Updated: Jun 5
What are they?
A solar inverter is an essential part of your solar energy system. This part of the solar energy system allows you to use the power that the solar modules have collected from the sun! In our last posting on solar modules, The energy that comes from solar modules is DC (direct current). So, technically this energy can be used in that form – however, an inverter turns that energy into AC (alternating current) which is better for the electrical appliances and devices in your home and is less likely to create a power surge in your home (see our blog about surge protectors). So, the inverter is the device that directs all of that solar energy to your lights and appliances.
How do they work?
We mentioned before that the energy from solar modules is DC (direct current); it can technically be used in that form – however, an inverter turns that energy into AC (alternating current). The energy from the solar module is sent to the inverter then to your fusebox to power your home! If your solar modules generate excess energy, the rest will be sent to the energy grid .
Types of Inverters
There are a few different types of inverters on the market currently. These include straight string inverter, optimized string inverters, microinverters and hybrid inverters.
Straight string inverter
A straight string inverter is also known as a central inverter. This type of inverter converts all the DC energy into AC energy and is generally suitable for smaller scaled installations. Check out the diagram below to see how string inverters work!
Picture from Solar Reviews
Optimized String Inverter
An optimized string inverter system has individual units called optimizers installed under each solar module. First, the optimizers are connected to form DC strings. From here, the strings work together and maximize the extraction of the DC power from those individual units and convert it into AC energy!
Photo by Cares Renewables
A microinverter essentially does the same thing as other types of inverters; however, they are much smaller than the traditional string inverters. These types of inverters are placed behind every solar module and make your solar modules more efficient. The microinverter can also be used with a smart app on your phone!
Photo by enPhase
A hybrid inverter is a type of inverter that works the same as other types of inverters, but it also allows storage of excess energy in a battery system for self-use . In addition, these types of inverters also allow for a backup mode that will give its user a limited amount of power in the event of a blackout .
Picture by Clean Energy Reviews
Whichever inverter you decide to install with your solar energy system, Kite Electric uses the highest quality of innovative inverters available to them. Our manufacturers include SolarEdge, SMA, Fronius, enPhase, APSystems. Here at Kite, we believe in ensuring our customers receive the highest quality in innovative material and want your investment to last for years to come! Give us a call today!
Join us next time for the last part of our four-part series: BOS Components!
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