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March 25, 2023

What is an Inverter

What is an invertor

A braai-side topic of conversation that in recent months has rivalled the likes of rugby or football in many South African homes, the type of inverter you consider incorporating within your home’s electrical system has a significant role to play when it comes to your ultimate reliance on the national grid. In this article, you will learn what an inverter is used for, what an inverter does, and what some of the inverter options are, such as:

          Inverter/charger

          Grid-tie inverter

          Intelligent hybrid inverter   

Inverter/charger

These inverter/chargers are used to provide power from a battery bank when the there is no power from the national grid, as the name implies, these inverters are setup to successfully convert DC into usable alternating current (AC) and vice versa when charging and managing the battery bank. These units are often referred to as “solar ready”. This indicates that solar can be added at a later stage, either directly into the inverter (type dependent) or through a MPPT solar charge controller

Grid-tie inverter

These inverters are reliant on what is called a grid reference, without something like the national grid or a generator, these systems will shutdown.  These systems are designed to lower the average annual energy-related costs of the building they are installed on by generating power when there is sunlight.  The shutdown of these systems during such events as load shedding is a safety requirement. The advantage of this technology is the ability to feed power to the grid, often named a “feed in tariff”.

Intelligent hybrid inverter 

A best-of-both-worlds solution, the advantage of a hybrid inverter system is that it can seamlessly switch between a supply of energy received from the national grid, solar PV-generated power or battery back-up storage. These inverters are often scalable and a system can be expanded over time.  This can be to address the increased power demands, the need for greater storage or the desire to increase power generation from PV.  These inverters also have capability to operate as a grid tie system in many circumstances, allowing the owner to take advantage of the “feed in tariff”.  A hybrid setup solution is the great step towards control of your own power, or energy independence. 

As with any proposed inverter system installation, it’s imperative that you consider a service provider able to offer you both peace of mind in terms of reputation for quality and after-sales support, but also the relevant safety and compliance certification. 

Rentech are experts when it comes to solar solutions and inverters. Get in touch with the team here.