How important is voltage for a solar PV inverter?
Posted by Chris Rudge on 22 June 2011 at 9:20 am
Q: I am thinking of installing a solar electricity system. I believe that the inverter is a key element. One company is peddling an inverter that operates at half the voltage of others. Is this an important factor when deciding which system to go for.
A: All inverter manufacturers have a different set of parameters they are designed to work with. All are good and will have applications for different peoples PV system designs. Broadly, it does not matter too much what the maximum power point (mpp), voltage range is for an inverter, but for longer DC cable runs it would be best to try and keep to high voltages.
As a couple of examples, the Sunny Boy range of inverters have a mpp voltage range of 200 to 450 (approx). This may not suit an application for a smaller system, so an alternative such as a Steca 2010 unit could be used which has an mpp range starting below 100v.
As long as the designer of your pv system keeps the array mpp voltage matched within the rated range of the chosen inverter, then the system will work at best efficiency.
About the author: Chris Rudge is a qualified electrician who specialises in renewable energy.
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