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Solar inverter basics

FeaturedSolar inverter basics

A solar inverter is essential for any installation that runs on Alternate Current (AC) since the solar panels produce Direct Current (DC). The usual setup is AC electricity coming from the power grid and the one produced by the solar inverter to a common point. That point provides the total output of energy for being used at home or whatever installation.

A solar inverter usually relies on certain electronic parts, essentially electrolytic capacitors or inductors, to filter and stabilize the electric signal. As more current means parts capable to handle it, the cost of the solar inverter is proportional to the power output of the photovoltaic installation.

A well-constructed solar inverter should employ a technique called Maximum Power Point Tracking to get as the name suggests the best overall efficiency creating a dynamic load in relationship with the momentary conditions of sunlight.

In any form of energy conversion —in this case DC to AC performed by the solar inverter— the key aspect is efficiency, which defines the difference between different circuits. Another aspect to consider is durability because a good inverter should last for decades and have a great warranty period. Lamentably, any electronic device that uses electrolytic capacitors could be designed to create an unnecessary stress on the pieces causing faults after a period or use, where temperature plays a very important role. The user should check for quality parts, a good design for the circuit board or cooling methodologies. If this is not possible, there are brands or specific models with great reviews.

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