This work describes a new control strategy for active energy flow in a hybrid photovoltaic (PV) system. The method introduces an online energy management by a hierarchical fuzzy controller between energy sources that consist of a photovoltaic panel (PVP), the battery and the load. The fuzzy logic controller has been developed for power splitting between PVP and battery, and it makes decision to choose the switching chain rules and corresponding controller. Simulation test results illustrate improvement in the operation's efficiency of online state of the switches and the battery's state of charge (SOC) has been maintained at a reasonable level. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.