Solar inverters also called PV inverters, play a major role in the solar energy system. They are mostly considered the brains of a solar system project. The solar panel inverter is used in converting direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC). Direct current is the power that flows in one direction in the circuit and aid in providing current when there is no electricity. In the following article, we will discuss what is a solar inverter and how it works.
Solar Inverter and Its Importance
A solar inverter is one of the most important components of a solar structure. The inverters alter the energy output from solar panels into usable electricity which can be used in residential or commercial properties.
How Does a Solar Inverter Work?
It functions by engaging the fluctuating direct current from the solar panels and converting it into alternating current output. Household appliances mostly operate on alternate current but not direct current. It is the reason why solar panels must convert the direct current output collected by solar panels.
Technically, the sun’s rays hit on your photovoltaic cells (solar panels), designed with semiconductor layers of crystalline silicon which is a dominant semiconducting material used for the production of solar cells. The semiconductor layers of silicon are a mixture of negative and positive layers connected by a junction.
The layers take in the light and transfer the solar energy to the photovoltaic cells. The energy runs around and knocks electrons loose. The electrons travel between the negative and positive layers generating an electric current, generally referred to as direct current.
Once the energy is formed, it is either discharged directly to an inverter or stored in a battery for later use. This eventually depends on the solar panel inverter system you use.
When the energy produced is sent to the inverter, it is normally in the direct current form, although your home needs an alternate current. The inverter grasps hold of the energy and passes it via a transformer, consequently discharging an alternate current output.
In brief, the inverter runs the direct current via two or more transistors that switch on and off fast and the transistors supply the two different sides of the transformer.
Functions of Solar Inverter?
As noted above, PV inverters are considered the brains of a solar energy system because without the solar inverters, the whole system cannot function. The following are the most important functions of solar inverters.
1. Convert Direct Current to Alternate Current
The basic function of solar panel inverters is to convert direct current to alternate current that helps in creating power that can be used in residential and commercial properties.
2. Maximize Power Output
Solar inverters constantly keep track of the solar array’s voltage to find the maximum power at which the modules can function. If modules have deteriorated or shading may occur due to environmental obstructions such as trees, buildings, dirt, etc., the inverters can inadvertently point out the string’s wrong peak. This minimizes the system’s normal energy production.
3. Interface with the Grid
The latest inverters have evolved from one-way to two-way communication with the grid, serving with grid-supporting function. Latest inverters can accomplish certain grid-supportive functions related to communication, frequency, voltage, and controls, due to advancements in software.
One of these grid-assistance functionalities is the capacity to pull through minimal disturbances, like voltage change. A smart inverter can shift into standby mode if there is a voltage change and measure how long the disturbance exists, and then shut down if it persists.
4. Report on Power Production
Solar inverters assist you to monitor your solar system’s power output. These smart inverters come along with communication capabilities via hardware Ethernet, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. With their technology, you can notice the error codes, power reduction data, and diagnostics from inverters on their customized smartphone apps or computers.
5. Ensure Safe System Operation
In the event of an electric arc, solar inverters are needed to be turned off, which is probably due to material deterioration and system ageing. They are automated to identify these arcs, but not all inverters will do it efficiently. Intelizon’s inverters are one of the top performers that will ensure safe system operation.
Types of Solar Inverters
There are three types of solar panel inverters, they are micro-inverters, power optimizers, and string inverters. String inverters are the most common ones used worldwide. The three categories are explained below;
1. String Inverters
These are the most economical inverter options available in the market. Earlier, string inverter systems were installed only if your property’s roof had minimal shading for long days and did not face multiple directions, but recently a majority of the string inverters are designed to be applicable in wider circumstances. The panels are placed into groups connected with strings, thus getting their name. Numerous strings can be linked to a single inverter, which converts direct current electricity into appliance-friendly alternating current electricity.
2. Power Inverters
They are a type of module-level power electronics, generally with similar benefits as the micro-inverters but cheaper. The inverters are located at each panel. However, instead of transforming the direct current to an alternate current at the panel site, the optimizers condition the direct current electricity and pass it to a string inverter. If your roof happens to experience shade during the daytime, the panel-level optimization provided by power optimizers mostly leads to a higher system efficiency than a string inverter.
You can fix these on each and every panel in a solar energy system. They transform the direct current electricity from your photovoltaic cells into alternate current electricity on your roof without necessitating a separate central inverter. Solar technicians mostly fix them onto the back of the solar panels. Just like with power optimizer inverters, micro-inverters let you monitor each solar panels’ performance.
All home and residential properties have various solar needs. The best way to judge what solar inverter you need is to calculate the amount of energy you would generally require. With Intelizon solar inverters, there is no limit to what you can do with the power. It is often useful to seek professional help if you need to consult or make a purchase.