How To Install A Solar Inverter Right

Inverters are the brains of any solar installation. Although the inverter’s main job is to convert DC power to usable AC power, it has other functions. If there’s a problem with your system or even one panel, your inverter will definitely detect it. There are some factors you need to consider before selecting and installing your inverter. They are:

  1. The size of the inverter.

This is one of the most important factors to consider. To know the size of inverter you need, you need to consider how you will use it and the power requirements. Let’s assume you have 2 fans, a fridge and television to power. Assuming a fan is 75 watts, fridge is 200 watts and television is 100 watts. Therefore, the total power requirement you need will be {(2*75) + 200 + 100} = 450 watts. With this information in mind, you can get an inverter that suits your need.

  • The right VA ratings.

VA ratings are the Volt Ampere rating of an inverter. The best way to determine the right VA rating is to divide the total power requirement in watts with the power factor in your home, which is usually 0.8. For example, your total power requirement is 2000 watts. The VA ratings is 2000/0.8 = 2500 VA

  • The type of inverter you need.

There are three types of inverters you might want to consider based on their waves. They are: pure sine wave, modified sine wave and square wave. The most recommended to use is pure sine wave. Most appliances need the pure sine wave to function well. The modified sine wave is noisier and rougher than pure sine wave and is not applicable to all equipment. The square wave, on the other hand, is the rarest of them all because they do not have much applications.

  • Is the inverter regulatory listed?

You need to consider whether or not the inverter is “regulatory listed”. This simply means you need to be sure the company manufacturing the inverter is one that is governed by a body, follows the rules and has a good reputation. This way, you can be rest assured that the device has met the requirements in terms of thermal tests, vibration and environmental tests.

  • How to connect an inverter

Most inverters are plugged directly to the battery using a thick wire. The cable size depends on the distance between the inverter and the battery. The use will be specified in the Manufacturer’s manual

  • The type of battery to use

A battery is an essential part of an inverter. The performance and life of an inverter depends on its battery. There are 3 classifications of batteries: Lead acid batteries, Maintenance free batteries and Tubular batteries. Maintenance free batteries are the safest to use compared to the others. They are sealed and do not require topping up or electrolyte level check like the lead acid batteries.

  • How long can you run appliances from the inverter?

This depends on the battery size and the type of batteries used. The inverter draws its power from the battery. The number of hours that all the appliances would run and the back up needed to run them depends on the battery capacity.

  • Good location

Location determines the life span of an inverter. Make sure the area has plenty of clean ventilation and is large enough. The inverter should not be exposed to bad elements like excessive heat, a wet locker, or non-sealed batteries and gas. Some specific inverters can handle harsh environments but they come at a higher cost. Either ways, it is advisable to put your inverter in well-ventilated, large areas.

So before you make your choice for the type of inverter to install, here are factors to keep your decision in check. Need more information on this, feel free to speak to a Kartel solar expert.

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