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What Is A Hybrid Solar System?

Hybrid solar systems are hybrid power systems that combine the photovoltaic system with another energy source of energy. However, the term “ hybrid solar panels” refers to solar and battery storage which is connected to the electricity grid.

What is a hybrid solar system?

Hybrid solar systems generate power in the same way as a common grid-tie solar system. The most common combinations of hybrid solar energy are:

  • Use of diesel generators. They are heat engines that use derivatives of fossil fuels. Therefore it is a non-renewable energy source.

  • Use of wind power generators. Wind power is also intermittent but it can be complemented quite well with solar.

  • Combination of photovoltaics with solar thermal. This type of hybrid system combines the two solar energy technologies in the same solar panel.

The most economical hybrid solar system uses a simple hybrid inverter which contains a solar inverter and battery inverter/charger.

Solar panels with diesel generators

A common type is a hybrid solar system combining a diesel engine with a photovoltaic system. This type combines photovoltaic (PV) and diesel solar power generators, or diesel generator sets. Because the production of photovoltaic energy has an almost marginal cost, it is treated with priority in the network.

It is often a viable option to include battery storage. The battery is helpful because of the fluctuation of solar energy and the limited range of a generator. The battery serves to optimize the contribution of the photovoltaic solar panels to the overall generation of the hybrid system.

What is an hybrid wind-solar energy system?

The best business cases for diesel reduction with solar and wind power can usually be found in remote locations. These sites are often off-grid solar systems and diesel transport over long distances is expensive. Many of these applications can be found in the mining sector and on the islands

Wind power and solar energy complement each other. Peak operating times for each system occur at different times of the day and year.

The power generation of these hybrid solar installations is more constant and fluctuates less than each of the two-component subsystems. If the grid power is accessible it can be connected to the electricity grid. In this way, it is possible to sell the excess power produced. The inconvenience is that it only can store solar energy using batteries.

Hybrid solar photovoltaic and thermal systems

These systems work combining photovoltaic cells with thermal production 

One of the problems with solar PV is that the solar panels get hot. This heat is lost energy but also causes the performance of the photovoltaic cells to drop.

A hybrid solar panel put the panel in contact with a refrigerator. However, it is much more beneficial if the heat taken from the refrigerator is stored in a thermal accumulator.

Hybrid solar panels allow generating electrical energy and thermal energy in the same solar panel. Those systems can store excess solar energy easier using thermal tanks. This type of renewable energy is ideal for single-family homes.

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Published: May 13, 2015
Last review: August 29, 2020