If solar panels are the brawn of your solar energy system, the inverter is its brain and they work together to ensure you get the maximum amount of electricity. Most people are familiar with solar panels because they are the most visible part of a solar power system, but the solar inverter is an equally important component to consider, as it allows electricity from the sun's rays to be converted into useful electricity for your household.
This month, Solaris Tech will look at what a solar inverter does, how it works and why you need a solar inverter.
Solar panels generate Direct Current (DC) electricity, but your home runs off of Alternating Current (AC) electricity, so you have a problem. Your household needs some help to use the energy from the sun. That is where a solar inverter steps in.
So what is a solar inverter? The primary purpose of a solar inverter is to transform the DC electricity from solar panels into usable AC electricity for your home. Because of this, you can also think of the solar inverter as a solar converter.
When a solar-powered home is connected to the grid, the inverter for home energy acts as the middleman between your home and the electric grid. This is called a grid-tie inverter.
Beyond its primary function of converting solar energy into a usable current, a solar PV inverter possesses many capabilities. It goes beyond simply harnessing the sun's rays; it also plays a crucial role in optimizing energy production, monitoring system output, facilitating communication with the utility grid, and identifying potential faults that could threaten your solar power system.
Solar inverters actively monitor and optimize the voltage of your solar array, enabling the panels to operate at their peak performance and generate the highest-quality electricity with minimal waste.
In the case of grid-tied home solar inverters, they go further by producing a pure sine wave output. This smooth and seamless waveform is crucial for efficiently operating your delicate and sensitive appliances, setting them apart from lower-cost inverters that generate a modified sine wave. With a pure sine wave inverter, you can ensure your valuable electrical devices' smooth functioning and longevity.
Is it exciting to see your solar power system generate thousands of watts on a sunny day, so naturally, most homeowners want a way to monitor the performance of their investment
Most solar panel inverters provide a means to monitor the real-time energy production of your system. Some advanced models even offer the convenience of tracking your solar system's performance through a mobile app or website, allowing you to stay updated on its efficiency and output.
In the event of any malfunction or underperformance, certain home inverters have the capability to assess the overall performance of your solar power system automatically. You will receive timely alerts if any component issues are detected, ensuring prompt attention and resolution. Additionally, you can utilize the performance tracking feature of your home inverter to periodically evaluate the functionality of your system's components, ensuring that it continues to generate the desired amount of electricity.
Solar inverters ensure electricity is not transmitted from your panels to the external power lines during a temporary power outage. Any line worker checking or repairing the grid will be protected from injury.
If you have a full solar battery bank, or your household doesn't require all of the solar electricity being generated, the inverter can also feed the surplus electricity into the grid to help you generate net energy credits.
Aging and degradation of your electrical wiring and solar equipment can have the potential for hazardous electrical faults, like ground faults or arcs, if not properly maintained. If such an event occurs, the solar power inverter will quickly detect the issue and shut down, thereby protecting the rest of the system, and alerting you about a service need before any additional damage occurs.
String inverters typically have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years, though if mounted in a cool, well-ventilated location and maintained properly, it can last up to two decades.
Microinverters and power optimizers entered the industry more recently, so there’s less data on their expected lifespan. That said, most manufacturers are confident that their products can outlast the 20- to 25-year warranties that come with the products.
If you are looking for help regarding solar inverter installation to invest in a solar power system for your home and trying to decide what inverter option is right, an easy way to get started is with our obligation-free chat. Dial 1300-946-524 and speak with our experts directly.