Solar PCU: What is it and what are its benefits?
Most of you might know that solar inverters convert the Direct Current (DC) from the panels into Alternating Current (AC). The AC current is then used to charge household appliances.
So, does Solar PCU or Solar Power Conditioning Unit (SPCU) work similarly to the solar inverters? Well, no, they don’t.
They prioritise battery charging from the grid or solar during the daytime. During the night, they use energy from the battery to charge electronic appliances.
Wondering if this factor makes SPCU more reliable and efficient than solar inverters? Let’s find out!
The Working of a PCU Inverter
Let’s first discuss how a solar power conditioning unit inverter works. While the concept of a Solar PCU and solar inverter might look the same, they are not.
A standard solar inverter simultaneously charges the home appliances and battery during the daytime.
But a Solar PCU charges the battery first in the daytime. It takes energy from the grid and inverter and powers the battery on priority.
It is only when this battery is used during the nighttime and comes to a specific level that the battery is charged from the grid.
So, the standard solar inverter relies on the grid during the nighttime to power up the batteries. But the PCU inverter does not entirely depend on the grid and takes energy from it only when the battery charge reduces.
The best part about this inverter is that you can adjust the energy saver mode according to your preference to reduce electricity bills.
Types of PCU Inverter: PWM and MPPT
Now that you know how the PCU inverter works, let’s learn about its two types.
- – PWM Solar Power Conditioning Unit: In this type, when the solar panels produce energy from sunlight, it sends the generated energy to the battery, equivalent to its voltage capacity. This makes the unit less efficient as the panels cannot function more than the battery’s capacity. Besides, PWM is an obsolete technology. It’s not used nowadays.
- – MPPT Solar Power Conditioning Unit: Conversely, MPPT SPCU can simultaneously charge the battery and run the home appliances. Hence, the PV panels can draw maximum energy from the sunlight independently without getting bothered by the battery’s voltage.
It can charge sealed, flooded, lithium-type, and lead-acid batteries. Since the panels can generate maximum solar energy when MPPT SPCU are installed, they are more efficient than the former.
Features of a Solar Power Conditioning Unit Inverter
Planning to buy a Solar PCU? Here are the best features of a Solar PCU that you must know:
- – While searching for the best inverter in the market, choose the one with an inbuilt MPPT charge controller. This will ensure that the panels absorb 30% more energy from the sunlight.
- – Check if the inverter has an isolation transformer. This transformer will protect the inverter from grid noise and surges.
- – Invest in a system that can efficiently manage many algorithms simultaneously. Buy an inverter with an inbuilt 32-bit DSP controller.
- – Many Solar PCU types allow users to select source priority from the battery, solar, and grid.
- – Ensure that the inverter has an LCD. This will help you check information related to solar charging, supply, etc.
- – Ask the manufacturer if the inverter has protection features like battery deep-discharging, overcharging, reverse polarity, and short-circuit for direct and alternating current.
- – Know whether it complies with the National & International efficiency and safety standards such as IEC – 60068 – 1,2,14,30, IEC – 61683, and IEC – 60529.
Top 5 Solar PCU Inverter Types and their Product Specifications
With a diverse range of Solar PCU available on the market, you can count on the ones we’ve listed below.
1. Microtek Solar PCU 2KVA 24V With MPPT Charger
This is one of the best inverters with inbuilt MPPT controllers. It has a capacity of 2KWp.
- – You can use it on both grid power and solar power.
- – It has a user-friendly operation and can run all appliances within the house.
- – It has safety features that notify the status of the battery.
2. Luminous PCU MST 6kW/96V Single Phase Solar PCU
You can also consider purchasing this model from Luminous.
- – It has a user-friendly LCD and comes with priority settings.
- – This solar power conditioning unit also has an MPPT solar charger and can be operated with an internet connection.
3. Solar PCU – NXT+ 9.5 KVA
This one also has an MPPT solar charger inbuilt.
- – It complies with the safety standards of IEC and MNRE.
- – It has all the protection features that inform the battery status and keeps the house safe from short circuits.
4. Solar Off-Grid MPPT PCU
This product is packed with all the features specified above. Besides, it has a modern design.
- – You can control the PCU using a remote control.
- – The LCD shows the solar current, voltage, power, grid’s frequency and voltage, battery’s status, charging current, etc.
5. Solar Off-Grid PCU
This inverter has two years of warranty and a grid and solar priority mode installed. It also has an LED/LCD. It comes with increased battery life.
Technical Specifications of a PCU Inverter
Now that you know about the products, let’s discuss the technical specifications of each product. Here’s a comparison table to give you a better idea!
|Product Name||Power Rating||Voltage||Single or Three-Phase||Solar Charger Type|
|Microtek Solar PCU 2KVA 24V||2000 VA||24V||Single||MPPT|
|Luminous Solar PCU||6kW||130-190 (Vmp)||Single||MPPT|
|Solar PCU – NXT+ 9.5 KVA||9.5 kVA||150-240V||Single||MPPT|
|Solar Off-Grid MPPT PCU||1KVA-20KVA||12 – 240 V||Single||MPPT|
|Solar Off-Grid PCU||220 V||110 V AC – 290 V AC||Single||MPPT|
PCU Price in India
A solar PCU price varies depending upon the size of the PCU inverter. We have a table that’ll give you a better idea about the current PCU price in India. Have a look:
|1KVA/24 V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 17,999|
|1KVA/48V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 17,999|
|2KVA/48V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 30,199|
|3KVA/48V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 32,999|
|4KVA/48V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 35,299|
|5KVA/48V MPPT-based PCU||Rs. 40,199|
Difference between Solar Power Conditioning Unit and Normal Inverters
Now, you might wonder whether to purchase a PCU or buy a standard inverter for your solar panel system. Read the differences below to make an informed decision.
|Solar PCU||Normal Inverters|
|1. Does not rely completely on grid power||1. Entirely relies on grid power|
|2. Provides in-depth information about the battery, grid, and solar power||2. Limited Information|
|3. The panels provide maximum efficiency in Solar PCU||3. Limited Efficiency|
Pros and Cons of PCU Inverter
We’ll now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a PCU inverter.
- – A power conditioning unit inverter comes at a cheaper rate
- – It is easy to set up
- – It does not require a solar panel to operate. It can be used as a standard inverter
- – This inverter can operate on both off-grid and on-grid systems
- – This inverter shows accurate details of the battery, grid, and solar power status. The LCD shows in-depth data regarding energy storage
- – It saves electricity costs to a great extent
There’s probably just one limitation: The solar PCU does not efficiently work if there is no solar power. The system will require grid connectivity to power up the batteries in such a situation.
The solar power conditioning unit is an efficient inverter with more advanced features than the standard ones.
So, if you want to buy an inverter for your solar panel system installation at home, this can be a good choice for your needs.
Ensure to buy from a reputed brand to make a suitable investment and get more features at an affordable solar PCU price.
Q. What is SPCU?
SPCU, or a solar power conditioning unit, is a system that charges the battery through a grid or solar energy.
Q. What is the function of a solar power inverter?
The primary function of a solar power inverter is to convert DC power from the panels to AC power.
Q. What is the primary function of the solar power conditioning unit?
The solar power conditioning unit’s primary function is to reduce the cost of electricity in a household.