How to Choose a Solar Inverter

solar inverter

Solar power inverters are the hard-working components of your solar PV system. They take the direct current (DC) electricity generated by your solar panels and convert it into alternating current (AC) energy, which is usable in your home or fed directly into the grid in front-of-the-meter projects, such as utility-scale installations.

The Inverter itself is a box on your roof or wall that takes the DC electricity generated by your solar panels and converts it into alternating current (AC) power for use in your household electricity circuits. It’s usually the most expensive component in your solar system and if it fails, it can make your whole installation fall apart.

When it comes to inverters, there are many different types and models. The type you choose will depend on your needs, such as how many panels you have and where you’re planning to install the inverter.

A string inverter is the most common type of inverter, and these tend to work best for residential and commercial properties that have uncomplicated roof designs and get consistent sunlight throughout the day. They’re also the most affordable, but they can be more difficult to adapt to more complex roof shapes and shading.

They’re also the most likely to fail so it’s important to find a quality inverter that you can rely on to provide you with reliable energy output for years to come. Generally, we recommend investing in name-brand inverters such as Enphase, Fronius and SMA.

If you’re looking for more than just energy production, you may want to consider a hybrid or battery inverter. These offer the ability to store electricity from your panels for later use, as well as allowing you to draw electricity from the grid when rates are higher and your solar system can’t supply 100% of your energy needs.

Some hybrid inverters can even help you charge your electric vehicle. You can hook up an EV charger to the inverter and, once it’s fully charged, you can use that power to recharge your battery or power your home.

Whether you choose a string, hybrid or battery inverter, it’s crucial to buy one that is approved by the Clean Energy Regulator, which means it’s suitable for Australian climates and is of high quality. You should also check the company itself – is it established and has been in business for a long time?

It’s also worth finding out how much warranty support the manufacturer offers, and if they will be available to assist with any problems you might have with your inverter. This should give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on making the most of your solar system.

You’ll be able to get a better idea of what you’re buying by doing a bit of research and getting quotes from multiple solar installers. They’ll be able to explain how inverters are designed to operate and what to expect from them. They’ll also be able to tell you how long they expect them to last and if they have any additional features or upgrades.

Dan Mboyane
Author: Dan Mboyane