The Solar Inverter is an important component in any solar power system. Its basic function is to change the variable Direct Current (DC) output of the solar panels into Alternating Current (AC). The various other components connected in the circuit assist in the conversion.
The Converted AC power is used for running your gadgets like the TV, Microwave, Refrigerator etc. My friend do you know that you can directly use the DC power from the solar panels for some specific applications like cell phone recharger, LED night lights. Mostly the power from a home solar power system is used to power AC loads.
The Inverters work by taking in power from a Direct Current (DC) Source, in our case it is the solar array. The power is generated in the range of 250 Volts to 600 Volts. DC power is converted into AC power by the inversion process taking place in the inverter.
This process of DC to AC Conversion is achieved by using a set of solid state devices like SCR’s, MOSFET’s, IGBT’s. These devices when connected in a typical H-Bridge Arrangement perform back and forth flipping of the DC power thereby creating AC power.
Now you may ask, "The power has been converted from DC to AC, but what about the voltage?"
A step up transformer is used in the central bridge which connects the two legs. From here we get the AC power output which is either consumed by the local loads or can be fed to the grid. A few manufacturers have started manufacturing transformer-less inverters which have higher efficiencies as compared to inverters having transformers.
In any solar power inverter a real micro-controller chip is present which is programmed to execute various complex algorithms in a precise manner. The controller maximizes the power output from the photovoltaic panels through the Maximum Power Point Tracking algorithm.
There are plenty of well known manufacturers of Solar Inverters all over the world. But there are a few basic types of solar inverters.
Off Grid Inverters
These inverters are used in isolated systems wherein the inverter is fed DC power from a battery bank. This battery bank is charged by solar panels. Many such inverters have incorporated integral battery chargers which can be used to recharge the battery from an AC power source.
Grid Tie Inverters
An inverter which is connected to the grid can be said to be a grid tie inverter. These inverters feed power in the electricity grid by matching the phase & frequency (50Hz in India, 60Hz in North America) of the output AC power with the utility supplied AC power. The grid tie inverters are designed to automatically shut down after sensing loss of supply from the utility.
Battery backup Inverters
These special types of inverters are especially designed to draw energy from a battery. The battery charge is maintained by using an onboard charger and the extra energy is exported to the grid. Such inverters have the capacity of supplying AC power to selected loads during power outages. They also have the anti-islanding property.
These inverters are the latest in the solar industry. They are small & compact in size and yet are packed with a lot of performance & promise. They incorporate all the features of any string or central inverters.
My Friend now you have got a fair idea of what is a solar power inverter. You can now setup your own grid tie system and start making Money from the electricity generated.
Tip: The Solar Power Inverter must be chosen according to the capacity of the solar panels installed.
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