What is an Alternative Energy Inverter?
So you have decided to take the wise step and invest in Alternative Energy. We know we need a wind, water or solar energy source. For this example we will use solar the sun and our solar panels will supply the DC current. All of the alternative energy options need an Inverter.
We have the free renewable energy so how do we change it to alternating current that our house uses? That is where the inverter comes in.
There are three types of inverters.
Multi Function Inverter – With this inverter you will still be connected to the utility lines, a set of batteries and if desired a generator. If traditional power fails the batteries and generator kick in. The advantage of the multi function is that you can charge your batteries either via solar panel or the utility lines. Our goal is to live totally off the grid so we will pass on the multi function.
Synchronous Inverter – This is a great inverter for people who are connected to the grid and want to sell back excess electricity to the power company. Another interesting feature is you need no battery storage setup. For example in week one you produced fifty dollars in electricity but only used twenty-five worth. In this case you would have a twenty-five dollar credit towards power when the Solar panels were not producing enough DC current to power your house. There is a downside tothe Synchronous Inverter and that is a long payback period.
Standalone Inverter – With the standalone inverter you run the house off a battery pack. With recent major advancements in battery storage technology this is a very viable option. Basically you calculate the total wattage of all appliances in the house. This is an important step and must be done correctly. Look at each item run by electric, usually you can find the wattage listed near the plug. Add each wattage for a total wattage at peak usage figure. Your standalone inverter must have an output that exceeds this peak usage figure. For safety sake we suggest you get an inverter with at least a fifteen percent higher output then your peak wattage usage figure.
Recent increase in Inverter technology has raised the efficiency of Inverters to 97%. This will help spread the Alternative energy message to the masses. Are you ready to hear it?
A good basic example of an inverter