Solar technology has been becoming more popular in the past few years. The technology has progressed to a point where it can be used by the general population. The most significant usage of solar technology right now can be seen in solar power solutions for homes. Throughout the world, solar arrays for powering entire homes are becoming common.
Residential solar solutions have the ability to make you completely independent of commercial energy. There is a lot of money saving in this in the long-run, making it a very attractive option for most people.
A solar array is made of a number of components. It harnesses the sun’s energy and uses it to produce electricity. This electricity then gets stored in batteries from where it is supplied to your house. However, electricity produced by solar panels cannot be used right away. This is because solar energy-based electricity is DC (Direct Current). Our houses require AC (Alternating Current). In order to make solar electricity usable, we must first convert DC to AC. This is where the solar inverter comes in.
What is a Solar Inverter?
A solar inverter is a crucial component in your solar array. It is responsible for converting produced energy into a usable form. Without a solar inverter, your solar array can become pretty much useless as you will not be able to use the energy that it produces. Electrical appliances require AC in order to function. DC can actually damage your electronics since you cannot adjust its voltage levels.
How Do Solar Inverters Work?
Simply put; a solar inverter converts DC to AC. Depending on the type of solar array you have; you will require a different kind of inverter. For solar arrays that are designed to power entire buildings, more advanced inverters are required.
Solar inverters are also equipped with hardware that lets them monitor the state of your energy production and consumption. This allows them to regulate the flow of energy in your solar array.
In order to convert DC to AC, an inverter generates square waves (AKA modified Sine Waves). The more advanced an inverter is, the more waves it can produce at different steps. These waves determine the voltage range of the AC current being produced. An advanced inverter will be able to produce a wider voltage range, allowing you to plug more devices into your solar array.
Types of Inverters
As we mentioned above, solar inverters come in different varieties. Their AC current output and voltage range vary from model to model. For larger grids, you need more complex inverters with a bigger output.
If you think about it, the inverter is a lot like the brain of an entire solar grid. Not only does it convert energy to AC as needed, it also checks voltage levels. It is responsible for keeping a check on power-surges as well. Grid-tied inverters have the added responsibility of checking when to cut-off excess supply to the grid and when to resume it.
These inverters are used in solar arrays that are connected to the commercial grid. A lot of residential solar arrays are designed to supply excess energy to the commercial grid. Grid-tied inverters manage the supply of excess energy while also managing energy supply to your property.
Grid-tied inverters also let you set up a hybrid energy solution. They keep your property connected to your solar array and as well as the commercial grid. Hybrid systems can be used without batteries. Whenever there is sufficient sunlight, your solar array provides your home with free energy. And when the solar array isn’t able to produce energy, your house switches to commercial energy. You can add batteries to a hybrid system. Doing so will create a backup energy reserve that you use if your energy solution becomes compromised.
How Do They Work?
Grid-tied inverters have a pretty complicated internal operation. They are fitted with a microprocessor and a host of sensors. Apart from converting DC to AC, they also monitor voltage levels. They calculate when to switch from solar to commercial energy and vice-versa.
Their complexity makes them really dependable. Thanks to this, grid-tied inverters have become really popular. Should your solar array fail, your system will automatically switch to commercial energy. You can also make money from supplying excess energy to the grid.
What to Look For in a Good Inverter?
We have established the fact that solar inverters are really important. They manage the entire power supply of your system. This is why it is very important to pick the right kind of solar inverter for your system. The best way to ensure that you buy a quality inverter is to check for the following:
- The management of your solar system
- The electrical requirements of your property
- The power range of your inverter
- The power features of your inverter
- The power efficiency of your system and inverter
If you plan on powering your entire home with solar power, you will probably need more inverters. Multiple inverters can be combined in a single system in order to improve their performance and maximize their efficiency.
Picking the right inverter can be tough since this device is so complicated. However, you shouldn’t worry. Apart from developing some basic knowledge about this device, you can ask for help from professional solar solution providers.
Remember, the type of solar inverter that you will fit in your system will determine the overall performance of your solar array. A low-end, simple inverter will limit the full potential of your solar array. Grid-tied inverters are popular because they maximize the potential of your grid. You can setup hybrid power solutions with fail-safe options. You can also make money by supplying excess energy to the commercial grid.
Regardless of what kind of solar solution you install, you will enjoy energy savings in the long run. Going off the grid can help you save loads of money since your energy consumption will become free of cost.