Anyone who has ever investigated what is required with a solar energy system will have realised that one of the most important components is the inverted, often regarded as the brains of the project.
This is the case regardless of the size of the system, it may be in a relatively small 2-kW home or a 5-MW power plant, the purpose is still essentially the same.
The primary function of an inverter is to “invert” Direct Current (DC) output into Alternating Current (AC), the form of electrical power that is used by almost every electrical appliance.
For this reason, inverters are vital and provide that all important pathway between the photovoltaic (PV) system and the output source of the energy.
Like many items, the technology connected with inverters has improved dramatically over the last few years meaning that they can perform far more roles than just converting DC to AC.
They ensure that the inverter can operate at an optimal performance level, such as data monitoring, advanced utility controls, applications and system design engineering. Post installation services are provided by all manufacturers these days and this helps to maintain performance levels and include preventative maintenance, O&M services and a quick mean time to repair (MTTR).
All manufacturers are striving to achieve higher value whilst at the same time lowering costs, a juggling act in itself.
Grid Integration and Inverters
The solar industry is certainly facing some challenges that it must overcome and this includes high PV penetration and the impact it will have on aging grids.
This is not something caused by the inverter itself but it is a problem that the inverter can potentially solve. Due to the fact that inverters serve as a gateway to the system, advanced utility controls, such as low-voltage ride through, can help mitigate the issues that stem from higher PV penetration on the grid, such as predictability of output and distributed generation. The utility companies are definitely lending their support to enhancing inverters and improve their functionality.
As this is an expanding industry, inverter produces must provide all end users with a more comprehensive and robust set of products in order to appeal to the masses as well as meeting their requirements and matching demand.
A flexible inverter manufacturer can offer a centralised and decentralised inverter design, referring to an architecture that uses multiple inverters throughout a project to achieve the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) possible.
Inverters are a product that is constantly evolving with many governments and agencies providing funding to encourage the development and improvement of green energy products.
Solar power is now more efficient than it has ever been and is certainly a viable alternative to fossil fuels. If you are looking to install solar energy in your property, it is well worth speaking to experts who will be able to offer advice and suggestions as well explain the role of all the important parts such as the inverter.