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Our Solar Inverters


An inverter is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a solar energy system. It’s a device that converts direct current (DC) electricity, which is what a solar panel generates, to alternating current (AC) electricity, which the electrical grid uses. In DC, electricity is maintained at constant voltage in one direction. In AC, electricity flows in both directions in the circuit as the voltage changes from positive to negative. Inverters are just one example of a class of devices called power electronics that regulate the flow of electrical power.

Fundamentally, an inverter accomplishes the DC-to-AC conversion by switching the direction of a DC input back and forth very rapidly. As a result, a DC input becomes an AC output. In addition, filters and other electronics can be used to produce a voltage that varies as a clean, repeating sine wave that can be injected into the power grid. The sine wave is a shape or pattern the voltage makes over time, and it’s the pattern of power that the grid can use without damaging electrical equipment, which is built to operate at certain frequencies and voltages.

There are 3 main types of inverters

Grid-Connected inverters
Grid interactive inverters with battery bank (Hybrid inverters)
Off-grid inverters with grid backup (not feeding)

Grid Connected inverters

A plain grid feed system takes all the electricity you produce through an inverter to the grid. Grid feed inverters do not use a battery bank and therefore they do not give you any power back up in the event of a grid power failure.

The power you produce is either measured with a Net meter or a Gross meter. Gross meters count everything you produce, regardless of your consumption, whereas Net meters deduct your household’s consumption first.

While grid feeding does in no way reduce your reliance on the electricity grid it sure reduces the amount of money you pay to your energy provider. As solar panels are getting better and cheaper (and they come with a 25-year warranty), grid feeding is a lot more feasible today than it was 10 years ago`

Grid interactive inverters with battery bank (Hybrid inverters)

Grid interactive inverters perform the same function as grid feed inverters, however they allow power to flow ‘both ways’. They also incorporate a battery bank and have an automatic built in charger. This type of system gives you back up power in the event that the grid fails or goes out of tolerance in terms of its voltage and frequency.

Off-grid inverters with grid backup (zero export to the grid)

The last main option is to obtain a solar system (panels, battery, regulator and inverter) and transfer some or all of your loads to this system.

This is probably the most useful and cost effective solution unless you are likely to produce (sell) more power than you use. This option means that a few of your important loads can keep running in the event of a power failure. It is a ‘simpler’ system than grid connected and you won’t need the consent of the power utility. You could manually top up your battery with a small charger connected to the grid if you get prolonged cloudy weather.

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