When there is a disruption in the power connection, you can use an inverter as a backup solution. They are also used on boats or RV’s to provide power while you are moving around.
An inverter works with solar panels or batteries to power your appliances. It is a useful device if you face power cuts frequently. An inverter will allow you to continue working on your computer and also keep a couple of other electrical devices on, like a fan, a light, and your T.V. The inverter will start providing electricity to your appliances as soon as there is a power outage.
But more importantly, can an inverter help you save electricity? Or, does inverter usage raise power bills?
How can an inverter increase your electricity bill?
The batteries of an inverter store electricity and supplies it when there is a power cut. It will help you get an uninterrupted supply of electricity, even if there are daily power outages in your locality. But after installing an inverter in your home, the increase in the due amount of the monthly power bill can worry you. This is because you are using more electricity now.
Wondering how using an inverter can raise your power bills? Here are the reasons:
For daily power disruption
Suppose that you get about 19 to 21 hours of power from the grid supply every day. And there is an interruption of electricity supply for around 3 to 5 hours daily. Your inverter provides backup power during the downtime. And once when the power supply is restored, the inverter starts charging itself. Therefore, your household is consuming extra electricity from the grid which goes into charging an inverter. You must set your inverter to keep it ready for a power cut. But this adds to the electricity consumption and raises the power bill.
Batteries lose some power along the way and therefore an inverter can indeed increase your power usage.
You must have realized why it would be better to not buy an inverter if you have electricity 24✕7.
If you have to, a solar inverter or a solar panel is an effective way of saving on your power bill. This can bring you to wonder if solar panels can power directly without an inverter.
For rare power cuts
Imagine you live in a city where there are rarely any power cuts. But you must be prepared for the odd powercuts and install an inverter. You charge your inverter but you don’t face any power disruption until the seventh day of a week. This is when your inverter will discharge the power it has stored in its battery.
Suppose the downtime was of five hours, and when the connection was restored, the inverter started charging itself. This will also increase your electricity bill, though not so much as it will in a place of daily downtime. This is because even if you don’t have to use the inverter daily, the batteries consume a negligible amount of energy every day. Thus, even when you are not using the inverter, it will discharge some power to keep its batteries alive.
How does a Solar Panel without an Inverter work?
So the first thing you should understand is – what is a solar inverter?
The sun produces low-voltage electricity, which is termed ad DC. A solar inverter can convert this into AC or high-voltage alternating current. Then you can use this electricity to power your home appliances. The solar inverter will not only convert the DC into AC but also checks that all your appliances are getting the correct frequency of power.
What happens if a solar panel is directly connected to an appliance?
In most cases, the components of both an appliance and a PV need a specific electricity frequency. So if you hook up an appliance directly to your solar panel, there might be some damage to both. Appliances like your dishwasher, fridge, or room heater can be damaged if you use your solar panel to directly power them.
In addition to that, there can be a trip due to the circuit breaker. As a result, you may have power disruption. Your standard PV panel can produce a voltage that is higher or lower than what your appliance requires. And if you don’t install an inverter, you might lose grid solar power at any time of the day.
Can a solar panel work without an inverter?
Yes. Though not using an inverter for your solar panel can potentially damage your appliance, a solar system definitely can work without it too if your appliances are able to do so. In most instances, you will need an inverter though. Especially when it comes to devices that need low-voltage electricity like television or light, a solar panel would be able to provide power for them.
You can easily make your solar panel work without an inverter if it is a grid-tied solar panel that is capable of using renewable energy for charging batteries. After the sun sets, the battery of your solar panel will provide AC power to your home.
You must estimate correctly which solar panel you need and how much power it should be able to produce. If you cannot afford to buy an inverter right now, it is okay to buy a solar panel without an inverter. A solar panel will be especially helpful if you live in a rural or remote area, or somewhere you cannot find a grid.
Some batteries have a built-in inverter. In these instances, you don’t need to have a standalone one as well.