Solar Power in Victoria

What is an inverter and how it works?

An inverter is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a solar energy system. It’s a device that converts direct current (DC) electricity, which is what a solar panel generates, to alternating current (AC) electricity, which the electrical grid uses.

In DC, electricity is maintained at a constant voltage in one direction.

In AC, electricity flows in both directions in the circuit as the voltage changes from positive to negative.

It also allows monitoring of the system so that you can easily observe if everything is working fine. It provides essential analytical information about the system, making it easier to maintain the entire system, fix issues and identify operational problems. Inverters are just one example of a class of devices called power electronics that regulate the flow of electrical power.

Further, inverters are classified into two types:

1) Single-Phase Inverter

A single-phase inverter is fairly obvious. It converts the DC power generated by your solar panels into a single phase of AC power that you can use. This is how your home or business is able to make effective use of the energy generated by your solar panels.

They are typically used in most new houses and small businesses, single-phase electricity is transported via two wires: active and neutral. The electricity from the grid or your solar PV system will only flow through the one active wire, while the neutral wire is connected to the earth at the switchboard. The purpose of your home or business neutral wire is to provide a path back to your switchboard, the source of the electrical current, in the event of a fault. This will trip the breaker or blow the fuse, cutting your electricity and preventing you from getting electrocuted.

2) Three-Phase Inverter

A three-phase inverter on the other hand can produce three-phase power from the PV modules and can be connected to the three-phase equipment or grid. A three-phase inverter converts the DC input from solar panels into three-phase AC output. This inverter is commonly used in high power and variable frequency drive applications such as HVDC power transmission.

Three-phase power has four wires, three of which are active, in addition to one neutral wire, which is earthed at the switchboard. Three phase electricity is common in both larger homes and businesses, as well as older homes, and allows for smaller and less expensive wiring, and lower voltages.

This was all about inverters. If you wish to know more about inverters, Click here.