Inverter PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Mar 2, 2021

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The role of the inverter is often overlooked in the photovoltaic system. Stored internally in the attic or the closet, this is not the most visible part of the system, but it plays an important role and accounts for most equipment costs. The inverter is a hub that converts the direct current generated by solar panels into alternating current suitable for the UK grid.

In a typical residential photovoltaic system, solar panels are connected in a “string”, which means that they are connected in series to add each module’s voltage. The positive and negative ends of the string are connected to the inverter, which then performs two main functions:

Firstly, the inverter supplies the optimum voltage to all the solar panels in the circuit. To extract maximum energy from the solar panel, you need to apply a specific voltage to it—the easiest way to understand this, remembering that the power is equal to the current temporary voltage. Current will still flow from the solar panel if there is no voltage on it, but it cannot provide energy. If too much voltage is applied to the solar panel, you lose the current coming from the solar panel, so the optimum voltage is somewhere in between.


The inverter’s job is to maintain the solar panels at this optimum voltage. This isn’t easy since the optimal voltage varies depending on the temperature of the solar panels. To cope with this, a special algorithm is built into the converter, called “maximum power point tracking”, which continuously adjusts the voltage to ensure that most of the energy is removed from the system.

The inverter’s second important task is to convert the direct current generated by solar panels into alternating current suitable for the mains. In the UK, the mains frequency is 50 Hz, so the inverter must make sure that the electricity supplied matches that frequency so that it can be used by other appliances in your home or sold to your energy supplier.

Inverters are very common; for example, the charger for your laptop uses an inverter to convert the 50 Hz mains voltage to DC for your computer (this partly explains why laptop chargers are so expensive, although I still think it’s a rip-off). There are some very good solar inverters already there.

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