Inverters Grid-Tied and Battery Based
Inverters are truly the heart of all renewable systems, be they grid-tied or off-grid. Basically an inverter takes DC electricity from a DC source such as solar panels or a battery bank and inverts it to AC which we call house current. We have inverters that output USA 120/240 volt 60Hz or European 230 volt 50 Hz electricity that must be specified at the time of order as there is no inverter that does both.
The most common grid-tied inverter takes high voltage DC and outputs to the electrical grid during the day, thus “storing” your energy production there enabling you to “take it back” at night. Of course any electricity that you use during the day comes directly from your own production. In this way you can eliminate your electric bill entirely, or at the very least drastically reduce the bill. 85% of all the grid tied systems we design are exactly this system. The only drawback to this design is that when the grid goes down the system must shut down as well. Grid-Tied systems will not enable you to continue producing electricity if the grid goes down since there will be no grid to store the electricity you produce. It could very easily lead to an accident if someone happened to be repairing that grid to get it operational again!
About 15% of the grid-tied systems we design are battery based, while they are designed to normally “sell” to the grid reducing or eliminating the monthly electric bill they are further designed to allow the house to run independent of the grid in a power outage. These systems employ a bank of batteries as a temporary storage device to carry you through a power outage. Typically battery banks are designed to provide 8 to 12 hours of power without the need of a generator supplementation. For areas that may experience prolonged outages frequently, a backup generator can be integrated with the system to infrequently supplement the batteries as needed.
The last type of inverter system is the Off-Grid or independent system. This type of system when properly designed is completely autonomous from the power grid, thus allowing you amazing flexibility as to choice of location on the planet. With the notable exception of Alaska, Northern Canada and the Antarctic during the 6 or so weeks in their winter, an off grid system can be properly designed to provide clean abundant power anywhere on earth. You are basically your own power company. Really the only thing you’ll miss out on is the frequent power outages that grid customers experience because the sun comes up every day and your power never goes out.
An inverter system includes one inverter or more plus, an electrical distribution (breaker) panel, a system controller (brain), some type of system/battery monitor and other optional devices like an automatic generator start module. Don’t try to design this yourself. We are experts in the design of these systems and we can tell you all your choices for the equipment you’ll need.
Call Toll Free 888-826-0939 if you have any questions about Inverters