There are certain solar components that make up a solar power system, and one of those necessary solar components is the solar inverter. A solar power system is incomplete without a solar inverter. However, there are a few solar inverter types available in the Australian solar market, and each type has its own pros and cons.
Compare Solar Quotes research the Australian solar market properly to ensure that the Australian people get the best value for their money. In this guide, we will discuss the different types of solar inverters and their pros and cons.
Before we get into the details of each inverter type, let us know about solar inverters in general.
We cannot directly use the solar electricity generated by the solar panels to power the appliances in our home. This is because the electricity produced by the solar panels is in direct current (DC), and the appliances present in our homes typically use alternating current (AC). Thus, we require a solar inverter to make this conversion of electricity from DC to AC.
Solar inverters usually make up 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the total price of a solar power system. It is an integral part of the solar power system, and without the conversion of DC to AC by the solar inverter, you cannot power your home. Thus, it is essential to purchase and install a solar inverter that is compatible with the solar power system and provides great performance.
The different types of solar inverters and their pros and cons are:
- String Inverters
The string inverter is the most common type of solar inverter available in the Australian solar market. It is commonly used in both residential and commercial solar installations throughout Australia. In solar power systems where there is a string inverter installed, the DC electricity that the solar panels produce goes to the string inverter, and the inverter converts it from DC to AC electricity.
There are hundreds of string inverters available in the Australian solar market that have the approval of the Clean Energy Council. Due to this, there is a string inverter available that suits all types of solar power systems and budgets. The wide use of string inverters shows that it is reliable and efficient.
A string inverter does not come with a battery integration feature. So, if you plan on installing solar battery storage along with a solar power system, then you have to install a different battery inverter. An additional battery inverter refers to extra cost and an increased number of components.
- Battery Inverters
A battery inverter is usually installed along with a standard string inverter in a solar power system. The battery inverter is responsible for the charging and discharging of the solar energy that is stored in the solar battery storage.
The history and research of the battery inverters are quite similar to the string inverters; thus, these are also long-lasting and reliable. Battery inverters are compatible with the majority of string inverters and can be easily connected to a solar power system.
Depending on the rules and regulations of the network operator in the region you live in, the installation of a battery inverter can often be a bit complex and costly. The installation of a battery inverter is often more expensive than the installation of the majority of inverter types.
- Hybrid Inverters
A hybrid inverter is the combination of a standard string inverter and battery inverter, and it provides the same function that these two inverters provide. Hybrid inverters successfully convert DC electricity to AC electricity and also charge and discharge the battery storage at the same time. With hybrid inverters, the installation of solar battery storage is not really necessary.
It is easier to install a hybrid inverter compared to installing a battery inverter and string inverter. The cost of a hybrid inverter is relatively low compared to the combined cost of a standard string inverter and battery inverter. You can install a hybrid inverter without installing a solar battery, so you can choose to install a solar battery at a later date if you want.
A hybrid inverter is functioned to perform the work of a standard string inverter and battery inverter at the same time. So, these hybrid inverters are generally less efficient compared to the other solar inverters.
If we compare a microinverter to a string inverter, we will see that the microinverters are quite smaller in terms of size and power capacity. While one string inverter works for all the solar panels in a solar power system, one microinverter is installed at the back of one single solar panel. A microinverter performs the same way as a standard string inverter.
Solar power systems that use a microinverter usually provide much better performance compared to the performance provided by a string inverter. Each and every solar panel converts electricity separately, and the underperforming solar panels do not impact the overall energy output of the system.
Microinverters are expensive and cost about two to three times more than the cost of a standard string inverter. The energy output only increases about 6 per cent to 8 per cent due to the installation of microinverters; thus, the cost does not always justify the energy output. In addition to that, the microinverters are connected to the individual solar panels, and they sit on the roof. This puts the microinverters at risk of the extreme weather conditions in Australia.
The inverter types we have mentioned above are some of the best solar inverter types available in the market. You can choose any solar inverter type you want, depending on the specifications of the solar power system installation. Contact your solar installer if you want to get a detailed idea about the solar inverters