Pakistan requires alternate sources of energy to both deal with the environmental challenges and the energy shortage. Solar power system reduces the need for generators as the backup power can be provided either by grid, in the presence of power provided by the grid, or by installed batteries, in the absence of power provided by the grid. Hybrid solar systems are more appealing to the Pakistani market because majority of the households are connected to the grid but there is frequent load shedding. The Hybrid PV System includes solar panels, inverter, charge controller, power bank and power meter. This home solar panel setup enables the consumers to utilize both the solar energy as well as the energy from the solar panels giving the consumers a 24-hour energy availability.
Hybrid Photo-voltaic (PV) System in Pakistan
Hybrid photo-voltaic system consists of two types of PV systems combined together:
Grid Tied PV System
The first type is the Grid Tied PV System that is connected to the utility power grid. There is no storage of energy and the electricity generated is spent in real time. Grid-Tied System will only work in the presence of sunlight but it gives the consumers a backup power from the utility grid. This system consists of solar panels, inverter, and power meter. The power meter is connected to the grid and it measures the amount of electrical energy that is received from the grid and the amount of excessive energy that is fed into the grid. Consumers can save money with net metering which is the difference between the energy received from the grid and the energy fed into the grid. In advanced countries, excessive energy is sold to the company to whose grid the PV System is connected. This practice is not yet feasible in Pakistan.
Off-Grid PV System
The second type is the Off-Grid PV System which is also called a stand-alone PV System. This type of PV System is not connected to the grid and it requires a battery bank. The battery bank ensures the availability of electricity even in the absence of sunlight. The life of a battery is typically 10 years. Off-Grid PV System consists of solar panels, charge controller, power bank, inverter and an optional backup generator.
The Hybrid Photo-voltaic System is a combination of both Grid-Tied and Off-Grid PV Systems. It consists of Solar Panels, Inverter, Charge Controller, Power Bank and Power Meter. Hybrid PV System removes the need for a generator because the backup electricity is derived from the grid.
Cost of Hybrid Solar System in Pakistan
The host of a hybrid PV system largely depends over the capacity of load. For a general reference, a hybrid solar system for home use of 5 KVA can cost up to Rs. 250,000.