When you think of solar energy, the first thing that you’ll think of is the large, blue panels fitted on the roof of the property. But, the panels aren’t the only thing that you need to convert the sun’s energy into electricity for your property.
For you to be able to use the sun’s energy for various appliances in your property, it must go through an important element of the system which is the solar inverter. It works to convert the power collected by the photovoltaic (PV) panels into usable energy for your property.
To understand what you need to know about solar inverters in Malaysia, you must first understand the conversion process. Ahead, we’re sharing how a solar inverter converts solar power into usable energy.
The solar panels, comprising silicon materials, collect the sun’s energy throughout the day. It continuously produces direct current (DC) to the inverter for the conversion process.
As an essential part of the process, every solar energy system must have a solar inverter. Once the inverter receives the DC from the panels, it’ll be transformed into usable alternating current (AC) for your everyday use in and around the property.
You can think of the solar inverter as the middleman for all the energy collected by the panels. Without it, the power collected will be useless.
Benefits of solar inverter
As solar inverters work to convert the energy collected from the sun, you can expect to have energy which can be used to power all your appliances in the property should there be a power cut.
With a solar inverter in your power system, it can help diminish the greenhouse effect as solar energy is among one of the renewable energy sources. Not only that but having a solar inverter is also financially effective in reducing the cost of your electricity bills.
Depending on the type of solar inverters you choose, it can provide real-time data on the energy supply and consumption to your computer.
Are solar inverters safe?
While the endless supply of clean, inexpensive, and renewable power source can be harnessed anywhere so long as you have the sun, you may have concerns about prolonged use of solar energy system on your health.
The solar energy system is made up of various components which generate electric currents or contain electronics that emit very low levels of electromagnetic (EM) fields and radiofrequency (RF) radiation.
Your solar inverter may be the source of EM and RF radiation but they’re not harmful to your health. Like other electronic devices found in your property, solar inverters emit low levels of non-ionising radiofrequency radiation and a small amount of electromagnetic radiation.
Additionally, every solar inverter available in the market have to comply with FCC rules Part 15 Class B, which is intended to protect consumers from prolonged exposure to radiation. Therefore, solar inverters are not harmful to your health.
Types of solar inverters
If you’re looking to install a solar energy system on your property, one of the key decisions you have to make is the type of inverter to install. Given the complexity of power conversion within the solar energy system, a suitable solar inverter is crucial to your solar energy system.
There are three types of inverters – string, power optimiser, and microinverters.
Here’s a breakdown of these different inverters.
1. String inverters
As the most cost-effective inverter available in the market, a solar installation company may offer this option if your property has limited shading throughout the day.
The solar panels are arranged into groups connected by “strings”. Let’s say you have 25 panels, you may have five rows of five panels. Multiple strings are connected to one string inverter which carries the DC power produced by the panels into usable AC power.
Although the technology used in string inverter is a very reliable one, it may not be suitable for a certain type of installation such as properties that are prone to shading throughout the day. But, their ease of installation and lower price point makes them attractive to many homeowners and installers.
2. Central inverters
This type of solar inverter is similar to string inverters but are much larger and can support more strings of panels.
Instead of having the strings running directly to the solar inverter, the strings are connected in a common combiner box which directs the DC power to the central inverter for the conversion process.
Central inverters require fewer components but require a pad and combiner box. This type of inverter is best suited for large installations with consistent production of electricity.
Slowly gaining its popularity for residential and commercial installations, microinverters are module-level electronics that are installed on each solar panel. They convert DC power to AC directly at the panel, which means they don’t require the use of a string inverter.
Microinverters can also monitor the performance of each solar panel. If one or more panels are shaded, the performance of the remaining panels won’t be jeopardised. This makes microinverters the ideal solution for installations with shading.