Hybrid Solar Inverter vs off Grid Inverter: Who Is More Suitable for Solar System - SHIELDEN

Hybrid Solar Inverter vs off Grid Inverter: Who Is More Suitable for Solar System

An inverter is an essential component of a solar system that is responsible for converting solar energy into electricity that we can use. There are a variety of inverters available in the US market, including grid-tie inverters, off-grid inverters, and hybrid inverters. Choosing the right solar inverter needs to be based on your solar installation and energy needs.

Grid-tied inverters are directly connected to the grid, while off-grid inverters are completely independent, and they draw their energy from the batteries charged by the solar panels. The main advantage of off-grid inverters is that they continue to operate even in the event of a grid failure, which is why they are also known as standalone inverters. Hybrid inverters combine the features of both types of inverters and are able to manage the energy from the solar panels, the batteries and the grid at the same time.

What is a hybrid inverter?

Hybrid inverters, also known as multi-mode inverters, are devices that integrate the functions of a solar inverter and a battery inverter. They provide the flexibility to switch between solar, battery and grid, thus optimizing the use of energy. Hybrid inverters are particularly suitable for areas with frequent power outages or grid instability, as they can provide an uninterrupted power supply in the event of a grid failure.

Differences between hybrid inverters and off-grid inverters

The main difference between hybrid inverters and off-grid inverters is that hybrid inverters feed power back into the grid and have built-in battery storage, which means they can be used as a back-up power source in the event of a grid outage. Off-grid inverters, on the other hand, are completely independent and do not synchronize with the grid or feed power back into it.

Advantages of hybrid vs. off-grid inverters

The benefits of hybrid inverters include the ability to draw additional power from the grid when there is not enough solar energy to support the load, and to provide backup power in the event of a grid failure. They also maximize the use of solar energy on sunny days, ensuring efficient use of renewable resources. Hybrid inverters typically do not require frequent maintenance and have low maintenance costs.

However, integrating hybrid inverters into an existing solar system may require expensive modifications to the entire system. In addition, hybrid inverters have relatively high initial installation costs and not all types of batteries are compatible with hybrid inverters.

In contrast, off-grid inverters are less costly, but they are unable to provide power in the event of a grid outage, which can result in insufficient power in the absence of sunlight.

Another advantage of hybrid inverters is that they can be programmed to operate in different modes, such as grid-connected, hybrid, and standby modes, as well as off-grid modes, which enable hybrid inverters to provide power in different situations. Many hybrid inverters also integrate performance monitoring, charging control, and bi-directional AC-DC inverter functionality, providing more functionality at a lower cost. Additionally, hybrid inverters support mobile app cloud monitoring, allowing users to remotely track system output and receive notifications.

Choosing the right inverter for different situations

Reliability and stability of the grid

If the grid fails or fluctuates frequently, then a hybrid inverter can provide better protection because it can automatically switch to off-grid mode when the grid goes down and continue to supply power to the load. If the grid is stable, then an off-grid inverter can also meet the demand, provided there are enough storage batteries and generating capacity.

Grid prices and policies

If there is a difference between high and low peak hour prices on the grid, or if there are subsidy policies that encourage grid-connected generation, then the hybrid inverter can save money or increase revenue by utilizing an economic model that enables charging during low price hours and selling power during high price hours. If the grid is more evenly priced, or if there are no incentives for grid-connected generation, then off-grid inverters can also achieve self-sufficiency.

Type and demand of load

If the load is some equipment that requires high voltage fluctuation or needs 24-hour uninterrupted power supply, then the hybrid inverter can provide better voltage quality and reliability, because it can automatically adjust the output voltage and frequency according to the load changes, as well as balance the power between the grid and the storage battery. If the load is a device that requires less voltage fluctuation, or only needs to be powered during the day, then an off-grid inverter can also fulfill the needs, as long as there is enough generating capacity and storage batteries.

Back to blog