Solar power inverters are a part of solar electrical systems that help convert the sun's energy into usable power. The solar panels on homes and businesses are made up of small groups of semiconductors that react to sunlight by freeing electrons. But while those free electrons can travel through an electrical circuit, they can't be used to power most appliances until they have passed through solar inverters. The photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar electrical systems convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter converts that DC voltage into the alternating current (AC) electricity that people can use to meet some or all of their energy needs.
The reason solar inverters are necessary is because DC and AC power work differently. In DC power systems, an electrical current only flows in one direction. In AC power systems, the current moves in both directions. While some things that require electricity can use either AC or DC power, the power grid in the US uses AC power. Therefore, almost everything we use every day runs on AC power, directly or through a converter.
Solar systems are clean, safe and reliable because photovoltaic panels are able to harness the sun's renewable energy without using moving parts or generating emissions. Inverters for solar panels make it possible to harness power from sunlight by transforming the electricity collected by PV panels into useable AC voltage.
There are three main classes of solar inverters, each used in different types of solar energy systems. Stand-alone solar power inverters are used in isolated systems that power appliances or homes directly. Synchronous solar panel inverters, also referred to as grid-tie inverters, create a link between a home system and the utility grid – excess energy is stored in a battery and can be sold back to the utility company. Multifunction inverters can do both.
There are two types of inverters used in most solar installations – string inverters and microinverters. String inverters convert electricity from multiple panels while microinverters convert electricity from a single panel. No solar inverter class or type is perfect for every application, which is why SolarCity will help you understand your options and find the technology to meet your unique needs.
SolarCity provides a complete solar electric solution designed to meet each customer's individual needs and goals. We custom design a solar panel system for each home and business. Our highly-trained, in-house specialists are qualified to handle financing, permitting, installation and 24/7 lifetime maintenance. Whether you're curious about the costs of solar, environmental benefits of solar electricity or how solar compares to power generated by fossil fuels in price and performance, we're here to answer all of your questions.
A complete PV system – from panels and solar inverters to wiring – can be installed less than a day, which means you can secure affordable energy rates now. At SolarCity, we believe that clean, renewable solar energy should be an option open to all. Get in touch today to learn more about how solar power can help you save money while contributing to a greener planet.