Nowadays, we use electricity everywhere, and a power outage can cause great inconvenience to our lives. So we all buy a normal inverter to cope with power outages. With the price of solar panels coming down, more and more people are looking to upgrade their inverters.
A solar inverter is not only beneficial to provide power in case of a power outage, but it can also work 24*7. As long as light shines on the solar panel, it can continuously produce electricity for the home appliances. This saves us money on our electricity bills. In this article, we will learn some basic guidelines for solar inverters, such as:
- The difference between solar inverter and normal inverter
- The difference between PWM and MPPT controllers
- How to convert a standard inverter into a solar inverter
Solar Inverter vs Normal Inverter
A solar inverter works by connecting DC to AC. To generate constant electricity, the inverter is connected to a solar panel. Of course, if there is no battery, it can be ignored (the role of the battery is to reserve power). This is the simple principle of upgrading a normal inverter to a solar inverter. The most significant difference between the two is that a solar inverter can be used when there is no power and can produce enough power for home use. A normal inverter can only convert DC to AC when there is power.
Instead of batteries, a pure solar inverter uses DC electricity from solar panels. Grid-connected solar systems often employ pure solar inverters. On the market, we may also find hybrid solar inverters. A stand-alone inverter and a solar inverter are combined in hybrid solar inverters. A hybrid solar inverter, in short, has two DC power sources. A battery is the first, while a solar panel is the second. Regardless of which type of solar inverter is used, they all have many of the same benefits.
- Cell phones monitor the power of the solar power inverter
- Save money on electricity and low cost
- Easy to update and upgrade the system
- Easy to repair and maintain
Is it possible to convert a normal inverter to a solar inverter?
Yes. We can certainly convert the existing inverter to solar power inverter. This way, all the electricity used in the home will come from the sun, which is more environmentally friendly. Also, it works 7*24 as long as there is light. Greatly reduces our electricity bill. If there is excess electricity every month, you can also contact the local government and sell them to the National Grid Authority. This way, the money saved on the whole solar power inverter system may earn enough money to install the solar system in two or three years. So, a solar panel inverter system is a good investment.
How to convert a normal inverter to a solar inverter
We’ll need to buy solar panels, a solar inverter charger controller (conversion set), and other various parts to convert an inverter to a solar system. The inverter plug-in slots are located on the solar charger. The inverter should only be connected to the solar inverter charger controller. Furthermore, it is linked to your solar cells. By following these simple steps, you may convert your existing inverter to a solar inverter.
As a result, connecting your standard inverter to a solar inverter will be easy if you are a regular user. You will need to first set up a backup system if you don’t have an inverter. The solar inverter, rather than the ordinary inverter, must be installed.
You can also use your phone to track the amount of solar energy generated and how much electricity it consumes per hour. We can be the first to know whether the entire system has failed if there is an issue with the solar inverter. In addition, the battery can store 100% of solar energy. As a result, the battery also functions at night.
Why convert an existing inverter to a solar inverter?
A standard solar inverter is a straightforward device that only works with AC power, i.e., the grid. It won’t work in a solar power inverters system. On the other hand, a solar inverter is a more advanced technology to capture solar energy. Solar inverters have a built-in feature of converting DC power to AC power for solar systems.
Solar energy provides electricity and lighting at a fraction of the cost of grid electricity. It comes from the sun’s direct current. Solar panels absorb sunlight, while solar inverters regulate the voltage that passes through them.
To put it another way, instead of using a standard inverter, a solar inverter is needed to convert solar energy into electricity. This power conversion has a critical role because we can’t provide direct DC power to power our appliances.
Benefits of converting to a solar inverter
- Save money on electricity (the biggest benefit)
- Stops reverse current from solar cells to solar panels
- Easy to operate with cell phones monitoring the power of the system as well as its operation
- Lower cost
- No need to worry about power outages, you can power yourself
- Extends the life of solar cells and prevents them from being overcharged
Accessories for upgrading solar power inverters systems
We know that the two most important accessories to upgrade an inverter to a solar inverter are the solar panel and the solar charge controller. Then it will be important to choose a suitable solar panel and controller for the best solar inverter.
Types of Solar Inverter Charger Controllers
A solar inverter charger controller’s role is to regulate and manage the electricity generated from the solar panels using DC power. It is the connection between solar panels and the conventional inverter. Solar charge controllers can function using different technologies.
Based on these technologies, there are four main types of controllers. The first two are the most common ones we see. These different types are described below.
- MPPT solar charge controllers
- PMW solar charge controller
- Dual Cell Controllers
- Solar Retrofit Charge Controllers
Difference between PWM and MPPT
The PWM controller lowers the solar panel voltage to slightly over the battery voltage, away from the panel’s maximum power point. In contrast, the MPPT controller pulls it slightly above the battery voltage (MPP). The MPPT charge controller adjusts its internal resistance to the characteristic resistance of the solar panel, allowing it to draw current at maximum power.
Although PWM is less expensive, the MPPT charge controller can monitor the solar system’s voltage and current in real time. It can also change the input voltage to ensure that the battery and load receive the total amount of electricity.
Many charging stages, including absorption, constant voltage, and trickle charging, are included in MPPT charge controllers. Unlike PWM chargers, however, it can switch between different stages of MPPT charging based on the system’s needs. The MPPT solar charge controller’s key benefit is this.
How to choose a solar inverter charger controller
In most charge controllers, the charging current passes through a semiconductor. The charge controller acts like a switch that controls the energy flow to the battery. It prevents the battery from being overcharged. Overcharging a battery can be particularly damaging to the battery itself.
Charge controllers also provide many other important functions:
Overload protection is a crucial feature of the charge controller. The solar panel will create too much voltage for the battery to handle if there is no controller between it and the battery. The battery is overcharged as a result, which might cause serious damage. Overcharging the battery might also result in it exploding! We also recommend utilizing a circuit breaker or fuse in more extensive installations for further safety.
Low Voltage Disconnect
Low voltage can still harm the battery even if the load is attached. When the battery voltage is too low, the controller senses it. The controller will disconnect the load from the battery if the battery voltage falls below a specified level. Before reconnecting, wait for the next charge.
Stopping reverse current
Solar panels only pump current in one direction through the battery. The panel may naturally pass some current in the opposite direction during the night. The battery may be slightly discharged as a result of this. The charge controller stops this from happening. This protects your solar charging system from being damaged.
When we buy a charge controller we can consider the following aspects:
- Size, number and type of batteries
- Installation location
How to choose solar panels for your solar panel inverter?
Solar Panel Cost
This is one of the first factors we consider when comparing solar panels. However, the cost of solar panels is related to a variety of factors. Such as solar panel inverter manufacturer, material, warranty life, size, etc. So price is one of the factors in our choice, and it should not be the only consideration. Because the expensive one may not be the best, the cheaper one may be more suitable for you. And the life span of solar panels is generally very long. Even with different prices of solar panels, their lifespan does not differ much.
Must take the method the panels are made and the quality of the materials used into account. A variety makes panels of producers, each with its quality, price, and efficiency. Vertically integrated solar panel producers have complete control over the entire manufacturing process. They strongly emphasize quality and make significant investments in research and development (R&D). Other companies construct panels but do not create their cells or invest in research and development. They require more workforce than robots to make, but they are the most cost-effective panels.
So when choosing your solar panel supplier, we need to review the buyer reviews. Also, go and investigate their manufacturing credentials. This will help us better understand this manufacturer’s credentials and customer satisfaction with its products.
Solar panel efficiency is how much of the light the panel receives is converted into electricity. This is one of the critical factors that we need to consider. Because only when the efficiency of the solar panel is high will it be converted into more electricity. At the same time, the efficiency is closely related to the price of solar panels. Generally, the price is high if the efficiency is high. So we prefer to spend more money choosing a high-efficiency solar panel, which is critical for our later load use.
This refers to the effect of heat on the operating efficiency of solar panels after installation. Since overheating solar panels accelerates their aging, the lower the percentage per degree Celsius, the better.
Although solar panels are not as expensive as solar inverters, if you want to minimize the cost, we still need to protect them. It is important to maintain solar panels to extend their life properly. We try to give them maximum exposure to the sun. But then they must be cleaned up frequently with dust and debris around them to keep them clean.
The size is divided into the size of the solar panel area and the amount of power. The size of the control means: that you should ensure that you install a solar panel system with enough power. This is because we first want to ensure that the solar panel can power all the loads in the house properly. We must estimate the total power of the home loads. Because if the power of the solar panel is smaller than the power of the household appliances, it will lead to a lack of energy. If the power is much higher, it will lead to energy wastage.
The reason for measuring the area is to ensure we have enough roof and light space to install it. Because we want the solar panel to shine as much sunlight as possible, this is so that we can convert the maximum amount of light energy into electricity.
Types of Solar panel material
Solar panels come in all shapes and sizes as well as materials. Each material has its unique characteristics. We have to choose the best one for ourselves from it.
Polycrystalline silicon-based solar panels have become the best choice for residential installations because of their small footprint and high efficiency. And it also has a strong heat dissipation capability. That’s why it’s the top choice for many homes. Amorphous silicon panels are also available. It consumes the least amount of silicon but is less efficient. This material is suitable for people with low budgets.