What is Solar Inverter?

A Solar Inverter or PV inverter is a electrical converter which converts variable direct current (DC) output of your PV arrange into a utility frequency alternating current (AC). This is fed into the National Grid or if off-grid used by the local electrical network.

Solar Inverters have many functions which is then adapt to your PV array, this include maximum power tracking (receiving the maximum possible power) and anti-islanding protection.

There are many options to for inverters:

  • Stand-alone inverter - these are used in most PV arrays. These are isolated systems where the inverter draw the DC energy which is charged from the batteries in the PV array.

  • Grid-tie inverters - these are designed to shut down automatically on loss of utility supply which is for safety reason. These do not provide power backup in a event of a power cut.

  • Battery backup inverters - these are specialised inverters which draw energy from a battery and manage the charge through a on-board charger which the exports the excess to the grid. They are also capable of supplying AX energy to selected loads during a power cut. These type of inverter required anti-islanding protection

  • Hybrid inverter - these type of inverter manage the PV array, battery storage and utility grid which are all directed into the unit. These are your all-in-one system which can be used for grid-tie, standalone or backup but there are mostly used for self-consumption with the use of storage.

Tips to look out for regarding your Solar Inverter

  1. Generation Meter
    It’s always good practice to check your generation meter regularly, especially when providing reading for your electricity supplier. If you find that your reading are lower than you expect or isn’t moving much

  2. Inverter has a blank screen or no lights showing
    Turn all the AC (red switch) and DC (black switch) isolators to OFF, there should be one located near the mains area, by the generation meter and another by your inverter and wait 5 minutes and turn back on the DC (black switch) isolator first to ensure no arcing will occur, then the AC (red switch) isolator. The inverter may take a few minutes to reset and the lights will usually flash while rebooting.

  3. Error messages
    Check your inverter manual for meanings of the error messages

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