PV Voltage Inverters

Inverter Wave Forms - Sine, Square & Modified Square Wave
Inverter Wave Forms - Sine, Square & Modified Square Wave

Inverter Wave Forms

The Image best Describes the Different Wave Forms Produced when converting Currents from Direct to Alternating using the Inverter. Alternating Current (AC) usage began in the late 1800s.

Edison used DC Current while Tesla experimented with AC Current. AC won out in the end because AC could be Transported for long Distances.

One would think if Solar Panels produce DC Current then why Invert it to AC Current, let's just use the DC Current. That's a Article I am preparing for Another time, look for it.

Do we need it?

Yes, The Inverter converts Direct Current (DC) that is Produced by the Solar Panels or from the Battery Storage to Alternating Current (AC) at 50 or 60 Hz. The AC is the useable Form of Power used in the Home for Lighting and Appliances.

Inverter Efficiency

Inverters are not 100% Efficient, there are losses. The AC Output Energy of an Inverter is less than the DC Input Energy. In General Inverters are between 95% and 98% Efficient. All Manufactures Specification Statements are under Ideal Conditions so they may vary in Real World Applications.

Inverter Types

There are 3 common types of Inverters that Convert DC Current to AC Current but produce different Wave Forms that are not equally suited for all uses.

Some of the differences between Pure Sine Wave, Modified Sine Wave and Square Wave Inverters include Cost, Purity and Efficiency of the AC Power Produced. Most Electronic Devises, Sophisticated Motors, Medical Devises, Microwaves and other Appliances require a Pure Sine Wave.

The Square Wave Inverter can be used in Analog Circuits, Simple Universal Electric Motors. The Square Wave Form may not be suited for Some Devises like Delicate Home Appliances such as Refrigerators, Laptops or even Complex Air Conditioners.

Square Wave Inverters may be the least Expensive, they produce a sort of Flattened out Curve of the Sine Wave and a lower Voltage at Peak than the Pure Sine Wave.

The more Audible Noise of the Square Wave Inverter is due to the Higher Frequencies (Harmonics) that make the Noise. Square Wave Inverters may cause other Problems with Devices operated by Square Wave Inverters. Some say use this type of Inverter at your own Risk

The Modified Square Wave Inverter is sometimes referred to as the Step Wave Inverter, you can see in the Image why. The Modified Square Wave Inverter is more of a Modified Sine Wave Inverter because it resembles the Shape of the Sine Wave closer than the Square Wave.

The Modified Square Wave Inverter has a Peak Voltage that is closer to the Pure Sine Wave Inverter. The Modified Square Wave Inverter does have a smaller Wave Form and may not be able to Operate at 100% capacity plus can cost up to 32% more to Operate.

In addition the Modified Square Wave Inverter can cause Motors to run Hotter Consuming more Electrical Energy making them less Efficient. This all may be caused by the Higher Harmonic Distortion in the Square and Modified Square Wave Inverters.

Pure Sine Wave Inverters

Convert DC Power from your PV System to The AC Power that is very Similar to the Power Generated by The Grid for use in the Home. Pure Sine Wave Inverters can be used without concern of Damage to any Electronic Devise, Appliance, lights and the AC.

Pure Sine Wave Inverters are Efficient, have minimal Interference and have a Normal Operating Sound.

The Pure Sin Wave Inverter is the Most Expensive. There are more Components and Electronics making it costlier to Manufacture and has more usable Functions.

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