Deciding on solar power for your home or business as attractive an option as it is naturally raises a few questions for people wanting to know more about the big picture of putting solar on their roof.In addition to the financial side of going solar incentives and rebates you may be holding on to some questions about the system itself.
While you may have a basic idea of how solar works, you can still be looking for some illumination on certain specific aspects of your solar PV system. It is important to know what exactly it is you are putting on your roof.
A solar inverter, or converter or PV inverter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.
Whether you have a 2 kW residential PV system or a massive 5 MW utility grade system, the inverter is the crucial ingredient to help you go from power generation to actually getting to use the electricity.
As Solar Power World explains, the inverter converts the direct current (DC) output of the solar panels to the alternating current (AC) on which a majority of residential and commercial appliances run.
There are a few different kinds of inverters. A stand-alone inverter is a single inverter that collects DC power from batteries that are charged by the panels when they are exposed to sunlight.
Micro-inverters are connected to each panel and convert the DC to AC for every panel individually, which can make each one more efficient. Ask your installer which kind of inverter is right for your home.
What else can it do?As if solar inverters weren’t impressive enough already (they are the whole reason that solar works!), they do even more for your system and home.
This means that if your inverter detects a problem with your system down to an individual panel your installer will know about it and can send someone over for maintenance.
Inverters also improve the efficiency of the whole system.
Energy gets lost when it is transferred from the panels to the home so an inverter that can minimize those losses delivers more power to your home and saves you more money.
Solarpro stated out in their article that inverters become more efficient, installers will need to install fewer panels – saving you money upfront and making solar even more attractive than it already is.