Solar Hybrid Power Systems
Solar hybrid power combines
solar power with wind power to create
a more reliable and stable energy source for your household. A hybrid
solar power system creates electricity from solar panels and wind
generators which is then stored in batteries. Both methods create
energy from clean, non-polluting sources whose ultimate source is
the sun (wind is the movement of air created from solar heating).
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Locations with an abundance of sun and wind may be an ideal place
to generate electricity. When both are readily available, more power
will be generated and charging times of the batteries will be shortened.
When only one source is available, the system will still be able to
generate power from the other available source with reduced output.
Advantages of a Hybrid Solar Power System
- Solar panels
have a higher initial cost than wind turbines on a cost
per Watt basis. With this hybrid system, you can spend more on wind power
to offset the number of required solar panels and still achieve the same
- The two systems do not have to be located adjacent to one another.
They can be separated so that either system can be situated in the most
- Wind turbines
need only periodic service (rotational inspection
and lubrication of moving parts) while solar panels require very
little maintenance (cleaning when necessary).
Disadvantages of a Combination System
- Weather conditions are unpredictable and change rapidly. If your
application needs uninterrupted power, a hybrid system will provide
more reliability than separate systems. However, there is still a
chance that both the wind and sun will be unavailable when the
batteries have been fully exhausted.
- The solar panels and wind turbines need to be adequately sized
to supply enough power to the batteries. If not enough energy is
produced, the batteries will not be fully charged in a convenient
time frame. If too much power is produced, the extra energy will
- Ensure that the installation will not be visually offensive
to your neighbors. Solar panels require adequate room with full
exposure to the sun; wind turbines need unobstructed access to
- Wind power will generate some noise as the blades rotate in
a strong breeze.
A hybrid system needs to be designed for the maximum amount of
electricity that can be generated from both sources, otherwise circuits
will get burned out. Also, the charge controller should have an automatic
electrical disconnect circuit that will stop the current from damaging the
batteries once they are fully charged. For the solar panel, a separate
with a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) circuit should
be installed to optimize the energy efficiency of the panel.
Other system considerations include:
- The wind turbine should be attached to a secure
as high as possible with full exposure to the winds.
- The solar panels should not be blocked by any obstructions and
shadows. If available, south and west facing walls or roofs should
- When doing maintenance, disconnect the entire system since the
other power source may still be able to deliver electricity.
- The wires should be thick enough to handle the maximum current
load from both sources.
If your location and budget can support such a system, a solar hybrid
power system may be a great alternative for your power needs.