What is solar inverter?
The solar inverter is one of the most important components in the solar power generation system. It converts the variable direct current (DC) output of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels into 240V alternating current (AC). This AC power can then be fed into your home to operate your appliances.
Then, the unused electricity in your home is either fed into the grid (power line) or fed into the home battery storage. The new hybrid inverter includes an integrated battery management system. Long-lasting solar power generation systems require high-quality inverters with powerful convection cooling systems.
Types of solar inverters
There are five main types of solar inverters, they are as follows:
1. Micro inverter
Do not confuse it with power optimizer. The power optimizer tends to send the collected power to the central inverter to convert direct current to alternating current, while the micro inverter installed for each panel tends to optimize the power of each panel at the module level. Therefore, the conversion of direct current to alternating current occurs in each inverter connected to each panel. Therefore, shadows on one panel will not affect other panels, thereby reducing variation or not affecting optimal efficiency. In addition to commercial use, micro-inverters have also been selected as the best home solar inverters. Although they used to be expensive in the past, their prices have recently fallen to a reasonable level.
2. Central inverter
Similar to the string inverter, but instead of placing the battery panel string in the inverter, it connects all the battery panel strings together and then inserts it into the protected combiner box middle. These strings are then connected to an inverter, which receives direct current from the combiner box and then converts it to alternating current. Since the inverter only needs to use a combiner box and pads, its installation cost is very low. In addition, since it is kept in a protected area not affected by any severe weather, it is not vulnerable to any physical or natural damage. Since they have a larger capacity compared to string and micro inverters, they are mainly used in large properties.
3. String inverter
As the name suggests, multiple strings from solar panels are connected to the inverter, and then the direct current generated in it is converted into alternating current. The solar system on the roof does not require more than one or at most two string inverters. They are cheaper than other types of inverters and are closer to fuse boxes and electric meters. The problem with this type of inverter is that if one panel is blocked by the sun, the remaining panels will also be destroyed, and the efficiency will be greatly reduced-in addition, there will be less space for expanding solar panels in the future. This kind of inverter is the main type of household solar inverter.
4. Hybrid solar inverter
This is a multi-mode inverter, involving battery installation and inverter settings. The inverter not only provides DC power for the battery, but also powers the grid and your home appliances in the form of AC. Equipped with MPPT, it can track how much power your battery needs and when to extract power from the grid at a low price. When the battery is fully charged, the charge controller can be used to send the excess power back to the grid. If there are any problems, the inverter can go into standby mode instead of shutting down completely.
5. Battery-based inverter/charger
Most off-grid solar systems tend to charge the battery by themselves, but in winter or when the sun is severely shaded, it is often difficult for solar systems to fully charge the battery. Therefore, the inverter/charger starts to meet the energy demand of the system. This type of inverter is bidirectional, which means it can be used as both a battery charger and an inverter. In this system, an alternator is needed to trigger the conversion of alternating current to direct current, and vice versa.
This type of inverter can be an off-grid, grid-connected or grid-connected inverter.
With the help of the inverter/charger, the generator’s AC power is converted to DC power for battery power, and DC power is converted to AC power to provide continuous power supply for critical loads.