A Quick Guide to Selecting the Perfect Solar Inverter for Your Home
Solar inverters are an essential part of any solar system; they are the brains of the network. Aside from the solar inverter’s primary role to convert DC power created by the sun into usable AC power (what we plug into our walls), its job is ever expanding. Inverters empower installers and proprietors to monitor how a system is performing. This solar component have developed from single function of converting energy to various capabilities and functions. Each inverter ought to give options for additional uses and capabilities such as administrations, data monitoring, utility controls and applications— all to guarantee the inverter can work at the maximum level. Besides, while inverters comprise a little percentage of the system’s cost, keeping them running as productively and dependably as possible is crucial. Optimized inverter performance prompts more output production, yielding better returns for homeowners.
According to Clean Energy, here are some of the criteria to be considered:
Quality & Reliability
The only way to know if a brand or specific model has a proven track record of highest quality and reliability is to ask help from the experts. The first thing to look for in a solar inverter is to see if it follows with the relevant Australian Standard (AS4777). It can easily be checked by visiting Clean Energy Council’s approved products list on their website. If the brand or model you are eyeing falls on the list then it must be a good inverter to use in your solar PV system.
Service, Support and Warranty
Typically, inverters like grid connected inverters have a life span extending from 10 to 20 years. You ought to anticipate that most will last 10 years minimum. Clearly, the longer the warranty, the more insurance you have for your inverter. But don’t forget to balance it against the inverter’s features.
Weather-proof, expandable and high-efficiency are just some of the best features of an inverter. These inverters are made to be weather-proof, so they can be in areas that may have some exposure to different elements. Non-weather-proof inverters may require some cages that will have an extra cost.
If you are intending to expand your solar power system in the future, you should consider buying multiple MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) inverter. These solar inverters have multiple MPPT trackers allowing you to add additional solar PV arrays later or install solar PV arrays at different orientations. Some solar panels have a small MPPT inverter attached to the rear of the module, usually called micro inverters.
An Inverter’s efficiency is as important of the features mentioned above. In inverter, efficiency is a measure of how well an inverter converts electricity it receives from energy sources into power that will be available in a home. Efficiency would only be a factor if two similar solar inverters had significantly different efficiency.
As mentioned earlier, inverters were not only made to simply convert DC power into useful energy in homes but can also be used to monitor the performance of a solar PV system. Some of the important information can be displayed are:
- Amount of energy (kilowatt hours) you have produced daily,
- the consumption of electricity (kilowatt hours) you have produced since the unit was installed
- the amount of power (kilowatts) the unit is currently producing
- the number of hours the unit has been producing power
Inverters usually cost 20% of the whole solar system. Always remember not to buy the cheapest ones because there’s no chance of them lasting for 15 years plus. It better to buy reputable brands given that they are the most complex item on any solar PV system. In the event that you buy the inverter as a part of solar PV system, you can have a portion of the cost discounted as Small-scale Technology Certificates. You should bear the whole cost in case you’ll be needing to replace the inverter in any case, so it’s important to look for an inverter that will last.
Some of the best residential solar inverters in 2018 according to Clean Energy are:
- Fronius – Primo and Galvo
- SolarEdge – SE and HD wave
- SMA – Sunny boy
- Sungrow – SG-KLT
Aside from the mentioned solar inverters above, one of the brands that can check all the criteria enumerated is the recently launched Kehua (pronounced ‘kee-wah’) in the Australian market. The brand has a vision to provide reliable power solutions in various sectors from public power networks to residential power systems. Kehua integrating their passions and core values (Renewable, Reliable and Responsible) into their products making them an industrial-recognised Uninterruptible Power Supply and Critical Power Supply manufacturer.
In fact, their state of the art products are physical examples of high value/lower cost products with safe and reliable performance. This high-efficiency inverter is designed to reach up to 98.2% efficiency and it is the first cold-resistant inverter with superior operating temperature from -40C to 60C. Aside from that, this brand has an intelligent management system which save you from any hassle and update information about your system full record of Performance, Voltage Parameter, Temperature and so on in the form of graphs that can be export to Excel for a deeper analysis.
Whilst all of these inverters are an excellent choice for your solar power system, it is important to seek professional advice to determine which type or mode of inverter is the best for your system and energy needs.
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Svarc, J. (2018, May 12) Best Solar Inverters. Retrieved from https://www.cleanenergyreviews.info/blog/best-grid-connect-solar-inverters-sma-fronius-solaredge-abb