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Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
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Inverters

Inverters are the magic boxes that take direct current (DC) energy from solar panels (or batteries) and change (invert) it to alternating current (AC) that is used in buildings. For systems that are tied to the electric grid they must also match the frequency (hertz) within a very tight tolerance. The advent and development of inverter technology is what made grid tied PV systems possible. All grid tied inverters are tested to Underwriter Laboratory's test standard UL 1741. Inverters generally work best when the panels they are connected to all face the same way and have the same tilt. Multiple inverters can be connected to your electric panel, so for instance, if you have a south facing solar array and west facing array with separate inverters on the same house.

Inverters take direct current (DC) energy from solar panels and change it to alternating current (AC) that is used in buildings.  For systems that are tied to the electric grid they must also match the frequency (hertz) within a very tight tolerance.  All grid tied inverters are tested to Underwriter Laboratory's test standard UL 1741.

The inverter also contains safety and utility-interface circuitry, which enables a solar photovoltaic system to integrate and interconnect seamlessly and safely with the utility grid system and all the building’s electrical loads. Most modern inverters also contain data monitoring and web communication circuits so the owner and system stakeholders can keep an eye on performance.

Inverters generally work best when the panels of the solar array are oriented the same way with the same tilt. However, multiple inverters can be connected to your electric panel.  For instance, if you have a south facing solar array and west facing array, separate inverters can be used on the same house.

The advent and development of inverter technology is what made grid tied PV systems possible.Inverter technology continues to improve and warranties are getting longer.  Just a few years ago a typical warranty was 5 years, but now you can expect an inverter warranty of 10-20 years.

Considerations:

  • Inverters must be sized according to the output of the PV Panels
  • Inverters should be located near the PV panels
  • Inverters have a low hum when they are working so they should be located in an area where this daytime noise is not an issue.

Click here for information on Micro Inverters

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