Can I use solar inverter without solar panel?


Installing solar panels in your home solar PV system will evaporate all your electricity bills in a second. Solar panels last decades without becoming defective. Unfortunately, like any other device, their efficiency deteriorate with time. What do we do if your solar panel become defective when you least expect?

Take an example. You home require large amount of power to run all the appliances and light up your home. You then notice your solar panel is recording no or low voltage even when the sun is hot. If you do not have the capital to buy a new solar panel at that moment, can you use your inverter to power your home? 

Solar Inverter
Solar Inverter

If you have been wondering the same, don’t worry. This article is will give you solutions to your questions about solar PV system. We will also discuss how inverters work and why they are necessary. Don’t go anywhere. 

Can use solar inverter without solar panel?

A solar inverterOpens in a new tab. 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.Opens in a new tab. 

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. 

How does a solar inverter work?

An inverter is a small yet powerful electronic device. If you own a solar PV system, having an inverter installed in your system will be a game changer. 

Although you don’t have to know how the internal of an inverter works, knowing the basics will help you understand how an inverter works. If you know nothing about solar inverters, we got you sorted. 

A solar inverter is an electronic device that aims at converting direct current into alternating current.

 Is it a must to convert DC to AC?

Power sources such as solar panels produces current in one direction. And as you know different appliances use different amount of power to run. For example, charging phone will not use the same amount of power as powering a refrigerator yet they two rely in the same power source.

An inverter will enable the current to flow into different sizes to accommodate different appliances. Apart from converting current, an inverter will reduce the voltage reaching appliances to prevent damaging your appliances. 

Modernized solar inverters come with carbon monoxide safety shutdown. They can therefore reduce the amount of CO emitted in case you are using it in a solar generator. Other advantages of solar inverters include;

  • Increase the efficiency of appliances.
  • Can be used to protect sensitive appliances like computers in case of sudden power outage. 
  • Increases the run-time in appliances. 
  • It can reduce the noise produced by solar generators. 

When choosing a solar inverter for your PV system, you should consider your load output, and current input. Browse hereOpens in a new tab. for other different types of inverters. 

What is a hybrid solar inverter?

Among the different types of inverters available, hybrid solar inverter is the most powerful of them all. It is made by combining two or more inverters and components. 

Hybrid inverters have an inbuilt charge controllers and a power storage system. It therefore has the ability to protect your solar battery from overcharging or over discharging. You can also continue running your appliances for a few more hours after the battery charge is depleted. 

Unlike traditional sources of power hybrid inverters have a unique features  that makes them ideal for different setups. They;

  • Ensure maximum utilization of solar energy: Due to merging of different useful components of a solar PV system, using hybrid inverters ensures sunlight energy is utilized to the maximum.
  • Require less or no maintenance: once you have connected a solar hybrid inverter, you don’t need to add any fuel or adjustments to it. Unless you are changing the whole setup.
  • Provide steady supply of power: hybrid inverters are connected to a battery. They can harness power from the battery to run appliances in case of sudden power outage.

Based on the features, type, capacity and advantages of hybrid inverters, we are going to look into four types of hybrid inverters.

  1. Basic hybrid inverters

Basic hybrid inverter acts as a grid-tied inverter. They also allows connection to a storage battery. However, the charge in the battery is used to power the inverter only. Therefore it is not ideal for places with constant power outage. 

  1. Multi-mode Hybrid inverter

This inverter comes with a storage battery. It can be used as a grid-tied or an off the grid. You can use the power in the battery and automatically switch to electricity supply in case the battery charge is depleted.

  1. All in one Hybrid inverter

This inverter is also known as Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). They can be connected to an existing solar setup. 

  1. AC Coupled Hybrid inverters

This inverter comes with a basic inverter and multi mode hybrid. They are controlled by a software. 

You can use this list to find out the best type of inverter for your home. Research more about this inverters putting into consideration the amount of load your home uses.

Conclusion

Inverters are small yet sophisticated devices. They converts Direct Current into Alternating Current to power appliances. 

Over the years, different types of solar inverters are coming into existence. This new inverters come with more sophisticated systems and unique features. You can find inverters that are connected directed to electric lines while others come with other solar power components. 

The guide above will help you choose the right type of solar inverter for your home system. 

Matt

I’m Matt, a computer and electronic embedded system developer. Currently, working as an electronic engineer. In my leisure time, I do love to blog about technology stuff. Specially, new advance high tech devices. Portable solar systems are one of topic that I love to investigate. They are becoming more powerful day by day which keep me alert.

Recent Posts