The inverter of a solar panel is one of the most important parts of the photovoltaic installation, whether it is connected to the network or an isolated solar installation. This element allows us to take advantage of the electricity that is generated without affecting our electrical installation and the devices that we have connected to the light. Now, exactly what is the inverter of a solar panel for? Next, we discuss what is the function of the solar inverter. Pay attention!
What is a solar panel inverter and what is it for?
The solar inverter is one of the elements that are part of the photovoltaic installation. This component plays a very prominent role as it helps convert direct current into alternating current. What does this mean exactly? Basically that the function of the solar inverter is to allow the use of the current in the installationof the home, office or business in which it is made.
Direct current is converted into alternating current, which is the one used by household appliances and electrical appliances (such as the washing machine, oven, stove and any other electrical device). When transforming the current into alternating current, the direction of flow of the electrons comes and goes at regular intervals or in cycles (unlike what happens in direct current, in which the flow goes in only one direction —from an emitter to a receiver-).
The operation of the solar inverter begins when the photovoltaic panels receive light. It is then that the current is produced thanks to the movement of the electrons that are present in the silicon cells of the panel. At that precise moment, the solar inverter begins to work and convert the electricity into alternating current so that it can be used.
Other functions of the solar inverter
The operation of the solar inverter can be very useful to carry out other tasks, in addition to allowing us to take advantage of electricity. For example, solar inverters allow us to supervise the correct operation of the installation so that, in the event that an anomaly is detected, they can stop production, avoiding any electrical risk. They make it easier for installers and owners to supervise the entire installation. On the other hand, the function of the solar inverter allows us to obtain information and diagnose the equipment in time , which guarantees us to find an early solution to the problems and prevent them from getting worse.
In addition, a solar inverter fulfills another outstanding function, and that is that in generaloptimizes the overall performance of the installation allowing us to obtain the maximum energy performance in each of the photovoltaic solar panels. This translates, in the long run, into a reduction in the electricity bill and a faster amortization of the product —in addition to prolonging its useful life—.
Parts of a solar inverter: How is this element composed?
Now that we have explained what a solar panel inverter is for and what the function of the solar inverter is, it is important to know what the parts of this device are. Next, we explain which are the parts that influence the operation of the solar inverter:
- Main control : This is made up of several parts that influence the general control, as well as the wave generation system (PWM), the protection systems…
- Grid control: Grid control controls the injected current as well as the power factor coming from the solar panels. This is an interface that goes between the network and the main control.
- Maximum Power Point Tracker : Also known as MPPT for Maximum Power Point Tracker . This is responsible for obtaining the maximum power of the solar panels at all times, thus taking advantage of their performance.
- Protections : They serve to prevent damage to the inverter, especially against grid voltage outside the margins, but also from high temperatures, voltage drops in the electrical generator, failures in the electrical grid…
In some cases, depending on the power stage, it may be necessary to implement output filters . The power stage depends on the available modules and can be single power, inverter power or modular power.
Do all solar installations need an inverter?
No, but it can only be avoided in some very specific cases and it is not highly recommended since the solar inverter offers us additional protection for electrical devices and installation by transforming direct current into alternating current. In the event that a solar inverter is not included in the installation, it is essential that all consumption be direct current (12 volts, 24 volts or 48 volts) in order to use them. This can be useful in some specific situations, such as in some warehouses or factories and even on farms with water extraction pumps.
What are regulator charger inverters?
A specific model of solar inverter is the regulator charger inverter. This device is widely used, above all, in isolated solar installations (which require batteries to be able to store the electricity generated and use it at different times of the day). These devices are like an all in one , they include the function of inverter, charger and regulator of the current and the electricity that is supplied to the batteries. They are very useful to simplify the necessary connections, as well as lower costs, instead of buying the parts separately.
Other components of the photovoltaic solar installation
The photovoltaic solar installation is made up of other elements that are essential for its proper functioning, such as photovoltaic panels, optimizers, solar inverters, charge regulators, batteries, protection and socket elements. ground, electrical wiring and solar trackers (the latter are optional). Of course, not all these elements are necessary, it all depends on the type of installation that is carried out, that is, if it is a solar installation connected to the network or an isolated one.