In any solar system, the inverter plays an essential role. Its main function is to convert the DC energy generated by the solar panels into AC. It allows the system operators to monitor the system’s operation.
What is a Solar Inverter?
A solar inverter is an electrical device that changes the DC output of a solar panel to AC. This current can be used for various applications such as powering an off-grid electrical network. In a solar system, an inverter is a dangerous component that can cause system malfunction.
Solar Inverter and It’s Working
To achieve this, the inverter uses the DC power from the solar panel and converts it into AC power. It does so by using a set of IGBTs that are designed to work in parallel.
A step-up transformer is also used to provide AC power to the system. Usually, designers use this component to make their inverters more energy-efficient.
A pre-programmed microcontroller is also used to control the output power of the solar panel.
Types of Solar Inverters
The classification of solar inverters can be done based on the application which includes the following.
A string-based solar system has multiple panels that are connected together using a string. The DC power from these components is then used to convert it into AC.
Power optimizers are also commonly used with string inverters. Since they are modules-level components, they can be mounted anywhere in the system. They provide many advantages over microinverters.
Although they’re not related to the main component, string inverters have the same basic design. Instead of running the strings directly to the inverter, the panels are combined into a combiner box to prevent the DC power from running toward the middle inverter.
These are typically used for utility-scale solar farms and large commercial installations.
These are also module-level components that are used for commercial and residential setups. Since they’re not related to the main component, they do not require a string type inverter.
Instead of monitoring the performance of each solar panel, string inverters help make the system more energy-efficient by taking advantage of the varying characteristics of each string. They can also transmit more energy when compared to standard ones.
Battery based Inverter
The continuous growth of battery-based inverters has raised their popularity. They are uni-directional and can be operated with both an inverter and a battery charger. They provide continuous operation for critical loads.
This type of inverter allows the use of both AC & battery-powered systems. It uses a method known as DC coupling to interface the batteries.
Advantages of Solar Inverter
The main benefits of solar inverter include the following.
- Solar energy decreases the greenhouse effect as well as abnormal weather change.
- By using solar products, we can save money by reducing electricity bills
- The solar inverter is used to change DC to AC and this is a reliable source of energy.
- These inverters empower small businesses by reducing their energy needs & requirements.
- These are multifunctional devices as they preprogrammed to alter DC to AC which assists large energy consumers.
- Easy to set up & more reasonable compared with generators.
- Maintenance is easy as they work well even with usual maintenance.
Disadvantages of Solar Inverter
- The main drawbacks of solar inverter include the following.
- This kind of inverters is expensive to afford.
- Sunlight is necessary to generate sufficient electricity.
- It requires a huge space for installation.
- It requires a battery to work at night time to provide proper electricity to the home, commercial, etc.