What Is a Hybrid Solar System? 

What do extreme weather events and electricity bills have in common?

They’re both on the rise, with little hope of relief.  

If you’re considering buying solar panels to lower your electricity bills and provide energy security, a hybrid solar system is the right choice. 

Hybrid photovoltaic systems combine the benefits of solar power with the convenience of on-grid electricity — redefining how we utilize clean, renewable energy in our daily lives.

Find out why hybrid solar power systems are becoming the #1 choice of consumers looking to save money on electricity bills and achieve energy security. 

What Is a Hybrid Solar System and What Equipment Do I Need? 

A hybrid solar system combines the benefits of on-grid electricity with the energy security and cost savings of an off-grid power solution.

Hybrid solar systems utilize photovoltaic modules — typically solar panels — and a balance of system to generate electricity from sunlight. 

The direct current produced by solar panels is converted into AC (household) electricity or stored in a solar battery for later use.

By combining solar + storage, hybrid PV systems eliminate one of the primary disadvantages of grid-tied solar panel systems

On-grid solar power systems DO NOT supply electricity during a blackout.  

In addition to energy security, hybrid solar systems allow you to maximize electricity bill savings by using on-grid power only during off-peak hours—if you need it at all.

With enough solar panels to meet your household electricity consumption needs, you have the option to go entirely off-grid.

Hybrid solar power systems require at least one of each of the following components:

How Does a Hybrid Solar Power System Work?

On-grid, off-grid, and hybrid residential PV systems use solar panels or shingles to harvest photons from sunlight and convert them into DC electricity using the photovoltaic effect

(Source: Energy Education)

In residential applications, PV modules, like solar panels, are typically comprised of multiple monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells protected by a transparent surface like tempered glass and encased in a stainless steel or aluminum frame.  

(Source: Energy Education)

Photons hit the panel’s photovoltaic surface, which is comprised of multiple solar cells. Each cell contains two semiconductors — p-type and n-type — that form a p-n junction to create an electric field. The p-n junction converts photons into direct current (DC) electricity.

At this point in the electricity generation process, what happens next differs depending on whether a system is grid-tied, off-grid, or hybrid. 

(Source: Penn State)

On-Grid Solar

In a traditional grid-tied system, the DC electricity is transmitted by cables directly to a string or central solar inverter.

The inverter converts DC to AC electricity for immediate consumption in your home or transmission to the utility grid.

An on-grid system automatically toggles back and forth between solar and utility electricity depending on how much electricity your PV array generates and the parameters you set for your system.

(Source: Penn State)

Off-Grid Solar 

Off-grid solar power systems operate independently from the grid and rely on solar batteries to deal with solar power’s inherent intermittency.

Most clean, renewable energy sources — like wind, hydro, and solar — are intermittent. 

Specific environmental or physical conditions beyond human control are required for intermittent energy sources to work.

In the case of solar power, sunlight is a prerequisite. Electricity production is diminished on cloudy days, and solar panels don’t work at night.

Off-grid solar systems solve the intermittency problem by storing electricity in solar batteries when PV modules generate no power or your consumption exceeds supply.

In an off-grid solar generator like EcoFlow DELTA Pro, solar panels send electricity to a charge controller built into the portable power station

Depending on the charge level of the LiFePO4 solar battery, your current consumption, and the parameters you’ve set, the charge controller will either transmit DC electricity from your PV panel array to the LFP battery or the built-in solar inverter for conversion to AC electricity and immediate use in your home.

Hybrid Solar 

Hybrid solar power systems combine the benefits of grid-tied and off-grid configurations to offer the ultimate flexibility and energy security.

Because on-grid systems are bidirectional, solar inverters without battery storage shut down automatically during a power outage to prevent harming workers trying to restore electricity and avoid accidental damage to the grid. 

Without a blackout “kill switch,” electricity would continue to be transmitted to the grid, with potentially devastating consequences. 

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra is a hybrid solar and whole-home backup power solution.

Fully maxed out, EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra provides:

Thanks to its modular design, you can start small with just 1 EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra Inverter, 1 DELTA Pro Ultra LFP Battery, and up to 18 x 400W Rigid Solar Panels (7200kW solar charge capacity).

What makes EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra a hybrid solar system is how easy it is to integrate with on-grid electricity and gas generators.

You get seven charging options in total, including solar panels.

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra Charging Inputs

Charging MethodMaximum Input (1 x Inverter) Maximum Input (2 x Inverter) Maximum Input (3 x Inverter) 
Solar Charging5600W11200W16800W
AC Input (Wall Socket)3000W6000W9000W
AC Input Smart Home Panel 2 (Wired)7200W14400W21600W
AC Input EV Pile (Wired)7200W14400W21600W
Fossil Fuel  Generator (Cable)7200W14400W21600W
EcoFlow Smart Generator (Dual Fuel)1800W3600W5400W
Multicharge8800W17600W26400W

EcoFlow Smart Home Panel 2 integrates the DELTA Pro Ultra with your home circuit board and on-grid electricity for seamless hybrid power.

You can also plug EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra into a standard household outlet, but you’ll only get 3000W of AC input, meaning it will take longer to recharge the battery.

Integration with EcoFlow Smart Home Panel 2 or your home Electric Vehicle pile is a simple job for a licensed electrician. 

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra doesn’t transmit electricity to the power company like grid-tied solar systems.

Instead, you get uninterrupted power during extended outages and up to a month of off-grid power.

Depending on how many solar panels you install, your electricity consumption, and the peak sunlight hours at your location, you can go completely off-grid.  

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra combined with solar panels is eligible for the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit — officially known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit — which earns US taxpayers a federal income tax credit of 30% of the total cost of a new PV system and installation.

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra also qualifies for many state solar incentives

By taking full advantage of every available solar incentive, you can significantly shorten the solar payback period for a hybrid PV system and maximize your return on investment.     

Hybrid Solar System Advantages

Hybrid solar systems offer a compelling blend of efficiency, resilience, and cost-effectiveness, making them an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. 

Hybrid PV systems provide numerous significant advantages over traditional grid-tied and off-grid systems.

  • Energy Independence: One of the most notable benefits of a hybrid system is personal energy independence. By generating and storing your own electricity, you rely less on the grid, reducing your vulnerability to outages and increasing self-sufficiency. 
  • Energy Security: Due to extreme weather events and other factors, blackouts, and extended power outages are increasing in frequency. Grid-tied PV systems don’t function during an outage. A hybrid PV system gives you the convenience of utility power with the security of off-grid storage.
  • Longevity: High-quality mountable PV modules like EcoFlow’s rigid and flexible solar panels will provide decades of service. When it comes to solar batteries, chemistry is the most significant determiner of cycle life. EcoFlow’s DELTA Pro Ultra LFP Batteries use proprietary lithium iron phosphate battery chemistry and provide 3,000 cycles (full charge/discharges) before diminishing to 80% storage capacity.
  • Exceptional Depth of Discharge
  • 8,800W Multicharge Capacity
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply: EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra provides a 0ms automatic switchover to battery power, functioning as an online UPS when a blackout hits.
  • Cost Savings: Hybrid PV systems provide significant savings on electricity bills. You can use stored solar energy during peak hours when electricity rates are higher and only use grid power off-peak.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Renewable energy systems, like hybrid solar, significantly reduce your household’s carbon footprint, helping in the global fight against global warming and climate change.
  • Scalability: Modular systems like EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra allow you to start small and add capacity as your electricity needs grow — or as your budget allows
  • Durability: With an IP54 dust and water-resistant rating, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra hybrid system is durable enough for sheltered outdoor use — even in the cold or heat (Operating temperatures: -4℉ to 113℉)
  • Quiet: EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra operates at noise levels as low as 0 dB when drawing a load under 2,000W
  • Routine Maintenance-Free: EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra has few moving parts and requires no regular maintenance. 

Hybrid Solar System Disadvantages

Hybrid solar systems offer numerous benefits, but it’s important to consider the drawbacks. 

Understanding the disadvantages and benefits of any renewable energy system enables you to make an informed decision.

Here are the primary drawbacks of hybrid PV systems.

  • Higher Upfront Investment: One of the main drawbacks of hybrid systems is higher upfront costs compared to traditional systems. The additional expense is primarily due to the inclusion of battery storage and a more complex balance of system.
  • Space Requirements: PV systems with multiple solar batteries require significant installation space. However, thanks to built-in climate control, sheltered outdoor installation is an option for EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra inverters and batteries.

When Do Hybrid Solar Systems Make Sense?

Hybrid solar systems offer significant advantages over traditional grid-tied PV and off-grid backup power.

Read on to find out when a hybrid PV system makes sense (and when it doesn’t).

No Net Metering

A hybrid solar system has additional advantages over grid-tied systems in locations where net metering programs are unavailable or financially unrewarding. Without net metering, you can’t sell electricity in excess of what you consume back to the utility grid. Any electricity your solar panels during the day that doesn’t get used immediately just goes to waste.

Frequent Power Outages

A hybrid solar system offers reliable backup power if you live in an area prone to blackouts. Traditional on-grid solar systems automatically shut down during power outages, but a hybrid PV system switches to battery power instantaneously, ensuring an uninterrupted electricity supply. If you don’t want to go entirely off-grid, hybrid systems are ideal for regions with unstable grid infrastructure or severe weather conditions that frequently lead to blackouts. 

Increased Energy Independence Without Going Fully Off-Grid

Aiming to reduce your family’s reliance on aging infrastructure? A hybrid solar power system lets you stay connected—or disconnect—from the utility grid. By combining solar electricity generation with storage and grid connectivity, hybrid systems provide energy independence and flexibility. You can use the electricity you generate with solar panels 24/7 or take advantage of off-peak utility rates to supplement your production cheaply.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between a Traditional Solar System and a Hybrid Solar System?

Traditional on-grid solar systems use a solar inverter to convert DC electricity from photovoltaic modules like solar panels to AC electricity for household use or transmission to the utility grid. A hybrid solar system combines on-grid charging options with solar battery storage to offer energy security and a higher solar ROI. Traditional grid-tied systems don’t work in a blackout.

Which Is Better, an Off-Grid or Hybrid Solar System?

Off-grid and hybrid solar systems each have benefits. Off-grid systems operate independently from the electrical grid, making them ideal for locations without utility electricity. Hybrid systems combine renewable energy generation with solar panels + solar battery storage + on-grid charging, providing energy security and the ability to avoid on-peak electricity rates. Unlike grid-tied solar panel systems, hybrid and off-grid configurations supply electricity during a blackout.  

Are Hybrid Solar Systems Worth It?

Hybrid photovoltaic systems offer the convenience of grid-tied solar systems with the energy security of off-grid. Traditional on-grid solar systems don’t work during power outages. Hybrid systems combine renewable energy generation with solar panels + solar battery storage + high-wattage AC charging. The initial investment in a hybrid PV system can be lower than off-grid because battery storage is only required during blackouts or peak electricity rate hours (if you wish to save money on-grid).    

Final Thoughts

A hybrid solar power system gives you the best of both worlds. 

You get the convenience of utility grid electricity on-demand, coupled with all the benefits of off-grid battery storage.

Many experts see the solar + storage model as the most viable path forward for individuals, industry, and governments worldwide to transition away from fossil fuel dependence.

EcoFlow DELTA Pro Ultra offers an affordable modular solution that allows you to increase your energy independence in stages and eventually eliminate your reliance on the grid.

All while ensuring you maximize the return on your solar investment.

EcoFlow has a wide variety of innovative solar and battery backup solutions. Check out our selection today,

ECOFLOW
ECOFLOWhttps://www.ecoflow.com/
EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here