Solar power is the trend nowadays. It's a renewable energy that doesn't produce pollution, which is great for the environment.
And if you decided to join the solar team, how do you use the power produced by your solar panels to power your appliances?
That's the job of the solar inverter and in this article, we'll tell you all about it.
What Is An Inverter?
Most appliances use alternating current (AC) to function. But what you get from your solar panels is direct current (DC).
An inverter is a small device that converts this direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) to power your device and charge your batteries.
What Are The Different Types Of Solar Inverters?
There are four main types of solar inverters:
1. Battery Inverters
This is your best option if you want to fit a battery into your solar system.
This inverter works by converting your battery power into 230V AC, then feeding it into your switchboard.
2. Central Inverters
This is mainly used for big systems that have hundreds or thousands of kilowatts.
Central inverters often look like large metal cabinets and usually have a monitoring system that allows you to track how much energy your solar panels are producing.
3. String inverters
If you have a small solar system, this is the best option for you.
String inverters are compact so it can be installed in your roof or mounted next to your switchboard.
This is a solar inverter that's attached to each individual solar panel, which means you don't have to worry about shading issues.
They're more efficient than string inverters and they can be installed in a roof or as part of your solar system.
How To Choose The Best Solar Inverter?
Two of the best inverters in the industry are Fronius and SMA. Here's a great comparison on Fronius vs SMA for you to read.
Inverters come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to do your research before you buy one. Some factors you may want to consider include:
What's your budget?
Are you willing to pay a bit more for a more efficient inverter?
Most inverters have an efficiency rating of 95% but there are some that have an efficiency rating of up to 98%.
What type of system do you have?
If you have a battery, then you'll need to buy a battery inverter.
If you have a big system, Central inverters are your best option.
If you have a small system, String inverters are the most compact and efficient.
Do you need an LCD monitor?
Some inverters come with an LCD monitor that will show you how much energy your solar panels are producing in real-time.
What type of warranty is included in the inverter?
Most manufacturers give warranties for at least five years but there are some that give warranties for up to 25 years.
What's your energy usage?
If you have a high energy usage, then you'll need an inverter that can handle a lot of power.
If you have a low energy usage, then an inverter with a lower wattage will be fine.
What type of environment is the inverter going to be used in?
Inverters that are used in harsher environments, like coastal areas, need to be corrosion-resistant.
What are the dimensions?
Some inverters are too large and can't be mounted on a roof. Make sure you have enough space to mount it before buying one.
What is your budget for maintenance?
Some inverters need more maintenance than others, so if you're willing to pay extra money every year then choose an inverter that needs more maintenance.
What's your lifestyle?
Do you have any big appliances that use a lot of power? If so, then make sure the inverter you choose can handle this.
What Size Solar Inverter Is Best?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
You need to consider your budget, the type of system you have, and how much energy your appliances use.
There are a range of inverters available on the market so there's sure to be one that fits your needs.
If you're not sure which inverter is right for you, talk to an expert who can help you decide.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of a solar inverter depends on its efficiency, capacity, size and type.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $0.50 per watt for an entry-level inverter up to over $15 per watt for high-end models.
Can I Use Solar Panels Without Inverter?
It is possible to use solar panels without an inverter, but this will only work for small systems and applications.
You can't just buy any inverter and expect it to be compatible with your system.
The most important thing is that the inverter's wattage should not exceed the capacity of your solar panels.
Solar inverters are essential if you want your solar panel system to work properly and produce the energy you need.
It may seem like a small device but it's important so make sure you do your research before buying one!
In the end, it is important to find an inverter that meets your specific needs and one that you are comfortable with.