What Is A Hybrid Solar System?

In this article, you will get introduced to the hybrid solar system, Benefits, cons of how we going to store this power and so on.

Solar Panel History

In 1839 Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which explains how electricity can be generated from sunlight.

He claimed that “shining light on an electrode submerged in a conductive solution would create an electric current.”

Over 100 years later, in 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell, shortly after the invention of the transistor.

How Solar Panels Work

Light (photons) striking certain compounds, in particular, metals, causes the surface of the material to emit electrons.

Light striking other compounds causes the material to accept electrons.

It is the combination of these two compounds that can cause electrons to flow through a conductor.

Thereby creating electricity. This phenomenon is what we term the photo-electric effect.

Photovoltaic (or PV) means sunlight converting into a flow of electrons (electricity).

A useful characteristic of solar photovoltaic power generation is that any scale of the installation is possible.

Compare this to conventional forms of power generation that require large scale plant and maintenance.

Solar panels allow you to generate power close to the place of consumption.

This removes the need to transport and distribute electricity over long distances to remote areas.

When Was Solar Energy First Used?

In theory, solar energy was used by humans as early as 7th century B.C. when history tells us that humans used sunlight to light fires with magnifying glass materials.

Later, in the 3rd century B.C., the Greeks and Romans were known to harness solar power with mirrors to light torches for religious ceremonies.

These mirrors became a normalized tool referred to as “burning mirrors.” Chinese civilization documented the use of mirrors for the same purpose later in 20 A.D.

Some of the iconic Roman bathhouses, typically those situated on the south-facing side of buildings, were sunrooms.

Later in the 1200s A.D., ancestors to the Pueblo Native Americans known as the Anasazi situated themselves in south-facing abodes on cliffs to capture the sun’s warmth during cold winter months.

In the late 1700s and 1800s, researchers and scientists had success using sunlight to power ovens for long voyages.

They also harnessed the power of the sun to produce solar-powered steamboats.

Ultimately, it’s clear that even thousands of years before the era of solar panels, the concept of manipulating the power of the sun was a common practice.

What Is A Hybrid Solar System?

Hybrid solar systems generate power in the same way as the common grid-tied solar system but the main difference is that they use batteries to store energy for later use.

This ability to store energy enables most hybrid systems to also operate as a backup power supply during a blackout, similar to The UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply).

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Solar Energy

Is that energy which it gets by the radiation of the sun?

Solar energy is present on the earth continuously and in an abundant manner.

Solar energy is freely available, it doesn’t produce any gases that mean it is pollution free.

It is affordable in cost. It has a low maintenance cost.

The only problem with the solar system it cannot produce energy in bad weather condition however it has greater efficiency than other energy sources, it only needs initial investment. It has a long life span and has lower emission.

The best thing about hybrid solar systems is that they store solar energy and low-cost electricity.

And there are many Advantages of having hybrid solar systems for your house:

The use of solar energy at peak usage times is made possible.

They can be used for advanced energy management.

Enables energy independence.

It is a great way to reduce power consumption from the grid.

How it Works

The solar panel is used to convert solar radiation to electrical energy.

A solar inverter then converts the DC power into AC power which can be used to run home appliances.

Depending on the type of system excess solar energy can also be fed into the electricity grid or stored in a battery system.

Photovoltaic (PV) System

A photovoltaic diesel hybrid system ordinarily consists of a PV system, diesel gensets, and intelligent management to ensure that the amount of solar energy fed into the system exactly matches the demand at that time.

The PV system can supply additional energy when loads are high or relieve the genset to minimize its fuel consumption.

Excess energy from the PV panels is stored in batteries.

When solar irradiation is insufficient or energy is needed after dark, the storage battery supplies the required energy, ensuring optimal hybrid system operation.

Storing Energy

On storing the energy, the following points explain briefly what use do to this is and how it is done:

Why store solar energy in a battery?

We have to choose battery bank size per the load requirement so that it should fulfill the requirement of load for calculating the battery bank size we need to find

Following data:

  1. Find total daily use in watt-hour (W/H).
  2. Find total back up time of the battery

For the increase in battery bank size, we need to connect cell in series so that we can get the larger battery bank size.

Inverter:

We have to choose a greater rating inverter than the desired rating.T he pure sign wave inverter is recommended in other to prolong the lifespan of the inverter.

The inverter needs to convert DC power into AC power. As our load working on the AC supply so we need to convert DC power.

The input voltage Output voltage and frequency, and overall power handling depends on the design of the specific device or the circuitry.

The inverter does not produce any power. The power is provided by the DC source.

Types of Solar Systems:

There are many different types of solar systems.

1- Grid-Tied Solar Systems:

Grid-tied, on-grid, utility-interactive, grid intertie and grid back feeding are all terms used to describe the same concept – a solar system that is connected to the utility power grid.

2- Off-Grid Solar Systems:

The off-grid solar system (off-the-grid, standalone) is the obvious alternative to one that is grid-tied. For homeowners that have access to the grid

3- Hybrid Solar Systems:

Hybrid solar systems combine the best from grid-tied and off-grid solar systems. These systems can either be described as off-grid solar with utility backup power, or grid-tied solar with extra battery storage.

Quick comparison between the pros and cons of the Hybrid Solar Systems:

Pros of Hybrid Solar Systems

Cons of Hybrid Solar Systems

· Less expensive than off-gird solar systems.· The high price of batteries, Longer payback time – Higher return on investment
· They allow using of solar energy during the peak times.·  More complex installation requires more room and higher install cost.
· Solar hybrid enables the advanced management of energy.· Battery life of solar hybrid is mainly 7-15 years.
· It also enables energy independence.·  Backup power may limit how many appliances you can run at the same time (depending on the type of hybrid inverter and its capability)
· It reduces the power consumption from the grid.
· Enables advanced energy management

There are three main types of Hybrid Solar Systems, and they are as follows:

1- All-In-One Hybrid Inverter/Systems:

The most economical hybrid solar system uses an all-in-one hybrid inverter which contains a solar inverter and battery inverter/charger together with clever controls that determine the most efficient use of your available energy.

The hybrid system is basically a hybrid inverter together with a lithium battery in one complete package.

Most appliance there are many capabilities and features which differentiate the great variety of hybrid systems.

2- All-in-one inverter (no back-up):

It works like a grid feed solar inverter which enables the storage of solar energy in the battery system for the self-use.

The main disadvantage of this inverter is that it not contain any grid isolation device.

The main disadvantage of this type of Inverter is that does not contain a grid isolation device which means it cannot supply power when there is a blackout (commonly known as an uninterruptible power supply or UPS function).

Although if grid stability is not an issue then this simple hybrid inverter would be a good economical choice.

3- All-in-one inverter with back-up (UPS)

It is a more advanced all-in-one hybrid inverter that has back-up power capability either built-in or as a separate add-on unit.

Under normal operation, it can supply power to the home (designated power circuits), charge the batteries and excess power can be fed into the grid.

If there is a grid or blackout become unstable, it will automatically switch over to battery supply and continue to operate independently from the electricity grid.

Most Well-Respected Hybrid Solar Companies

In the United States: Sunpower

This California-based company produces the most efficient, durable, and aesthetic solar panels available. They offer the best warranty in the industry—a 25-year combined power performance and product warranty. Maximize your power and savings potential with SunPower.

In Germany: Solar World

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SolarWorld produces more American-made panels than any other manufacturer and offers power performance warranties of 25- or 30-years. Its panels perform at or above their nominal power rating even in the harshest of conditions, from heavy snow accumulation to high heat.

In Canada: Canadian Solar 

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Canadian Solar is one of the most established manufacturers in its industry. Their CS6P line of solar panels have the highest PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) performance in their class. Due to competitive prices, this brand offers the fastest ROI at the lowest monthly payment.

Equipment of Hybrid Solar Systems:

There are some popular and very important equipment used, based on the following components:

  • Solar panels
  • Charge Controller
  • Battery Bank
  • DC Disconnect (additional)
  • Battery-Based Grid-Tie Inverter
  • Power Meter

1. Solar Panels

There are two main types of crystalline silicon modules that are mass-produced on the market today

  1. Monocrystalline modules are made from cutting slices off a solid crystal wafer.
  2. Polycrystalline modules are made from pouring molten silicon into a rack and letting it cool.

2. Solar Charge Controller

A charge controller or charge regulator is basically a voltage and/or current regulator to keep batteries from overcharging.

It regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels going to the battery.

Most “12-volt” panels put out about 16 to 20 volts, so if there is no regulation the batteries will be damaged from overcharging. Most batteries need around 14 to 14.5 volts to get fully charged.

3. Solar Battery Bank

A solar battery is simply a battery charged with energy from solar panels.

There are lots of types of it like:

  • Lead acid
  • Lithium-ion
  • Saltwater, Etc…)

4- Solar DC Disconnect

The PV array electricity flow can be safely interrupted by DC disconnection. During those infrequent occasions when maintenance is performed on the system, this is an essential component.

A DC disconnect houses an electrical switch (breaker) rated for DC circuits.

5- Battery-Based Grid-Tie Inverter

A grid-tied inverter converts the DC voltage from the solar array into AC voltage that can be either used right away or exported to the utility grid.

As a rule, grid-tied inverters without battery backup are highly efficient and straightforward to install. A grid-tied inverter only operates when the utility is on.

6- Solar Power Meter

Solar meters can refer to pyranometers, which are used to measure solar radiation flux density (W/m2), or devices used to measure the kWh production from a PV system.

Solar meters collect PV yield production and local energy consumption to monitor and analyze PV plant performance.

Solar meters often come with a monitoring function to alert plant owners of issues with PV plant performance, letting them quickly resolve issues and maximize return on investment.

Plant data is transferred to a monitoring platform that provides a concise presentation of PV yields, monetary savings and plant performance.

Summary

Hybrid solar

Systems generate power in the same way as the common grid-tied solar system but the main difference is that they use batteries to store energy for later use.

We have to choose battery bank size per the load requirement so that it should fulfill the requirement of load for calculating the battery bank size we need to find

Types of the solar system:

  1. Grid-Tied Solar Systems:
  2. Off-Grid Solar Systems:
  3. Hybrid Solar Systems:

Solar Hybrid Pros

Less expensive than off-gird solar systems enables the advanced management of energy, It also enables energy independence and reduces the power consumption from the grid.

Solar Hybrid cons

In this, cost is higher than the grid-feed solar which mainly due to the high price of batteries, installation is much more complex and battery life of solar hybrid is mainly 7-15 years.

Types of Hybrid Solar Systems

All-In-One Hybrid Inverter/Systems, All-in-one inverter (no back-up) and All-in-one inverter with back-up

Equipment of hybrid solar systems

  • Solar panels
  • Charge Controller
  • Battery Bank
  • DC Disconnect (additional)
  • Battery-Based Grid-Tie Inverter
  • Power Meter

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