What is a hybrid solar system?

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hybrid solar system installed

Opting for solar panels in your home is a big decision, and there is a lot of research that comes with making it. You need to know how many solar panels you can fit, whether your roof is suitable, how many solar panels you can afford, whether or not to get a hybrid solar system installed… The choices are endless! To help you with the last one, here’s everything you need to know about hybrid solar systems and whether a hybrid solar system is right for you.

First things first, what is a hybrid solar system?

A standard solar system uses solar panels and connects to your fuse box. A hybrid solar system, on the other hand, consists of solar panels, a hybrid inverter and a battery storage unit. As with a normal system, the solar panels in the hybrid system use solar power to create usable electricity, but with a hybrid solar system, this can be stored in the battery for later on if not needed.

How do hybrid solar systems work?

Now that you know the answer to ‘what is a hybrid solar system?‘ It’s time to explain how they work. Hybrid solar systems are a type of renewable energy system that rely on the use of photovoltaic cells (solar PV panels) to generate electricity from solar energy. The energy generated is clean, unlike that produced by fossil fuels, and can be used to power your home.

The hybrid solar system is programmed to switch the hybrid solar inverter between your solar panels, the grid’s power lines, and battery storage (excess power created by your solar panels). This means that whenever you can be, you are saving money on your energy bills by using solar power, but when you need to use electricity and there’s not a way for your hybrid solar system to use your solar panels, it will instead connect to the grid power.

What are the benefits of using a hybrid solar system?

Less power outages

One of the benefits of hybrid solar systems is that their intelligent design means that they have both on-grid and off-grid capabilities. This means that when a grid power outage occurs, you are likely to be able to use your hybrid solar system to keep using your electricity without connection to the electrical grid.

Less time connected to the grid

Your hybrid solar system will be able to manage when you are connected to the grid, meaning that you can avoid using the grid power at peak price times. This can help to save you a ton of money, which is never a bad thing!

Cost-effective

While a hybrid solar system may cost a fair amount to install (as with installing solar panels in any kind of system, hybrid system or otherwise) it is worth it in the long run. The money that a hybrid solar system can help to save you by avoiding price hikes is far more than what installing solar panels will cost you.

Flexibility

A hybrid solar system is much more flexible than non-hybrid systems. If you want to have a backup power source for certain electricals, your battery storage systems can be customised to allow for the excess energy to meet your requirements.

What are the disadvantages of a hybrid solar system?

There are not many disadvantages of a solar power hybrid system, but there are still a couple. They are:

The cost is higher

If you’re looking to install solar panels, adding a battery and a hybrid inverter will increase the price of the installation.

More complex to install

Installing solar panels is not too difficult, and can normally be done by professionals fairly easy in order to set you up with solar power. However, when you add a battery and a hybrid inverter to those solar panels to make it a hybrid system, you make it more complicated.

A hybrid solar power system will take more time and space to install, simply due to the hybrid solar system being a more complicated piece of equipment.

Batteries only last 7 to 15 years

Batteries, which are arguably the most expensive part of this renewable energy system, tend to only last around 7 to 15 years. As time goes on, this number is likely to increase, but it may be worth noting as without the battery there is nowhere to store excess power, rendering the hybrid system pointless.

Battery storage may limit electrical availability

When you’re using your excess energy stored in the battery, you may find that the battery’s capacity impacts how many items you can have on at any given time. To avoid this, consult a professional before choosing your hybrid systems.

How much do hybrid systems cost?

In the UK, the average cost of a hybrid solar panels system is around £1,200 to £6,000. The precise cost will depend on how many solar panels you need, the battery you choose and what type of solar panels you use.

Can you get solar thermal hybrid systems?

In addition to battery storage hybrid systems, you can also get hybrid systems that are referred to as solar PV-T systems. These include solar thermal panels which work to heat water in the house.

With this kind of system, you can essentially be as disconnected from the grid power as possible without being completely without energy.

These systems are also expensive, but will eventually be cost effective once you’ve had them for a few years. The added bonus of a solar PV-T system is that the thermal panels are unlikely to break and, if they do, are much easier to fix than standard solar panels!

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