Different Types Of Solar Inverters
What does a solar energy inverter do?
A solar (PV) inverter is a key component of a solar electric system. This type of electrical inverter is designed to change the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into a usable form of alternating current (AC) electricity utilized throughout the utility grid.
Can also be called “module” inverters. These inverters are typically attached directly to individual photovoltaic modules in order to extract the maximum power from each module. Microinverters are exceptionally reliable and typically come with 15 year warranty. They are highly efficient and can potentially produce more power than a string inverter, however they can add a substantial cost to a solar project. federal grant 1603 - Renewable Energy Credits
In a grid-tied system the solar panels are wired together in series (a “string” of panels) which increases the voltage and keeps the current low so that wiring is simpler and wire size can be smaller. Sunny Boy Inverters. String inverters are designed to be wired to a single series string of 8-15 solar modules and are currently the most widely used inverter type. IG Plus Inverters. String inverters are typically warranted for 10 years but this period can be extended to 20 years. Fronius Solar Inverter Warranty - SMA Solar Inverter Warranty
Central inverters are a type of string inverter used in large scale applications. Some say they offer easier installation and higher efficiency than smaller string inverters which results in slightly higher cost. Typical warranty period is 5 years with an option to extend up to 20 years. Talbott Farms is using a Fronius Central Inverter.
Normally, utility grid-tied inverters will shut off if they do not detect the presence of the utility grid. This safety feature known as anti-islanding protection is governed by UL 1741 and IEEE 1547 standards since 1999. The main purpose of this feature is to stop excess electricity generated by the solar array from being fed into electrical lines in the event of a power outage.
Maximum Power Point Tracking is an electronic system that operates the Photovoltaic (PV) modules in a manner that allows the modules to produce all the power they are potentially capable of. Because of this feature, the inverter acts as the “brains” of a solar electric system. PV cells have a single operating point where the values of the current (I) and Voltage (V) of the cell result in a maximum power output (see Ohm’s Law). MPP trackers utilize control circuits or logic to search for this point to maximize electricity production.
Redundancy is one of the main reason string inverters and microinverters are chosen instead of central inverters because in case of failure a smaller part of the system will be affected. String inverters have the added benefit of being a standard readily available commercial component which means it’s possible to let a local installer or facility manager exchange the inverter if necessary; also extra inverters can be kept in stock for quick exchange. Conversely, service contracts should be offered with central inverters and they should be serviced only by trained experts.
String Inverter Manufactures
Micro Inverter Manufactures
Special thanks to Scott Wegs - VP of Business Development, for contributing the expertise needed to complete this informative post. Scott may be contacted directly via mobile: (970)-250-5343 Office: 1-866-813-3581 or email Scott@SyndicatedSolar.com