While most solar-powered homes are grid-tied setups, many people enjoy the benefits of being completely disconnected from the city power grid. But designing an off-grid solar system is very different from a grid-tied system, and you must select equipment that can keep up with the endless demands of an off-grid setup. One key piece of equipment that you need to consider is your solar inverter. Which one is best for an off-grid solar application? Keep reading to find out what you should be looking for when selecting Cotek sine wave inverters.

 Cotek Pure Sine Wave Inverter

Differences in Equipment

One of the keys to finding the best solar inverter for your off-grid application is understanding the differences in how on-grid and off-grid inverters work. On-grid systems are much more straightforward; the inverter’s job is to convert the power from DC to AC for your home’s usage and for sending excess electricity into the power grid. On-grid systems have less equipment, and therefore, the inverter needs to work with fewer devices.

But off-grid inverters have to work with a lot more equipment—most notably, the battery bank. They still convert the DC power from your panels into AC power for your home, but the DC energy is first routed through your battery bank, then channeled into the inverter before consumption. They also need to work with a charge controller, which helps recharge the batteries to avoid depletion and additional AC and DC circuit breakers. You’ll also likely have a backup generator, which will need to connect to your inverter as well.

Many inverters designed for use with grid-tied systems aren’t wired to work with a battery bank or generator. This is why you must choose an inverter appropriate for your application.


Finding the Right Size

When it comes to solar equipment, size matters. You need to ensure you’re selecting equipment that will meet your power needs. Even if you have enough panels to generate the right amount of power, that won’t mean much if your inverter can’t handle the load. So, the size of your inverter matters too. Here are the various inverter sizes and their typical applications:

  • 1 to 2 kW: Small cabins with lights, TV, fridge, and phone.
  • 2 to 4 kW: Larger cabins and some small, energy-efficient homes.
  • 4 to 8 kW: Most off-grid homes.
  • 8 to 16 kW: Larger off-grid homes, farms or ranches, and small businesses.

While inverters are available in larger and smaller sizes than those listed above, these are the most popular options, with 4 kW and 8 kW being the top choices.


Modified versus Pure Sine Waves

Finally, you’ll want to look at whether the inverter you’re choosing operates on modified or pure sine waves. Modified sine wave inverter provides lower-quality power output; In contrast, their output can operate most simple appliances just fine. They can damage sensitive devices like computers and cause background noise on stereos and TVs. They can also cause motors and pumps to wear out more quickly. Unless your home has only essential appliances, you should get a pure sine wave inverter.

For most off-grid applications, the Cotek inverter 1000w is an excellent choice to meet your needs. Contact us at The PowerStore, Inc., for help designing your off-grid solar application.