What to know about solar inverters for your home
Residential solar power systems are comprised of different parts. First is the solar panel collects free energy and sends it to the controller. The controller feeds into the battery. From there, energy is passed through an inverter, then a metre, then to the outlets in your home. Today we’re going to talk briefly about the inverter part of the system.
The electricity collected by your solar panels and stored in the batteries is what’s known as direct current (DC). But the appliances in your home use alternating current (AC). So, quite simply, the inverter switches the DC input to an AC output that we can then use.
Now that we know what an inverter is and what it’s used for, let’s look at what you need to know when choosing one.
Inverters come in two main types:
Pure Sine Wave
- More expensive
- More reliable for running large appliances, appliances with motors, audio-video devices, sensitive electronics, medical equipment, etc.
Modified Sine Wave
- Optimal for those on a budget
- Good for running non-sensitive electronics (lights, toaster, water pump, phone/laptops chargers, etc.)
What type you get will depend on what kinds of electrical devices you need to run, and your budget.
Next is Identifying what size of inverter you need. For this you need to figure out how many appliances you’ll typically be running and for how long; how many watts they’ll be drawing; and if any will be creating surges when in use. This information will tell you your peak load (when energy is in high demand thus lots of things are running at the same time–generally between 3pm-5pm in many households), and your average load (general use throughout the rest of the day). When you have the total load, double it to determine a suitable wattage for your needs. A typical household runs fine with a 2400w inverter.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you find it intimidating trying to figure out what’s best for your situation, call a professional for help. As a custom home residential solar power system provider, our energy experts can help with any of the calculations necessary to determine the ideal size of inverter to go with your solar power system and household electricity needs.
NetZero Solar’s friendly energy professionals would be delighted to answer your solar energy and inverter questions. Let us help you to a cleaner, greener, energy future with solar energy. We’re one phone call away: 250-516-5932