A solar inverter cannot power any appliance on its own. You have to connect it to a power source such as a solar panel, solar generator or an electricity line. The main purpose of an inverter is to convert a Direct current (DC) into Alternating current (AC).
Suppose your solar panel stops charging your solar batteries, can you connect your solar inverter to the main electric grid?
There are several types of inverters available in the market. A solar inverter also known as a Hybrid inverter, is a electronic device made by combining a number of system to produce a powerful device.
Hybrid inverters have an inbuilt charge controller, and a power backup storage system. An inverter does not have a capacity to power any appliance for long. The stored power is used to run appliances that are sensitive to sudden power outage until they are safely shutdown.
Since hybrid inverters have been modified, you can either use the in off-grid systems or grid-tied system. Off the grid system are connected to solar panels. Grid tied hybrid inverters are connected to an existing electricity line through a process known as net metering.
In instances where your solar panel become defective, you can use this video to connect your inverter to an existing grid. This however is not possible in all locations.
Can we use solar inverter with electricity?
Solar inverters can either be connected to an off the grid or grid-tied system. An off the grid solar inverter must be connected to a solar panel for harvesting the solar energy. It should also be connected to a powerful solar battery.
As for a grid tied solar inverter, if the manufacturer permits, you can connect it to an electricity grid. The inverter can also be connected to a solar panel. It uses the energy collected from the sun to power appliances during the day. In case the battery charge gets depleted, the inverter automatically switches to electricity use.
Connecting an inverter to the electricity grid is ideal in areas where the sun is not reliable. Although you will pay some utility bill, it will a bit lower than what you would have paid running your home on electricity.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.