How To Choose Best Off Grid Solar Inverter
Looking for an off grid inverter for homes can be pretty rough, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for and aren’t privy to the technical jargon. Be sure to encounter words like KW rating, size of inverter, input voltage range, the capacity of the inverter needed power output, etc.
The truth is, choosing the right off grid solar inverters can be pretty easy; however, there are a few steps and ideas that you’ll have to understand if you are to select the right inverter for your home or business. Solar Inverters are your solar system’s brainpower. They manage the power flow and control two types of electrical power: AC and DC.
DC: DC power (Direct Current) is produced by your solar panels and stored in batteries. However, you can’t use this type of power to power devices, which is why you need an off grid solar power inverter to convert DC to AC.
AC: AC power (Alternating Current) can be used to power various devices in your home, i.e., your fridge, television, lighting, and other devices in your home. AC power can be transported easily and loses less energy at high voltages, making it perfect for taking care of your electrical needs.
How Does An Off Grid Solar Inverter Work?
Off grid solar inverter’s working principle involves using battery banks to store energy collected from the sun. The off grid solar system inverts the power fed to your home’s battery bank from solar panels. It works like a battery grid and converts the electricity (that’s in DC form) to AC, that’s then used to power your home appliances.
If you are curious, you should be aware that you don’t need a large solar system (unless you have lots of power needs), and the inverter does not deplete the battery bank unless your wiring is not done correctly. The inverter battery bank is kept constantly powered by the solar panels plus an all in one solar charger inverter in the summer and a generator (if needed) in the winter. However, you’ll need to ensure that you use the best solar inverter off grid.
Off grid systems are a bit complicated compared to on grid systems because of additional components such as the charge controller, battery monitor, plus DC and AC circuit breakers. These components make it more complicated to wire and install off grid solar inverters when combined.
Purchasing an off grid solar inverter can also get more complicated because of the number of associated accessories needed. They include a battery monitor, remote controls, surge suppressors, breakers and enclosures, etc. Choosing the correct components can be a little confusing. However, this article aims to provide you with more information to tackle this issue. Read on and find out more.
What Types Of Off Grid Inverters Are There?
There are two types of off grid inverters, and whichever you choose is determined by your needs. The home inverters include modified sine waveform inverters and pure sine waveform inverters. Both of these types have various advantages and disadvantages. In this section, you’ll find information on which of these two types of sine inverters best suit your needs.
Pure sine wave off grid inverters
Pure sine waveform inverters are more expensive than modified sine waveform inverters. They are more costly since they produce AC power closer to that provided in wall outlets. The pure sine wave is steady, continuous, and smooth with a periodic oscillation making it the best off grid inverter for homes.
Pure sine waveform inverters are more preferred since you can use them to run all equipment designed to run on pure sine waves. All devices connected to this inverter can run perfectly without malfunctions, i.e., overheating. Certain devices are designed to work with pure sine wave inverters and could malfunction if connected to modified sine waveform inverters.
Some of these devices include:
- Home appliances that use AC motors, including compressors, fridges, and microwaves
- Various other devices like light dimmers, battery chargers, and bread makers
- Satellite systems, video, and audio equipment
- Various medical equipment like oxygen concentrators and CPAP Sleep apnea machines
These types of inverters ensure that connected appliances and machines run as they should and at their full functionality and capacity. That said, what about modified sine wave inverters?
Modified sine wave off grid inverters
Modified sine wave inverters are less expensive and create sine waves that are easier to produce than pure sine waves. They have rapidly switching polarities (positive to negative) that create waveforms that can be described as more square than arced than pure sine waves.
While most equipment can work with modified sine wave inverters, few exceptions exist. Some of the devices (if connected) will get damaged or run at reduced power, and others won’t run completely. You’ll need to check with your device manufacturers’ for the specifics.
Devices you wouldn’t want to run with modified sine waveform inverters are:
- Motors and appliances or devices that use motors like microwaves, fans, and fridges. Modified sine wave inverters aren’t the most efficient, and as such, will require more power to run, which could cause the unit to overheat or get damaged.
- Appliances with digital clocks and timers won’t operate as they should. Timers and clocks get their power from a sine wave’s peak, and as such, modified sine waves don’t provide the peak they need, which could lead to malfunctions.
- Similarly, equipment that uses variable speeds and electric temp. Controls also develop problems when running on power from modified sine wave inverters. For instance, variable speed drills will run on either high or low speeds when plugged to power from modified sine wave inverters instead of all the speeds in-between.
- Some fluorescent lighting devices may not operate as brightly as they should or may produce a humming or buzzing sound.
Modified sine wave off grid inverters are the most common forms of inverters in the market and are more likely to provide you with a more cost-effective option compared to pure sine wave inverters. However, it would be great if you did your research and determined whether they are the best option for you.
Are Pure Sine Wave Off Grid Solar Power Inverters Better Than Modified Sine Wave Off Grid Inverters?
Pure sine wave inverters are often more expensive compared to modified sine wave inverters. As such, you’ll often find modified sine wave inverters being used in simpler systems. However, technological advancements have made pure sine wave inverters cheaper, more accessible, and a favorite among shoppers searching for home inverters.
Pure sine wave off grid solar power inverters are the preferred option for newer electronics, while modified sine wave inverters are preferred for older ones. Pure sine inverters will work best for people with CFL light bulbs, LED TVs, and inductive loads (i.e., brushless motors). Modified sine inverters work best with older appliances like tube TVs.
Pure sine wave inverters are more efficient compared to modified sine wave inverters. As such, they are less likely to damage electronics. Thus, you’d rather have pure sine inverters compared to modified sine wave inverters.
Generally, whichever sine wave inverter you decide to purchase will be determined by the type of appliances you have. For instance, if you have appliances that use motors, you are better off using modified sine wave inverters. They also work for older machines, want to charge some phones, or want to operate some water pumps, you could use modified sine wave inverters.
What Is The Difference Between Grid Tie Inverter And Off Grid Inverter?
Grid tie inverters are used to convert DC into AC that can be injected into the electrical power grid, which is usually 240V RMS at 50Hz or 120V RMS at 60Hz. They are used between electrical generators: hydroelectric, solar panels, the grid and wind turbines.
To safely and efficiently inject power into the grid, one must ensure that the energy produced by grid inverters matches the grid’s voltage and the grid’s phase’s sine wave AC waveform. Grid tie inverters must maintain a slightly higher voltage than the grid’s voltage.
Off grid solar systems that are designed to work on their own without synchronizing with the grid. They connect and power the property by inverting DC power to AC and supplying it with the connected appliances. This is a 100% self-sustained energy system.
As mentioned before, off grid inverters are a bit complicated compared to on grid inverters. They have various accessories needed for proper functioning, such as breakers and enclosures, remotes, etc. the main difference between these two types of inverters is that one of them is connected to the grid while the other isn’t.
What Are The Advantages Of An Off Grid Solar Power Inverter And Off Grid Solar Power Systems?
With so many individuals looking for more sustainable forms of energy to power their homes, they are faced with either of two choices, especially when it comes to solar energy. They could either choose to stay connected to the grid or stand-alone.
While standing alone can be intimidating, here are a few advantages that could help you change your mind:
Avoiding power outages
Off grid solar power systems help you avoid power outages often experienced by individuals connected to the grid. Such outages are usually caused by natural elements like sleet, rain, tornadoes, etc.
An off grid solar system is more convenient since they provide your home with power throughout, helping you worry less about power outages and increased energy demands.
Reduced cost of electricity
Off grid solar power systems help prevent reliance on fossil fuels and other sources of energy that harm the environment. They also help eliminate the amount of money you’d have otherwise paid for grid power supplied to your home.
While initial installation costs may be high, you can comfort yourself by the fact that the system has low maintenance costs, and you won’t be paying for the electricity received. Plus, you’d be living cleaner and greener.
Green sustainable power
As mentioned before, off grid solar power systems are more sustainable, renewable, and environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydroelectric power plants. It is beneficial since it minimizes damage to the environment.
An off grid solar power inverter is easier to install since it doesn’t have to be connected to the grid. As such, you don’t need the services of a professional to join the inverter to the grid. You could even do the installation yourself if you are knowledgeable and have the installation tools.
How Many Batteries Do I Need For My Pure Sine Wave Off Grid Solar Inverter And Off Grid Solar System?
Let’s assume that the solar panel produces 3kWh per hour of electricity. This means that you’ll need a 48V 60AH battery to store the energy produced. If you receive sunlight for 5 hours daily, you’ll need a 48V 300AH battery to store the electricity.
The example above is an estimation, and you’ll have to make some calculations to determine your power needs and how many batteries you’ll need to store the power produced. Take care not to buy more batteries than you need.
For instance, if your battery is full, the inverter will convert the energy produced from DC to AC and feed directly into the load. You could then use the power stored in the batteries at night when there is no solar energy.
Which Is Cheaper: On Grid Solar System Or Off Grid Solar System?
Whichever system is cheaper between on grid and off grid solar power systems depends on an individual’s perspective. For instance, off grid power systems require more equipment during installation (including an off grid inverter, solar charge controllers, batteries, etc) than on grid solar systems.
However, on grid solar systems require you to pay for the cost of electricity. In addition, they need you to pay professionals to connect you to the grid. However, generally speaking, you could be better off paying high costs for equipment for a one-time deal of clean, sustainable, and reliable energy.
Grid tied power systems are less costly compared to off grid power systems, especially when users are close to the power grid. Off grid power systems are more expensive because they require the added cost of batteries or gas generators. Thus, they are more prevalent in areas that aren’t close to the power grid.
How To Choose The Best Off Grid Solar Inverter?
You’ll need to look for various factors when choosing a suitable inverter. These include:
- Size: the size of the inverter you select depends on the total energy requirements of your appliances. The more devices you have, the bigger the inverter you’ll need.
- Pure sine wave inverters: You could consider pure sine wave inverters if you have newer devices and only select modified sine wave inverters if you have old or particular machines that you want to run.
- Efficiency: Ensure that your inverter is efficient enough to provide your home with over 94% of power from the batteries.
- Low consumption: Ensure that the inverter has a low consumption when it’s not used to minimize any power wastage.
- Surge capacity: Ensure that your inverter has a high surge capacity to prevent it from tripping whenever various machines like fridges power up.
Where To Find Best Off Grid Solar Inverter Manufacturer/Supplier From China?
There are many off grid solar inverter manufacturers in China, there are many different types of off grid inverters you can choose to buy as well, but not all of them are great. Vokek is one of the professional and TOP off grid solar inverter manufacturers in China with over 15 years of experience. Its off grid solar inverters and other solar products are well selling to over 100 countries worldwide and won great reputation. Vokek can offer you ODM/OEM off grid solar inverters order supports/services according to your demands.
If you are going to purchase good quality off grid solar inverter or other solar products(like solar charge controllers/solar panels/ solar pump inverters/ solar lights) from China, welcome to contact Vokek, you will get strong supports and expand more your solar business market share easily.