What is Hybrid Solar AC?

Joe Brennan
Feb 14, 2024

Are you looking for a way to reduce your electricity bills and enjoy a comfortable cooling system in your home or office? If so, you might be interested in learning about hybrid solar AC, a new technology that combines solar power and conventional air conditioning. 

In this blog post, you will find out what hybrid solar AC ishow it works, what its benefits and drawbacks are, and how to choose the best hybrid solar AC for your needs. 

By the end of this blog, you will have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of this innovative and eco-friendly cooling solution. 

So, let's get started.

What is Hybrid Solar AC?

Hybrid solar AC, also known as solar hybrid air conditioner or solar-assisted air conditioner, is a type of air conditioning system that uses both solar energy and grid electricity to operate. Unlike conventional ACs that run entirely on grid power, hybrid solar ACs use solar panels to generate electricity, store it in batteries, or feed it back to the grid. This reduces the amount of grid power needed to run the AC, resulting in lower electricity bills and lower carbon emissions.

There are two main types of hybrid solar ACsdirect and indirect

  • Direct hybrid solar ACs use solar thermal collectors to heat a refrigerant, which then cools the air through a heat exchanger. 
  • Indirect hybrid solar ACs use photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce electricity, which then powers the compressor and the fan of the AC. 

Both types of hybrid solar ACs have a backup system that switches to grid power when the solar energy is insufficient or unavailable.

How Does Hybrid Solar AC Work?

The working principle of hybrid solar AC depends on whether it is a direct or indirect type. In this section, we will explain how each type works in detail.

Direct Hybrid Solar AC

A direct hybrid solar AC consists of four main components: a solar thermal collector, a heat-driven compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator

The process of direct hybrid solar AC can be summarised as follows:

  • The solar thermal collector collects solar energy and transfers it to the heat-driven compressor.
  • The heat-driven compressor compresses the refrigerant, increasing its temperature and pressure.
  • The refrigerant flows to the condenser, where it condenses and releases heat into the outside air.
  • The refrigerant flows to the evaporator, where it evaporates and absorbs heat from the indoor air, cooling it.
  • The refrigerant flows back to the compressor, completing the cycle.

The direct hybrid solar AC can also use grid power or gas as a backup heat source for the compressor when solar energy is insufficient or unavailable.

Indirect Hybrid Solar AC

An indirect hybrid solar AC consists of four main components: a photovoltaic (PV) panel, a battery, an inverter, and a conventional AC unit.

The process of indirect hybrid solar AC can be summarised as follows:

  • The PV panel collects solar energy and converts it into DC electricity.
  • The DC electricity is stored in the battery or fed back to the grid, depending on demand and supply.
  • The inverter converts the DC electricity into AC electricity that can power the AC unit.
  • The AC unit cools the air using the conventional refrigeration cycle.

The indirect hybrid solar AC can also use grid power as a backup source for the AC unit when solar energy is insufficient or unavailable.

What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Solar AC?

Hybrid solar AC has several benefits and drawbacks compared to conventional AC. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important benefits and drawbacks of Hybrid Solar AC:

Benefits of Hybrid Solar AC

  • Lower electricity bills: Hybrid solar AC can reduce the electricity consumption of the AC unit by using solar energy, which is free and abundant. This can save you money on your electricity bills and make your cooling system more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Lower carbon footprint: Hybrid solar AC can reduce the carbon emissions of the AC unit by using renewable energy, which is clean and green. This can help you reduce your environmental impact and contribute to the fight against climate change.
  • Higher efficiency: Hybrid solar AC can increase the efficiency of the AC unit by using solar energy, which is more stable and consistent than grid power. This can improve the performance and reliability of your cooling system and extend its lifespan.
  • Higher flexibility: Hybrid solar AC can offer you more flexibility and control over your cooling system by allowing you to switch between solar and grid power, depending on the availability and cost. This can help you optimise your energy usage and savings.

Drawbacks of Hybrid Solar AC

  • Higher initial cost: Hybrid solar AC can have a higher initial cost than conventional AC due to the additional components and installation required. This can make it less affordable and accessible for some customers, especially in developing countries.
  • Higher maintenance: Hybrid solar AC can have higher maintenance than conventional AC due to the complexity and sensitivity of the components and the system. This can increase operational and repair costs and require more technical skills and expertise.
  • Higher space requirement: Hybrid solar AC can have a higher space requirement than conventional AC due to the size and weight of the components and the system. This can limit the installation options and locations and affect the aesthetics and design of your building.

How to Choose the Best Hybrid Solar AC for Your Needs?

Choosing the best hybrid solar AC for your needs can be a challenging task, as there are many factors to consider and compare. In this section, we will provide you with some tips and guidelines to help you make an informed decision.

Determine your cooling needs

The first step is to determine your cooling needs, such as the size and type of your building, the number and location of your rooms, the climate and weather conditions, and your cooling preferences and habits. This will help you estimate the cooling capacity and efficiency that you need from your hybrid solar AC.

Compare the types of hybrid solar AC

The next step is to compare the types of hybrid solar AC, such as direct and indirect, and their features and specifications, such as the solar collector type, the refrigerant type, the battery type, the inverter type, and the AC unit type. This will help you evaluate the performance and suitability of each type for your cooling needs.

Compare the costs and benefits of hybrid solar AC

The final step is to compare the costs and benefits of hybrid solar AC, such as the initial cost, the operational cost, the maintenance cost, the electricity savings, the carbon savings, the efficiency, the flexibility, and the warranty. This will help you assess the value and return on investment of each type for your budget and goals.


Hybrid solar AC is a new and innovative technology that combines solar power and conventional air conditioning to provide you with a comfortable and eco-friendly cooling system. It can offer you many benefits, such as lower electricity bills, a lower carbon footprint, higher efficiency, and higher flexibility, but it can also have some drawbacks, such as a higher initial cost, higher maintenance, and a higher space requirement. 

Therefore, it is important to choose the best hybrid solar AC for your needs by considering and comparing your cooling needs, the types of hybrid solar AC, and the costs and benefits of hybrid solar AC.

If you are interested in installing a hybrid solar AC in your home or office, you can contact Going Solar. We can also help you with the installation, maintenance, and repair of your hybrid solar AC system. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Hybrid Solar Air Conditioner?

A Hybrid Solar Air Conditioner is an eco-friendly cooling system that uses solar power along with grid power. It operates using solar panels during the day and switches to the grid when solar energy is insufficient, ensuring continuous operation without the need for batteries​​.

How many solar panels are required to run a Hybrid Solar Air Conditioner?

The number of solar panels needed depends on the air conditioner's size and usage. Generally, for mini-split systems, 2-4 panels are required for each zone. For larger central air conditioning systems, the number can vary significantly based on the home's square footage​​.

Are Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners cost-effective?

While the initial cost is higher than traditional air conditioners, the long-term savings in electricity bills make them a cost-effective choice. The investment in a solar AC generally pays for itself within about 10 years​​.

Do Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners require special maintenance?

Maintenance requirements are similar to those of conventional air conditioners. However, additional components like solar panels and batteries (if present) may require periodic checks and servicing​​.

Can Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners cool a house as effectively as traditional ACs?

Yes, they are just as effective as traditional air conditioners in cooling a space. They are designed to work in various weather conditions, ensuring continuous cooling irrespective of solar availability​​​​.

What is the environmental impact of Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners?

These systems are more environmentally friendly as they significantly reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. By using solar energy, they contribute to a reduction in the ecological footprint of air conditioning​​.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.