Solar inverters are an essential component of a home solar panel installation. There are four components to connect together: the solar panels, the charge controller, the batteries and the inverter. The charge controller is needed to make sure that the batteries are not overloaded. The inverter is needed to convert Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Most home appliances run on AC and the output from solar panels and batteries are DC.
Things You'll Need
- Solar Panels
- Charge Controller
Connect the solar panels together so that the voltage output will match the batteries. Connecting two panels (or similar groups of panels) in series will double the voltage, but keeps the current the same. Wiring two panels (or similar groups of panels) in parallel keeps the voltage the same but doubles the current. You should figure out the voltages for the panels and batteries so that they match before buying anything. You should also make sure that the ratings for the charge controller and the inverter match the voltages for the panel array and the battery bank before buying anything.
Connect the positive and negative outputs of the solar panel array to the positive and negative inputs to the charge converter. The positive and negative outputs or the charge controller are connected to the positive and negative terminals of the battery bank. Connecting two batteries (or similar banks of batteries) in series (the positive terminal of one to the negative terminal of the other) will double the voltage while keeping the current the same. Connecting two batteries (or similar banks of batteries) in parallel (both positive terminals connected together and both negative terminals connected together) will keep the voltage the same while doubling the current.
Connect the positive and negative terminals of the battery bank to the positive and negative inputs of the inverter. The outputs of the inverter are connected directly to the house wiring. It is important that the voltage ratings to all four major components (solar panels, current controller, batteries and inverter) match. The panels and batteries can be wired in combinations that bring the total networks up to the required voltages--the networks need not be mirror images of each other as long as the totals match. If you are going to produce more electricity than you need, there are devices you can buy to put the excess electricity on the grid--the electric company will send you a royalty instead of a bill.
Tips & Warnings
- The device you will need to sell your excess energy to the electric company varies from state to state. Consult your local power company--in some states, these devices are supplied for free and some states will help with the installation.
- Estimating the power requirements for your particular house is difficult. It is a good idea to find a similar house (and family) and use their system specifications as a starting point.
- Photo Credit Solar energy image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com
How to Build a Stationary Bike Generator
If the energy we expend while exercising could be harnessed, it could be used to power lights, charge batteries, run televisions, and...
How to Connect Multiple Solar Panels in Array
Wiring multiple solar panels together to form an array may sound like a daunting task, but if you are well prepared, the...
How to Wire a Solar Grid-Tie Inverter
Converting sunlight into electricity to power your household appliances not only saves you money, but is kind to the planet. One way...
How to Tie in a Solar Grid
Use a grid-tie inverter -- also called a "synchronous inverter" -- to connect a home- or small business-based solar energy generation system...
How to Connect an Inverter for a Solar Energy System
Fourteen volts is a good number for a fully charged battery that is ready to be connected to an inverter. Learn how...