Hybrid Solar Power System
What is a Hybrid Solar Power System? This type of solar system is both connected to the mains power grid, and it has energy storage batteries. In the past these batteries have been “Lead Acid”. Right now, we are using Lithium batteries. It looks like Lithium batteries are the future of batteries for this type of solar power system.
So lets talk about how a Hybrid Solar System works. The solar panels, on the roof, feed their power to the inverter. The inverter converts the Direct Current from the solar panels into Alternating Current that is compatible with the power grid. The inverter is connected to the switch board which diverts power to the appliances in our house and if there is excess to the power grid. In a Hybrid Solar System the inverter is different to a normal Grid Connected Solar System.
This difference is the connection to the batteries. The inverter can divert excess solar power into the batteries to be used later. Once the batteries are full, the inverter will send any excess power out to the mains power grid. When the sun goes down and there is no solar power, the energy stored in the batteries can be used in the house via the inverter instead of mains power from the grid. The next day the batteries are recharged with solar power as well as running appliances in the house, and the cycle starts again.
See our gallery for photos of our Hybrid Solar System installations.
Off Grid Solar Power System
What is an Off Grid or Stand Alone Solar Power System? This type of Solar System is not connected to the Mains Power Grid. An Off Grid System does have batteries. In fact this type of system must have batteries. Over many years we have been using “Lead Acid” batteries for energy storage, and we still are today.
The Off Grid or Stand Alone Solar System normally collects its energy from Solar Panels. It can also get energy from the wind via a wind turbine of some sort, or from moving water via a water turbine. All of these energy sources can be utilised but this will depend on what is available where you live. Here in northern Victoria were we live, solar power is the best source of renewable energy, so that is what we use. So the energy collected is stored in the bank of batteries. This power is available at all times for the consumption of the loads in your house.
Some items such as lights can consume this power directly from the batteries. Others, like the refrigerator or TV need to consume the power via an inverter. This inverter converts the Direct Current power from the batteries into Alternating Current power ( 230 volts AC) that is compatible with the TV and refrigerator. Each day the sun shines and tops up the batteries so there is always power available. We design these systems so that if the sun does not shine for two or three days, you still have power. Beyond that time a back-up generator will be required to top up the batteries.
See our gallery for photos of our Off Grid solar installations.