If you are using solar energy for your house, one thing you must do is change the electricity you generate into a usable form. This is what a solar energy inverter does.
You must change the solar energy to alternating current (AC) because your solar panels create direct current (DC) power. Your home uses AC, which is what the utility company supplies.
Also, if you intend to sell electricity back to the utility company, you need to convert it. It would be a waste to try and sell power back to the utility, if they will not accept it! A solar energy inverter can help you live off the grid.
In order to use your solar energy in home appliances, you probably will store the power in batteries and then will use an inverter to change it.
Explaining a solar inverter?
Basically, an inverter is an electrical device that changes the DC current from your photovoltaic cells (solar panel) into AC current so you can use the power in your home. Inverters use a considerable amount of power on their own. It is able to be powered by the sun, or the AC electricity coming from your power grid.
There are numerous sizes and types of solar energy inverters. Then there are the stand alone inverters, which are used for smaller applications, such as a solar panel that is portable. You would need this type for a pleasure boat, a cottage, or an RV.
These large solar inverters are known as grid-tie inverters, and they enable you to hook up with the grid. They are able to fulfill the requirements of your utility company. Sending power to the grid during an outage could be very dangerous, therefore they are made to shut down during the outage.
An inverter can run on battery power, convert DC to AC, and interface with the grid. Actually, that is an amazing degree of function for one device.
Solar inverters at home
A true, or pure sine wave inverter is generally what the modern home requires. Your choice of a solar inverter is very important, therefore you must consider every aspect. For example: what are your household demands? The inverter is the heart of your solar energy system, supplying power to more appliances than you might expect.
You must consider the wattage, surge requirements, power factor, and the continuous load you will need. It may be possible to use a less expensive type of inverter, but usually this is not advisable.
Picking the right inverter?
It can be confusing when you are deciding on a solar energy inverter. In order to ask the right questions, you need to educate yourself. The solar kits available today have good information that is specifically tailored for do it yourself solar energy. Most kits include all the necessary information for picking an inverter.
There are also many excellent online resources that are a great help in learning about inverters. You also can visit a solar panel supplier, if you have one in your area.
Jon Arnett and company have been involved with energy saving programs for many years in Alaska, Wisconsin, Norway and Croatia. Recently they constructed a passive and active solar heated villa in Croatia.