A hybrid inverter, otherwise known as a hybrid grid-tied inverter or a battery-based inverter, combines two separate components–a solar inverter and a battery inverter–into a single piece of equipment.
An inverter is a critical component of any solar energy system: you need it to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity for your home’s appliances. If you install a solar panel system with a traditional inverter and decide to add a battery system later on, you’ll need a separate battery-specific inverter to convert the electricity back and forth from AC to DC current for your battery to store and discharge.
However, when you pair your solar panel system with a hybrid inverter, a separate battery inverter isn’t necessary: it can function as both an inverter for electricity from your solar panels and a solar battery.
Importantly, while hybrid inverters are designed to incorporate storage, you can install this technology without batteries; in fact, many people choose to install a hybrid inverter preemptively in anticipation of adding batteries to their system in the future.