Choosing the right components for your solar power system is essential for maximising efficiency, performance, and savings. One critical component often overlooked is the inverter. This device converts the DC (Direct Current) power generated by your solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) power that can be used by your home. In this article, we’ll explore the four main types of inverters you can choose from, helping you find the one that best fits your needs.
The inverter serves as the heart of your solar energy system. Its primary function is to convert the DC power generated by your solar panels into usable AC power for your home or business. However, inverters come with different features and functionalities, influencing not only how your solar system performs but also how you can interact with it. Whether it’s monitoring energy production in real-time or integrating battery storage for later use, the right inverter can greatly enhance your solar experience.
The following factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting an inverter:
The following three inverters are common in Australia:
These are the most basic type, converting DC power from solar panels to AC power for your home. They are generally more affordable but lack some of the advanced features found in other types.
These inverters can manage both solar panels and battery storage, making them ideal for homeowners who are considering or already have a solar battery system.
Installed directly on each solar panel, microinverters allow each panel to operate independently, improving efficiency in cases of shading or different panel orientations.
Some examples of which inverter to pick based on common Australian home setups:
The Budget-Conscious Small Homeowner
You own a small home with moderate energy consumption and a straightforward roof layout.
Recommended Inverter: A standard inverter is usually sufficient, cost-effective, and simple to install.
The Tree-Covered Property
Your property has multiple areas of shading throughout the day due to trees or other structures.
Recommended Inverter: Microinverters or optimisers would be the best choice to mitigate the impact of shading on system performance.
The Growing Family Home
You have a medium-sized home but anticipate your family and energy needs will grow.
Recommended Inverter: A hybrid inverter can offer the flexibility to add battery storage or more panels as your needs change.
The Large Property or Commercial Space
You own a large property or a small-to-medium-sized business with higher energy requirements.
Recommended Inverter: A three-phase inverter will provide the capability to handle greater electrical loads more efficiently.
The Energy-Savvy Homeowner with Battery Storage
You are keen on maximising your solar energy usage and have invested in or are considering a battery storage system.
Recommended Inverter: A hybrid inverter would be ideal as it manages both solar panels and battery storage, allowing you to store excess energy for later use.
The Regional or Remote Homeowner
You live in a regional or remote area where grid reliability might be an issue or grid access is limited.
Recommended Inverter: A hybrid inverter with battery storage can provide an added layer of security, allowing you to store excess solar power for use during outages or periods of low solar generation.
Choosing the right inverter is a crucial step in setting up an efficient, cost-effective solar energy system for your home or business. Each type of inverter comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages that should be weighed carefully against your specific needs and objectives.