A modest “hybrid” electric system that combines home wind electric and home solar electric (photovoltaic or PV) technology offers significant advantages over either solo system, according to many renewable energy specialists.
Wind speeds are low in parts of the United States during the summer, when the sun shines brightest and longest. In the winter, when there is less sunlight, the wind is particularly fierce. Hybrid systems are more likely to produce power when you need it because the peak operating times for wind and solar systems are at different times of the day and year.
Many hybrid systems are stand-alone systems that run “off-grid,” meaning they are not connected to a power grid. When neither the wind nor the solar system is producing, most hybrid systems rely on batteries and/or a diesel-fueled engine generator to produce power. The engine generator can generate electricity and recharge the batteries if the batteries run low.
The system becomes more complex when an engine generator is included, however contemporary electronic controllers can handle these systems automatically. An engine generator can also help to lower the size of the system’s other components. Remember that the storage capacity must be sufficient.