WHAT IS AN INVERTER?
A solar panel inverter is the part of the system that turns the sun’s energy generated by solar panels into the useable electricity that then powers households and businesses. They are an essential and critical component of a solar power system.
The energy that is generated by the solar panels is in the form of Direct Current (DC). DC electricity only flows in one direction, and is the kind of energy we most commonly use to power our phones and laptops. The role of the inverter in the solar system is to convert the DC energy into the most commonly used Alternating Current (AC) that is used to power households and businesses.
The inverters are also connected to the distribution network (electricity network service provider) which is important as it needs to handle the flow of AC electricity, as any surplus generated solar energy can be fed back into the network.
Some important things to consider when deciding on the type of inverter and which brands are best are:
- The configuration and capabilities of your solar panel system
- Is your home single phase or three phase supply?
- What is the standby consumption? How much power will your inverter use at night (usually a small amount)?
- Does it have a built in DC isolator? This shuts off the power coming in from your solar panels, which is an important safety feature.
- What is the cooling method for the inverters?
- Last but not least, what is the length of the warranty for the inverter you’re considering?