Though being part of the 21st century has made us feel very dependent on technology, that doesn’t mean we still can’t make prudent decisions when it comes to electricity and reducing the carbon footprint. The solution to this is of course relying on natural inexhaustible resources, such as the sun, and wind, something our nation is becoming fully aware of as there’s a skyrocketing rise in the number of solar panel installations as of March this year.
This means we’ve surely secured our position as the world leader in solar panels on roofs per capita, and should expect a rise of last year’s 15% of Australian solar powered homes. So, we know our solar panels, but what do we know of this powering system exactly? Or, more specifically, what do we know of the most important component, the inverter solar panel system can’t do without? As is implied by the name, an inverter is designed to invert the DC accumulated solar energy into usable AC (110-120 volts) so there’s power for appliances, machines, and pumps.
Considering technological advancements are unstoppable, the advancements in the inverter solar panel design haven’t stopped either. Apart from being made from durable materials, such as aluminium casing, with a built-in protection against over-heating, shutdowns from more than necessary high or low voltages, and overloads, they also have their operation capabilities enhanced, such as advanced utility controls, data monitoring, and system design engineering among others.
Depending on the number of appliances and devices you need to power, you can choose from inverters in various sizes. Also, you have the option to choose from different types of inverters based on their design. One of the common residential and commercial inverters is the string one, which also happens to be the chosen one when it comes to installations with small utility. Considering the name is string, what’s specific about this type is it has strings attached, and they serve the purpose of carrying the solar panel DC power to the inverter.
Central inverters also work on the basis of strings, but instead of being attached directly to the inverter, each of the strings is connected into a box that sends the DC power to the inverter, and are ideal for large installations. Battery based inverters require batteries to function, and no matter whether their design is off-grid, grid interactive, or grid-tied standalone, they are perfect for continuous operations, especially at critical loads. And then, there are also micro-inverters.
Though these designs resemble those of power optimisers in the way they are installed on every panel, they are different in their ability to DC to AC power without needing a string inverter. Make sure you take the number of appliances into consideration, the prices, as well as your budget when you do the inverter purchase.