Hybrid is defined as a having two different types of components performing essentially the same function. In residential solar applications, a hybrid inverter combines the work of a grid-tied inverter and battery inverter. The hybrid inverter increases energy resilience by providing back-up power in case of a grid outage and maximizes energy independence through self-consumption. Installations that use hybrid inverters are most commonly grid-tied, DC-coupled photovoltaic systems.
For homeowners, use of a hybrid inverter provides two advantages over an AC coupled storage system. First, homeowners who are uncertain they want storage at the time of installation can opt to use a hybrid inverter initially and add batteries to the system at a later date. Second, hybrid inverters allow for centralized monitoring of the solar array. Centralized monitoring is desirable as homeowners only have to check on one portal to understand how much energy their modules are producing and how the batteries are performing. In contrast, AC coupled systems require the use of multiple inverters and different manufacturers have different monitoring platforms which makes it more difficult for homeowners to analyze the performance of their solar array. To retrofit existing solar arrays with storage, AC coupling is still best practice as the homeowner already has a grid-tied inverter in place.
Two of the leading hybrid inverter solutions on the market today include the SolarEdge StorEdge solution and the Outback Skybox Solution.
SolarEdge StorEdge Solution
The StorEdge manages and monitors module level photovoltaic production and energy storage. This system allows for remote monitoring of PV production, self-consumption data, battery energy levels and remaining hours of backup power. It is compatible with the LG Chem RESU battery (available now!). For more information, specifications are accessible HERE.
Outback Skybox Solution
The Outback Skybox eliminates the need for external charge controllers and communication boxes streamlining installation time and lowering cost. It is rated at 600V allowing for long strings of modules. The Skybox is compatible with most 48V battery chemistries. For more information, check out the specifications HERE.
For more information on solar+storage visit our webpage or get in touch with your CivicSolar Account Manager.