Types of Solar Systems
What is a solar inverter?
A solar inverter converts D.C. power from the panels to 240V A.C. power that is used in the home.
It is the working part of the system and it is imperative that you buy a good quality product. The inverter also monitors the performance of the solar system, and this is displayed either on a little LCD screen or wirelessly to your computer.
The Next Generation of Solar Technology is here
Around 80% of Solaray customers are now choosing either Enphase micro inverters or SolarEdge DC optimisers. This new generation of technology has dramatically improved performance and monitoring because each panel outputs power independently from the rest of the array.
Micro Inverter technology allows each panel in a solar system to work independently from the other panels, ensuring maximum output of clean renewable energy for your household or business. Micro Inverters help avoid common roadblocks that stop a solar installation on many houses such as patchy shade and small roof areas.
With back to base monitoring on all of our Enphase and SolarEdge systems, you are in safe hands. Solaray’s technical team monitor output, performance and system status in real time to minimise downtime and maximise performance.
Find out more: The key benefits of smart solar systems
String Inverters or Centralised Solar Inverters
The inverter is the working part of the solar system and the way it performs ultimately determines how well your entire system performs. There are often significant differences in efficiency and performance between similarly rated inverters, so it is worth buying a quality product.
The inverter is also the component most likely to fail. Unfortunately, some Chinese inverters have been proven to be inferior to the main brands and we have now replaced many cheap and broken inverters for people who have not been able to contact their installer and have discovered the manufacturer/importer is unable or unwilling to honour their warranty.
We strongly recommend buying a solar inverter from a European manufacturer such as SMA or Fronius, and that there are only a small handful of brands besides these two that you should even consider.
Dual Tracker Inverters
A dual tracker inverter allows for two strings of solar panels that can operate independently. For example, you may have split your solar panels to face in two different directions, or you may have one string of panels on a flat roof and the other on a pitched roof, resulting in different outputs from the two strings. Typically we need to have at least 7 panels per string to generate enough voltage to run the inverter properly. This means the smallest system we can split into two strings is 14 panels, which is approximately a 3.5kW system depending on the panels.
Three Phase Solar Inverter
A three-phase inverter directs power across all 3 phases as needed, however, if you have three phase power you can also have a standard single phase inverter and not adversely affect your returns because the new digital meter will usually reconcile the power across all three phases in 15-minute increments.
Whether or not you need a 3 Phase Inverter really depends on the size of your system, your load and usage profile and future plans so please contact the Solaray Team so that we can assess what you have in your home and then provide you with the right information.