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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Hoover (Carbon Dan)

What’s An Inverter?!?

Greetings & Salutations Energy Heros! Dan “The Solar Man” here again from Carbon Recall, to talk about one of the most critical components of your solar panel system, the inverter.

When designing a solar panel system for your home, there are a lot of components that need to be included in your design, which can be quite overwhelming!

This week, we want to talk about one of the most critical pieces of your solar panel system, which is the inverter. There are many brands, types, and sizes of inverters, but the bottom line is that without an inverter, your solar panel system is useless, so choose wisely!

Why is the inverter so important, and what does it do?

Essentially, the inverter is the component of your solar panel system that allows your home to connect with your solar panels. Solar panels generate electricity in DC or Direct Current. Not only is DC electricity incredibly dangerous, but your home is not outfitted to benefit from DC electricity, which is where the inverter comes in.

The inverter converts the DC electricity generated by your solar panels into usable AC electricity, which is what most of our homes and appliances are set up to use.

While there are off-grid style inverters, many of the inverters used for residential projects are considered to be ‘grid-tied’ inverters. The purpose of a grid-tied inverter, aside from converting the DC electricity to AC, is 2 fold. The first purpose is that a grid-tied inverter enables you to send excess electricity back to the grid for storage. In a place like South Carolina where 1:1 net metering is still mostly supported, this is a critical function!

Another unique feature of grid-tied inverters is a safety mechanic for utility employees who work on the lines during a power outage. When the utility grid goes down, the inverters go offline, preventing your solar panel system from sending electricity back to the grid in a power outage and endangering the line workers.

If you are shopping for the right inverter, you will likely encounter the following terminology: Microinverters and string Inverters. Which one do you need??

The easy answer is that MicroInverters are designed for situations where a portion of your solar panels will be covered by shade. By isolating each solar panel, the microinverter allows the highest output despite the shade some of your panels will encounter. A string inverter, on the other hand, tends to be cheaper but combines the DC electricity from all of the panels on a string. The issue is that if some of your panels are shaded, the output of all of your panels will be impacted if you are using a string inverter.

So now that you understand what inverters are, which brand should you get? Check back with us next week as we talk about the leading inverter brands available, and which ones Carbon Recall prefers.

Ready to get a solar panel system designed for your home? Give us a call today for your customized Energy Solutions Plan!

Until next time Energy Hero's!

Carbon Recall York

803-306-6380 (NET0)


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