Solar Inverters: Understanding Their Role in the Solar Energy System
A home solar installation is more than just the rooftop panels. While panels do play a critical role in residential solar, one of the most important components is the solar inverter. It’s also one of the most expensive, which makes it one many people try to skimp on. But without an adequate inverter, the entire home solar installation could fail.
By understanding the role of an inverter, it’s possible to make an informed decision about how much to budget for when planning your solar investment.
What Role Solar Inverters Play
A basic home solar photovoltaic system is relatively simple. Photovoltaic (PV) modules capture sunlight and turn it into DC electricity. This DC is transferred to the inverter and then converted to AC voltage. Understanding what happens next – and which solar inverter one needs – primarily depends on whether it needs to connect to the main power grid or not.
Off Grid Solar Inverters
Off grid solar inverters are designed to operate stand-alone. These are used in isolated systems where energy can be stored via battery before being converted to AC power in the home. One critical aspect of off grid solar inverters is that the output power of the inverter must support the connected loads. If more electricity is generated than the inverter can handle, the entire system could break down.
That’s why it’s a good idea to err on the side of more output power capacity. It’s better to pay a little more up front than have to replace an entire installation later.
Grid Tie Solar Inverters
While off grid solar inverters are generally simple, grid tie solar inverters must accomplish more than just converting DC to AC electricity. When tied to a grid, solar inverters must:
- Connect the solar panel array to the utility grid via the utility power meter
- Adapt voltage and frequency of the AC to match the connected grid
- Provide DC and AC protections
- Monitor and log electricity usage
- Maximum Power Point Tracking
In addition to these functions, grid tie solar inverters also need to provide anti-islanding technology.
One of the benefits of a solar power system is that they continue to generate usable electricity in the event of a power outage. While this provides a benefit to the homeowner, connected systems can pose some risk to utility workers trying to repair the grid (as electricity goes from the home to the grid, which would otherwise be dead).
For safety reasons, connected solar inverters are usually required to have some sort of anti-islanding technology installed. This causes the inverter to automatically detect grid power outages and immediately stop sending generated electricity to the main grid.
Is This a Good Value?
With the additional cost of a good solar inverter, it’s easy to wonder if they’re a good value or not. There are several factors that should be considered:
- What kinds of warranties are included?
- If there is a problem, who can you turn to for help?
- What happens if an individual solar module stops working?
For these reasons, Fusion Power is the leading provider of quality inverters and complete solar systems solutions.
Our experienced team owns the entire solar installation process from top to bottom. From designing your system to obtaining the right permits to installing and servicing your system, you’ll be completely taken care of.
Even better, we provide the best equipment and warranties on the market. Our inverters come with 12-25 year warranties. Plus, you’ll be able to monitor how much your solar system is producing – letting you know exactly how much money you’re saving over traditional grid-based power.
A quality solar investor is the key to the entire solar energy system. Because your entire system output is limited by what it can handle, it’s important to invest in one that has the features and capacity you need.
The good news is even with a top-rated solar inverter, you’ll still save money over the life of your solar system.
Call Fusion Power today at 480-676-1433 to learn about solar options for your home and find the right solar generator/inverter for you. We’re dedicated to helping you find the most sustainable, smart solution.