Should You Buy a Grid-Tied Inverter or Hybrid Inverter?

It’s incredibly important to use a solar power inverter that’s designed for the type of system you have. Off-grid systems need a different kind of inverter than one that’s connected to the city grid. If you are connected to the grid, you still have two types of inverters to choose from: grid-tied or hybrid. How do you decide which is the best option for you? Keep reading to find out.

Comparing Cost

Solar power systems represent a significant investment, so budget is always a consideration when selecting the equipment for your system. You will typically find that grid-tied inverters cost less than hybrid models. So, if you’re on a tight budget, a grid-tied inverter might be the best option for you. (However, be sure to keep reading, as the cost is not the only thing to think about.)

Adding Solar Batteries

A large portion of new solar power systems nowadays includes power storage—specifically, solar batteries. If you want to have your own backup power supply, then a hybrid inverter is a necessity. This is the one big difference between grid-tied and hybrid solar inverters. Grid-tied inverters can’t be connected to a battery bank, while hybrid models can. 

Even if you’re not installing a battery bank right now, you should think about whether or not you’ll want to install one in the future. Batteries can actually be added onto a system later (even a little bit at a time) as you have the budget to purchase additional equipment. If you think there’s a chance you’ll want a battery bank in the next few years, get a hybrid inverter. If you don’t, you’ll have to purchase a new inverter before you can expand and add power storage.

Reliability of Your Grid

Most city grids are relatively reliable. However, many cities still have to implement rolling blackouts to conserve energy during periods of high-energy consumption. If reliability or regular blackouts are a concern for you, then it’s a good idea to consider adding a backup power source—and, therefore, consider getting a hybrid inverter instead of a grid-tied model. If you have an inverter that is only tied to the grid, you’ll lose power when the grid goes down, even if it happens when the sun is shining. In order to keep your power on in a blackout, you need a hybrid inverter with a battery bank.

There’s still a lot more to think about when choosing solar power inverters, but deciding between a hybrid and a grid-tied inverter is the first step. If you need help with your final decision, find a solar power expert to consult with you on your choice.

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