What is an inverter?



In simple terms, an inverter converts DC current to AC current. Solar panels and batteries or other DC power sources must be converted before the power can be used in our homes to power our appliances, lights, and the likes.


Again, like panels, if you see a cheap inverter on Social media, Gumtree, eBay etc check to see if it is on the approved products list http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/products/inverters/approved-inverters.html or you may not be eligible to receive your STC’s or worse still you may not be allowed to connect your system to the grid.


Different Inverters


String inverters


The inverter most homes and business are using. Panels are connected in series with a DC cable to the inverter. Most people are familiar with SMA, Fronius, Solis, Flex, Sungrow etc.


Central inverters


An inverter typically used in very large scale installations over 1MW (that’s 200 5kW systems – so very big!)




A small inverter that connects to the back of the panel. It treats each panel as a respective system in its own right. Has excellent benefits for shade, safety, optimisation, and long-term yield. Very good for difficult or multi-faced arrays. Think of Enphase.


DC Optimisers


We like SolarEdge and Tigo. Very similar benefits to a microinverter system but very different to a microinverter. These optimisers connect to the back of a panel but need to be connected to a special inverter.


Hybrid Inverter


Wow, how many people ask me “is it a hybrid inverter?” or, “is it battery ready?”

This inverter is what some people are looking for when they want a battery system in the future. Although that is technically correct it may not necessarily be correct! It really depends on what type of battery system they may be likely to install later and when! Again call me.


This type of inverter will charge a battery. Some batteries have built-in chargers and as such do not need a ‘hybrid’ inverter. As I state above please call me to discuss if this is in your consideration.


UPS Mode


This feature is potentially something that many early adopters to batteries may have overlooked. When a grid connects system is in a black out the system WILL shut down. It is the law!


But, UPS mode gives you some off-grid benefit to using your battery to run essentials for a period of time. Please check with us if the battery you are considering does this or not, you don’t want any surprises after shelling out big money only to find out you still have no power in a black out!


Stand Alone Inverter – True Off-Grid


This inverter does not need to connect to the grid to supply AC power. This inverter can be connected to multiple power inputs such as solar, generator, wind turbine, hydro, or battery.