The solar panels are the most distinguishable unit of a solar power system, yet it cannot carry its function without the other parts of the system. One of these critical units is the inverters. An inverter functions to convert DC ( direct current) into usable AC ( alternating current). A direct current is a kind of current that flows in one direction only while alternating current changes direction continuously as it flows. Alternating current is needed by most appliances to operate.
In the case of solar power, solar panels receive sunlight through the photovoltaic cells, which manufacture the direct current, then inverters convert it into alternating current. The current then flows to houses, buildings, and businesses through the electrical panels and then power up the different electricity-run appliances and devices.
Solar inverters play an essential part in making solar power usable in homes and businesses; let us then learn more about them here.
Off-Grid Inverters or Stand Alone Inverters
It operates when there is a direct current coming from a battery bank. The battery bank gets charged by the solar panels. As it is an off the grid inverter, it also requires a backup generator in cases of a power outage. Because it connects to the utility grid, using this inverter makes you energy self-sufficient.
On the other hand, grid-tied inverters can connect to the grid. They automatically shut down once power from the utility is lost; hence, there is no backup power. Using this kind of inverter will allow you to save more money with net metering, lower cost of equipment, and installation.
A lot of household uses this kind of inverter. Panels, when installed, are arranged in a row connected to a “string.” Several strings then link to a single inverter, which in turn converts the power into electricity. These inverters are ideal when trees or other things do not shade the panels, and they are only facing one direction.
Central inverters are much bigger than string inverters, but they are somewhat similar. All the strings connect to a box that moves the direct current to the inverter and converts it to alternating current. This kind of inverter is used in solar farms and large production installations.
Each solar panel has a micro inverter, so it is ideal for use in areas where the panels are shaded and facing multiple directions. Because the panels each have a micro inverter, the production of the shaded panels will not affect the output of other panels.
Battery Based Inverter/Chargers
These kinds of inverters require a battery to operate. It operates on two modes. The inverter mode applies when direct current from the batteries converts to alternating current while the charger mode functions in converting the AC into DC to power up the battery. They are beneficial because they provide continuous power even in power outages.
It is also referred to as a multi-mode inverter because it can use power both from the battery and solar panels and can power up batteries using either the electricity grid or solar panels.
When choosing inverters, what qualities or features should we consider?
High energy efficiency and cost-efficient
A good quality inverter should convert DC to AC at the most efficient rate at around 98%, which is the highest conversion rate for inverters.
The cost-effectiveness of the inverters will depend on its quality and type, and usually, the excellent quality and variety come with a high price also. But it does not mean that the high price will speak of good quality always so always compare and compute among the available ones in the market.
Secured and Durable
The electronic components and connections should be secured to avoid electric shocks to users. The inverter housing should also be able to shield the inverter from dust and rain, which can penetrate inside the inverter, in cases if it is outdoors.
Choose also the inverter that generates low noise during operation, especially when you will put it in a living space.
The best inverters can perform additional tasks, like monitoring the entire panel system. It can be connected with tracking devices to allow display and monitoring of essential data about your units at a glance.
Warranty and Certificates
The inverters should come with a warranty, and the least is ten years. It is also vital that they have environmental certificates that prove they do not contain harmful substances and operate safely.
Solar Shop Online has a wide range of solar products, including Growatt inverters and batteries. If you need more information or assistance, please call us at 1300 620 290 or email us at email@example.com. We would be happy to assist you!