Solar Buying Guide: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Solar Inverter

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A solar inverter is an electronic system which is used to convert the variable direct current output of a photovoltaic solar panel to alternating current having a frequency that can be utilized by the end-user to run appliances, among other uses. They are usually set up outside homes, offices or factory premises so as to be constantly exposed to sunlight. A typical solar inverter consists of four basic components—namely, the solar panel, the charge controller, the battery and, lastly, the inverter. An inverter is an indispensable part of the solar inverter system because a solar panel is not capable of producing alternating current all by itself. A solar inverter consists of large-sized capacitors which help in the storage of power, besides also improving the inverter output.

Even though a regular inverter is the same as a solar inverter in terms of its overall utility to the end user, the main point of difference is the circuit composition; the latter has a solar charge controller and a terminal to connect the battery and the solar panel of the right rating to. The solar inverter, needless to say, reduces the user’s overall electricity consumption and, effectively, the money spent on paying the monthly utility bill.

A solar inverter may be broadly classified into three types based on the output it produces—namely, a sine wave inverter, a modified sine wave inverter and a square wave inverter. An overwhelmingly large number of appliances work only using the sine wave solar inverter—from motors to microwave ovens.

 

Discussed below are a few things that you must keep in mind before buying a solar inverter for your home or office:

  1. Check the safety certification of the inverter

As with any other device, solar inverters too must be checked for their level of safety. It is very important that you ensure that the solar inverter is certified safe by any independent testing laboratory prior to purchasing it and subsequently putting it to use.

  1. Being familiar with the necessary terminology

Before you set out to purchase a solar inverter, you must be well acquainted with all the related terminology so that you know what all you actually need to look for in your inverter. Watts, watt-hours, amps, amp-hours and efficiency of operation of the solar inverter are a few terms that you must be well versed with.

  1. Choosing the battery correctly

How long your solar inverter ends up lasting is actually dependent the most on its battery. Thus, it is very important to choose the battery for your solar inverter very wisely. Battery capacity is defined as the maximum number of hours that a battery can power all the devices; in other words, the battery capacity can be arrived at by taking the product of the power requirement, in watts, and backup hours, in hours, and dividing it by the voltage, in volts.

  1. Knowing the power rating & the surge

A solar inverter usually comes in different power ratings. The surge rating of a solar inverter is defined as the number of watts of overload handled by the inverter over a short span of time. The surge rating varies from inverter to inverter and even between the inverters of the same brand.   Ideally, around 99% of the devices can be covered by a rating varying anywhere between 3 seconds and 15 seconds.

  1. Peak power & typical power considerations

An inverter is required to supply two types of powers—peak power and the typical power.

  • Peak power is the maximum power that a solar inverter is capable of supplying only for a small duration of time, usually between a few seconds to as long as 15 minutes. There are certain appliances that require a very high power while starting up than they do to operate normally, post being powered on; this is where the peak power comes to use.
  • The typical power also referred to as the usual power is the one supplied by the inverter on a steady basis post the device it is supplying power to starts up and gets stable.

You could buy a solar inverter for your facility from reputed brands such as Navaid, Tracksun and Su-kam to name a few.

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