A Solar Power Inverter: Its Purpose

by: Anna Williams

A solar power inverter forms an important part of any home solar energy system which supplies enough electricity to get you off the grid.

The inverter converts direct current, which is produced by a solar panel, into alternating current.

There is also a charge controller, which can use excess power to charge your system’s battery, and provide energy without any waste.

In some cases, solar power might be your best solution, if you want to get your home running off the grid. It is also relatively simple to install, and doesn’t require a large quantity of parts and components, in order to produce electricity.

Each system is different, but generally speaking, all you need is:

Your wiringA battery to store electricity inA set of solar panelsA solar regulator or charge controller

Solar panels usually produce 12 to 24 volts DC. Some appliances can run on this power, but most home appliances require 110 or 220 volts AC.

This is where a solar power inverter is needed. It converts the direct current into alternating current.

What is direct current? Direct current, or DC, flows continuously in one direction, while alternating current changes in its direction of flow.

Alternating current (AC) is used because it is a type of electricity which can be carried over longer distances, with minimal energy loss . Oddly enough, however, most household appliances have built in devices which convert the AC into DC, in order to operate.

Various types of solar inverters can be found on the market currently. You might come across some which are pretty cheap. But keep in mind that these might be inferior in quality. Some inverters get warmer when in use – and that heat adds up to a loss of energy.

Different solar inverters use different “loads,” as well. The “load” is the amount of current or energy that the inverter can handle. For home use, you might want to get a solar inverter that can handle a couple of hundred watts, at any given time. These aren’t always cheap, but they will be worthwhile in the long run.

Possibly the best choice of solar inverter is the true sine wave. This type of inverter produces power identical to what you would receive from the main supply grid. When viewed on an oscilloscope, the waves are smooth.

If the true sine wave is beyond your budget, you might settle for a modified sine wave. This gives a lesser quality power than the true sine wave does, but is less expensive.

Getting Completely Off the Grid

If you are looking to get your home running off the grid completely, then get a “stand-alone power system inverter.” With this type of device, you plug the deep cycle batteries in – and it can be installed by virtually anyone.

You can also get a “mains grid inverter,” which draws power from your solar panels, and at the same time feeds excess energy back to the main grid. In some states, you can earn money back from the power companies when you produce excess power and feed it back to the grid.

Installing a Solar Power System in Your Home

When installing a partial or complete solar energy system into your home, there are generally two ways to go about it.

1.Hire a professional installation company to install your system

2.Do it yourself.

The least expensive choice is the latter – do-it-yourself.

There are many high-quality and popular do-it-yourself guides available, which will teach you how to install your own solar power or wind power system at home. These guides often include manuals, instructional videos, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions. For more information on these guides, please see DIY Solar Power.

You can find solar inverters and related solar power products at Solar Power Inverter.

About The Author

For more information on this subject, please visit DIY Solar Power.