PV inverters are not strange for the PV industry professionals, while they are possibly strange to outsiders who need solar power. So they may often have misconceptions about these products, and the following 14 misconceptions are very common ones among the many.
1. PV inverters are not that important in the entire solar power generation process.
According to today’s technology, PV inverters serve as the bridge between direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). The DC coming from solar panels cannot be used in an average family, and only AC can be used. Thus, something that can convert DC into AC is needed, and so inverters were invented. They are extremely important.
2. The cheaper their prices are, the better my life will become.
Everyone loves cheap products with high qualities, while the truth is always the opposite. One shouldn’t believe the most expensive inverter is the best inverter, while one shouldn’t always highlight cheap price but ignore quality and other important functions. Cheap inverters are various, but you need to compare their functions and long-term benefits they can offer to you.
3. Those made in Asia are the cheapest.
This is an obvious misconception people usually have. Although Asia’s average living standards and labor costs are not as high as those in Europe or North America, their prices differ from one another in brand, size, function etc. Many of them are the cheapest but not all.
4. Those made in China are always problematic.
China’s cheap inverters are well-known by the whole world, but this doesn’t mean these products are always problematic. Probably the standards Europe, North America and Australia adopt are different from those used in China. We know some business men are cutting costs by sacrificing quality, but not all.
5. I can avoid employing professionals to install an inverter.
You can do this unless you yourself are a professional. Each inverter installation needs correct wiring to the solar panels, batteries and power meters. If you are not a professional, you may often make mistakes, which may lead to mis-connection, power failure or even electricity leakage in the future.
6. Maintenance costs a lot.
After installing PV inverters at home, in a factory or in a power plant, maintaining them becomes top priority for each user. These devices rarely go into trouble, and you don’t even need to care about them even once a month. But you need to learn the simple ways for their maintenance. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about too much extra cost.
7. Products from SMA are now not good anymore.
Although the company’s market share has fallen drastically, its products’ qualities are still good enough for installation. Sunny Boy inverters can still meet different kinds of needs of customers.
8. Only microinverters can be installed in a rooftop PV system.
Microinverters are specially made for rooftop PV systems, but it doesn’t mean they can only be used in these systems. In fact, string inverters are usually considered effective products for consumers. Their nuisance is the whole system’s voltage is usually higher.
9. PV inverters cannot be installed outside your house.
Maybe this was correct many years ago, but this is totally incorrect today. Today’s high-tech inverters have IP65 protection, which makes sure they can be installed both inside and outside a house. Rainwater cannot run into them, and average high temperature from the sun cannot damage them.
10. Only a garage is the best place for inverter installation.
If you install a solar PV system at home, you may install it inside your garage, but this is not a sure thing. People usually choose a garage because this place is often free from dust, moisture and disturbance. If your garage is not such a place, you may consider installing it in another better place.
11. PV inverters cannot report problems automatically.
An inverter is not a robot, it cannot report problems automatically for sure. In fact, this idea is not true. Many of today’s inverters have one chip inside, which helps monitor their own functioning and report problems automatically when they run into them.
12. The PV inverter manufacturer’s influence in the industry is not important to me.
I just buy inverters, why should I care about manufacturers? However, I think you should pay some attention to them, for their technologies and service attitudes must influence you a lot. Buying a product from a nice manufacturer must be better than from a terrible producer.
13. Different types of inverters can be mixed to use in a PV system.
This is obviously incorrect. PV systems can be divided into grid-tie, off-grid and hybrid. They all need specific devices to make them work in correct manners. For an off-grid inverters cannot be used in a grid-tie or hybrid system. And vice verse.
14. Warranty is not important.
This is a terrible idea. Warranty means the supplier promises to you his products can work effectively in a certain period of time. If something troublesome occurs during this time, your inverter can be repaired or changed for free according to different conditions. This also shows the supplier’s confidence, which is important for every customer.
Buying a PV inverter is not so complicated a process, but avoiding these misconceptions can help you buy a better and more effective product. Also, avoiding these misconceptions can make your life in going solar easier and more interesting.
Source by Ampra Xu