Hybrid Inverters: functions, benefits and products at a glance

A hybrid inverter is a 2-in-1 solution combining both solar and battery in one single device. This means that it not only converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) but also expedites the charging process of solar power to be stored in a connected battery. Find out more about the functions and benefits of hybrid inverters from SMA.

Hybrid Inverters: functions, benefits and products at a glance

Hybrid Inverters from SMA

Sunny Boy Smart Energy

Sunny Boy Smart Energy 3.8-US / 4.8-US / 5.8-US / 7.7-US

At the heart of the SMA Home Energy Solution is the new, ground-breaking Sunny Boy Smart Energy hybrid inverter for today’s smart home.

Sunny Boy Smart Energy

What is a hybrid inverter?

Hybrid inverters combine the functionalities of both solar and battery inverters in one device. Like solar inverters, they convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), enabling solar energy to be used in the home and fed into the utility grid. But that’s not all:

  • Hybrid inverters store excess energy, not immediately used, in a connected battery as direct current. Conversely, they can convert this stored direct current into alternating current when needed, ensuring efficient power conversion without loss.

  • When paired with a battery storage system, hybrid inverters ensure households have access to electricity in case of a grid failure.

Good to know

During a power outage, is a hybrid inverter beneficial?

During a power outage, is a hybrid inverter beneficial?

Yes! When a battery storage system is connected to the hybrid inverter, the battery can sustain power supply during an outage. This is because the hybrid inverter can convert direct current from the battery into alternating current for household appliances and needs. As a result, essential devices can remain operational even when there's a power outage.

Advantages of hybrid inverters

Hybrid inverters combine the functionalities of both solar and battery inverters, offering you a 2-in-1 solution. This results in a number of benefits:

Fewer components

Fewer components

Faster installation

Faster installation

Flexibility to add a battery storage system

Flexibility to add a battery storage system

Potential cost savings

Potential cost savings

Less installation space required

Less installation space required

How does a hybrid inverter work?

The functionality of a hybrid inverter connected with a battery storage system can be easily explained in the following steps:

  • Generating solar power: Solar power is produced by solar panels as direct current (DC). At this point, direct current is not a suitable source of power compatible for home use.

  • Feeding electricity into the household: The hybrid inverter converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This conversion is important so that electricity can be used in the home in the form of alternating current.

  • Solar Power Storage: When more electricity is generated than consumed, the excess solar power is stored in the battery as direct current. The advantage of using a hybrid inverter is that there's no energy loss, as direct current from solar panels can feed directly into the battery.

  • Battery discharge: When the energy demand exceeds the current output of the PV system, the stored power in the battery is converted into alternating current by the hybrid inverter. This avoids double conversion of solar power, minimizing energy loss during the conversion from DC to AC.

Hybrid inverters enable efficient utilization of the solar power generated. They allow electricity to be fed into the utility grid, consumed or stored temporarily for later use. At the same time, hybrid inverters ensure a reliable supply of electricity by controlling and monitoring the flow of electricity.

How does a hybrid inverter work?
  • Hybrid inverter converts direct current to alternating current

  • Alternating current is available to use within the home

  • Direct current is generated by the solar panel

  • Alternating current is fed into or drawn from the utility grid

  • Excess electricity is stored in the battery

Intelligent functions of SMA Hybrid Inverters

Hybrid inverters from SMA feature intelligent functions that make it easy and convenient to generate and store solar energy.

SMA Smart Connected – Intelligent Troubleshooting

SMA Smart Connected – Intelligent Troubleshooting

SMA Smart Connected is a free service offering around-the-clock monitoring. This service automatically monitors the hybrid inverter and proactively notifies both the system owner and installer about any issues that may arise.

SMA ShadeFix – Yield Optimization

SMA ShadeFix – Yield Optimization

SMA ShadeFix optimization is a proprietary, integrated inverter capability that optimizes PV system energy production in every situation – even when shading occurs.

Battery Storage – Protection when the grid goes down

Battery Storage – Protection when the grid goes down

A battery storage system ensures you have power even if the grid goes down. The battery supplies direct current to the hybrid inverter, which is then converted into alternating current that provides a reliable source of emergency power supply.

Maximizing Battery and Solar Inverters When Installed Together

Maximizing the efficiency of battery and solar inverters when installed together

When battery and solar inverters are installed together, unused energy from solar inverters can be stored in the connected battery. This ensures that the PV system is customized to meet various energy needs.

Frequently asked questions about hybrid inverters

What is the difference between solar inverters and hybrid inverters?

A solar inverter, also known as a PV inverter, converts direct current to alternating current. It’s the link between your PV system and the utility grid. A hybrid inverter does much more than that. It allows you to store excess solar power into a connected battery solution. Instead of needing two separate inverters (one for solar, one for a battery), a hybrid inverter does both jobs in one.


Does a hybrid inverter have to be operated with a battery?

Hybrid inverters from SMA can operate both with and without a battery. This means you can start without a battery storage system and then add a battery at any time, without requiring an additional battery inverter. Hybrid inverters are beneficial for those who may not be ready for a battery but wants the flexibility to integrate one in the future.


What are the benefits of hybrid inverters?

Hybrid inverters enable the efficient use of solar energy because they can be easily connected to a battery storage system. This means that solar energy can be used even when the sun is not shining or if there is a power outage. Storing your own solar power and using it yourself increases your self-consumption, cuts your electricity costs and provides emergency backup power.

Hybrid inverters merge the functionalities of solar inverters and battery inverters into a single device, streamlining installation and saving both time and money. Compared to separate solar and battery inverters, hybrid inverters require less overall space. SMA hybrid inverters are specifically engineered to be highly compact, minimizing wall installation space.


Is it worth buying a hybrid inverter?

Yes! A hybrid inverter benefits anyone who wants to be in control of their solar energy power without relying on the grid by providing the ability to store excess power in a battery storage system. Homeowners and businesses experience various benefits such as:

  • Energy independence

  • Lower energy costs through self-consumption

  • Reliable electricity supply even during utility grid outages

Our SMA POWERUP+ Installers can help you plan your PV system and advise on which device suits your individual needs.

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Can a hybrid inverter help you be self-sufficient and go off-grid?

If you want to generate your own electricity, a hybrid inverter is incredibly handy. It acts as a bridge between all your power sources—like solar panels, a generator, or a wind turbine—a battery storage system and your home's utility grid.


Find your local SMA POWERUP+ Installer

Find your local SMA POWERUP+ Installer

For a customized SMA Home Energy Solution, it’s best to seek advice from a professional solar installer.

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