Can my solar panel work without an inverter?
A big no! If you are someone considering switching to a solar energy system for your home (while having appliances that work on AC power) but without an inverter, then you will probably end up with the same old electricity bill.
Yes, without an inverter, your solar installation will have no meaning.
If you want to use solar energy to power your home, you might wonder why an inverter is so important.
Our article provides a detailed explanation of the type, working, and importance of inverters in solar energy systems.
Solar installations not only consist of solar panels but also various other components. If we consider solar panels as the heart of the solar energy system, then the solar inverter is the brain.
The Solar panels consist of solar cells that absorb the solar radiations using photovoltaic principles and convert them into direct current(DC). But most appliances at our home/commercial space work on alternating currents (AC). So directly connecting household appliances to solar panels is almost never possible.
An inverter acts as a bridge and converts the direct current produced by the solar panels into alternating current, which is further supplied to the connected load. It also ensures frequency synchronization with the connected load. In India, we typically operate at 230V, 50 Hz frequency.
You might wonder: “How can an inverter convert the voltage from one level to another at the same frequency?”
The inverter consists of a transformer which helps in converting the voltage from one level to the other. But with the evolving technology, the transformer-less inverter is gaining popularity in the market as it overcomes the shortcomings of transformer-based inverters.
These types of inverters use a computerized multi-step process to convert the DC output of a solar panel into high-frequency DC using a boost converter, which is further converted into AC as per the grid/load requirement using an H-Bridge converter and oscillator.
So, now we know how an inverter works let us dive deep into the various types of inverters available in the market.
In the market, we have the following inverter that can be connected to the solar panel:
1. String Inverter
3. Central Inverter
1. String inverter: String inverters are in high demand as they are priced reasonably and have durable technology. In this, multiple panels are connected to a single-string inverter. However, even if a single panel gets damaged or comes under a shadow, it may degrade the performance of all the connected panels.
2. Microinverter: As the name indicates, this type of inverter is mostly used where space is the factor over cost or in case of uneven shading in small solar installations. These inverters are placed on every solar panel, thus independently converting DC to AC supply. In this, if any panel is shaded or damaged, the performance of the other panels is not affected.
3. Central inverter: Central inverter is similar to a string inverter with a high-capacity range, needing only one large inverter for the entire plant/section of the plant. They are preferred for large utility-scale applications.
Conclusion: Unless you exclusively have DC loads at your site, solar installation without an inverter is not a viable alternative. Choosing the proper inverter is critical to ensure optimum generation and savings and relies on several factors such as type of inverter, rating, and compatibility with the solar panels, to name a few.
I hope our article gave you enough information about inverters and their types. If you are interested to know more about inverters and what inverter suits your location, contact us.
We at Fenice Energy ensure to provide you with the right type of design that suits your needs and pocket.