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Considered as the brains behind any solar project, solar Inverters play a very important role in the functioning of any solar system. Be it a small scale residential solar project or a heavy powered utility power plant, their importance is the same everywhere. The most basic functions of an inverter are to convert input DC current into alternating AC current. This comes in handy because most of the common appliances work only on AC current.
Solar inverters are classified into three distinct categories. They are as follows:
Standalone inverters are most commonly used in isolated systems where an inverter draws DC current produced from photovoltaic cells arranged in arrays. Most of such inverters incorporate battery chargers in order to replenish the battery from an AC source. Though they never directly interfere with the utility grid, they are not necessarily needed to enjoy anti-islanding protection.
These are inverters which match the incoming phase with the supplied sine wave. They are designed to specifically shut down by themselves when there is a loss of the utility supply. This only done for safety purposes. Whenever there is a utility outage, they do not provide backup power.
These inverters are designed to draw energy from an external battery. They also help manage the charge of the battery with the help of an onboard charger and finally, transfer the excess of power to the utility grid. These inverters are also able to supply AC power to selected loads whenever there is a utility outage.