The Best Solar Inverters for Grid-Tie Systems
There's a wide range of grid-tied solar inverters that service different panels and arrays. Each has unique features, functions, and requireme-nts. Read on to find out what these power converters are and which one of them is best for your system.
What Are Grid-Tied Systems?
Every Grid-Tie solar system needs a place to store the extra energy it generates so it can be used on-demand. After all, the sun can't always supply power, specifically at night. So, some people get a battery bank to act as a repository for electricity, while others send the current into the utility grid, effectively using the utility grid as a battery.
When you opt for the grid-tied system, the energy is distributed to other households in your area. In return, the utility company gives you credit - it supplies you with the same amount of electricity whenever you need it. The best part is it won't cost you anything, unlike batteries.
When the sun shines on your panels, the photovoltaic (PV) cells in your unit turn light into direct current (DC) electricity. It needs to be converted into alternating current (AC) before you can use it to run your appliances.
Grid-tied inverters turn DC to AC. They ensure the voltage is suitable for the power grid. They accurately match the electrical system's requirements to prevent overloading the distribution lines.
What Are the Best Grid-Tied Solar Inverters?
If you're new to solar power and you're looking for grid-tied inverters, here's a review of the finest ones you can buy:
Best Overall: OutBack Power SkyBox
OutBack Power is one of the most respected names in the industry for creating top-of-the-line power conversion solutions that provide renewable energy. Their SkyBox solar inverter is outstanding because it eliminates the need for external charge controllers and communication boxes, making it easy to set up, operate, and maintain.
While most grid-tie inverters don't store energy, the OutBack Power SkyBox does, so you can use the electricity later or send it back to the grid at a specific time. Here's a quick look at its specifications:
- Wattage: 5000W
- Peak Efficiency: 97%
- Key Advantages: Easy installation and maintenance, can store power for personal use or emergency backup
Best String Inverter: SMA Sunny Boy 7.7
SMA is one of the top string inverter manufacturers. They have a proven track record for reliable and high-quality products, and their Sunny Boy 7.7 lives up to expectations.
The model is a great option for those with large residential solar arrays that produce 7500W of electricity or more, or about 15 mid-sized panels tied in a string. This amount of energy can easily power a typical household and generate excess current for the utility grid.
SMA Sunny Boy also has a Secure Power Supply (SPS) that serves as a backup source during an outage, allowing you to pull 2000W. Here are its specifications:
- Wattage: 7700 W
- Peak Efficiency: 97.5 %
- Key Advantages: Most cost-effective, can supply 2000 watts of power during an outage
Best Inverter With Power Optimizer: SolarEdge HD-Wave
The SolarEdge HD-Wave is a hybrid between a standard string and a microinverter. It received a major update in 2019, in which the SetApp feature was introduced. It allows you to view and program your solar system from your mobile phone instead of an LCD screen.
The model has a good balance between pricing and features. It's more affordable than microinverter systems but offers the same qualities and benefits. The model's specifications are:
- Wattage: 7600 W
- Peak Efficiency: 99.2%
- Key Advantages: Small and lightweight, highly efficient, good for places with shade, offers individual panel monitoring at a low cost
Get in touch with The PowerStore Inc so they can recommend a grid-tied inverter that suits your needs. They give expert advice on your ideal model when buying solar wholesale.