Why Solar Inverter is Important For Solar Panel System?

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Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by admin

Importance of Solar Panels Inverter: Maximizing Solar Energy Efficiency and Safety

Solar panels have become the talk of the town in recent years due to their cost-effective nature, but many people overlook the importance of solar inverters. If solar systems are the body of PV modules, then solar panel inverters hold the position of the soul of the system. They work together to maximize the power production of your solar array. Inverters are the main component that converts AC power generated by the solar PV modules into a usable DC form. This DC power is used to power household electronic appliances. In this article, we will explore the importance of solar panel inverter and their impact on the overall performance of a solar power system.

solar inverter

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Important Points To Remember:

 
  • A solar inverter is a device that converts the DC (Direct Current) electricity produced by solar panels into AC (Alternating Current).
  • The solar inverter uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to optimize the performance of the solar panels.
  • The grid in the U.S. uses 60 hertz AC which means that electricity changes its movement every sixty seconds.
  • The main type of inverters that are popular in the solar market are string inverters, micro inverters, power optimizers, and hybrid inverters.
  • The solar inverter is important for maximizing energy production, ensuring system safety, system monitoring, and compatibility with battery storage.

What is in this article?

Why do we Need Solar Panel Inverter?

A solar inverter is a device that converts the DC (Direct Current) electricity produced by solar panels into AC (Alternating Current). Solar inverters are a crucial part of solar PV modules. Solar panels are only capable of generating DC electricity but it is not usable because the home electronic appliances run on AC electricity. Thus, to address this issue, solar inverters come into the picture. The prime purpose of an inverter is to convert DC power into AC power. Solar inverters are also known as solar converters which indicates the importance of solar panels inverter for PV modules. 

Moreover, AC electricity powers most electronic devices. These devices include daily life equipment such as lights, computers, and other appliances. The solar inverter uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to optimize the performance of the solar modules. It also manages the flow of electricity between the solar panel array, battery bank (if present), and the electrical grid. The inverters also help to regulate the voltage and frequency of the AC electricity to ensure that it is stable and safe for use. This represents the importance of solar panels inverter.

panel inverters

What are Alternating Current and Direct Current electricity?

Direct current involves the movement of electric charge in a single direction either in the positive or negative. While the alternating current, as the name suggests, involves the change in current flow in alternating directions. In AC, the flow of charges completes one cycle in the positive direction, and then in the next cycle they alternate the flow in the negative direction. The U.S. Grids use 60 hertz AC which means that electricity changes its direction every sixty seconds. Hertz is the unit of frequency. Frequency is the measure of the number of cycles or vibrations completed in a unit of time. 

When the solar rays hit the photovoltaic modules, they trigger the movement of electrons in the silicon cells. This flow of electrons usually occurs in one direction which leads to the generation of DC electricity. The circuit within your solar PV modules is responsible for the collection of this current eventually feeding it to the inverter. The solar inverter will then convert this DC electricity into usable AC electricity. This alternating current will power up your household electronic appliances. Hence, demonstrating the importance of solar panels inverter for household appliances.

voltage voltage

What are the Different Types of Solar Inverters?

Your solar installer will decide what type of inverter will be best for your rooftop because the importance of solar panels inverter cannot be denied. The following facts will impact your solar inverter type:

  1. The complexity of your rooftop.
  2. The frequency of shading on your rooftop.
  3. The usage of your solar electricity.
  4. Utility guidelines regarding your residential areas.
  5. The manufacturing partner of that company.
solar inverter choice

No one can deny the importance of solar panels inverter. That is why inverter technology is quotidian updating. Currently, the four main types of inverters that are popular in the solar market are:

1. String Inverters:

For this inverter, solar PV module connection takes place in a “String manner”. Afterward, you can connect multiple strings to a single central inverter. Due to this reason, this inverter is also regarded as a central inverter. The electrical current flows from solar panels to string inverters, which will make power available to home appliances after converting it into AC power. String inverters are the best affordable option for homeowners with basic roof layouts and with a consistent supply of sunlight.

Advantages of String Inverters:

 

  • Easy to maintain:

The structure of string inverters is the simplest which is why these inverters’ placement can take place in the basement, garage, and other easy-to-access locations.

  • Durability:

Due to the less complexity, these inverters can be quite durable.

  • Economical:

These inverters possess a simple setup and you only need one central inverter for several solar arrays. Hence, making string inverters the most affordable investment in the U.S. Solar market.

 

Disadvantages:

 

  • Faulty Performance of One Panel:

Since the bus model is used to construct the system for a string inverter, the underperformance or fault in one panel can lead to the breakdown of the entire structure.

  • Shading Impact:

The optimization of the string inverter is not possible according to the performance of each panel. So, this type of inverter is not good for a rooftop that faces problems like shading.

  • Complex System:

These inverters do not perform well in the system where the attachment of solar panels is not possible in a string manner.

  • Sizing:

You will not be able to expand your PV module using string inverters. The sizing of the string inverter is managed according to the number of panels in your solar system before installation. So, any change in the number of panels is not quite possible after installation.

2. Micro Inverters:

In the case of Micro inverters, a small inverter attachment takes place next to each panel. The conversion of DC to AC power happens right in the panels. This type of inverter is better to maximize energy production for complex roof layouts like roofs facing multiple directions or roofs with shading issues.

Advantages:

  • Shading:

Micro inverters are the perfect choice for homeowners whose roofs deal with the issue of shading. These inverters maximize the performance of each panel at the site. This will eventually lower the impact of shading on the overall yield of the solar PV modules. Hence showcasing the importance of solar panels inverter for solar arrays.

  • Complex Structure:

These inverters are suitable for the complex design of solar arrays. You can arrange your panels in every possible way you want by using micro-inverters.

  • Sizing:

By utilizing micro-inverters, you can increase or decrease the size of your solar system according to your home’s electrical power requirement. This is due to the reason that every panel comes with its inverter.

Disadvantage:

 

  • Expensive:

The micro inverter can get a little costly to install. Every single solar panel needs an inverter to function. Hence, increasing the installation cost of the overall solar system.

  • Hard to Maintain:

Maintenance of these inverters is quite hard. Servicing of these panels can be a bit difficult to attain since rather than a single central inverter you have to clean the inverter with every single panel.

3. Power Optimizers:

A power optimizer is a combination of both a string and a microinverter. They have a single central inverter just like a string inverter as well as each panel possesses a small inverter attachment just like micro inverters. Power Optimizer is ideal for homes that have complex layouts like chimneys, gables, and other obstructions. These inverters are also suitable if you want to maximize solar production without investing in expensive micro inverters. Power Optimizer is the prime example of displaying the importance of solar panels inverter.

Advantages:

Maximizing the energy output:

Power Optimizers maximize the energy voltage before sending it to the string inverter. By optimizing the energy output of each panel, these inverters can attenuate the effect of shading on every single panel.

Disadvantages:

 

  • Costly:

Power optimizers are more expensive than string inverters. Although their price is less than microinverters. Still, they can hike the price of your system by a few hundred dollars.

  • Maintenance:

The servicing of these panels can get a bit expansive and tricky. Hence, hiking the maintenance cost.

1. Hybrid Inverters:

These inverters are the amalgamation of PV inverters and battery inverters and are available in straight-string and optimized string configurations. Hybrid inverters are the new introduction in the world of solar energy inverters. The swiftly evolving technology showcases the importance of solar panel inverters in the solar industry.

Advantages:

 

  • Dual Conversion:

Hybrid inverters as the name suggest can convert DC to AC power and vice versa. Due to this dual nature, these inverters are perfect for converting AC power to DC electricity for home appliances. And can also convert DC electrical energy into AC for things like charging the solar battery and electrical vehicles.

  • Cost Effective:

The technology of Hybrid inverters is revolutionizing for those homeowners who were looking for an energy backup solution. These inverters will also save you the extra buck in case you want to add a battery to your system.

Disadvantages:

 

  • Expensive:

These inverters can get a little bit pricey due to their new innovative technology.

  • Not Suitable for Complex Roof Layouts: 

These inverters are unable to deal with the complexity of rooftops and Hybrid inverters are unable to curtail the impact of shading.

inverter advantage disadvantages

What is the Importance of Solar Panels Inverter?

1. Maximizing Energy Production:

Maximizing energy production is one of the solar panel inverter’s most important functions. DC electricity, which solar panels generate, is less dependable and efficient than AC electricity. Inverters change DC electricity into more reliable and proficient AC electricity. A good inverter can increase the solar power system’s efficiency by up to 20%.

2. Ensuring System Safety:

Solar panel inverters play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of a solar power system. Inverters regulate the voltage and frequency of the electricity produced by the solar panels to ensure that it is safe for use. They also monitor the system for any potential faults or failures and shut down the system if necessary to prevent damage or injury. Hence, illustrating the importance of solar panels inverter.

3. System Monitoring and Management:

Solar panel inverters also provide system monitoring and management capabilities. Many modern inverters come with built-in monitoring systems that allow users to track the performance of their solar power system in real-time. This can help users identify any issues with the system and take corrective action to ensure that the panels are performing optimally.

4. Compatibility with Battery Storage

Finally, solar panel inverters are critical for the integration of battery storage into a solar power system. Battery storage allows users to store excess solar energy generated during the day for use at night or during periods of low solar production. Inverters play a critical role in managing the charging and discharging of the battery to ensure that it is operating efficiently and safely.

In summary, solar panel inverters are a critical component of a solar power system. They play a crucial role in maximizing energy production, ensuring system safety, providing system monitoring and management capabilities, and enabling the integration of battery storage into solar PV modules. As such, it is essential to invest in a high-quality inverter when installing solar arrays to ensure that it performs optimally and safely. 

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