What Happens When you Switch On your Solar Inverter for your Rooftop Solar PV System?
Solar photovoltaic installations are slowly becoming one of the main alternatives for energy sources. In order for the system to work it requires an inverter, which acts like the system’s brain–helping to convert the energy captured by solar cells into electricity that powers a home. Some frequently asked questions about this equipment range from “What would be the most efficient and reasonably priced type of solar inverter?” to which eco-friendly companies such as Tesla and Buskowitz Energy use solar inverters from SolarEdge.
While consumer’s questions tend to vary, most aspire to understand the meter readings and what to expect from the product. Regardless of the country or date, the inverter universally shows how many volts the user has for (AC), (DC), and (PAC); the number of panels installed; as well as the total number of kilowatt-hours the solar panel system produces per day, month, year and from the moment the PV installation was operational.
The photo above is a representation of the expected vital datas on the inverter after the boot up.
Keeping track of this data is important, especially because it can help the consumer decide whether to upgrade or fix their system–these are typically evident when data displayed on the inverter is odd or uncommon based on usual readings. For better understanding, listed below are three important readings together with photos displayed on the inverter and what they mean:
- VAC ( Alternate Current)
This pertains to the voltage for the consumer’s main electricity line. The number shown on the screen should always be at 240 ballpark, which is the standard service voltage for most homes. If the inverter converts the (DC) electricity to (AC), it matches the voltage when pushing excess power back to the grid.
- VDC ( Direct Current)
Voltage produced by the consumer’s panels is referred to as the (DC) current. According to an example made by Randy Russel, imagine comparing an electric current to water running through a pipeline: the voltage is the total water pressure inside the pipe. Likewise, the speed of flowing electricity running through the pipeline depends on the amount of wattage produced by the panels.
- PAC (Power Alternating Current)
This displays the amount of energy the panels are generating, which varies based on the weather that day. If the wattage reads high, it was probably a beautiful sunny day. On the other hand, when it is cloudy, the (PAC) will reflect the lower wattage produced. Fun fact: even on a rainy day for as long as there are no clouds, your panels will still capture energy to up to 80% percent of it’s normal capacity.
For the encircled part (VAC) it shows that the voltage is at 246.8 which is right at the average for homes. This is helpful for the consumers in order to pin-point if there is a malfunction in the system or if the problem is coming from the electric provider.
As seen on the picture above, it currently shows how much (VDC) energy the consumers produced (372.3 v) . This amount would then be turned to (VAC) in order to be used to power the home.
As shown on the photo, the (PAC) is at 491.6W which means that this is the amount of wattage the solar panels have harnessed for that day. This is an advantage for both the consumers and solar energy providers, because if the panels do not supply sufficient energy shown from the inverter it means that there must be something wrong with the panels. Therefore, the consumers could probably make the first precautionary check up, such as: to check if the panels are clean, if some panels are disconnected from the wiring, and some inclements in weather–if the consumers could not fix the said problems they could simply call their providers to fix the said problems with the system.
What Happens When you Switch On your Solar Inverter for your Rooftop Solar PV System? Solar inverters play a key role in any solar photovoltaic system. When you switch your inverters on for the very first time, it is not just about physically turning on the inverters, or saving electricity–it is all about change. Transitioning to renewable energy from fossil fuels means that a person wants to make a positive impact on the environment and for the betterment of the next generation. So a reminder to all rooftop solar PV system owners and future owners, the next time you switch on your inverters, you are giving the environment a better fighting chance against climate change.
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Image from: Pixabay