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The difference between a hybrid and a hybrid-ready inverter

If choosing the ideal solar brands wasn’t hard enough, now you’re faced with certain terminologies that sound like a virtual foreign language. The good news is that you’re not alone. Many seasoned solar professionals consistently try to stay up-to-date with the evolving product contortions aimed at making energy solutions more accessible. 

Key points

As solar energy gained mass mainstream appeal, a once disconnected product suite, (a) the solar inverter for solar panels and (b) the battery inverter for DC-coupled batteries, came together to form the humble hybrid inverter. Or more technically referred to as multimode-inverter. However, with more technology within the box, manufacturers cannot absorb the cost as a financially viable competitor to the solar-only inverter. Yet certain manufacturers view their hybrid inverter series as the future direction of the home energy ecosystems. We’re somewhat in agreement towards achieving communicative product harmony.

Nevertheless, a price gap became evident when certain hybrid-inverters had superior capabilities. Fortunately, someone had the ability to think outside of the box. “The combined incorporated technology is worth X amount. Let’s close the gap on solar-only inverters with a locked battery function. Customers can pay to unlock their inverter when they choose…”. An ideal solution for those initially less committed to batteries on their sustainable energy journey, improving initial ROI (Return on Investment).

Derek McKercher discusses hybrid-ready inverters with Markus Lambert from Your Energy Answers.

During an interview on Your Energy Answer with Markus Lambert, PSW Energy’s Director Derek McKercher touches base on his views towards the relatively new term ‘hybrid-ready inverter’, suggesting that customers can access arguably more comprehensive technology at a reduced entry price point. However, understanding the battery port unlocking fee provides overall product value.


A hybrid ready is a locked inverter. It's got the mechanisms internally that allow it to be it. It software locked. When you are ready to add a battery, you just pay it a fee and then it unlocks that component.


And what that does is gives you access to better technology or more comprehensive technology at a reduced price point.

From a previous topic, Markus questioned Derek about ‘hybrid-ready inverters’.  The forthcoming answer was evaluated as a software-restricted platform to assist customers in acquiring a comprehensive inverter option at a reduced entry point. Aligned with particular mainstream manufacturers, Derek believes that when customers interact and enjoy the benefits of their newly adopted solar only power supply, they’ll soon seek energy storage options in the near future.

Which should you choose? The unlocked hybrid inverter option or the locked hybrid-ready inverter. If choosing a DC battery option simultaneously with solar, a hybrid inverter is the only option.

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If choosing solar only, yet have the view to adopt compatible DC coupled batteries within the next 2-3 years, choices where a hybrid-ready inverter is available, such as Goodwe and Fronius, reduce the initial outlay while deciding on which battery to choose as selected AC coupled batteries may become more appealing in the future.

Point of caution: There is an argument that inverter unlocking fees could always rise over time. However, this could prove counterproductive to the one energy ecosystem goal many inverter manufacturers aim for in 2024. If you want to explore whether a hybrid or hybrid-ready inverter is ideal for your solar project, contact PSW sales support to learn more. 

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