Inverters are an indispensable component of almost all solar electric systems. They work long hours converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by a photovoltaic (PV) array into alternating current (AC) electricity—the type used in homes and businesses. In battery-based systems, inverters contain circuitry to perform a number of additional useful functions.
A good inverter is key to the success of a renewable energy system, so shop carefully. Size it appropriately, and be sure to consider future electrical needs. But don’t forget that you can trim electrical consumption by installing energy-efficient electronic devices and appliances. Maximizing efficiency is always cheaper than adding more capacity. When shopping for an inverter, select the features you want, and purchase the best model you can afford. Although modified square wave inverters work for most applications, you’ll likely be happier if you purchase a sine wave inverter. It’s a decision you won’t regret if you plan to operate a computer or television.
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