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On-grid, Off-grid or Hybrid Solar Inverter?-The Difference You Should Know

the-difference-on-grid-off_grid-or-hybrid-solar-inverter

Solar inverters, also known as PV inverters, are a kind of electrical converter that can provide common power for a commercial electrical grid or local off-grid electrical network by converting the variable DC output of a PV solar panel into a utility frequency AC.

There are mainly three types of solar inverters available now on the market when you decide to choose a solar inverter. So how to choose them to work best for you is a problem. You may be bothered for their differences, performances, capabilities, and price if you want to select one for your solar panel system. This article will interpret the differences between the three main types of solar inverters for you to help you to have an idea of how to selecting the best solar inverters.

The Three Main Types of Solar Inverters

  1. On-grid Solar Inverter (Or Grid-tie/Grid-connected Inverter)
  2. Off-grid Solar Inverter (Or Stand-alone Inverter)
  3. Hybrid Solar Inverter

On-grid Solar Inverter

An on-grid solar inverter, also known as Grid-tie solar inverter or Grid-connected inverter, converts direct current from the electricity generated from solar panels into alternating current which is compatible with the utility grid (normally 60HZ) and then provides common power for the homeowners or business.

on-grid solar inverter

On-grid or grid-tie inverter must accurately raise or lower the voltage and phase to reach the standard AC voltage and frequency if the DC voltage is low or high.

Features of On-grid Solar Inverter in Solar System

  • Low-cost

Save more money with solar panels from the aspects of net metering efficiency rates and installation costs. It’s simpler, easier, and cheaper than the off-grid solar systems to install.

  • No need to store electricity

The electricity generated by the solar panel is normally much more than the power you are consuming, so through the net metering, the excess electricity can be put onto the utility grid rather than storing it to the batteries.

  • Must connect to the utility grid

The on-grid inverter won’t be on work if it does not connect to the utility grid because the output place needs to check the situation of the power grid before the grid connection is made. Normally the control mode adopts the current control mode.

Off-grid Solar Inverter

An off-grid solar inverter, also known as a stand-alone inverter, also converts the direct current generated from the solar panel into the alternating current used by the homeowners. It’s obviously different from the on-grid type because users don’t need to access the utility grid if they select an off-grid solar system.

off grid solar inverter

The off-grid solar inverter doesn’t need to match phase with the utility sine wave which is opposite to the on-grid inverter.

Features of Off-grid Solar Inverter in Solar System

  • More expensive than the on-grid type
  • Don’t need to connect to the utility grid

The off-grid inverter is more like to establish its own small grid independently and controls its own voltage.

  • Needs to store electricity

Off-grid type requires to store electricity, in other words, it can realize energy self-sufficient for the users which is safer for them. And some of the consumers love off-grid type because it has nothing to do with the utility grid and work on its own even if when a power failure happens on the utility grid.

Hybrid Solar Inverter

hybrid solar inverter

A hybrid solar inverter, also known as a battery-based grid-tie inverter, combines the two separate components into one equipment, namely the solar inverter and the battery inverter. In this way, it can have the functions of both off-grid type (store electricity) and grid-tie type. It’s the trending new technology lately for solar applications using renewable energy.

Features of hybrid solar inverter

  • Less expensive than off-grid type but more expensive than the on-grid type
  • Monitoring

All the functions require one centralized monitoring whether the electricity from the solar panel being sent to the grid, being stored in the battery, or self-consumed.

  • Intelligent

Can draw the electricity to and from battery banks and also synchronize with the utility grid.

  • Flexibility

In the end, how to choose your ideal solar inverter is dependent on the solar system you select, on-grid solar system, off-grid solar system, and hybrid solar system. You can compare them with the cost, performance, convenience, and safety and then choose what you need.

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