With the growing number of solar innovations, more and more people have started to integrate their homes to use solar energy as their main source of power. They invest in solar systems, as a way to decrease the electricity costs in the long run, and to help the environment by reducing the collective dependence on fossil fuel. But before actually incorporating certain measures into having to live sustainably from this moment on, you have to understand what a solar system comprises. A whole solar system is composed of solar panels, solar power inverters, battery banks, and the charger controller. And though all of these elements are important, a solar inverter may be the crucial one.
Solar power inverters are components that are responsible for converting energy output from solar panels into a usable electricity form. It changes the variable direct current output of a solar panel into alternating current. Direct current is the power that flows in one direction in the circuit. It assists in providing current when there is no electricity. Then, this alternating current is the standard flow of electricity required for electrical circuits and domestic appliances to work. People consider inverters to be the brain of the project.
When electricity is not used, solar panels still get a sufficient amount of energy from the sun and just store it into home battery storages. There are hybrid inverters that have been innovated, which includes an integrated battery management system. But then, if you want your solar power systems to last long, you must have high quality solar power inverters to integrate.
How Do Solar Power Inverters Work
As mentioned above, solar power inverters are vital components of solar systems. Solar panels would not work if there are no inverters linked to them. Actually, a solar inverter works by taking the variable direct current from your solar panels, using the energy that they get from the sun. Then, it transforms it into an alternating current.
In technical terms, solar panels make up semiconductor layers. These layers function in a way that it absorbs the light, then sends the energy to the panels. Energy runs around into each cell of the panel, moves between the positive and negative layers, producing direct current. Once the energy has been produced, it is either stored in a battery if it will not be used immediately, or sent directly to an inverter. When the energy is sent to solar power inverters, it runs through a transformer converting the direct current to an alternating current output. This is where your appliances and other equipment that need electricity to run efficiently. But then, this process still varies depending on the unit or the type of system you have.
Types or Solar Power Inverters
There are actually different types of solar power inverters that solar panels have — battery inverters, central inverters, hybrid inverters, microinverters, and string inverters. Battery inverters are the most common one. They may possibly be the best option if you need to retrospectively incorporate a battery into your solar system. This is ideal also if you want to keep your battery separate to your solar panels. Then, it will run through a different inverter. Battery inverters function by converting your battery power into alternating current, feeding it into your switchboard wherever possible.
Central and Hybrid Inverters
With central inverters, on the other hand, they are huge inverters used for systems requiring hundreds of kilowatts, or even megawatts, of volume. They integrate into commercial structures for large-scale installations. Central inverters are ideally stored inside a large metal cabinet. Each cabinet can be able to handle at least 500 kilowatts of power. Another type of power inverters are the hybrid ones. People refer them as hybrid inverters, also known as the multi-mode inverters. This one allows you to connect batteries to your solar system. It functions in a way that it engages with the connected batteries through “DC coupling”. Then its electronics organize the charging and the discharging of the battery.
Microinverters and String Inverters
Microinverters, as the name suggests, are super small inverters that optimize each solar panel individually. This actually provides more energy. Each panel in the solar system equip microinverters. They transform the direct current output into an alternate current without having to connect a separate central inverter. Thus, they considered to be much more convenient than other types. This is because it allows you to monitor each of the solar panels’ performance as well. The last type of inverter would be the string inverters. They are the most common type of inverter, especially ideal for residential use. String inverters involve a string of solar panels that connects to them. This type of inverter is also the most cost-effective option available.
Solar Inverter Costs and Savings
It is true that you will spend quite a huge amount initially in purchasing a solar power system. But with its benefit of having to reduce your electricity consumption, hence the decreased electric bills, you will for sure get the return of investment in no time. You will be able to save a lot in the long run. Just make sure that you will integrate the solar power system properly to achieve optimal results as well. And in terms of solar power inverters, the type you will be needing depends on the system size that will fit your property perfectly. Thus, the prices of the inverters greatly vary.
In installing the solar power system, the initial price should include the cost and installation of the solar inverter as well. But in contrast as to how impressive the lifespan of solar panels is, it is less likely that inverters are the same. They might not last as long as they do. You have to replace the solar inverters, at some point in time.
A good way to know what solar power inverters you will need when you purchase a solar system for your residential or commercial properties, is by calculating the amount of energy you need to provide for your appliances. With a high quality inverter, there is almost no limit to what you can do with the power you gather. All aspects of the components must have to be understood, before actually having a solar system installed to your structure. This is a way for you to choose what will work for your panels in their optimal levels.