How Do I Choose A Solar Panel Inverter?
A Definitive Guide to Choosing a Solar Inverter
Solar-generated energy is one of the few sustainable, low-carbon energy technologies with the potential for large-scale use around the globe. Solar power is a trend with serious momentum; as rapid technological advances make solar power more and more efficient and cost-effective, more and more individuals, businesses, and communities are tapping into the endless power of the sun to meet their energy needs.
Solar systems require investment in various equipment components including solar panels, inverters, and battery storage. Although you may have an understanding of the solar panels and batteries feature, you may not be as familiar with solar inverters. The following is a short basic guide.
The Job of a Solar Inverter
Inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity which either comes directly from solar panels or from battery storage to normal alternating current (AC) electricity which is used to power all commercial appliances. An inverter is the connection between the power users and the photovoltaic (PV) network.
In addition to converting electricity, inverters perform a range of other functions that are vital to your solar energy system’s optimum efficiency such as data tracking and automated utility controls. With high energy output and low maintenance costs, a reliable, well-functioning inverter keeps the entire system running efficiently.
Types of Solar Inverters
Solar inverter technologies can be classified into two basic groups: string inverters and module-level power inverters, or MLPEs.
String inverters are by far the most popular and the most cost-effective inverters worldwide. String inverters are a tried and tested device that has been used for decades. The operating principle is simple: each solar panel “line” is connected to a single inverter providing the necessary AC power. They are easy to mount, they are simple to run and they are budget-friendly. Their production is capped by the lowest generating panel in the string; it works better when each panel is continuously receiving equal amounts of sun all day.
MLPE systems are of two types: micro-inverters and power optimizers. Solar panel is fitted with its own small inverter in a microinverter system, which converts the DC power obtained by that panel into AC electricity at the spot. Microinverters are the way to go if the solar system faces several directions or if any panels encounter shading during the day. These systems are more costly than single-inverter systems as each panel has its own inverter, but their versatility allows for the use of solar power is far more demanding circumstances.
Power optimizers walk a fine line between microinverters and string. Every solar panel is equipped with its own optimizer in an engineered system that conditions the DC power and sends it along to a string inverter. Optimized systems are less expensive than microinverters and are more effective than regular string systems.
While deciding between a string inverter or microinverters, you must also decide between a grid-tied network vs. an off-grid system. The voltage is regulated by a grid-tied inverter, converts it to AC, synchronizes the current phase and frequency to match that of the distribution grid, and sends excess power to the storage grid. Off-grid inverters, on the other hand, transmit excess power to and draw stored power from on-site batteries for full grid-independence.
Nothing has as much promise as the sun, in the constant search of cost-efficient, clean, and renewable energy sources. In essence, our sun is a giant nuclear reactor that releases enough energy-packed photons every hour to meet global energy needs, at least in principle, for a whole year. That’s quite a lot of electricity. The challenge is finding out how to efficiently and effectively harness that energy. The good news is that solar experts across the globe are rapidly evolving technologies that make a solar-powered planet look ever more feasible. With solar power growing, you may consider switching your home or business to solar energy. You’ve still got a few questions about switching to solar. Besides the obvious concerns about facilities, finances and logistics, you may even inquire about the system itself.
Considering Going Solar? Solar Harmonics is Here to Help
Most of our clients are looking for a company they can trust to help them go solar. Based on our decade in business, online reviews, and Diamond Certification, Solar Harmonics is the best choice to trust to complete your solar project on time, on budget, and with the expected results. It is our mission to design the best value solar panel system that produces reliably over the next 30 – 40 years, and saves the most money for our clients. If the financial goals of our clients intersects with the global and environmental goals of our founder, it is a win for everyone except the utility companies. Contact us today for your free quote!