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Hybrid Solar System Vs On-Grid Solar System—Which One is Better?

Many people around us are seen shifting to solar energy nowadays — primarily due to its cost effectiveness, durability, reliability and eco-friendliness. Besides, the installation of solar systems is quite hassle-free too. The biggest issue one might encounter while switching to solar energy is choice of the best solar system. For making a long-term investment in solar systems, you must research well and take account of all the features with the pros and cons of each. The two most commonly used solar systems in recent times are:

  • On-Grid Solar System
  • Hybrid Solar System

For a better understanding of these systems, below is a comprehensive detail of both of them. After going through it, you can decide which one suits you the best on your own—based on your requirements and preferences.

On-Grid Solar System

This solar system is widely known for residential and commercial usage. On-grid solar system is commonly referred to as on-tied solar system. Its working methodology is briefly explained below


This solar system has a direct connection with the grid. On-grid solar system does not need batteries for its functioning. It operates by converting the solar energy into DC power. The home appliances don’t run by DC energy—so on-grid solar inverters are used for converting this DC power into alternating current which in turn is utilized by all electrical instruments at home.

The excessive energy that is not utilized goes back to the grids connected to the on-grid solar system. This solar system allows its consumers to utilize net-metering— by which its users can export surplus energy than their home requirements to the public grids and in turn get paid by the feed-in-tariff (FIT) mechanism by following net metering policies that vary in different regions.

Now, let’s have an insight into the advantages of the on-grid solar system:


  • It is affordable as users don’t have to spend a hefty amount of money on batteries— which in turn leads to low maintenance and installation costs.
  • The users are paid for the surplus energy they export to grids.
  • The amount which the users get by feed-in-tariff in turn can be used to pay for the power used when on-grid solar systems don’t produce energy (during the night, rain, overcast or power blackout).


A few disadvantages of the on-grid solar system are

  • It is highly dependent on grids— thus it cannot function on its own when the grid gets malfunctioned due to any reason. If the electricity is still being fed by on-grid solar inverters to the faulty grid, it may pose high risks to the residents in that area.
  • This system doesn’t contain any battery back-ups so it cannot deposit excessive solar energy produced during the day for later usage —hence it can’t produce power at times when solar energy input is not available.

Hybrid Solar System

Hybrid solar systems has the below described characteristics and working criteria.


In a hybrid solar system, there is energy backed by the batteries and solar panel is connected to the grid. It is primarily intermediate in between off-grid and on-grid solar system as it contains battery backup like the off-grid system and is connected to the grid just like on-grid solar system. The only difference is that hybrid PV system is not entirely dependent on the grid for its functioning—unlike on-grid solar system.

Related: What are the Different Types of Solar Panels?—A Complete Guide

It starts using energy from the grid instead of solar batteries during the evening and night times —thus acts just like the regular UPS.


One can recover the investment of expensive hybrid PV system due to a vast range of its advantages listed as

  • They are particularly ideal for use in those places where power blackouts or load shedding occur quite often due to battery back-ups. Unconsumed energy during the day gets deposited in the battery to provide power at times when no input of solar energy is available.
  • Hybrid solar system can power homes all night and day long — as it functions even when the grid is damaged because it isn’t solely dependent on the grid. The grid offers the emergency energy backup when no stored energy in the battery is left.
  • The users of hybrid PV system have lesser dependence on strict and frequently changing net-metering policies as compared to those using on-grid solar systems.
  • They are highly reliable because of the grid and battery back-ups. Thus one cannot run out of power after installing the hybrid PV system.
  • If the energy storage capacity in the battery gets finished, the surplus, unconsumed energy is exported to grids— net-metering thus leads to high savings and cutting down on the electricity bills.
  • Any storage backup can be easily integrated into this system without needing to replace the inverter.
  • Hybrid solar system usually tends to bring lower electricity bills because stored energy in its battery is utilized for powering homes in peak tariff times— by lowering the grid usage.

Related: How is Solar Energy Environmentally Friendly? —Top 7 Green Benefits of PV Systems


  • Hybrid PV system is relatively expensive due to the combined cost of hybrid inverter and solar battery.
  • It needs proper handling and maintenance of its batteries.
  • Hybrid solar system has lower battery life, approximately ranging between 7 to 14 years.

Final Verdict

To summarize, the basic working methodology of both systems is quite similar— be it hybrid or on-grid solar system. Both of them convert the solar energy into DC power that is in turn converted to AC power by inverters which is utilized to run different home appliances. The basic difference is the storage of excess energy to be used at times of no solar energy input, which is stored in batteries in hybrid systems and is exported to grids (in turn providing credits to its users), in case of on-tied solar systems. Hybrid systems are better in terms of reliability while on-grid solar systems are a plus for people on a budget. You can select which solar system would be better for you— as per your needs, after going through this comprehensive explanation of both systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is hybrid PV system costly than on-grid solar system?

Because they come with battery backups. The combined cost of solar batteries and hybrid inverters make hybrid solar system expensive compared to on-tied solar system which lacks batteries.

How hybrid systems provide power when there is no solar energy?

These solar systems have batteries in which excess energy is stored. At times of no solar input energy, they isolate the whole solar system from the grid and utilize the energy stored in solar batteries to run the home appliances (called islanding).

Why am I not saving money despite of switching to solar energy?

You probably are not saving despite going solar— firstly because your utility company does not provide user-friendly net metering policies.

Secondly, shade by large number of trees on the roof can also reduce solar power and in turn electric output. Installment of lesser solar panels due to smaller roof size can also minimize power output — thus it won’t cut down much of your bills.

Is it possible to run a complete house on solar energy?

Certainly yes! A large amount of daily solar input and the correct choice of PV plates, solar batteries and inverters are a few factors that can help for powering an entire house with solar energy.