Whenever we choose solar energy power system, we consider only two options. First is on-grid and second is off-grid solar energy system. Both these systems are helpful to you in times when you have ample of sunlight. As soon as the sun is less bright, in night or in rainy seasons, these systems are not helpful and you will need other energy options.
The solution to this problem is the hybrid solar energy systems. Generally, the hybrid solar systems are the systems combining two renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind. Then, energy is generated through solar on sunny days and when there is limited sunshine but there is wind, energy can be generated through it. However, recently hybrid solar energy systems have changed their configuration. Now, they are often solar energy systems connected to batteries to store the energy that was generated.
The hybrid solar energy systems have various advantages. Let’s have a look at few of them.
1. Continuous power supply – The hybrid solar systems provide power continuously, without any interruption, as the batteries connected to them store the energy. So, when there is an electricity outage, the batteries work as inverter to provide you backup. This is also the case during the evening or night time when there is no sun and energy is not being generated; batteries provide the back-up and life goes on without any interruption.
2. Utilize the renewable sources in best way – Because the batteries are connected to the system to store the energy, there is no waste of the excess energy generated on bright sunny days. So, these systems make use of the renewable energy in best way, storing energy on a good day and utilize the stored power on a bad day. The balance is maintained.
3. Low maintenance cost – The maintenance cost of the hybrid solar energy systems is low as compared to the traditional generators which use diesel as fuel. No fuel is used and they do not require frequent servicing.
4. High efficiency – The hybrid solar energy systems work more efficiently than your traditional generators which waste the fuel under certain conditions. Hybrid solar systems work efficiently in all types of conditions without wasting the fuel.
5. Load management – Unlike traditional generators, which provide high power as soon as they turned on, most of hybrid solar power systems manage load accordingly. A hybrid solar system may have technology that adjusts the energy supply according to the devices they are connected to, whether it’s an air conditioner requiring high power or a fan which requires less.
Like all things, hybrid solar energy systems also have few disadvantages. Let’s have a look at them:
1. Complicated controlling process – With different types of energy sources in use, the systems require some knowledge. The operation of different energy sources, their interaction and co-ordination must be controlled and it can become complicated.
2. High installation cost – Although the maintenance cost is low, the initial investment for the installation of a hybrid solar energy systems is high as compared to a solar systems.
3. Less battery life – The batteries connected to the system may have a lower life as they are often exposed to natural elements like heat, rain, etc.
4. The number of instruments connectable is limited – The number of devices you can connect to a hybrid solar energy system is limited and vary from system to system.
With this advantages and disadvantages, the hybrid solar energy systems are becoming popular around the world and are being installed for homes and offices. So, they are a good consideration.
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This post originally appeared on the SunPower Resources Blog