Hybrid Inverters and Their Uses
Inverters have long been in use ever since technology has seen different stages of advancement. For lay people who are not familiar with electronic terminologies, an inverter is a power electronic device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). It’s one of the most important parts of a solar energy system that converts the energy generated by the solar panel to alternating current electricity. The conversion from DC to AC makes it possible for the electrical grid to supply that electricity to electrical appliances.
What are Hybrid Inverters & What is Their Purpose?
A unique variation of inverters is the hybrid inverter, that allows excess solar energy to store in a battery system. The stored energy can be used as backup for self-use in case a blackout occurs. The energy that a solar panel gets directly from the sun is stored as direct current or what we refer to as DC. Later, DC is converted to alternating current or AC and supplied to the entire system of appliances whether it’s installed in a house or anywhere else. To be precise, all solar systems and battery systems need an inverter as the direct current cannot be directly supplied to the appliances and needs to be converted into AC, which is why inverters are integral to solar systems.
Now, how do we differentiate an inverter from a hybrid inverter? Simply put, a hybrid inverter is the one that provides battery storage off-grid and is a much more complex system than the ordinary solar inverter. The primary distinction is that the hybrid inverter uses both the solar panel as well as battery storage whereas, a normal solar inverter functions without a battery. A hybrid inverter, on the other hand, stores excess solar energy that it gathers during the day and can be used later when the solar panel is not actively generating electricity from the sun. The hybrid inverter is used to increase self-sufficiency as it does works even when there is no direct sunlight; all thanks to the batteries.
How do Hybrid Inverters Work?
Now that we have understood the basic function of a hybrid inverter, let us look into how it works. The first thing you need to do in order to make your hybrid inverter operative is to power your main and essential loads with the solar panel. The next important step is to charge batteries so that you have backup power for your essentials. Once the batteries are charged, the next thing to look after is to export the excess power to the grid and supplement the energy with battery storage. Once your system is in order and is fully functional, there are different modes on which a hybrid inverter can work. It can take heavy loads such as geysers, cooling and heating, stove and oven, lawn mower, pool pump and pond pumps etc. As for the essential backups that a hybrid inverter is able to help with include lights, TV, laptops and PC, modem and Wi-Fi, fridges, and other small appliances. In case of grid failure or when on back up mode at night, the inverter supplies stored energy from the battery to the household appliances that do not consist heavy load yet, still provide electricity to the commonly used household appliances.
Typical Causes of Repair or Replacement
Although inverters are efficient enough to avoid minor inconveniences, there are certain reasons why inverters sometimes fail and require repair or replacement. Some of the main reasons of inverter failure and inadequacy are:
- If the system is struck by lightning, it can cause damage to the inverter and hinder its function.
- Excessive heat may result in inverter failure and a need to replace it with a new one.
- Faulty solar wiring can also lead to failure of a hybrid inverter leading to repair or replacement.
- Ageing of the internal components of an inverter is another reason why they fail to function properly after a long time and need to be replaced.
These are the typical causes that any inverter fails to work proficiently. In any of these cases, the best thing is to get the inverter checked for repair and if that option is not viable, a new inverter must be replaced so that the entire system can continue to work without further damage to the system.
Comparison and Contrast between Different Hybrid Inverters
To distinguish between some of the most competitive hybrid inverters, we discuss Growatt hybrid inverter, Fronius hybrid inverter, and Deye hybrid inverter to establish the basic similarities and differences among the three.
- Growatt Hybrid Inverter: Also known as single-phase hybrid inverter, the Growatt SPH5000 is self-sufficiency friendly inverter ideal for newly installed storage. It can be used for increased sufficiency at home or in your office. The inverter has an emergency power output and a maximum output of 4999 watts. It can operate with or without battery, and is not affected in case of a network failure. An easy to use, compact in design, safe and reliable inverter, Growatt can be your best investment that can save you loads of energy and money at the same time.
- Fronius Hybrid Inverter: This is also a backup inverter, designed according to the needs of consumers’ primary requirements. With built in Wi-Fi and an efficiency of 97.6%, Fronius hybrid inverter is most likely to meet your needs, be it your home or your workplace.
- Deye Hybrid Inverter: Last but not the least, the grid-interactive Deye hybrid inverters come in different phases of 3kW/3.6kW/5kW/8kW as well as 8kW/10kW/12kW. These inverters claim to have solar energy storage system that is more reliable in comparison to high voltage battery system. The inverter also prevents blackouts in case of disconnection of the surplus power and switches the electricity immediately to where the system requires it most.
Hybrid inverters have certainly proved to be of great value when it comes to generating electricity through solar panels. What makes them much more efficient is their capacity to store excess energy and supply that energy to the appliances later on whenever there is a need. These inverters come in a number of varieties and can be used according to each consumer’s specific needs.
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