What is a Solar Inverter ?
A Solar Inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) which is used by domestic and commercial appliances. It is one of the most critical components of the solar power system as it converts power from the sun into more useful energy and is often referred to as the brain of a solar system. Solar inverters are a crucial part of a solar system since power from sun cannot be directly used to run electrical appliances. Starting out as just boxes converting DC into AC, today, solar inverters have evolved to become much more smart and intelligent units, performing other functions such as data monitoring, advanced utility controls etc.
Solar Inverters in India are mostly imported through a few domestic and international manufacturers have set up manufacturing operations in India.
String inverters can be used for both rooftop and utility solar, while central inverter is used exclusively for utility-scale applications. Micro inverters are the best option for residential solar but they are not yet very popular in India.
Types of Solar Inverters
Inverters can be broadly classified into three major types:
i) Off-grid/ Standalone inverters– works independently off the grid and requires battery storage
ii) On-grid/ Grid-tied inverters– are dependent upon the grid
iii) Hybrid inverters – incorporate both battery and grid connection and have an inbuilt solar charge controller
Grid tied solar inverters are further categorized into micro, string and central inverters.
PWM Vs MPPT
PWM Solar Inverters – The smaller rating inverters less than 2 kw to be used in Rural area and to make it affordable, it is made with PWM (pulse width modulation) Technology.
MPPT Solar Inverter – It is the best charge controller technology with highest efficiency between 95-97%. All high efficiency inverters, grid connected inverters are built with mppt (maximum power point tracker) technology. An inverter built with MPPT technology takes 30% less time in charging a battery using solar panels.
Features of Solar Inverters
MPPT – MPPT Inverter is always a good choice as it charges battery 30% faster compared to PWM technology-built inverter.
LCD display- A LCD Screen helps Home owners understand Inverter operation such as real time analysis of power generation, power consumption, battery charging status and reason for Inverter failure.
Mobile App (IOT) - All the feature available in LCD Display can be monitored, controlled, serviced online through mobile app if Inverter has Wi-Fi functionality.
By Pass Switch- When Inverter fails, the power supply to home will be disturbed, By pass Switch allows home owners to use electricity even if the inverter is faulty.
MCB Protection: the grid power always has voltage fluctuations, chances for short circuit, MCB Saves Inverter from High Voltage and Short circuit failures.
Solar Inverter Price List | 2021
A solar inverter accounts for approximately 15-20% of total solar system cost. Given below is the price list of best solar inverters in India. The price of solar inverter varies from ₹ 6 - ₹ 20 per watt based upon technology such as whether it is off grid, grid tied or Micro inverter.
There are multiple factors that affects solar inverter price such as inverter technology, efficiency, warranty period and the quality of brand. Below are the prevailing prices of solar inverter brands in India.
How to Install Solar Inverter
Identify space near to Power distribution box > Make a stand in case of surface mount inverter, > Make wiring change for Inverter connection in power sockets > Connect Output Wire with Home Wiring > Connect inverter with battery (off grid) using 10 mm DC wire,> Make a power socket for on off for battery charging from Grid > Connect Inverter AC wire with power socket> Give Grid Supply
Maintenance, Efficiency & warranty
Solar Inverter is an electronic component, hence it should be kept away from water and dust, in case of power fluctuation, short circuit, inverter gets dead, Only the Manufacturer can repair and service it.
Grid Connected inverters have efficiency higher than 97% while Off Grid inverters, have efficiencies ranging between 80%-87%. In India, standard warranty ranging from 5 years to 12 years warranty on a Grid Tied inverter, whereas off grid inverters have for 1-2-year as standard warranty.
Top 10 Solar Inverter Companies in India
In off-grid Soalr Inverters, Luminous, Microtek, Livgurd, Livfast are some of the top solar inverter companies in India.
While In On grid Solar Inverters, Sungrow, Solis, Growatt, Sofar, Enphase, Solar Edge, UTL, SAJ Electric, Havells and Fronius, including off grid companies are the leading solar inverter manufacturers (brands) supplying in India, commanding double-digit market share. Selection of Top 10 solar Inverter manufacturers depend upon multiple factors including, years of presence in market, Sales Revenue, Nos. of Inverter sold, Inverter performance review and how is the after sales service.
Best Solar Inverters in 2021
India is a large market with demand of Solar inverter with battery due to frequent power failures, the list of top10 best solar inverter is complied after researching the data and feedback from online and offline store.
Solar Inverter – FAQ
How to calculate solar panel, battery and inverter?
To calculate the size of your solar system, first, you need to figure out, your daily peak power consumption, In the process of selecting solar system, Inverter is selected first, buy solar inverter which needs your daily peak power consumption. After that, Battery is selected, in off grid solar system, Number of batteries that will be connected is fixed. Lastly, Solar panel up to the capacity of inverter should be connected.
What is the price of solar panel with inverter and battery?
An off grid solar system consists of solar panel, solar inverter and solar battery. At HV solar, the price of solar system starts from INR 19,000 and it depends on capacity of solar inverter, higher the capacity of inverter, higher will be the price.
How to connect solar panel to battery and inverter?
You may need the help of a professional installer to install solar panels on your rooftop. Once the panels are installed on mounting structure, connect it with solar inverter (positive to positive). Next connect the batteries to inverter taking care of the terminals. Once all connections are established, power on your inverter to check the load. It is advisable do installations in front of an electrician to avoid unnecessary accidents
How to charge inverter battery without electricity?
Power from solar panels cannot be directly used to charge the batteries as the current is variable. Hence a solar charge controller is used to control the current we receive from solar panels and eventually charge the batteries. Batteries can be charged from the power of the sun and keep supplying charge to the inverters, simultaneously.
How does a solar power inverter work?
A solar power inverter is a hybrid inverter that charges lead acid battery from Grid and Solar both. There are two types of charge controllers inbuilt in solar power inverter having grid charger and solar charger. It is like a conventional inverter but uses energy from the sun. Solar energy is converted into electrical energy and is stored in batteries. The inverter then inverts this direct current from the batteries into alternating current.
How and where to buy solar inverter for home?
It is easy to buy solar inverter for home online if you know what you are looking for. There are few websites offering online shopping options for inverters. You can avail significant discounts and easy returns when buying online from reliable sellers. Otherwise, you can visit physical stores and take advice of sales expert and buy the product.
How to make solar inverter from normal inverter?
Any normal inverter can also be converted into solar inverter with the help of solar conversion kits. The main difference between a solar inverter and a normal inverter is the presence of solar charge controller and some switching circuits in a solar inverter. SuKam Solarcon conversion device, Tata Solar Sunjeevni and Luminous Solar Retrofit Solution are leading conversion kits available in the Indian market.
How to install solar inverter?
After you have bought a solar system and installed solar panels, batteries and a charge controller, you will need to connect your solar inverter with your batteries. To do that you need to connect the positive and negative terminals of battery and inverter together i.e. positive to positive of battery and inverter and vice versa.
Can I connect inverter directly to solar panel?
Since the power from the sun is always fluctuating and not constant, it is not advisable to connect the inverter directly to the panels. Instead, we can use a device called solar charge controller to control the flow of current into the inverter/ battery. Now a days, inverters with inbuilt solar charge controller are also available in the market, but they are expensive.