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Hybrid inverters vs Solar only inverters

What are the differences, in regard to the role they play in a energy market ?

There are ‘Solar-specific’ inverters and ‘Hybrid’ inverters that are also called Off-Grid, Bi-directional or multi-powered inverters.

Solar Only inverters are designed to Only work with converting Solar DC Voltage into AC Voltage for consumption or export into state grid.

Hybrid inverters on the other hand are bi-directional, some give the option to manage energy from several sources like Batteries, Solar, Wind, Aqua generation, some have the choice to import energy from a fuel Generator before going to the State Grid for power if it's an on-grid inverter.

We recommend that you purchase a Hybrid inverters that has an "Uninterrupted Power Supply" (UPS) function, then when ready all you will have to do is plug them in, meaning that Batterys when installed the energy from the batteries will instantly kick-in with no disruption to the power supply when the State-grid fails or solar stops harvesting.

By law law all on-grid inverters should have Anti-islanding Protection, it is an important & sophisticated safety feature built into all grid connect inverters, the monitoring circuits detect the loss of grid power in fractions of a second, and switches off the ability to Export energy to protect linesmen working on the power lines kilometres away.

Inverter islanding operation mode relates to power plants that operate in isolation from the national or local electricity distribution network. Generators connected to the electricity grid in parallel mode, meaning they can generate power independently in the event of a grid power outage.

Hybrid inverters converts and directs solar power to where it is needed, and when it is needed, the Battery Management System (BMS) of all Hybrid inverters is smart circuitry that automatically converts excess energy to charge the particular battery technology used.

We recommend purchase a Hybrid inverter even if Battery's are not yet integrated, as if/when you decide to install batteries, Hybrid inverter allow you to simple plug the Batteries in.

Some Hybrid inverters have Automatic Generator Start (AGS) function that Starts & Stops a fuel Generator to Blackout-proof a premises, these are usually off-grid inverters, whereby the inverter can be programmed to automatically start & stop if the State Grid goes down or the batteries get low, this function can be programmed to suit your needs.

When batteries are installed, commonly the GenSet would only be used in extended periods of bad weather, there the generated energy will firstly power your premises while the excess energy will be Charging your batteries at the same time, that is a double win situation, as usually a generator will only need to be operated for short periods, as Hybrid inverters utilise the built-in Charge Control circuit to float or rapidly charge the Batteries to a pre-set level, then the Generator will automatically be switch off, once the Battery bank reaches the pre-set charge level you set.

If you already have a Solar Array and looking to upgrade your energy independence by adding Battery storage, a "Solar Only inverters" will not charge your batteries, you should replace your solar inverter (keep as spare) with a UPS Hybrid Inverter, it is obviously better & simpler to install a new Hybrid inverter with all those features incorporated, rather than purchasing several separated items, each drawing additional energy !

If you are going to purchase Batteries, we strongly recommend you purchase the largest Battery bank your budget/finances can afford, as an Inverter is the heart of a micro grid, that simply converts your battery DC voltage into AC voltage into either single or three phase power.  Remember: It is easier to add additional Solar panels to increase your energy harvesting anytime, than increase your energy storage capacity!

Without a doubt Energy Storage is the Foundation stone of energy independence, allowing you to create the best self sufficient Micro-Power-Grid possible!

NB: We recommend a 5kW be the smallest inverter to install, as that will cover all residential energy demands, in Australia a 5kW inverter is commonly the maximum size allowed when exporting energy into the state grid, unless you have upgraded to 30kW three phase wiring coming into your premises from your distribution company.

 

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