How A Solar Inverter Synchronizes With The Grid: Complete Guide

Tim Hamlin
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Solar Inverter

Solar inverter is a device used to convert solar power into an alternating current that can be used in the household, it converts in DC (direct current) into an AC (alternating current). The entire process is known as the inverter function of converting DC power into AC power. Solar inverters, produced by several companies, are available in different price ranges depending on the capacity required and the needs of the user.

The working principle of solar inverter is quite simple. Solar power comes from direct current. Solar-powered machines use inverters to convert sunlight into AC power.

How Does Solar Inverter Work?

Solar inverters are devices which are used to convert the direct current from the solar panels into alternating current (AC). It is also known as the PV inverter because it changes the power produced by a photovoltaic cell.

The AC powers your home and it is the same AC that is being used by the utility grid. This AC is further enhanced by the solar inverter.

A basic solar power inverter converts the DC into AC on a pure sinewave. This converts your DC current into AC and ensures that the equipment you are using does not get damaged.

The charging capabilites of the battery bank are also increased by the inverter. The device has a three-phase AC output with a peak efficiency of 98%.

As it generates an alternating current, you can use it for running sensitive electrical equipment. This is useful for supplying the electricity to your water heater, refrigerator, and other home appliances.

There are two categories of solar inverters:

Grid-Connected Inverters – These are the solar inverters that wire up directly to a home's electricity grid. This results in powering the home or business with a source that comes directly from the solar panels on the roof. Another option is to sell surplus electricity back to the utility grid.

Why Do You Need A Solar Inverter?

A solar inverter is the heart and soul of a solar system connected to the grid. It is responsible for converting the direct current (DC) produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) that you can use to power appliances.

Since solar panels produce direct current (DC) electricity, you will need an inverter to convert the DC generated by the solar panels to AC current that you can use to power your household appliances and devices.

The main advantage of having an inverter is that it allows you to use your solar energy for appliances without plugging the panels into your electrical grid.

The inverter will help in the smooth transfer of solar energy into AC current and also protect you from any fluctuations in the grid voltage.

Waves Of Inverters Are Different

One Is Good, Two Are Better And Three Are Best.

The Central power grid is designed and run in series, meaning that you can have more than one solar inverter (or even more than three!) connected to the main power line to produce power from it.

Three or more inverters connected sequentially, can be allowed to support the requirement of the house as well as the extra requirement of the grid.

When the first inverter generates 1 unit of Kwh of electricity and sends it to the grid, the second inverter has no electricity generation to do, and hence would remain idle and when the first inverter has just started supplying electricity to the grid, it is time for the second inverter to start supplying some power to the grid.

This will happen again for the third inverter and so on. This is how you can ensure continuous power supply even when one inverter is out of power generation.

Also, if you have an inverter that has any defect, the power generation of the other inverters can fully make up for the loss.

Another important thing to note is that your solar inverters should have the same voltage and current specifications. So, if you replace one of them with a new one, it must have the same specifications as the existing ones.

The Different Forms of Inverters

A grid tie inverter is the most basic of inverters and this primarily converts the DC power of your solar panel array into AC power which is then connected to your home's electrical system or grid. The following are the purposes for which your home would usually include an inverter.

Supplying power during outage: If your home is not connected to the state electrical grid, a grid tie inverter would play a vital role of maintaining power supply during a power outage.

Providing backup power: During the time when the solar panels are unable to supply enough power, the grid tie inverter would take up the slack by supplying additional power through the grid.

Providing power at times of peak demand: If the power needs of your home are constantly fluctuating, then the grid tie inverter would make sure that the fluctuation is kept at the minimum by automatically matching the supply of power with the demand.

A grid tie inverter can also be used for public benefits. In new developments where the grid is still under construction, grid tie inverters can be used to ensure cost-effective electrical supply during the time when the grid is still not up and running. The inverters in such cases are made mandatory by the state so as to ensure that not everyone installs a solar array system.

How to Choose The Right Product

For Your Home?

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing what type of inverter is right for your home. When it comes to the basics, there are two manufacturers which dominate the market “ SMA and Outback Power.

The SMA inverter is capable of helping with energy consumption and peak load reduction. It is also one of the most efficient inverters available yet it is also the most expensive. Many home owners may opt for the SMA inverter for added savings. Plus, SMA inverters have the best inverter technology available today and feature a number of advanced features. There are also a variety of sizes to choose from to match a variety of needs.

When choosing an inverter, you must know that it is imperative to match it with the solar array that is installed. To find the right size, you should calculate the power for each module in watts by multiplying the number of modules by the peak output watts. Then you can match that with the inverter capacity in watts.

The inverter usually comes with an AC rating in watts. But if you want to determine the max power in watts, you must convert the AC watts to DC watts by dividing it by 1.7. Finding the right inverter is crucial when it comes to maximizing the benefits of solar power.

Solar Power Lights

Solar power lighting has come a long way from the very basic ones we started using in the early 80s. Our needs have changed over the years, as well, with the advent of technology. Today, we have lights that are multifunctional, more energy efficient, brighter, smarter and more durable than ever.

There are certain lights that you may want to consider, depending on what you want to use them for. For camping or security purposes, you should go for lights that have motion sensors, as they are easy to install and don’t waste much energy. In order to save a lot of energy, you might want to go for energy efficient lights. You can go for lights that use a combination of solar panels and batteries. The solar panels charge the batteries during the day and the lights turn on at night.

Outdoor Solar lights

Electricity flows easily between the wires. However, getting the electrons to flow from that wire to that wire requires a bit of work. The work necessary to move the electrons from one wire to another is called voltage drop.

We know that the voltage of a source needs to match the voltage of the load for current to flow. If the voltage of the source doesn’t match the voltage of the load, the source will have to push electrons into the load and the load will have to pull them out. This process, and the amount of energy used to do it, causes resistance. The resistance of the two wires carrying electricity in a connection is known as voltage drop. Voltage drop can cause problems with efficiency and it can cause damage to the wires.

The exact amount of voltage drop, the wire length, and the load resistance can all affect the total voltage drop. For example, you can have two 100 foot wires where one will drop 3 volts and the other will drop 6 volts.

If we can predict the voltage drop, we can compensate for it when putting lights in our solar outdoor lighting system.

Va solar lights and landscape lights usually operate on 12 volt DC Power.

The solar panels charge the batteries during the day. The battery has a 12-volt output.

Some generators produce 12 volts and they are wired into the system.

Battery Improvements In Solar Power

Over the past few years, there have been significant changes in the cost and capacity of solar batteries. This is largely due to an improvement in the technology used and extensive research.

Solar batteries last longer, and are more powerful than in the past. These new advances, along with cost cuts have improved the quality of solar batteries.

Final Thoughts

An inverter basically converts DC (direct current) into AC (alternating current) by switching the polarity. DC electricity is generated by solar panels from sunlight when they collect the photons. Another way DC is created is by the battery if you use a battery power source. DC electricity is usually only used in simple inverters.

AC is the type of common electricity we utilize each day through buildings, electricity, lighting, etc.

Diesel and gas-powered generators also run off the AC system.