How do solar inverters work?
Inverters are a crucial step in the solar energy cycle. Without one, you wouldn't be able to use the energy from the sun to power your fridge, TV, or air conditioning.
But do you know what they are, or how they work?
We've installed over 85,000 inverters around Australia to date, so we're pretty familiar with the ins and outs.
An inverter is basically a box which takes the energy from your solar panels and turns it into energy your house can actually use.
While solar panels will produce "direct current", your home (and all the appliances within it) uses "alternate current".
Your inverter can turn direct current energy (DC) into the alternate current energy (AC) that powers your home, making it a pretty important and nifty piece of tech.
An inverter contains within it something called a "transformer" - which, surprisingly, transforms one thing into another.
It takes the direct current from your solar panels and turns it into an alternating current that your home can use as power.
So what's the difference between those two things? A direct current basically runs in a straight line, whereas an alternating current looks much more like a wave.
1. Solar panels
Solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into DC (Direct Current).
2. Solar inverter
A solar inverter then converts DC into AC (Alternate Current) - which then powers your home in real-time.
3. Solar battery
If you install a solar battery, excess energy is stored here (rather than pushing out to the grid).
4. Digital meter
Your energy use and habits are easily tracked with a digital meter.
5. Power grid
Any excess energy that you generate is pushed out to the grid. This energy is measured and calculated (feed-in tariff) to credit your account. You can also (automatically) draw energy from the grid when you need it.
An inverter is also crucial to the process of feeding energy back to the grid, because it produces the same kind of alternate current the grid uses.
As we've touched on, solar panels produce direct current and in its pure form isn't suitable for the grid.
So, without the inverter you couldn't feed energy back to the grid and qualify for feed-in tariff credit on your power bill.
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