Do you know how a residential solar system converts sunlight to electricity? The photovoltaic (PV) panels collect sunlight, then use a piece of equipment called an inverter to turn the light into usable energy for you and your family. It’s a fairly simple system, but putting all of the components together into a productive system requires special expertise. That’s why you want to work with a professional solar system company.
The inverter is one of the most critical parts in your residential solar system. It takes the direct current (DC) electricity created from the interaction of light on the photovoltaic cells and converts it into the alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in your home and by the grid.
What determines the inverter that your installer will recommend?
As with any home improvement project, it depends! The first part of your solar consultation will be about what your solar power goals are. Here are just a few of the questions you will cover:
Do you want a grid-tied system?
Are you planning to create a battery back-up plan so you are protected in case of catastrophic weather?
Is your home at a remote location that requires a free-standing system (not connected to the grid)?
The decision about what size and type of inverter to install depends on your answer to these questions, along with some others that will guide the design of your system. Your solar consultant will have recommendations of inverters and will include that information in your proposal.
In general, you will want to purchase an inverter large enough to cover demand now and in the future. As your needs change, you can add additional panels for increased capacity if your inverter will accommodate the expansion.
Important points to remember about your residential solar system inverter:
- The inverter should be covered by a warranty, just like the other components of the system.
- Your PV panels will last much longer than the inverter, so expect to replace it during the useful life of your system.
- As a critical part of your residential solar panel system, any financing, rebates, incentives or tax credits you qualify for will help cover the cost.
Schedule your consultation today – there’s no better time to go solar!