IS THERE A SOLAR POWER INVERTER IN YOUR FUTURE?
What is a solar power inverter and, more importantly, why would you want to know what one is? Because soon one may be in your home!
Solar Panels – The Basic Science:
Residential solar panels installed on your roof are designed to “collect” rays of light. They need to be placed in as much direct sunlight as possible so that they can draw in large amounts of energy referred to as “solar energy.” This energy is direct Current or DC (like a battery). Your home is powered by alternating current or AC.
What Is An Inverter?
A solar inverter goes between the direct energy collected from the sun and the energy required to keep household lights on and appliances running.
It takes the direct current (DC) of energy collected from your solar panels and converts that into the AC power required by the electrical devices in your home (image right).
Alternating current is the world’s major source of power because of its reliability and it can travel long distances without dropping power. AC is also much more efficient than DC.
Two Types of Solar Power Inverters:
• Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Inverter makes the conversion from DC to AC in a sort of “rough” manner. Many are designed to operate household items fairly well, but radio frequency signals may not work and you may notice a hum or buzz in the audio of TV’s, radios and satellite systems if you’re using MSW inverters. Some things may even be damaged or not charge properly. These are the cheaper of the two, and because of this fact, many homeowners choose to buy them.
• True Sine Wave (TSW) Inverter are double or triple the cost of MSW inverters, and have more expensive components. Homeowner’s choose these because its the best way to convert solar power. As yet, however, there are no devices you can buy to convert or upgrade MSW to TSW.
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