How to Convert a Power Inverter for a Grid Tie

How to Convert a Power Inverter for a Grid Tie thumbnail
Grid tie inverters convert solar energy into usable electricity.

Grid tie solar systems are supplemental solar power devices, activating when sufficient solar energy is not present. This happens during extreme overcast conditions or during the evening hours. These devices switch between line power and solar power, potentially reducing overall energy bills. These power inverters are designed to convert solar energy to usable power in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Grid tie inverter
  • Quick disconnect power cable pigtail
  • Voltage monitoring meter
  • 12 gauge Romex cable
  • Standard screwdriver
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    • 1

      Remove the top cover of the inverter. Locate the barrier strip with the standard set screws in a bus bar configuration. The terminals are separated into pairs, labeled positive and negative.

    • 2

      Slide two wires leading from the quick disconnect through the moisture barrier on the end of the inverter. These lead to one pair of screws on the inverter. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal, and the black to the negative. Secure the wires by tightening the set screws with the standard screwdriver.

    • 3

      Replace the top cover. Connect the quick disconnect plug leading from the battery bank to the inverter.

    • 4

      Plug a voltage monitoring device to the outlet plate on the end of the inverter. Turn on the device to test.

    • 5

      Shut off the main breakers in your electrical panel.

    • 6

      Route 12 gauge Romex from the inverter's AC output banks to the hot and neutral bus bars inside the main breaker panel. Screw both ends of the Romex to the standard screws on the bus bars, located in the inverter and breaker panel.

    • 7

      Turn the main breakers back on at the panel. Monitor the readout on the voltage indicator to ensure the batteries are charging, and the grid tie inverter is supplying adequate voltage in the 110-120 range.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many states offer tax credits for installing solar energy equipment, potentially offsetting a large portion of the overall cost of the gear.

  • You may choose to have a qualified electrician wire and/or check the electrical installation prior to powering up. Verify whether this is required to receive tax credits.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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