Photovoltaic (PV) modules have played a key role in this process but an almost equally important role is played by inverters – the heart of any solar power system. In most basic terms, an inverter can be defined as an electronic device that converts DC electricity into AC electricity. It acts as the gateway between the solar plant and the energy consumer or the grid
The inverter is the only component in a solar plant with interactive capabilities. Alongside inverting DC power to AC, it performs multiple other functions to produce high quality power:
i. System monitoring and controlling
ii. Fault detection and protection for the solar plant
iii. Grid management including power output variation, frequency and voltage management and dynamic grid support
Maintaining high system up-time is critical for ensuring financial viability of solar projects. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) found in its research that inverter failures account for 61% of total energy loss in solar plants.
Inverter selection is a very important attribute of a solar plant with critical impact on its performance. Although inverters are standard products, there are many variants available with different features and design parameters which must be considered in detail while finalising inverter selection. There is no “best” product for all purposes.
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