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Hybrid Solutions

Hybrid solutions offer both the functions of a UPS and a Grid-tie solution. It incorporates solar panels, a battery and one or more inverters to offer backup power when the utility grid is off, as well as introducing savings on you monthly electricity bill. It is also a more independent solution, as the solar panels can charge a depleted battery on a sunny day, meaning you are not dependent on the utility grid to re-charge your battery.

If the solution is well designed, then the solar panels will be able to power the connected loads in your house during the day, but at the same time re-charge the battery if it was depleted the previous night.

A hybrid inverter is a single unit, typically a low-specification budget product, to offer backup power during utility grid failures, but also manages solar panels to introduce savings. Hybrid inverters are usually grid interactive, meaning that it interacts with the Eskom grid which can charge the battery or supply the connected loads if the sun-energy is not sufficient and the battery is depleted. Some can reverse the direction of the energy flow to feed possible excess sun-energy back to the grid.

A more durable, reliable, and efficient hybrid solution will either be and AC-Coupled solution (typically SMA) or a DC-Coupled system (typically Victron). Both these solutions offer the same functionality, albeit in different ways. There are situations where one is better, but then in other areas the other is better. A very smart solution will deploy both DC- and AC-Coupled components to reap the benefit of both the technologies.