Solar inverter is a significant technological part of your solar power system. A solar inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that is provided into a commercial electrical grid (WAPDA) or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.
What Kind of Solar Inverter Do I Need?
The solar inverters are very delicate and can lead to failure in no time. Due to this, you should choose the solar inverter with great care and research to maximize its potential and its productive life.
In this blog, we will discuss different factors that play a significant part in determining the life of any solar inverter for a Solar power system so that people who want to install solar power systems can benefit. These factors are listed below.
- Types of Solar Inverter
- Inverter capacity
- Climatic Considerations
- Efficiency and Performance
- Brand and Reliability
- Warranty and Support
Keeping these factors in mind while buying a solar inverter will make your system long-lasting.
Types of Solar Inverter:
There are three different types of commonly used solar inverters.
- String Inverters:
String inverters are the most common type of inverters used in residential and commercial solar installations. They are designed to handle strings of solar panels connected in series. In this setup, multiple solar panels are wired together in a series circuit, and the combined DC power output is sent to the string inverter. The string inverter then converts the DC power into AC power, which can be used to power your home or business.
- Cost-effective for smaller installations.
- Simple in design and easy to install.
- They are well-suited for installations with consistent sunlight and minimal shading.
- If one panel in a string is shaded or underperforms, it can significantly reduce the overall system’s efficiency.
- Performance can be affected by the weakest panel in the string.
Microinverters are smaller, individual inverters and are attached to each solar panel in an installation. Unlike string inverters, microinverters operate independently for each panel. It means each solar panel has its dedicated inverter, converting DC power to AC power directly at the panel level.
- Shade Tolerance:
Microinverters operate independently, making them more resilient to shading issues. If one panel is shaded, it doesn’t affect the performance of other panels.
- Optimized Performance:
Each panel operates at its maximum efficiency, optimizing the overall system’s output.
- Monitoring Capabilities:
Many microinverters come with monitoring systems that allow you to track the performance of individual panels.
Microinverters can be more expensive upfront compared to string inverters.
While they offer better shade tolerance, the installation and wiring of microinverters can be more complex than string inverters.
- Hybrid (Battery) Inverters:
Hybrid inverters, also known as battery inverters, are designed to work in systems that have energy storage solutions, such as batteries. These inverters not only convert DC power from solar panels into AC power for immediate use but also manage the charging and discharging of batteries.
- Energy Storage:
Hybrid inverters enable the storage of excess energy in batteries, allowing you to use solar power even during grid outages or at night.
- Energy Independence:
By combining solar panels with energy storage, hybrid systems provide a higher degree of energy independence, reducing reliance on the grid.
Hybrid inverters are generally more expensive due to the additional functionality of managing energy storage systems.
The addition of batteries requires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Determine the size of the solar inverter based on the capacity of your solar panels. The inverter’s capacity should be slightly larger than the total capacity of your solar panels to accommodate peak power output and system inefficiencies.
A large size also makes sure that if you want to expand your solar power system, you will not have to change the inverter with it. The following table shows us the different capacities of solar inverters according to different monthly electrical unit consumption. It will guide you to invest in the correct solar invertor’s system capacity.
|Monthly Electricity Units||300-350||500-600||1100-1200||1700-1800||2300-2400||2800-3000||3500-3600||4000-4200|
|3 KW Solar System||5 KW Solar System||10 KW Solar System||15KW Solar System||20 KW Solar System||25 KW Solar System||30 KW Solar System||35 KW Solar System|
Note: The above table shows a consumption chart for residential purposes only.
Pakistan has a very different climate than the countries which are using solar power. Here the temperatures are high, summers are humid, the air is dusty and for a month or two, smog is present in the country. Keeping these factors in mind, we need to make sure the following points are considered while buying a solar inverter.
- Temperature Resistance:
Pakistan experiences high temperatures, especially in summer. Summer lasts for about 8-9 months, making it the longest season of the year. Choose an inverter with a high-temperature tolerance to ensure it operates efficiently in hot weather conditions.
- Dust and Humidity Resistance:
Given the dusty environment in many parts of Pakistan, opt for solar inverters with a robust design that can resist dust and humidity. Dust accumulation can affect the inverter’s performance.
After buying, maintenance such as air blowing is required to keep the performance at the same level when it is new.
Efficiency and Performance:
The solar inverter should have a good conversion efficiency and MPPT Technology for better results.
- Conversion Efficiency:
Look for inverters with high conversion efficiency. Higher efficiency means more of the solar energy gets converted into usable electricity, maximizing your system’s overall output.
- MPPT Technology:
Inverters with Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology optimize the system’s performance by adjusting the voltage and current to the ideal levels, especially when dealing with variable sunlight conditions.
Brand and Reliability
There are many different brands for solar inverters to choose from but you should choose inverters from reputable and reliable manufacturers. Research customer reviews and expert opinions to ensure the brand you select has a track record of durability and performance.
Top Brands in Pakistan:
The top 10 companies that are most often associated with the best solar inverters on the market are:
- Huawei Solar Inverters
- GoodWee Solar Inverters
- Solis Solar Inverters
- Sofar Solar Inverters
- Infini Solar Inverters
- Fronius Solar Inverters
- Nitrox Solar Inverters
- Veyron Solar Inverters
- SMA Solar Inverters
- SunGrow Solar Inverters
While it’s essential to consider your budget, avoid compromising on quality for solar inverters. Investing in a high-quality, reliable inverter ensures the long-term efficiency and effectiveness of your solar energy system. If you are out of budget, it is advised to save up for a good quality inventor. The brands mentioned above have different prices.
Warranty and Support:
We advise you to check the warranty offered by the inverter manufacturer. A more extended warranty period often indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s longevity. Additionally, consider the availability of local support and service centers in Pakistan for maintenance and repairs. Make sure the spare parts are also available in case of any technical problems.
Choosing the right kind of solar inverter depends on your specific requirements, budget, the environmental conditions of your location, and other factors. It’s essential to consult with a solar energy professional like Bright Energy to determine the most suitable inverter technology for your solar installation.