What is a Hybrid Inverter?

Hybrid is defined as a having two different types of components performing essentially the same function. In residential solar applications, a hybrid inverter combines the work of a grid-tied inverter and battery inverter. The hybrid inverter increases energy resilience by providing back-up power in case of a grid outage and maximizes energy independence through self-consumption. Installations that use hybrid inverters are most commonly grid-tied, DC-coupled photovoltaic systems.

For homeowners, use of a hybrid inverter provides two advantages over an AC coupled storage system. First, homeowners who are uncertain they want storage at the time of installation can opt to use a hybrid inverter initially and add batteries to the system at a later date. Second, hybrid inverters allow for centralized monitoring of the solar array. Centralized monitoring is desirable as homeowners only have to check on one portal to understand how much energy their modules are producing and how the batteries are performing. In contrast, AC coupled systems require the use of multiple inverters and different manufacturers have different monitoring platforms which makes it more difficult for homeowners to analyze the performance of their solar array. To retrofit existing solar arrays with storage, AC coupling is still best practice as the homeowner already has a grid-tied inverter in place.

Two of the leading hybrid inverter solutions on the market today include the SolarEdge StorEdge solution and the Outback Skybox Solution.