What is a hybrid solar energy system, and might it be the right option for you?
Most homeowners who choose solar elect to install grid-tied photovoltaic arrays. A second option, although less common, involves going off-grid with a battery bank. Although you may not know it, you have a third option to consider, and it combines the best aspects of on- and off-grid solar.
How Does Hybrid Solar Work?
A hybrid solar power system gives you the best of both grid-tied and off-grid worlds.
This type of PV system is connected to the utility grid, just like a standard grid-tied system, so you will always have power at night and on cloudy days.
But a traditional grid-tied PV system will stop working if the power grid goes down. When a blackout occurs, the photovoltaic system is programmed to automatically shut off for safety reasons. This allows utility workers to safely make repairs without power in the lines.
Hybrid systems solve this problem with the addition of a solar battery bank, and in some cases, a backup generator.
Why Should You Consider a Hybrid PV System?
Blackouts are on the rise, and the Intermountain West could be affected at any time. If the grid has a significant problem, you could be in the dark for days — or longer.
Installing a hybrid solar power system is a great way to prepare for any unexpected event. If a severe storm or natural disaster strikes your area, you won’t be left without electricity — unlike most of your neighbors.
Which Type of Hybrid Solar Power System Is Best?
Hybrid systems are not one-size-fits-all. They come in a range of sizes and configurations to meet your specific home energy needs.
Smaller, less expensive systems can keep your home powered up during short blackouts. For power outages that last longer, small hybrid systems will provide enough electricity for a day or two, as long as you limit your consumption to running only the most critical appliances.
If you want to make sure that your entire home has power no matter how long an outage lasts, you’ll need more solar panels and a larger battery bank.
The best type of hybrid system is one that is designed to meet your needs and objectives. Consulting with a professional photovoltaic contractor is the easiest way to determine the ideal size and configuration of your home solar energy system.
The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar offers free photovoltaic energy consultations to homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada. Contact us today to learn more and to determine if a hybrid solar energy system is right for you.