The on-grid solar inverter is an imminent part of the on-grid solar system. It performs the crucial task of converting the Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Moreover, these solar inverters regulate the current flow.
All domestic and commercial solar systems come with a solar inverter. However, the solar inverter generally has different roles and functions in on-grid and off-grid systems.
In this guide, we will be specifically walking you through the function, benefits, and cons of an on-grid solar inverter.
But first, let’s take a look at what an on-grid inverter is.
What is an On-Grid Solar Inverter: What’s its role?
An on-grid solar inverter can also be called a converter: It converts unusable DC electricity to usable AC electricity. But, that’s not all.
It has many other functions to perform in a grid-tied solar system. Let’s take a look at each of them!
- – Energy Conversion: Most households depend on AC electricity. Therefore, the DC electricity generated in the solar system cannot be used in its original form.
Instead, the grid inverter converts it into compatible 220 or 440-volt AC electricity, depending on the household requirement.
- – Ensuring System Safety: An on-grid inverter comes with a safety system to protect the on-grid solar system from electrical damage.
For example, if there is an electrical arc, the grid-tied inverter shuts down the system immediately.
- – Regulating and Maximising Power Output: The on-grid inverter optimises and regulates the power output to deal with fluctuations.
- – Grid Assistance: The on-grid solar inverter allows two-way communication with the power grid. This means that the inverter will feed the grid with excess energy and draw energy when necessary.
Moreover, it detects any disturbances in the power grid, allowing the solar system to switch to a safe mode. If necessary, the inverter can shut down the power supply if the grid fails.
- – Tracking Power Production: The grid-tied solar inverter allows easier tracking of the power production. Therefore, you can see how much excess power is produced during each cycle.
Types of On-Grid Solar Inverter
There are two broad categories of solar inverters. These include –
These solar inverters are directly connected to the grid. They are the most widely used category of solar inverter for both domestic and commercial purposes.
String inverters usually do not come with a battery backup.
That being said, you do not need a battery in an on-grid solar system: the grid does the job.
The Micro inverters are relatively smaller in size but costlier than the string inverters. This category of inverters usually comes with a capacity range of 200-350 W.
Installed individually on the back of each solar panel, the micro-inverters are ideal for places where there is a disparity in the amount of sunlight received by an individual solar panel.
Applications of On-Grid Solar Inverter
The on-grid inverter is a cost-effective and sustainable energy conversion option. Therefore, it is suitable for domestic and commercial use.
However, different types of on-grid inverters are suitable for particular applications.
Solar inverters like the string inverter and micro inverters are best used for domestic applications.
Meanwhile, high-capacity central inverters are best suited for industrial applications.
Also, when somebody says, hybrid solar inverters, they actually mean an on-grid inverter that’s connected to a battery bank.
The hybrid solar system is grid-tied, the only difference is that, as said, it comes with a small battery bank for emergency purposes.
Price of On-Grid Solar Inverter in India
The price of an on-grid inverter varies according to its capacity, the manufacturer, the technology used to build the inverter, and a lot more.
However, on-grid inverters are generally cost-efficient as they have a very long life. Some manufacturers also offer warranties as high as 10 or 15 years. The good ones require less servicing and are very economical in the longer run.
Although there’s no one fixed price, opting for a low-quality product only because it’s slightly cheaper isn’t a wise choice.
You should always discuss the options with your installation company and then choose what’s best for you.
Decisions like whether or not you need a battery bank and whether you should buy a string inverter or a micro-inverter should also be made after a discussion with experts.
Benefits of an On-Grid Solar Inverter
The on-grid solar inverter can offer multiple benefits apart from cost-efficiency and sustainability.
- – Easy maintenance: The on-grid inverters are easy to maintain, that is if you purchased a high-quality model.
- – Easy to install: The on-grid inverter is easy to install as there is no need for additional equipment like a battery bank.
- – Optimised energy production: On-grid solar inverters are optimised to produce the maximum amount of energy possible.
- – Anti-islanding protection: On-grid solar inverters shut down the power supply to the house the minute electricity goes off from the grid.
Although Anti-Islanding results in a power outage at home, it is important. If a lineman is working at a faulty site and your system keeps producing electricity despite the grid having been shut down, the working personnel will get electrocuted.
You know the types, you know the benefits, and you know the limitations too. So, the grid inverter you now buy will be an informed decision.
Whether or not you buy a battery bank separately is an individual choice. But, our verdict would be that if your area doesn’t have many power cuts, an on-grid inverter should be enough.
Q. Can on-grid inverters work if the power grid is down?
No. An on-grid inverter is specially designed to shut down the power supply as soon as the grid fails.
Q. Are on-grid solar inverters financially beneficial?
Yes. When you invest in the right brand, on-grid solar inverters are exceptionally beneficial.
They minimize the chances of any damage to the appliances as well since they adjust the input voltage too.
Q. Are on-grid solar inverters safe?
On-grid inverters are optimised to deal with energy fluctuations.
In fact, they cut the power supply from the panel when the power from the grid is cut. This safety feature is known as Anti-Islanding.
It is the most distinguishing feature that sets apart an on-grid inverter from all other kinds.