Environmental concerns are at an all-time high. Energy consumption increases every year, creating a staggering amount of C02 emissions; energy accounts for three-quarters of total greenhouse gas emissions annually. It’s essential for the sake of our beautiful planet to embrace a more efficient way of using energy. It’s no surprise then that many are switching to solar-powered energy as their source of power.
Solar panels have become increasingly popular. If you have decided to use solar energy to power your home or business, you are on the road to making a positive impact on the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. You will be helping reduce air pollution from the by-products of fossil fuel energy.
What to consider when getting a solar inverter
There are many factors to consider when investing in panels, like roof size and condition, cost, and insurance. An important concern is what type of inverter to get. In short, inverters are the part of the panels that convert the energy. They convert DC (direct current) power from the sun into AC (alternating current) energy which we can then use in our homes to power appliances. Why is the correct inverter so important? The professionals behind this solis review at QLD point out that the inverter affects the efficiency of any solar panel system. Its job is to convert power and is responsible for the quality and safety of the whole setup. Getting it right is crucial for maximum benefit. The panels are the big visual ‘showy’ part of a solar panel system, whereas the inverter is the humble little box that does all the work.
So, how do you decide what type of inverter to invest in? Searching through online suppliers is a good start. You will get an idea of the price range and quality. You’ll also learn more about an inverter from those who have purchased one from other consumers. In this way, you’ll learn if a specific brand is worth the money from those who have used it. Do your research well, and you’ll discover the features and functions you need right away.
The size of your inverter depends on how much energy you will need to generate power for your home or business. Inverters are rated in watts. So if you regularly need to power 1000 watts continually, that will determine the size. If you need more wattage, then a bigger inverter is advisable.
You also need to work out if your inverter can power higher voltage appliances for a shorter time, rated in surge watts. You can identify this by checking which appliance you have that will need the most power when used occasionally. Many appliances have this information on a sticker at the bottom. For example, if you use a toaster that requires 400 watts when you first use it, it’s likely it will use double the amount of power, 800 watts. So if you’re using a heavy-duty power tool for DIY, you will need a much higher power capacity. There are websites you can use to work out the wattage needs of your premises.
String inverters are the most popular and cost-effective. They work by connecting the panel’s strings to the inverter. They are usually placed in a box then located outside of the house or the garage. They can manage 12 – 24 panels at a time, making them an excellent choice for business premises. They are better used for solar panels that are exposed to sunshine most of the time with little shading; then, you won’t have to worry about reduced output on the string that is in the shade. They are only as strong as their weakest link!
It’s also important to bear in mind if a panel gets damaged, the whole system will shut down. Also, if you want to install more panels at a later date, a whole new system would need to be installed. It’s not upgradable.
If you choose string inverters, then you could address the problem of shading by installing power optimizers. You can attach one to each panel or choose a fully integrated option called a smart model to fulfill this function. Power optimizers can condition the DC electricity before it gets to the inverter, which boosts the energy output. You will still need a centralized string inverter with optimizers to convert power. So, they are not a substitute but an addition.
If your home is prone to shading, then microinverters are the best option. They convert currents from individual panels without affecting the output of the others. With string inverters, the whole system will produce less power, even if one panel is shaded. With this model, your whole system will produce more power. They do not reply on string inverters and can stand alone.
Microinverters are pretty easy to install compared to their string counterparts. The wiring is simpler as it adheres to household wiring, which also makes it safer.
As one of the newer technologies, microinverters are costly due to needing one for each panel. However, it may well be worth the extra cost for the reassurance that should one panel fail to work; it will not affect the others. Also, the cost per watt will decrease with larger system size—one thing to consider if using micro-inverters is their maintenance costs. There are more parts involved in a microinverter and will need a qualified electrician if something goes wrong; however, the rest of the system will continue to function, causing limited disruption to power needs.
Choosing the right solar panel system and inverter for your needs is not decided to be taken lightly. It’s an investment, but a worthy one. Making a decision to do your bit for our wonderful planet is commendable and necessary for creating a sustainable world for ourselves and future generations. Armed with thorough knowledge and motivation, I’m sure you’ll be utilizing our wonderful sun as your new source of energy soon.
Source: Upscale Living Magazine