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Hybrid solar inverter

A hybrid solar inverter is a type of solar inverter for alternative energy. The main function of such an inverter is to convert direct current (DC) received from solar panels, wind turbines or mini hydroelectric power plants into alternating current (AC), and then supply it to the electrical network of the house, batteries, and the stationary network in the required voltage supply mode.

Between themselves, hybrid inverters differ in power and number of phases. Moreover, these parameters directly depend on the total power of the same solar panels. Single-phase inverters are usually used at low powers in the range of 300-5000W, while three-phase inverters are used at higher 3000-30000W.

The principle of operation of a hybrid inverter.

The principle of operation of a hybrid inverter can be divided into 3 subgroups, because each is characterized by the performance of different functions:

  • Solar energy, falling on the photocell, is transformed into electrical energy and fed to the inverter to adapt to the parameters of the household network. Further, the hybrid inverter feeds the household network, charges the batteries and, when fully charged, begins to dump excess generated electricity into the stationary power grid at a feed-in tariff.
  • In the evening. Depending on the set mode, the inverter powers the house from batteries or from the mains.
  • In the absence of electricity, the hybrid inverter provides electricity from the battery or from photovoltaic cells, depending on the time of day and weather.

Principle of operation and main types.

Hybrid models are considered the most advanced among solar inverters, as they combine the functions of autonomous and network converters. On the one hand, they are able to synchronize work with an external power grid and give back the excess generated electricity. On the other hand, such devices can work separately. In the event of a lack of voltage in the general electrical network, they use the energy stored in the battery to power consumers. A variety of sources are suitable for charging batteries: photo panels, wind, diesel or gasoline generators, and an external network.

By functionality, hybrids are conditionally divided into three categories:

 

  • UPS models. The presence of a built-in charge controller allows such units to power the consumer from an external power supply and simultaneously charge the battery from various sources, including photo modules. In the absence of a network, energy is supplied from batteries and solar panels. When the battery is critically discharged, the converter turns off the power until the network is restored.
  • Models with AC/DC priority selection function. In DC mode, solar panels serve as the main power source. If the power of photomodules is not enough, the battery discharge starts. With a critical discharge, a transition to power from an external power supply occurs. In AC mode, the device operates on the same principle as the UPS.
  • Models with mixing function. These converters use the energy of solar panels to the maximum, and the missing electricity is obtained from the general network or battery. At high loads, the inverter briefly activates all energy sources at once.

Differences of a hybrid inverter from a network and autonomous.

In order to understand the differences, let’s briefly get acquainted with the principle of operation and the capabilities that each of the inverters gives us:

The grid inverter converts the generated electricity and supplies it directly to the grid without the possibility of connecting batteries. Its use is justified in the presence of a stable power supply, as well as to make a profit by selling electricity to the grid at a feed-in tariff.

 

An autonomous inverter during the day feeds the household network and charges the batteries, and in the evening it switches to battery power mode. When the battery is discharged, the power comes from a stationary network, and in its absence, a gasoline or diesel generator. It is used in places where there is no supply of a fixed network, in the presence of interruptions in the power supply, for complete independence from the power supply.

A hybrid inverter differs from a networked and autonomous inverter by having the functions of both. At the same time, these functions perfectly interact with each other and expand the range of feasible tasks.

 

Advantages of using hybrid inverters compared to grid and stand-alone:

  • The ability to charge batteries and use their energy at night (not available for grid inverters)
  • Programming modes of consumption, accumulation and discharge of electricity
  • The possibility of powering the household network mainly with an alternative energy source with mixing from the stationary network
  • Supply of generated electricity to the grid at a feed-in tariff (not available for autonomous inverters)
  • Independence from the fixed grid (not available for grid inverters)
  • In the event of a voltage drop in the network (as we often do in the evening), the battery-inverter complex stabilizes the voltage to the desired parameters.

Features to look out for when buying:

  • rated and peak power;
  • presence / absence of a charge controller;
  • the current of the charger, if any;
  • output signal shape;
  • the presence / absence of sleep mode.

The choice of inverter largely depends on the purposes for which the photovoltaic system is being created. That is why, before buying, it is advisable to consult with specialists who understand the intricacies of the operation of converters.