Information about solar inverters
The solar inverter or photovoltaic inverter is responsible for converting the direct voltage from the batteries or modules into a sinusoidal alternating voltage, similar to that provided by the electrical network, 230V at 50Hz. Solar inverters cover input voltages of 12v, 24v or 48v battery when used in installations isolated from the electrical network. For solar inverters connected to the network, the input voltage is usually higher, since it prioritizes reaching high voltages, reducing the intensity of the current that circulates through them, and thus reducing wiring losses.
Characteristics of solar inverters
Power: The rated power of the inverter is the maximum sustained power that the inverter can deliver. It can be offered in two types of units, in watts (W) and volt-amperes (VA). Both units refer to power and are differentiated by the type of consumer there is. Resistive loads such as incandescent bulbs, ovens, resistors, etc. have the voltage and intensity without any phase shift and the power they demand is directly in watts. On the other hand, in the case of inductive or capacitive consumers such as motors, fluorescent lamps and, in general, devices with transformers, the voltage and intensity are out of phase with each other, consuming volt-amperes.
Therefore, depending on the loads hanging from the inverter, the power demanded will have more or less reactive energy.
Maximum power: The maximum power that can be delivered by an inverter is usually twice the nominal power. It occurs for a few seconds, and is used to respond to load consumption peaks such as motors when starting.
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Temperature: The inverters have a nominal power defined in certain conditions, usually at 25ºC. When the ambient temperature increases, the dissipation of the heat generated by the Joule effect in the inverter itself becomes more difficult and consequently the power delivered by the inverter decreases.
Voltage: The voltage of an inverter defines the voltage of the battery bank that must be connected to the inverter for it to work. 12V inverters usually have low powers, up to about 2,000W, 24V inverters intermediate powers from 2,000W to 3,000W and 48V inverters from 4,000W to 10,000W. This is due to the conversion of energy from direct current to alternating current and the intensity that passes through the line from battery to inverter.
Consumption in Standby: The consumption in standby is the consumption that an inverter has even when there are no consumptions at its output. The greater the power of the inverter, the greater the consumption in standby.
Types of Solar Inverters
Solar inverters for isolated installations are always connected to the battery bank, with an admissible input voltage according to the nominal voltage reached by said batteries.
Solar inverters for isolated installations can be classified into 4 types: pure sine wave inverters, modified wave inverters, hybrid inverters and charger inverters. They are defined below.
Pure sine wave inverters are inverters that generate electrical energy that is always sinusoidal or pure sinusoidal, of the same quality as that generated by the conventional electrical network.
Hybrid inverters or modulated square wave inverters are inverters that can be used in equipment that will convert electrical energy into heat, in universal motors, etc. Special attention must be paid to what is going to be connected, since in any equipment that has of transformer or in non-universal motors could cause a breakdown.
Hybrid inverters are inverters that allow the use of the conventional network and the use of batteries, that is, they can work both in solar installations connected to the network and in isolated solar installations.
Inverter chargers are inverters that, in addition to converting direct current into alternating current, have the additional function of regulating the charge of the batteries, that is, the charge regulator necessary to control the charge of the batteries is incorporated in the same inverter.
Grid connection inverters are inverters that extract energy from the photovoltaic field as long as the photovoltaic production is sufficient to supply consumption, otherwise, during night hours or a day with low radiation, the loads that could not be supplied with the solar panels would be fed directly by the electrical grid.
Maintenance of Solar Inverters
Solar Inverters do not require special maintenance.
Solar Inverters Warranty
Solar Inverters have a manufacturer’s warranty period of 2 years as a general rule, although in some cases the warranty period may be longer depending on the manufacturer. Consult the technical sheet of the Solar Inverter you are interested in for more information about its warranty period, or contact us so that we can provide you with said information.
The warranty period will be valid as long as the use of the Solar Inverter and the manufacturer’s recommendations have been followed.
General aspects of Solar Inverters
For the correct operation of the Solar Inverter, the batteries must be in perfect condition. It is also important to bear in mind that there are no multivoltage Photovoltaic Inverters so far, so the compatibility of the elements of the photovoltaic installation must be taken into account, it is recommended to read the following point.
Solar Inverter and Battery Compatibility
For the correct choice of the devices that will make up the photovoltaic installation, it is very important to take into account the compatibility between a battery (such as 12 volt lithium battery) and an inverter in a photovoltaic installation, since only an inverter and a battery with the same voltage can be connected.
Common uses Solar Inverters
Despite the fact that Photovoltaic Inverters are used in many sectors, without a doubt, one of the sectors with the most application of Solar Inverters is the photovoltaic sector, since it is an essential element for the operation of the solar installation.
Installation Solar Inverters
Renogy offers you the installation and commissioning service for Solar Inverters and all the products on our website. The installation implies that a team of professional Renogy installers travel to where you require to install and start the Solar Inverters.
If you would like more information about our Solar Inverter installation service, contact us.
At Renogy we are aware that on many occasions you want to acquire a Solar Inverter with the aim of carrying out a photovoltaic installation, that is why we offer you the solar kits, where you can find the set of components necessary to carry out the complete solar installation and therefore course, including the necessary number of Photovoltaic Inverters.
All our solar kits are completely customizable, so if you are in doubt about which solar kit is the right one for your needs or you want to make any changes to any of our isolated connection solar kits or grid connection kits, contact us, and our IT technicians will help you. They will advise you for free and customize the appropriate kit if necessary. You can check some of our installations made of both custom solar kits and the kits offered here.
How to install an inverter
The inverter is one of the most important parts of the photovoltaic installation as it is the one in charge of transforming the continuous energy received by the solar panels into alternating energy compatible with the home.
Although each inverter may have its particularities in the installation and configuration, broadly speaking, the steps to follow for the correct installation of an inverter are:
1) To be able to make sure that we carry out a good installation, we first have to check that all the electrical distribution circuits in our house work correctly.
2) Next, check that the yellow and green earth cables, the blue neutral cables and the black or brown phase cables are well connected.
3) Then we separate the circuits of our house, to identify them, lighting circuit, socket circuit, oven circuit, etc.
4) To carry out the solar installation, we will start by first installing the inverter, once the inverter has been hung on the wall, we will proceed to install its protections. To protect the batteries, we will install a fuse or a circuit breaker in the positive line that connects the inverter with the positive pole of the batteries.
5) It is advisable to install the inverter in a dry place and away from elements that can increase the temperature of the inverter, such as stoves, kitchens, etc. The inverter will always be installed at a higher height than the batteries, but never above them, in order to avoid the deterioration of the equipment due to the vapors given off by the batteries.
6) The batteries must be installed in ventilated, dry places and that the temperature inside does not exceed 25ºC. This place has to be able to renew the air inside it to prevent the gases caused by the batteries from concentrating inside.
7)Once the best location for the lifepo4 battery and the inverter has been chosen, we will proceed to its placement, to hang the inverter we will use plugs and lag screws. Batteries will be installed on battery racks or on a smooth and completely flat surface.
8) For the proper functioning of your installation, it is important to install protection elements at the inverter output, in the alternating part (line that feeds the house), we will install a differential protection for indirect contacts and a general thermal for short circuits.
9) The first step we have to take to connect our solar installation is to first connect the batteries to the inverter.
10) Second step will be to connect the AC output line of our inverter, to the installed protections, to feed our consumption.
11) For the connection of solar panels we will install some 1000V DC fuses, before the inverter in the positive and negative poles.
12) Third step will be to connect the line of solar panels (camper or marine solar panels). If our installation has a system with an external regulator to our inverter, we will connect this regulator to the batteries as we have done with the inverter previously, once connected to the batteries we can connect the plate line to the PV+ and PV- input.
If our inverter has a charge regulator, since we already have the batteries connected, we can connect the line of solar panels to the PV+ and PV- inputs.
13) Once all the connections have been made, we will check if everything works correctly. We place the battery fuse and check the voltage of the battery bank, this voltage must be correct for the inverter to work (12V, 24V or 48V). Then we will connect the solar panel fuses to check that they charge the batteries, with a clamp meter we will check that all the solar panels work correctly.
Finally, we would only have to reset the protections of the alternating line (power line to the house), and check that all the electrical devices and lights work correctly.
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