Inverters convert direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity—and are usually a central component in both off-grid and grid-tie solar systems (unless your solar system runs DC only). AC is the type of electricity most often used in homes and everyday life. Solar panels and most small wind turbines produce DC electricity. That electricity is used to charge a battery bank in off-grid solar systems and, for grid-tie systems, it is sent directly to a grid-tie inverter, which feeds electricity directly to your electrical loads (appliances, tools, HVAC, etc.) or back to the electric grid if you are able to take advantage of net metering.Inverters for Every Application
Browse our wide selection of off-grid and grid-tie solar inverters below. We also offer marine/mobile, micro and hybrid versions, which are capable of working in both an off-grid and grid-tie applications. Questions? Give an altE solar system expert a call today at 877-878-4060!Read more +
Since each inverter needs proper disconnects on the AC and DC side, people often choose the simplicity of one of our self-contained Inverter Power Panels. By mounting one to four inverters on a power panel, that's wired with the appropriate disconnects, you have yourself a safe, pre-wired inverter system - which can save time and costs of hiring a professional electrician.
Xantrex PROwatt Pure Sine Wave Off-Grid Inverter
Learn more about off-grid inverters with our video on the PROwatt pure sine wave inverter from Xantrex. The PROwatt is available in three sizes, 100 watt, 600 watt and 2,000 watt—and there are two versions for both North America (120V/60Hz) and international (230V/50Hz) applications. Watch and learn more about this 12 volt variety!Sizing an Off-Grid Solar Inverter
Choosing the right inverter for your off-grid solar system will be based on accurately calculating your electrical loads and usage patterns. The size of the off-grid version you need is based on your 'peak load' requirements - all the AC loads that could be turned on simultaneously.
For example, if you will be using the 1500 watt microwave, while also running 100 watts of lighting and running a refrigerator that will draw 500 watts of power, you will need one that can handle at least 2100 watts (1500 + 100 + 500). Once you have identified a minimum wattage, you will select a style that has the same nominal voltage as your battery bank (12, 24, or 48 VDC).
Magnum GT Microinverter for Grid-Tied Solar Systems
Watch our video on the Micro GT500 grid-tied microinverter from Magnum Energy. These microinverters are easy to install and are available with Magnum Energy’s MagWeb GT Communication component that allows for remote monitoring of your solar system on the web. These can also be configured to work in a grid-tied solar systems with battery backup. They are rated to handle two solar panels at a time up to 310 watts and will output 500W 240V 60Hz AC.Sizing a Grid-Tie Solar Inverter
Grid-tie inverters connect directly to the utility grid and do not require batteries. A battery-less system is much less complex (and less costly) than a system with batteries. The one drawback is that a grid-tie solar system without batteries cannot supply power to the home in the event of a power outage. For the safety of the workers working on the utility lines, the grid-tie versions will shut down until power has been restored. If frequent power outages are not an issue, then a utility grid-tie system can be an excellent, cost effective option.
Furthermore, to qualify for most state rebate programs, you must be connected to the utility grid. We recommend you visit dsireusa.org/ to check for the most up to date list of solar and renewable energy incentives in your local area.
Sizing a grid-tie inverter can be a bit more complex than sizing one intended to be used with batteries. Each inverter manufacturer offers a string sizing tool that will display the acceptable configurations for your PV array, based on the quantity and wattage of your solar panels. These string sizing tools also account for variations due to high and low temperature extremes.
Schneider Electric Conext XW+ & SW Inverters
Looking for an inverter that can provide battery backup for your home? Check out the SW and XW+ inverters from Schneider Electric! Watch our interview with Eric from Schneider where he breaks down the features of the XW+ and SW hybrid solar versions from Schneider.Grid-Tie Solar Inverters with Battery Backup
Hybrid inverters are intended to hook directly to the utility grid AND can still allow a battery bank to provide backup power in case of a power outage. These are typically at least 2500 watts and can operate with 24 or 48 volt DC battery banks. Some inverters are now being made to work with Tesla's Powerwall battery.
Need more help understanding string sizing for inverters? Please give us a call at 877-878-4060.