Solar Hybrid System in the Philippines
The solar inverter is an electronic device that converts solar energy into electrical energy for domestic or commercial use and, at the same time, can be connected to an alternative electrical energy source, such as a battery or conventional electrical grid.
A hybrid solar inverter allows owners of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to store the surplus energy generated by the solar panels in a battery for later use when there is not enough sun.
The inverter can also source power directly from the utility grid when the solar panels are not generating enough power. In this way, a hybrid solar inverter system can more consistently deliver clean, renewable energy.
I also cannot fail to mention that the hybrid solar inverter can be programmed to work in different ways, depending on the needs and preferences of the system owner.
For example, it can be configured to prioritize using solar power whenever possible or to prioritize battery charging when it is available and switch to mains power only when the battery is dead.
What is the function of the hybrid inverter?
In addition to allowing a photovoltaic solar energy system to be connected to an alternative electrical energy source (such as a battery or conventional electrical grid), the hybrid solar inverter controls and optimizes the energy flow between these different sources.
This means that the hybrid inverter constantly monitors the energy produced by the solar panels and adjusts the amount of energy supplied to the battery or electrical grid according to real-time demand.
The inverter can also control battery charging and discharging, ensuring the battery is maintained at an optimal charge and discharge to extend its lifespan.
In addition, the hybrid inverter can also provide important information about energy production and consumption, allowing system owners to monitor their energy consumption more efficiently.
A positive point for anyone looking to reduce energy costs and increase the efficiency of the photovoltaic solar energy system as a whole.
What is the difference between a hybrid, on-grid and off-grid solar inverter?
The on-grid (or grid-tied) solar inverter is designed to be connected directly to the conventional power grid. It converts solar energy into electrical energy supplied directly to the electrical grid, allowing the system owner to reduce the energy they need to purchase from the conventional grid.
However, an on-grid solar inverter cannot be connected to a battery, so no energy storage is available during a power failure. On the other hand, an off-grid solar inverter is designed for solar energy systems not connected to the conventional electrical grid.
It converts solar energy into electrical energy stored in batteries, allowing the solar energy system to work independently of the conventional electrical grid. Despite this, an off-grid solar power system can be more expensive and complex than an on-grid one, requiring energy storage batteries and additional controls to manage energy flow.
How does the solar hybrid system work?
A solar hybrid system comprises photovoltaic solar panels, a hybrid solar inverter, an energy storage battery, and a conventional electrical grid (when available).
When sunlight hits the solar panels, solar energy is converted into DC (direct current) electrical energy. The hybrid solar inverter converts DC electrical energy into AC (alternating current) electrical energy that can power the electrical loads of a house or building.
Suppose the demand for electrical energy is less than the solar energy production. In that case, the excess energy can be stored in the battery for later use when the solar energy production exceeds the demand.
In addition, the hybrid solar inverter constantly monitors energy production and consumption and adjusts the energy flow between different sources according to real-time demand.
Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid inverter
Before we address the advantages and disadvantages, it is essential to remember that these factors are influenced by the product and solar panel installation service you choose.
Therefore, carefully research and evaluate the options before choosing a solar hybrid inverter for your solar power system.
|Enables solar energy storage||Can be more expensive than a conventional inverter|
|Reduces dependency on the conventional power grid||Requires proper maintenance and monitoring|
|Can be connected to a storage battery||Energy storage capacity may be limited|
|Enables more efficient use of solar energy||System performance may be affected by weather conditions|
|Can provide backup power||Requires additional space for battery installation|
Can I switch from an on-grid solar system to a hybrid solar system?
This is a common question for people with an on-grid solar energy system who want a hybrid system (with battery backup). I will clear all those doubts about this matter.
For starters, the answer is YES. It’s possible. That said, let’s better understand how it works.
In general, power generation happens the same way. Therefore, replacing the on-grid inverter with a hybrid inverter and maintaining the energy compensation system is possible. However, paying attention to some important points when changing equipment is necessary. Let’s remember how the already installed on-grid system was dimensioned.
Any solar generation system is dimensioned to cover part of the energy consumption of the residence or business. And from this premise, the inverter is chosen. With the inverter data, the arrangements of the strings, MPPTS, and the number of panels are defined, respecting the limits of the inverter.
When replacing an on-grid inverter with a hybrid solar inverter, you must assess whether the panel arrangement can be used as it is or whether some readjustment of the project should be made.
Another important point is to request an inverter change from the concessionaire.
Informing the inverter model and the new physical arrangement of the photovoltaic panels, if applicable. In this way, the energy generation system is already compatible.
What are the necessary changes for the hybrid inverter to start operating entirely?
When purchasing a hybrid inverter, it is necessary to dimension the battery. During installation, connect directly to the inverter.
With the help of technical personnel, it is possible to adjust the electrical infrastructure and have these loads powered by solar energy and battery in the event of a failure in the electrical distribution network. That is, your essential equipment is always working.
Remember that the sum of the powers of all the essential loads must respect the nominal value of the output power of the inverter. It is worth remembering that the electrical circuit of essential loads must be separated from the regular electrical network so that electrical problems do not occur.
How should the hybrid solar inverter be installed?
The environment where the inverter will be installed is crucial for perfect equipment operation. The place needs to be dry and ventilated. A minimum distance between the solar inverter and surrounding objects must be considered if it is fixed vertically to a wall.
What is the difference between solar inverter and photovoltaic inverter?
There is no difference, as solar and photovoltaic inverter are synonyms and refer to the same device.
Where can we install the solar hyber inverter?
The design team chooses the best location to install the solar inverter near the solar panels or in a central location near the main electrical panel of a home or business. This ensures easy connection between the solar panels and the electrical grid.
This lets the inverter connect to solar panels and the electrical grid easily. In addition, a company with experienced designers will always look for the best installation location according to the following points: safety and protection against rain, good air circulation, low circulation of people, customer preferences, and optimization of cabling costs.
What is a grid-tie solar inverter (on-grid solar inverter)?
A grid-tie solar inverter, also known as an on-grid solar inverter, is designed to connect to the electrical grid. This allows the inverter to feed excess electricity generated by the solar panels back into the grid, which can help reduce the amount of electricity you have to buy from your utility company.
Can any equipment be connected to a solar inverter (grid-tie)?
It is possible to connect specific equipment to a grid-tie solar inverter, but it is important to note that not all equipment is compatible with a solar inverter.
I recommend consulting a qualified professional or checking the equipment specifications before connecting it to the inverter.
What is a string inverter (solar string inverter)?
A string inverter, also known as a central inverter, is a type of solar inverter designed to simultaneously handle the electricity generated by multiple solar panels.
Solar panels are usually connected in series, or “string”, and the inverter is responsible for converting the combined DC electricity generated by the panels into AC electricity.
What is an off-grid solar inverter?
An off-grid solar inverter is a type of solar inverter designed to operate without being connected to the electrical grid. This is useful in remote locations or where a reliable network connection is unavailable.
An off-grid solar inverter usually has a built-in battery system that allows it to store the electricity generated by the solar panels for later use.
What is a Hybrid solar inverter
A hybrid solar inverter is a type of solar inverter capable of operating both on and off the grid. This allows the inverter to function as a grid-connected solar inverter when the grid is available and as an off-grid solar inverter when the grid is not available. A hybrid solar inverter can provide a reliable electricity source in various situations.
What is a solar micro inverter?
A solar microinverter is a small device you install individually on each solar panel. This allows each panel to function independently and increases the overall efficiency of the solar system. In smaller installations like residential rooftops, homeowners often choose microinverters to maximize system efficiency.
What is most important when choosing a solar inverter?
When choosing a solar inverter, the most important factors to consider are the size of the inverter, its efficiency, its compatibility with your solar panels, and the electrical grid.
Choosing an inverter that is the right size for your solar installation and efficiently converts the DC electricity generated by your solar panels into AC electricity.
It is also essential to ensure that the inverter is compatible with your solar panels and the electrical grid, as this will ensure that it works properly and provides a reliable source of electricity.
What is the power (kW) of solar inverter (grid tie inverter) you need?
A solar inverter’s power, or kW, refers to its maximum output capacity. This is the maximum amount of electricity the inverter can produce. Select the right size for your solar installation when choosing a solar inverter. This will typically depend on the size of your solar panels and the electricity you need to generate.
How much does the solar energy inverter cost?
Solar energy inverters are essential products for anyone who wants to make the most of the benefits of solar energy. But how much does a solar power inverter cost?
The price of a solar energy inverter mainly depends on its rated power. More powerful inverters tend to be more expensive, but they can also provide more power to your PV system.
In general, single-phase inverters are usually cheaper than three-phase ones. This is primarily due to the simplicity of the single-phase design, which is less complex and requires fewer components than a three-phase inverter.
Also, single-phase inverters tend to have a higher efficiency, which means you can save money in the long run. Inverters with greater efficiency are also usually a little more expensive. Still, investing in a model with greater efficiency is worthwhile if you intend to use your photovoltaic system for many years.
Other extra functions, such as remote control and online monitoring, can also add to the final price of the inverter. In addition, inverter technology affects price, as microinverters and inverters with individual optimizers are generally more expensive than string inverters.
Overall, you can expect to spend over 75,000 PHP on an excellent solar inverter to use in your home or office, but the more energy you need to generate, the more expensive the inverter will be.
For this reason, the inverter is usually not purchased separately, as it is cheaper when purchased in a photovoltaic kit, along with solar panels, cables, and mounting structures.
What are the top solar power inverter manufacturers?
These companies produce many solar inverters, including grid-connected, off-grid, and hybrid inverters.
Chinese inverters vs. European investors. What is the best?
Many people think that inverters produced in China are inferior to those produced in Europe or the United States.
However, this is not true. Many so-called “European” or “American” brands, such as Canadian, are made in China. This does not mean that these brands are of inferior quality, as they may have designs developed in Europe or the United States, but manufacturing is done in China due to lower costs.
Some truly European brands, such as SMA (Germany) and Fronius (Austria), also produce inverters in China. What matters is the level of reliability and safety of the inverters.
The brands mentioned in this article have excellent reliability and security in the Philippines. Therefore, there is no reason to think Chinese inverters are necessarily worse than European ones.
It is important to remember that the best inverter for you will depend on your specific needs and budget, and it is always recommended to do some careful research before making a decision.
What is the world’s most used type of inverter for solar energy?
The world’s most widely used type of inverter for solar energy is the grid-tie inverter, also known as the on-grid inverter.
Among the on-grid inverters, the most used are the string inverters, which are the central inverters. This type of inverter is widely used because it is relatively simple to install and operate and offers good value for money.
String inverters were the first to be popular and had a long track record of performance and reliability. Other technologies, such as optimizers and micro inverters, have gained market share, allowing greater efficiency and versatility in specific cases. However, in most cases, string inverters still have the same efficiency for a lower price.
Can I have a solar inverter smaller than the amount of panels I have?
The answer is yes, it is possible to have a solar inverter smaller than the amount of panels you have. However, to compare the size of the inverter with the number of panels, you need to look at the power.
A solar inverter is rated by its output power in kW, and its input power, which comes from the photovoltaic panels, is measured in kWp. The nominal power of the photovoltaic panels added (kWp) is expected to be greater than their output power (kW). This is because there are losses from the roof plates to the drive input.
The ideal is always to consult a company with a qualified and experienced engineering team to make this correct sizing, as installing a board power much higher than the output power of the inverter can damage the equipment or generate more energy losses than usual, harming the investment.
It is important to remember that the panels’ power needs to be adequate to the output power of the inverter to have efficiency and profitability of your photovoltaic system.
Can I have a solar inverter larger than the amount of panels I have?
It is possible to have a solar inverter larger than the amount of panels you have. In this case, the inverter can handle the output of more panels than you currently have installed.
This can come in handy if you plan to expand your solar installation. However, it is essential to note that having a larger inverter than necessary can be inefficient and may not be cost-effective.
A solar panel with an inverter is a complete solution for generating electricity from sunlight. The solar panel captures the sun’s energy and converts it into direct current (DC) electricity. The inverter converts this DC electricity into alternating current (AC) used in homes and businesses.
This system is essential for most solar installations, as without the inverter, it is not possible to use the electricity generated by the solar panel directly.
For a complete installation, it is also necessary to correctly dimension the cables, fix the plates, and have a project done by a specialized team. The design is a crucial step, as it ensures that the system is sized correctly, considering the size of the available space, the orientation of the roof, and the energy requirement. Thus, ensuring that the installation has the ideal efficiency and yield.
The main characteristics of a solar inverter (grid tie inverter)
Some key features of a solar inverter, or grid-tie inverter, include its size, efficiency, and grid compatibility. The inverter’s size will determine how much electricity it can produce, and its efficiency will determine how well it can convert the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC electricity.
Grid compatibility is also crucial as this will ensure that the inverter can feed excess electricity back into the grid and reduce the amount of electricity you must buy from your utility company.
How to design a hybrid system? Do I need a hybrid inverter?
Hybrid solar systems can have different configurations. A conventional hybrid system on the grid with battery backup does not necessarily use a hybrid inverter.
It is possible to use an on-grid inverter, for example, and send energy from the grid to supply the batteries, or you can use a hybrid inverter, capable of operating both as an interactive (on-grid) and standalone (off-grid) inverter and supply the batteries with energy from both the plates and the grid.
Some still categorize hybrid solar systems into two types: all-in-one or bimodal. This is because you can configure the system to continuously power specific equipment that can never be turned off (all-in-one), or you can use it to alternate between consuming directly from the network or storage, like a kind of UPS (bimodal)
In all cases, the important thing in this type of system is to correctly size the solar panels and the battery bank to meet your needs adequately. In homes, hybrid systems tend to be simpler, designed to prioritize some essential appliances in the event of a power outage, such as internal lights, refrigerators, air conditioners, internet modems, etc.
In companies, especially those like data centers, hospitals, and others that cannot run out of energy to power essential equipment, it is necessary to be more careful to guarantee the desired supply. If you aim to save at peak times, making the correct calculations is also essential.
Is it worth having a hybrid photovoltaic energy system in the Philippines?
The hybrid system is more suitable for establishments that need energy security or would benefit from storing energy in batteries to consume it at peak times.
The hybrid system generally requires a greater investment in acquisition and maintenance. Its cost varies according to the power of the plates and the number of batteries (desired autonomy), but, on average, it is at least 30 to 50% more expensive than an on-grid system.
Considering this factor, it’s not recommended for homes, at least for now, unless you suffer from frequent power outages. That said, its cost-effectiveness should become more attractive from 2023, thanks to changes in tax collection related to on-grid solar energy generation.
On the other hand, hybrid systems already make a lot of sense for companies with high energy expenditure at peak times or those needing backup in case of network failure.
Regardless of the type of system best suited for you, assistance from a professional team is essential. In the case of an on-grid or hybrid, a project signed by a technician is mandatory.
In all cases, the correct sizing of the plates and batteries, as well as the quality installation of the equipment, can make a massive difference in the efficiency of energy generation.