Solar inverters are one of the most important elements of your Solar PV system as it’s the “brains” of the entire system.
A solar inverter converts the DC electricity generated by your the solar panel’s photovoltaic (PV) cells to AC electricity that can be used throughout your home or business.
A solar inverter can also take the excess electricity generated by your PV panels and either divert it to your solar batteries for storage or to the electric company for grid-tied systems.
Please note: Grid-tie inverters shut down automatically during a power outage. This is done for safety reasons ensuring the energy your solar system produces doesn’t harm any of line workers sent to fix the power grid. Unfortunately, grid-tied inverters do not provide backup during power outages.
There are several commonly used inverters for most solar PV systems:
- String inverters: often used in smaller solar PV installations whereby each solar PV panel is wired together into “strings”. When the panels produce DC electricity, all of the power is sent to a single inverter typically installed on the side of your home or business.
- Micro-Inverters: Micro-inverters are typically used in a more complex system and rather than send all of the DC electricity to a single inverter – each PV panel has its own inverter and converts the DC electricity to AC right on the roof. Microinverter also make it possible to monitor and track the performance of individual panels ensuring your system is fully optimized.
- Central Inverters: These are designed for large-scale commercial arrays and function similarly to string inverters.
The type of inverter you need will be based on your property, your energy needs, and various budgets. At Hilton Head Solar, we can help design a system that’s right for you.