What are Solar PV Inverters?
A solar inverter, or PV inverter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV)solar panel into a usable form of alternating current (AC) that can used by a local off-grid electrical network. or can be fed into a commercial electrical grid. AC is the standard used by all electric appliances in the home.
The output of the inverter goes directly into the building’s fuse box – feeding solar electricity into the building’s conventional electricity supply which means you will not have to buy so much electricity from your electricity supplier. The inverter also performs various safety functions, constantly monitoring the grid and switching off in the event of a fault or major fluctuation in mains supply.
Future Generation Energy uses 3 different brands of Inverter:-
1. SolarEdge HD Wave Inverter:
HD-Wave – A New Era for PV Inverters: <30 lbs, 99% Efficiency, Integrated Auto Rapid Shutdown
SolarEdge’s HD-Wave technology inverter, winner of the prestigious 2016 Intersolar award, breaks the mould of traditional inverters. Using a novel power conversion technology, the HD-Wave technology inverter features:-
- Small and lightweight (a dramatic reduction in the magnetics and heavy cooling elements compared with traditional inverters)
- record-breaking efficiency: 99% which allows more energy production for an improved return on investment (ROI)
- Up to 155% DC/AC oversizing allowed
- Longer strings (up to 5,700W per string)
- Faster commissioning
- High reliability without any electrolytic capacitors
- Optional integrated revenue grade data, ANSI C12.20 (0.5% accuracy)
2. Fronius Inverters: manufactured in Germany by Fronius Solar Energy Limited. Fronius has been engaged in the field of renewable energy, and in particular solar energy, since 1992.
Features of Fronius Symo Hybrid Inverters:
- Efficient and reliable.
- Fronius offer power categories ranging from 1.5 to 27.0 kW guarantee suitability for virtually any system size – from a family home to a large-scale system.
- This inverter combines a battery charging system, battery inverter, hybrid inverter, controller and system monitoring solution in one device.
- AC power categories ranging from 3.0 to 5.0 kW available
- The inverter is able to process up to 8.0 kW in order to supply household consumers with energy
- It can temporarily store surplus energy from a photovoltaic system in the Fronius Solar Battery.
- An intelligent energy flow management system: the built-in Multi Flow Technology supports simultaneous energy flows in all directions, resulting in maximum self-consumption and optimum system profitability.
3. Solis PV Inverter: Solis manufactures highly efficient solar inverters with compatible inverter monitoring units. Their quality and low cost makes them a great investment for those who are looking to go solar on a budget. The manufacturer further demonstrates that people do not need to switch quality for a lower cost. They stand by their product with a 10-year standard warranty with the option to extend the warranty period between 5-10 years.
Features of Solis PV Inverters:
- a lightweight design inside a corrosion-resistant enclosure
- compatible with a number of environmental conditions ranging from dry to humid, hot to cold.
- can be installed both indoors and outdoors
- visually appealing
- Their single-phase inverters are compatible with 240 or 208 VAC output, making them flexible for different array needs.
- up to 97.8% efficiency with an ulta-low start up voltage
- integrated Arc Fault Circuit Interrupt (AFCI) as an option on all their inverters
How do PV systems actually produce electricity?
Generation of electricity by the photovoltaic effect uses Solar Cells which comprise of specially coated wafers and a lattice of metallic conductive strips: when wafers (silicon disks) are exposed to the sun's radiation, electrons (energy particles) are set free and create electricity. A special blue or black coating applied to these wafers increases their energy yield. The electrical current is then conducted via the affixed metallic conductive strips for consumer consumption. Solar cells are arranged into strings, a number of which form a photovoltaic module. So essentially this module converts sunlight into electrical energy.
What happens to the electricity produced by the Solar PV system?
The system is set up so that electricity produced by the Solar PV system is used preferentially by household appliances. Additional electricity generated automatically heats the water in your immersion tank. If the household electricity requirements needs to be topped up, electricity is subsequently drawn from your usual household supplier.
Where is the best place to position the Solar PV panel(s)?
It is best to install the panels in the brightest sunniest part of your roof, where minimal shade is