In India, the term ‘inverter’ is often used interchangeably with power backup systems. You must have heard people saying they have an inverter installed at home to deal with power outage.
However, when you plan to install a solar system at home for power generation, the need for an inverter often seems confusing. You might think of a solar system as a combination of solar panels only, which is not true. Complete Solar Solutions offer a package of solar inverter, solar panels, and batteries. Renowned brands like Luminous India offer the best Solar Solutions under one roof.
Image Courtesy: Luminous
Before you buy a solar inverter or a complete solar package, you must understand what a solar inverter really is and how it works.
What is a Solar Inverter?
A solar inverter transforms the direct current (DC) received by a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into alternating current (AC). You can then use this alternating current to run various appliances and electrical devices at home.
How Does a Solar Inverter Work?
When sunlight falls on the surface area of solar panels, electrons within the solar cells are freed, and bus bars accumulate the running electrons, which ends in producing an electric current. Since most of the electrical appliances work on AC, a solar inverter plays a vital role here. The DC from solar panels is then fed into the inverter, which converts it into AC. If the installed solar panels produce surplus electricity, you can feed it into the local grid as well. Make sure you calculate your household power requirement and match it with the solar inverter you buy. There are online load calculators that help you with the same.
Along with knowing how a solar inverter works, it’s important to know about three main types of solar inverters to make a prudent purchase decision.
- Off-Grid Solar Inverters
Off-grid solar inverters work just like normal inverters. They are generally used in the areas where there are more power cuts. These solar inverters function slightly differently as DC generated by the solar panels is stored in the batteries first. When there is a power outage, the solar inverter converts DC power stored in the batteries to AC to support household needs. Off grid solar inverters from reputed brands like Luminous provide Solar NXG+ inverter with an inbuilt charge controller. Along with that, it has a unique iSOT technique that saves up to 3 units of electricity per day, resulting in substantial savings too.
- Grid-Tie Solar Inverters
This kind of solar inverter is tied directly to the utility power grid, hence the name. The inverter transforms the DC (Direct Current) power generated to AC (Alternating Current) which is then used by the electrical appliances at home.
The excess power generated via the combination of solar panels and inverters is automatically injected to the electricity grid via a bi-directional meter. In case of power cuts, the inverter stops to operate as a safety feature which is known as Anti Islanding. However, since it does not have a battery backup, during a power cut, you do not have access to power. It is because of this reason, that grid-tie solar systems can be used in areas where there are rare or fewer power cuts.
- Hybrid Solar Inverters
A hybrid solar inverter is designed to manage inputs from both solar panels and the grid. It charges a battery with the electrical energy from either solar system or the grid and helps in the below-mentioned situations:
- If the electricity consumption of your house is lower than the energy generated with a hybrid solar system, the surplus energy will be stored in batteries connected to this system.
- If the electricity consumption of your house is higher than the power generated, then the excess demand will be catered to by batteries.
The excess energy generated by such solar systems goes back into the grid. You can either buy the solar inverter with the solar system or separately.
How to Choose a Solar Inverter?
When it comes to choosing the best solar inverter, you need to understand your needs. If you live in an area where there are more power cuts and load shedding, then you must consider buying an off-grid solar inverter. However, if there are comparatively lower power cuts, then you must buy a grid-tie solar inverter. When looking for solar inverters online or offline, you must consider a renowned brand like Luminous.
Solar Home UPS – NXG+ 1600 from Luminous India is an excellent option for home installation. It can charge the battery from the grid as well as solar energy, with the latter on priority. Also, its technical specifications include rated AC power of 1100VA, 24V, charge controller rating of 40 Amp/12V with 98% efficiency, and sine wave output. Explore their comprehensive range of solar inverters.