Recently, there has been an increased need for renewable energy sources like solar. A solar panel inverter is just like your regular inverter except that this one uses energy from the sun (solar energy). Solar panel inverter is highly recommended for every home.
This is because unlike when most homes depends only on electricity, introduction of solar inverter has made life easier. I will say that there is no better way of generating energy for your home, if not with the use of solar panel inverter.
What Is a Solar Inverter?
A solar panel inverter is a device, that functions to change the variable direct current into alternating current. While direct current is used for small gadgets such as iPod, Mp3 players, which has its power stored in the battery, Ac is used for bigger household appliances.
The conversion of this DC to AC is made possible because various electrical and electronic components connected in the circuit. The solar inverter is a very important component of the solar power system.
How Does Solar Inverter Work?
The main purpose of producing solar panel inverter is to be able to get a system that will use solar energy to power household loads. This how it works, it converts the DC (Direct Current) output of a PV solar panel into a utility frequency AC (alternating current) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid (or) used by a local, off-line electrical n/w.
In this process, the solar energy is stored in the battery from PV cells. This solar energy will be converted to electric energy. During the day, the energy is initially stored in batteries till when needed. The solar inverter utilizes solar energy for home loads.
Why You Should Use a Solar Inverter
- solar panel inverters make changing of direct current into batteries or alternating current possible. This is very helpful for people who do not use full electricity.
- Solar energy also decreases the greenhouse effect and global warming to a large extent.
- Solar panel inverters help in saving both money and energy.
- The solar panel inverter is not so costly.
Types of Solar Inverters
Different solar inverters are being created all over the world, but the types commonly used in the markets are:
Off Grid Inverters
This type of solar panel inverters is used in remote systems. The source of DC power for the solar inverters are from battery panels. The solar panels are used in charging these battery panels.
Several of these inverters are normally to boost the battery from an Ac power source because they have integrated with basic battery chargers. These inverters can’t connect directly to the power grid without a changeover switch.
Grid Tie Inverters
These inverters most times associate with grids, so they are grid-tie inverters. These inverters supply power in the electricity grid, by corresponding phase and frequency. In India, the range of the frequency is 50Hz, and in North America 60Hz. These inverters shut down once it senses any loss of supply from the utility.
This inverter can connect directly to the power grid without any need for a changeover switch. When there is excess energy coming from the panel, compare to what is require in your home or office, a grid-tie inverter has the ability to push the excess into the grid.
Battery Backup Inverters
These inverters draw energy from batteries. To save the battery charge, an onboard charger and an additional charger is transferred to the grid. These inverters can provide AC power during outrages to particular loads.
These ones are one of the modern solar inverters in the solar industry. They have high performance despite being very small and compact. You can find all features of central inverters in micro inverters.
Microinverters have several advantages over conventional inverters. The main advantage is that they electrically isolate the panels from each other, so small amounts of shading, snow lines on any solar module, or even a complete module failure, does not reduce the output of the entire array.
These solar panel inverters are connected directly to the device they are to power. They do not support inverter batteries. The inverter also helps in changing the DC solar output of the solar panel to Ac voltage. The entire solar panel arrays can all be connected to a central inverter.
Hybrid Solar Inverters
This is usually used in small houses and also for office installations. It is a combination of the standard inverter with solar power support. They are highly flexible, in the sense that your power system can be built gradually.
How Much Does Solar Inverter Cost?
At this point, I know you will be considering buying a solar panel inverter for your home or office. I will give you the prices you should generally expect in the market.
8kVA Solar Inverter
This is a very good solar panel inverter to invest in. It has a high-performance output. Its battery protector has high functionality. It can withstand high usage, which is common most times.
Some of it’ unique features includes:
- The time for change over is fast.
- It has a surface mounted technology.
- This invert has intelligent thermal management.
- It also comes with pre-loaded battery management software.
- A built-in digital display screen.
- It also comes with full thermal protection.
- Its size is 62×24.5×18.5.
- Its weight is 9kg.
8kva solar panel inverter cost starts from #300,000. Currently, this is about $770 US Dollars.
2.4kva Solar Inverter
This is a modified sine wave inverter. It can function without a transformer. This means that its weight is light. It can power your phones, fans, television.
It’s unique features includes:
- 10A|20A selectable Ac charging current.
- Off mode charging function.
- The installation can be in different forms, either vertical, horizontal, etc.
- This inverter protects against overcharging, overload, surge, short circuit.
- It has a generator and utility power compatibility.
- Inbuilt PMW charge controller.
- It has a weight of 3.6kg.
2.4kva solar inverter cost starts from #47,000. This is currently equivalent to $120.67 US Dollars.
2000 watts (2kVA) Solar Power Inverter.
Unique features includes:
- It’s efficiency is greater than 90%.
- The input and output are totally independent.
- It protects against overload.
- It has universal sockets, suitable for all kinds of plugs.
- Its weight is 0.9kg.
This solar inverter cost is from #30,500. Which is about $78.3 US Dollars.
100Watt(0.1kva) Solar Inverter
This particular solar panel inverter comes with a radio and Bluetooth mp3 players. (for Nigerian buyers) When in full charge, this inverter can power your laptop, phone, and 2 bulbs.
Unique features include:
- Battery capacity is 12volts.
- Built-in inverter: DC 12V to Ac 220v 100w
- Charging LED indicator.
- LED bulb:12v 5w-3meter wire with an individual switch 2pcs
- Solar panel:18v 10W poly-crystalline with 3 meters wire-1pc
- USB cable 10 in 1 USB cable-1pc
Solar inverter costs starts from #16,000. This is equivalent to $42 US Dollars.
1500 Watts (1.5kVA) Solar Power Inverter.
Unique features includes:
- Supplies 1500watts of AC power from a 12v battery.
- An audio alarm warns of low battery.
- Safely shuts down in case of over temperature or overload conditions.
- Can operate a 25 inch TV for about 4 hours from a typical car battery.
Solar inverters cost for this starts from #11,000. This equivalent to $28 US Dollars.
NOTE: the prices above were base on the Naira to dollar exchange rate at the time I wrote this article. Please contact us for current prices and any other guild regarding solar inverters or solar power system in general.
Factors to Consider When Buying Solar Inverter
Check that the safety of the inverter is certified
It is very important to check for the level of safety. The inverters have to be certified safe by any independent testing laboratory, before purchasing it and putting it to use.
Be familiar with the important terms
Before buying a solar inverter, you have to be familiar with all the related terms. This will enable you to know what to look out for in an inverter. The terms to note are watt, watt-hours, amp-hour, and efficiency of operations of the solar inverters.
Choosing the correct battery.
The longevity of your solar panel inverter depends on the battery most times. This is because your storage bank determines to some extent the success of your solar power. You can also know the battery capacity by taking the product power requirement in watts, and backup hours, in hours, and dividing it by the voltage in volts.
Know the power rating and the surge.
The power ratings of solar panel inverters are usually different. This is because the surge ratings of a solar panel inverter is define by the number of watts of overload, handled by the inverter over a short period of time.
Consider the peak power and the typical power considerations.
The highest power that a solar inverter can supply for a small duration of time, ranges from a few seconds to 15 minutes. This is referred to as peak power.
Some devices or appliances require a very high power while starting, compared to normal operation. So this is where the peak power comes to use.
Your solar panel system will hardly be said to be complete without a solar inverter hence, it is very necessary that you purchase one. I will be very glad to assist you whenever you want to purchase and install one for your residential or office solar power system.NAIHCOTECH