As a first-time owner of a solar PV system, understanding all the components needed might be challenging. Among the features required for a solar to work effectively is an inverter.
An inverter converts Direct Current (DC) provided by the solar panel into Alternating Current (AC) used to run appliances. There are different types of inverters, each with other properties. Among the standard inverters are hybrid and regular inverters.
If you are shopping for inverters for your solar PV system, you need to know more about inverters. This article will discuss the difference between a standard inverter and a hybrid inverter. We will also discuss which of the two inverters is best for different situations. Stay tuned.
Difference between hybrid inverter and standard inverter
If you own a solar PV system, an inverter is one of the vital components you might need. Inverters convert Direct current (DC) into Alternating current (AC), which is used to power appliances.
When choosing inverters for your solar PV system, you need to research the different types of inverters available in the market. This article will discuss the difference between a normal inverter and a hybrid inverter.
A typical solar inverter is a simple inverter that uses one or more strings of solar panels to power appliances. They are the commonly used inverters and are available in different sizes and capacities between 1.5kW-100kW.
A hybrid inverter is one of the latest innovations in the solar PV system world. As the name suggests, a hybrid inverter is made by combining two or more inverters to produce the most powerful device. And to make things even better, the solar panel setup that comes with a hybrid inverter does not need an external inverter. They can also be installed without solar batteries.
When normal inverters can be differentiated by size and brand, hybrid inverters come in different types, each with unique features. The four types of hybrid inverters are;
- Basic hybrid inverter
- Multi-mode hybrid inverter with battery backup
- All-in-one hybrid Energy storage system
- AC-coupled hybrid and off-grid system
The four different hybrid inverters will help you determine which inverter will work well for your setup.
Are hybrid inverters suitable?
As seen above, hybrid inverters come in four different types, each with unique features. These inverters come with some advantages that any other inverters cannot offer.
A steady supply of power batteries connected to hybrid inverters can store more backup power than can be used in a power outage.
- Hybrid inverters are low maintenance.
Since there is no fuel needed to run systems with hybrid inverters, you will take less time servicing this system.
- Come in a variety of types.
Hybrid inverters come in four different forms. Each suits a different setup.
- Utilization of free renewable solar energy
Hybrid inverters are potent devices. They, therefore, ensure the energy collected by the solar panel is used to the maximum in charging solar batteries.
Solar panel setups with hybrid inverters are more efficient than designs with other types of standard inverters.
When should we use a hybrid inverter?
A hybrid inverter is a potent device. With their unique properties, you can use this device with or without solar batteries. Hybrid inverters can also be used in systems that require 120-240V AC loads.
These inverters are flexible and can be used with or without solar panels. In some cases, some manufacturers allow these inverters to be connected to the electricity grids if you cannot afford a solar battery.
Some hybrid inverters can be connected to the home Wi-Fi, allowing remote modifications.
When should we use a standard inverter?
Normal inverters are the commonly used inverters. This device can also be used in AC loads that use 120-240V. However, you will need to choose the right size of inverter.
It would be best to connect normal inverters to a solar panel and a solar battery in most cases.
Can a hybrid inverter work without a battery?
Yes. Hybrid inverters are designed in a way you can connect them directly to the grid. The energy collected by the solar panel is converted by the inverter and stored in the grid for use when the need arises.
You can also connect appliances directly to the inverter when the sun is available.
Can normal inverter work without a battery?
Yes. You can connect normal inverters without a solar battery. However, you will need to choose the right size of inverter. If the solar panel sends more current than an inverter can handle, the inverter might get damaged permanently. You might end up losing your warranty.
If your location allows grid connection, a standard inverter can be connected to the electricity grid. The excess energy collected can be stored in the grid and used with no sun.
You might pay some electricity bills since your system switches directly to electricity use once the collected solar energy is depleted.
Does the hybrid inverter need a charge controller?
Hybrid inverters are very powerful and can operate independently without a charge controller. They can convert any power they receive from the solar panel into AC to power appliances. Hybrid inverters can also act as a backup and store energy for later use.
However, for maximum solar energy utilization and protecting the inverter and solar batteries, a powerful charge controller like the MPPT is a plus.
Does the standard inverter need a charge controller?
Normal inverters are not that powerful. They can convert DC into AC. However, they cannot store backup power.
If normal inverters are paired with a high-quality charge controller, you will have the best experience using your solar PV system.
The more people are embracing the use of solar energy. More manufacturers are coming up with the latest innovations. Inverters are some of the devices that are essential for your solar PV system. They convert DC into AC.
Hybrid inverters are the latest innovations from manufacturers. You can use hybrid inverters with or without solar batteries and solar panels.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.
2 thoughts on “Difference between a hybrid inverter and a normal inverter?”
Very helpful information. I had such a bad experience from a solar equipment dealer from Pretoria, South Africa. They sold me a wrong inverter and called me Sir when they wanted my money!! There after the inverter stopped working and they started calling by my 1st name nor Sir or Mr SIMANGO anymore. So unfortunately when we enter places selling whatever it is these days, the sales people can tell if you don’t have sufficient knowledge, so they take advantage and sell the dirty that has been sitting in their storeroom in the basement. I advise people to take time to do thorough research and fact findings in order to be armed with reliable information to avoid seeing yourselves in my situation.
Unfortunatly, that’s true for most of the time. As you said, the best cause of action is to do research before going to purchse inverters or any solar device.