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What is a Solar Inverter?

5th August 2021  

Inverters are one of the core components of a solar system. If solar panels are the activity compartment of any solar energy system, then the inverter is the brain. Whether it's a 2kW residential system or a 5MW commercial power plant, all require inverters.

As the name suggests, a solar inverter is like a low-level computer installed alongside the other components of a solar energy system that inverts solar energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), thereby making it usable.

AC is the norm for all commercial appliances. Hence, inverters are considered the gateway between the PV system and the energy load of the appliances used.

What does a solar inverter do?

A solar inverter can be thought of as a translator between two languages, DC and AC. All the electric wires running through a house carry or "speak" AC, so do the appliances and the utility grid.

But, solar panels "speak" DC. So, it can be assumed that there's a communication barrier between the two. No solar energy system can send power to either a house or a utility grid without some help or "translation".

Our solar inverter is the best one for that job. The main purpose of our inverter is to "translate" or invert the solar energy generated by the user's solar panels from DC to AC so that their building and its utility grid can use it.

That's the first and the core service it provides. In addition to inverting energy from one form to another, our inverters serve another important purpose, i.e., online communication.

We at WAAREE Energies Ltd. can provide the users with a smooth-functioning solar inverter to help connect the designated solar energy system to the internet, allowing the user to access information regarding their system.

This is especially helpful when they need to compare their solar energy production against their household energy consumption, i.e., the energy reflected on a utility bill, or ensure that their system runs properly.

Types of solar inverters

A Solar inverter is highly energy-efficient (93-96%) and can power up AC units. The type of solar inverter one chooses depends on the availability of light at the location where the inverter is installed, how they intend to use their inverter and the utility requirements of the area that houses their building.

There are particularly three types of solar inverters. They are:

Off-grid inverters

Our off-grid inverters, also known as stand-alone inverters, are the ones that needn't be hooked up to a solar panel. Instead, they draw the required DC power from batteries charged using PV arrays or other resources like engine generators, hydro turbines and wind turbines.

Since these inverters are isolated from their utility grids, they don't require any anti-islanding protection. Further, they can't export excess solar electricity into the grid. Off-grid inverters are used in remote areas or when people want to live completely independent of the grid.

Have you read "What are the benefits of an Off Grid Solar Systems"

Grid-tied inverters

Our grid-tied inverters are usually connected to a utility grid and function by matching their frequency with the utility grid sine wave. They are designed to spontaneously shut down in the event of a power-cut for safety reasons. Hence, they stop supplying power during an outage.

There are currently four types of grid-integrated solar PV inverters:

  • Central plant inverter system

  • String inverter system

  • Multi-string inverter system

  • Micro grid inverter (AC modules) system

Read further: How do I decide what solar inverter is right for my home?

Battery-hybrid Inverters

These are a combination of the above two inverters, which allow the user to be mostly independent of the grid and sync with it in case of low solar or high consumption days. Our battery-hybrid inverters first charge the connected battery and then export any excess power to the grid.

Similarly, at night/cloudy days, they are capable enough to first use the stored power for consumption and, after a certain threshold, recharge the battery through the grid. Due to grid-syncing, we can install them with anti-islanding protection.

These are great for Indian consumers, but often the utilities are not supportive of providing a net-metering connection to these hybrid inverters. Furthermore, the regulations around them are unclear too.

Apart from these three types of solar inverters, our on-grid inverters can be technically categorized depending on the design and size of the system. These are:

  1. String inverters
  2. String inverters are the most commonly used type of solar inverter at homes and by business owners. They are directly connected to the grid and, most often, don't support a battery backup. We provide these high-performing inverters with a 25-year design life and 5 years warranty.

    Unlike the less sophisticated ones, which only give about 90-92% conversion on the ground, we provide the best of them with a 97–99% conversion rate from DC to AC which prevents continuous 5-6% loss on conversion for economic reasons.

    These, typically, come at 1KW~60KW. The difference in performance is reflected in the price and serviceability.

  3. Micro-inverters
  4. Our micro inverters are smaller in size and capacity than the standard string inverters. Standard string inverters range from 1.5-5kW in size for residential applications, while micro inverters are usually around 200-350W. In contrast with the string inverters, these do not require an array of panels to convert the DC.

    These can be installed on the back of every panel and are responsible for converting the panel on which they are installed. These are comparatively a bit costlier but better for areas that have partial shading. These are also on-grid/grid-connected inverters.

  5. Central inverters
  6. These inverters are usually used in MW scale plants. They are huge and have whole rooms dedicated to the inverter with exhausts. They are incredibly efficient and have a lot more grid-related features like balancing, fluctuation management, etc. Unlike string inverters, these typically start from 400KW.

Businesses and homeowners need not worry about power cuts and high electricity bills now. Trust us to select the best solar inverter for businesses and home utilities.

Thus, helping the user to expand their solar system in the future becomes easy. To know more, contact us at 1800-2121-321 or drop us an email at waaree@waaree.com.

You can also read: How to Make Your Normal Inverter into a Solar Inverter?

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Waaree Energies Ltd.
602, Western Edge-I, Off Western Express Highway,
Borivali (E), Mumbai - 400066. Maharashtra, India.
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Toll Free - 1800-2121-321, Email: waaree@waaree.com
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