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What is a Grid Tie Inverter

Solar panels have become today a more than viable alternative for many homes and homes. The use of solar energy to obtain electricity allows us to save a significant sum of money month after month on the electricity bill. And it is that, as explained in its last report the International Energy Agency (IEA) titled as World Energy Outlook 2020solar energy is capable of producing the cheapest electricity today.

What is a Grid Tie Inverter

The path that is being carried out in relation to the production of solar energy is the right one. For this reason, there are more and more families who choose to carry out photovoltaic solar installations in their homes. Now, what is a grid connection solar inverter? Is it necessary to use this component in solar installations?

Keep reading this article to learn more about grid tie inverters, how they work and what their features are.

What is a grid connection solar inverter?

The solar inverter, or grid connected solar inverter, is one of the fundamental components in a photovoltaic solar installation. These electronic devices are used to transform electricity in the form of direct current (DC), which is generated in one or more solar panels, into electricity suitable for use, or alternating current (AC). That is, in 230V electricity that can be used by electronic devices, appliances and light bulbs without damaging them.

Grid tie inverters can meet a dual function. On the one hand, there is the transform the electricity that we are going to use in our home and on the other that of transform the electrical energy that will be poured into the general network in case of energy productivity surplus. This will depend, of course, on the photovoltaic solar installation. That is, if it is connected to the grid or if it is isolated —in the latter case, it will not be necessary to have a grid connection inverter for self-consumption—.

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How do grid connection inverters work?

Grid-connected inverters must be synchronized with the electrical grid to work —unless we have an isolated solar installation, in which case we will not be able to use grid-connected inverters for self-consumption—. These devices are used exclusively for installations intended for self-supply, as well as for the sale of energy to the state or to an electric company.

The good thing about installing a grid connection inverter for self-consumption is that they save us from having to use a battery, which usually makes the final cost of the installation more expensive —grid connection systems cannot include batteries since the energy that is transformed must be used directly and therefore only operate when there is sunlight—. The economic compensation for the energy we produce and inject into the general network is regulated by the RD 244/2019 on self-consumption.

Types of grid connection inverters

We can find several types of grid connection inverters, depending on their operation. Now, all of them fulfill the main function of inverting direct current into alternating current. These are the main grid connection inverters:

  • Single phase inverters: Single-phase inverters are those that work by inverting direct current into alternating current without carrying out a voltage variation. They are generally used in the distribution of heating and lighting energy, as well as in some small motors.
  • Three-phase inverters: These are inverters that, in addition to switching from direct current to alternating current, modify the voltage. Reason why, they are connected to solar panels for use in homes —modifying the voltage to 230V—.

What are inverters for isolated connections?

Inverters for isolated connections are those that work in isolated solar installations in which there is no connection to the network. These are also often known as inverter-chargers or inverter-chargers with regulators. They are responsible for changing the direct current into alternating current so that it can be stored in the battery. In these cases, the battery is the only electrical supply that will be available in the house to be able to supply electricity. As with grid connected solar inverters, each one must be used in its specific installation.

Price of grid connection solar inverters

The price of grid connection for self-consumption varies depending on the characteristics of each one, as well as the type —if it is single-phase or three-phase— since we can find a wide variety of products. The average price of grid connection inverters is usually 350 to 1,000 euros, depending on the model. In the market we can find a wide variety of brands, such as Huawei, Fronius, Krostal…

Related: Type solar inverter

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