As solar power becomes more common in residential homes, it becomes more and more important that homeowners have a basic understanding of the parts that make up their solar systems. You probably know that you need panels to capture the sun's rays and convert them to electricity, but what other components are needed in your system? One key part of every solar-powered system is a solar inverter. Here's what you need to know about this component and how it functions within the rest of your home's solar-powered energy system.


What Is a Solar Inverter?

SMA solar inverters are essential to making that energy from the sun something you can use to power your home. The energy generated by those panels on your roof is direct current electricity; your home can only run on AC alternating current electricity. So, the energy from the solar array on your roof feeds directly into the solar inverter, which converts the DC electricity into usable AC electricity for your home.

Role in Different Solar Systems

The right solar inverter for your home is going to be based on the type of solar system you're using. There are three types of solar systems:

  • - On-grid
  • - Off-grid
  • - Hybrid

In an on-grid system, the solar inverter feeds power to the switchboard and into your home, and any excess power is sent into the power grid to be used by other consumers on the grid. Usually you'll receive a credit on your utility bill for any power you feed back into the grid.


In off-grid systems, the inverter provides power to a battery inverter, which then sends the power into your home for use and sends any excess into a battery or power bank. For hybrid systems, you'll need SMA hybrid inverters that are designed to feed power to the switchboard as well as into the battery bank.

Most homes today have an on-grid system because of the high cost of inverters and batteries. Typically, off-grid systems are only needed when you're in a remote area, far from the power grid. However, with solar power becoming more affordable, and the costs of solar batteries dropping, more and more people in cities and towns are opting for hybrid systems, which offer them the benefits of both on-grid and off-grid systems.

Types of Inverters

Even when selecting an inverter that matches the type of solar system in your home, there are still a couple of options available to you:

  • - String inverter: In this type of system, the solar panels are linked together in a series, and the DC power is channeled into a single inverter, which converts the electricity to AC for the home.
  • - Microinverter: This type of system has a much smaller inverter attached to each individual solar panel. Each panel produces DC power, and it is converted to AC by the microinverters on the roof, then fed straight into the switchboard.
  • - Power optimizers: This is a more advanced version of string inverter systems. It includes small devices attached to the backs of each panel to monitor power production and ensure optimum efficiency.

If you're looking for an SMA solar inverter or have any other solar energy needs, let us know. The PowerStore Inc. can help you select the right inverter for your solar system.