About the Inverter

7 Posts
Mar 27, 2011 10:40 am
About the Inverter

Hi all,

1) What is the difference between a grid-tie inverter and an off-grid inverter?  What components they both have or don't have?

2) For a off-grid inverter, is there a difference in mega wattage size inverter or under 1000W size inverter?

3) ‘re there any isolation need to protect the inverter from the interferences from outside? 


are there any book about the above mentioned inverter?


Thanks and Best Regards,

Eric Lee
462 Posts
Mar 28, 2011 10:50 am
Re: About the Inverter

Eric, each inverter is different, some offer both grid tie and off grid capabilities. Best to compare and research some of the inverters for sale here at AltE. You can download manuals also for later reading and comparison.
 You should size your inverter based on the maximum power consumption of your appliances. Just figure power needed if all appliances are on. Most inverters have a surge power associated with them to compensate for start up power draw. Once you know the maximum power draw and/or max surge, size an inverter accordingly. At least 25% over what you need for a safe start. Future power should also be considered.
 Any extra or redundant protection is always welcomed. Most inverters have built in fuses for protection. I assume that electrical interference is what you are talking about. Of course things like cold, heat, dirt, water and such should be avoided.
99 Posts
Mar 30, 2011 01:39 pm
Re: About the Inverter

1) Grid-tie inverters interface with a grid connection to receive and sell back power, using the grid like a battery bank, and will shut off the flow of electricity if the grid power goes down in order to protect electric company linemen.  Generally, these do not also use or charge batteries.  If you want both grid-tie and battery usage, you need a grid-capable off-grid inverter.  A purely off-grid inverter does not have the ability to interface with a grid connection and does not contain any of the safety features to allow safe connection.  Off-grid inverters only work with batteries, or without batteries they will only function so long as your power sources are producing enough voltage.

2) The size of the inverter will be dependent on the size of your loads.  Obviously you cannot use a 500W inverter to power 2000W of loads.  Generally inverters are rated for continuous and instantaneous loads.  This means they can start a motor which draws a high amount of power initially, but runs on a lower amount.

3) Lightning protection (sacrificial), over-voltage (surge) protection, and over-amperage (breaker/fuse) protection are recommended on both the supply and load sides.

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