In most of the US, there is less sunlight and more wind in the winter. The opposite is true for the summer months with more sunlight and less wind. Likewise, the peak operating times throughout the day for wind and solar generation is different. Combining a wind power system and a photovoltaic system can potentially expand the amount and the time periods of energy production. This is what makes hybrid power systems so appealing. Hybrid power systems combine two ways of generating electricity into a single system that creates a more continuously producing system.
Batteries and sometimes engine-powered generators are added to the hybrid system to make it more self-sustaining. Batteries store the excess generated power for off-peak times. During off-peak times when the batteries run low, generators provide the power and recharge the batteries.
When generators are added to hybrid systems, the complexity is handled by modern electronic controllers. These controllers can operate the systems automatically. Adding a generator can reduce the size of other components but generally increases the cost.
The Hybrid Power System Site
Wind turbines should be placed facing the prevailing wind direction. Prevailing wind direction refers to the direction from which wind provides the most power. Needless to say, the system should not be installed if obstructions are in the way of either the wind or the solar energy. You also will need enough room to raise and lower the turbine for maintenance and for guy wires if they are required.
The solar panels should be facing south and the view of the sun should be unobstructed. They also should be angled equal to the latitude of your location. You have a little leeway in adhering to these guidelines since slight deviations result in only a moderate reduction in output.
Unfortunately, the hybrid system is not a perfect solution for every situation. Only certain climates meet all of the system requirements to be completely operational. It may not be worth the investment if the costs to make up for that are extremely expensive. You may not get a great return on investment if that is the case.
Is a hybrid system viable for homeowners?
Thanks to the multiple ways in which electricity can be generated, hybrid systems can sustain a home for longer than a system featuring only solar panels, or only wind turbines. If your home is more than a mile off-grid, you may want to consider a hybrid power system. Paying for power lines to be run to your site can be really expensive. With the continuing popularity of renewable energy sources, costs could continue to go down as new research is done