. Electricity either travels to your house, your batteries, or the grid from that point.
You will always have power with a hybrid solar system, which is an advantage. The extra energy that your solar panels produce but that your home does not utilize will be saved in the backup battery. Then, when the sun is not shining, you will have power from this battery during the night, power outages, or bad weather.
When using a hybrid solar system, you have the option to connect to the electrical grid if your battery runs out of electricity.
In order to power your home, a hybrid solar system transfers solar energy to your inverter first. Your home battery stores any excess energy that is not needed to power your house.
In the absence of energy production from your solar panels, this battery can power your home. If there is any energy left over after all of these stages, it is transmitted to the grid.
How much does a hybrid system cost?
Most American homes may be powered by a 6kW solar system, which on average costs $12,600 in August 2022 once the federal tax credit is taken into account. The price of a solar panel system will vary depending on your home state, the cost of a contractor, and how much energy your home consumes.
The backup battery for hybrid solar systems is what raises the cost. Battery replacement is usually necessary every ten years and can cost up to $8,000.
The choice of whether your peace of mind outweighs the cost will ultimately be yours, but having a backup battery assures that your home will always have power.
What batteries are best for hybrid solar systems?
Although solar lead acid batteries are expensive, their costs have decreased recently.
The solar batteries from Panasonic and Sunpower are the best values and have received favorable reviews from customers.
- Panasonic EverVolt -For use during off-peak hours, the AC-Coupled home battery storage option may store energy ranging from 11.4 to 17.1 kWh. This ought to be sufficient to supply electricity for up to a whole day. Additionally, Panasonic provides a 10-year battery warranty.
- Sunpower Equinox – The Sunpower Equinox battery has a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty and can store 13kWh to 26kWh of energy.
In addition to batteries from Panasonic and Sunpower, there is also the enduringly well-liked Tesla Powerwall. The 14kW storage capacity of the Tesla Powerwall, which is roughly half of the daily average electricity use for American homes, sets it apart from its rivals.
Furthermore, Powerwalls can utilise the entire amount of energy in the battery without endangering the battery itself. Tesla Powerwalls are long-lasting and keep your lights on round-the-clock.
The ideal battery for your system can be suggested by a professional installation if you hire one.
Is installing a hybrid solar system better than going completely off-grid?
As opposed to a hybrid solar system, which may draw electricity from both the battery and the grid, when you are fully off the grid, you will only have a backup battery to maintain your energy demand.
If you desire complete control over your power generation, an off-grid solar system can be appealing. However, you must be very careful with energy management and your power use to ensure that your backup battery never runs out of electricity.
If you have a hybrid solar energy system, the grid connection will help provide electricity until you can start producing your own again if you use up all of your saved battery power or there is bad weather for a few days and your solar panels do not get enough energy.
You might lose electricity during a snowfall or hurricane without this backup plan.
Is there a hybrid solar system DIY kit?
Although it is possible to install solar panels yourself, there isn’t a “DIY kit” specifically for a hybrid solar system.
You would have to do your own research and shopping for the solar installation’s components. Fortunately, organizations like Grape Solar make this simple. To create a hybrid system, you must additionally DIY-install a solar battery in addition to your solar panels.
Even while you may potentially save some money by installing solar panels yourself, it makes more sense to hire specialists who can take care of permits, inspections, and sizing the system to fit your energy needs.
In the end, there are more disadvantages to installing your own solar system than advantages, particularly when you take into account the possibility of losing out on certain incentives and causing damage to your roof, among other things.
You will need the following if you decide to install solar panels yourself:
- Solar panels: You’ll need about 14-36 panels, depending on your energy use and efficiency of the panels
- Racking and mounting: There are different types to choose from and will vary based on your roof pitch and other factors
- Solar grid-tied inverter: This converts the DC electricity to AC electricity to be both usable for the house and grid
- Electrical wiring: This transfers power from the solar panels to the hybrid inverter and then to the home, battery storage, or net meter
- Solar battery bank: Stores excess electricity for your home and is what makes a hybrid system different from simply grid-tied systems
Benefits of a hybrid solar system – is it worth it?
Utilizing a hybrid system is a fantastic approach to manage your power supply. With solar panels and a backup battery, you have the tools you need to become your own energy supplier, with the added security of being wired into the power grid.
By lowering your electricity expenses, hybrid systems will help you save money, making the higher initial system costs worthwhile. The majority, if not all, of the extra energy that your system produces will be stored by your solar battery rather than being returned to your utility. You are still receiving the same value for your electricity even though those net metering credits won’t appear on your utility bill. If your utility doesn’t provide complete retail net metering, a hybrid system can even result in more savings!
The fact that you will be protected during adverse weather and nighttime use is what distinguishes a hybrid system. If you require more power than your backup battery can offer, you have access to the grid and a full backup battery.
The greatest approach to ensure you never run out of power is with hybrid solar systems.
Does a hybrid system make sense for you?
It is a terrific alternative to guarantee that your home continually uses solar electricity if you can afford to install solar panels along with a backup battery.
Connecting to the grid will increase your stability, and you can still save money by generating your own electricity. A grid-connected solar system can serve as a compromise if the expense of a backup battery is prohibitive.
Whatever you decide, though, setting up solar panels is a terrific way to cut costs and guarantee your own energy independence.