Hybrid Power Systems

Can I Go Off-Grid With Hybrid Systems

Can I Go Off-Grid With Hybrid Systems?

Hybrid wind energy systems can provide reliable off-grid power for homes, farms or even entire communities (a co-housing project, for example) that are far from the nearest utility lines. According to many renewable energy experts, a “hybrid” system that combines wind and photovoltaic (PV) technologies offers several advantages over either single system.

In much of the United States, wind speeds are low in the summer when the sun shines brightest and longest. The wind is strong in the winter when there is less sunlight available. Because the peak operating times for wind and PV occur at different times of the day and year, hybrid systems are more likely to produce power when you need it.

For the times when neither the wind nor the PV modules are producing, most hybrid systems provide power through batteries and/or an engine-generator powered by conventional fuels such as diesel. If the batteries run low, the engine-generator can provide power and recharge the batteries. Adding an engine-generator makes the system more complex, but modern electronic controllers can operate these systems automatically.

An engine-generator can also reduce the size of the other components needed for the system.

Hybrid Power Systems

Hybrid Power Systems - Combine multiple sources to deliver non-intermittent electric power


Keep in mind that the storage capacity must be large enough to supply electrical needs during non-charging periods. Battery banks are typically sized to supply the electric load for one to three days.

An off-grid hybrid system may be practical for you if:

  • You live in an area with average annual wind speed of at least 9 mph (4.0 m/s).
  • A grid connection is not available or can only be made through an expensive extension. The cost of running a power line to a remote site to connect with the utility grid can be prohibitive, ranging from $15,000 to more than $50,000 per mile, depending on terrain.
  • You would like to gain energy independence from the utility.
  • You would like to generate clean power.
SOURCE: Small Wind Electric Systems – U.S. Department of Energy

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Edvard - Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and industry fascilities. Designing of LV/MV switchgears. Professional in AutoCAD programming and web-design. Present on Google+.



3 Comments

  1. [...] the three phases of the generator must be the same as the phase sequence of the three phases of the electrical system (Grid).The only time that the phase sequence could be wrong is at initial installation or after [...]

  2. [...] been turning to microgrids, smaller versions of centralised systems that can connect to the main grid or act alone as an island. Researchers are looking to microgrids for answers to changing consumer [...]


  3. Edvard
    May 04, 2011

    This should be the future solution for energy generation. It’s not free as it is advertised, but it’s a qute good point for green living and some day we will lough loudly remembering the fossil fuels, nuclear plants…

    We all know this is the future, we cannot slow it down any more… It’s coming…

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