The inverter is one of the most vital components of your solar power system. The primary factors determining the best solar inverter for your home are quality, monitoring features, warranty, and after-sales services. For this reason, you must choose a solar inverter that will offer the best performance.
Common Types of Solar Inverters
There are several inverters available for solar and energy storage systems, but here are the four most common types used for rooftop solar.
String Solar Inverters
‘String’ solar inverters are the most popular type of solar inverter. As the name suggests, these inverters are connected to a string of solar panels linked together in series. They are affordable and convenient but not efficient. However, these will do just fine if you are on a budget. Although they were previously most prevalent in the UK, Europe, Australia, and Asia, they are also now becoming popular in the US, where microinverters were formally favoured.
Hybrid inverters are also called battery-ready inverters. They are similar to string solar inverters, allowing you to connect a battery storage system directly. This increases the sustainability of using solar energy.
Most hybrid inverters also provide a reasonable amount of backup power whenever a power outage occurs. That said, they are generally unsuitable for continuous off-grid use. Although they’re costlier than other inverter types, hybrid inverters are becoming more cost-effective against solar inverters because hybrid inverter technology is improving and batteries are becoming cheaper.
The best thing about off-grid and stand-alone power systems is their versatility, as they can work in both AC and DC-enabled solar systems. Additionally, modern variants can also work with hybrid grid-connected systems. These are known as multimodal inverters.
Small-scale and DIY off-grid systems use basic solar regulators, commonly referred to as MPPT solar charge controllers. These don’t convert DC into AC like other inverters. Instead, they are installed between the panels and the battery to regulate charging, and more importantly, prolong the battery’s life.
These are the smallest type of inverters. Their diminutive design means that they attach directly to individual solar panels.
Micro inverters are ideal for complex rooftops since every unit works independently with each solar panel. They also work well in areas with lots of shade because other panels will continue harnessing the sun’s power, even if some are partially covered. Micro inverters are quite expensive, but they have a longer lifespan, more than 20 years for most brands.
How do I Troubleshoot a Solar Inverter?
The solar inverter is one of the essential components of a solar energy power system. As such, it can affect the entire connection if it becomes defective. Inverters are particularly susceptible because of their positioning – they are mostly located outdoors, where they are exposed to harsh weather conditions like humidity, extreme heat, rain, and snow. Even worse, they have to survive these conditions while producing thousands of watts daily.
The ideal way of avoiding issues is by investing in high-quality and reputable inverter brands. Also, avoid placing it in an area with exposure to the sun and other adverse conditions. In case of any persistent problem, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
There is no better time to learn more about solar energy systems than now. Most people are advocating for the shift towards solar energy. You need to know how various components work, especially panels, batteries, and inverters.
The above information will assist you in making an informed decision when looking for a solar inverter. Remember to invest in a quality product, as a defective inverter often results in the breakdown of the entire system.