Solar Inverter

Solar Inverter

A Solar Inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) which is used by domestic and commercial appliances. It is one of the most critical components of the solar power system as it converts power from the sun into more useful energy and is often referred to as the brain of a solar system.

Types of Solar Inverters

Inverters can be broadly classified into three major types:

  • Off-grid/ Standalone inverters – works independently of the grid and requires battery storage
  • On-grid/ Grid-tied inverters – are dependent upon the grid
  • Hybrid inverters – incorporate both battery and grid connection and have an inbuilt solar charge controller Grid tied solar inverters are further categorised into micro, string and central inverters.

History of Solar Inverters

The history of solar inverters in India can be tied up with the advent of solar panels in India. Though solar panels were used in small quantities earlier, it was actually after the Modi government at the Centre that solar technology became more popular in India. The success of solar can be measured by the eightfold jump in number of solar installations from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 22 GW currently.
Solar inverters are a crucial part of a solar system since power from sun cannot be directly used to run electrical appliances. Starting out as just boxes converting DC into AC, today, solar inverters have evolved to become much more smart and intelligent units, performing other functions such as data monitoring, advanced utility controls etc.
Solar Inverters in India are mostly imported though a few domestic and international manufacturers have set up manufacturing operations in India.
String inverters can be used for both rooftop and utility solar, while central inverter is used exclusively for utility-scale applications. Micro inverters are the best option for residential solar but they are not yet very popular in India