If you’re planning to generate your own energy to ease the pain of load shedding or simply to get yourself off the grid. You’ll need a reliable solar power inverter with enough capacity to keep the lights on at your home or business.
Read on to learn more about how these crucial devices work and find out about the various solar power inverter price ranges. And just how much you can expect to pay for one – be it a standalone unit or part of a turnkey solar solution.
What are solar power inverters?
An inverter is essential for every electricity generation system that relies on the sun for its
main source of energy.
These machines convert Direct Current (DC one-way) current to Alternating Current (AC two-way) current. Thus making the electricity from solar panels usable in your home or office. It’s worth noting that most appliances (those which have motors in them) usually run on AC.
There are three main types of solar inverters, with each one getting its name from the type of electricity configuration it’s used in.
This is the most popular class of standalone inverter because it can be used in almost any installation regardless of whether the property is on or off the grid. This flexibility makes it ideal for most South African homes and businesses. The hybrid efficiently blends energy by using all your energy sources to power your load.
Although a hybrid inverter can cost more upfront it’s actually one of the most cost-effective types of inverter with a lifespan of around 15 years.
Grid Tied Inverters
If your power supply is always connected to the grid and totally reliant on Eskom power you would typically use a grid-tied inverter to convert the energy from your solar panels into AC current and feed it back into the national grid.
South African homes may not be ideal candidates for this type of inverter because it doesn’t include an energy storage solution to provide electricity during blackouts caused by load shedding.
Homes that are completely off the national power grid – either by the owner’s choice or because there’s no existing electricity infrastructure in the area – may opt to use an off-grid inverter. Easy to install with everything in one box and expandable over a period of time, both the low-voltage and high-voltage off-grid inverters require batteries.
Equipment of this type is typically larger and requires a significant initial investment because of the high energy generation and storage requirements of a property that generates 100% of its own power.
What are the best power inverters in South Africa?
Most residential and commercial installations today operate on a hybrid system.
This allows the owner to use Eskom electricity when power supply is normal (and reliable) and quickly switch over to solar power, both stored in batteries and generated by solar panels, as soon as load shedding commences.
Hybrid power inverters manufactured by trusted suppliers like Sunsynk, Victron and Goodwe offer reliability and compatibility with most home and business electrical installations as well as the national grid.
These inverters are available as standalone units but it often makes better financial sense to purchase an all in one solution including solar panels, inverter and batteries.
What is the average solar power inverter price?
Depending on the size of your business and your monthly energy requirements you could have your solar power system up and running at a cost upwards of R50 000 – R150 000, excluding installation.
A residential inverter for a lower load from a 3kW to a 10kW would cost you anything from R6 000 – R40 ooo for a top end Hybrid inverter, dependent on brand features and size.
The alternative to an outright purchase is a solar rental, similar to a loan. This affords you the option of renting your system from a third-party (rather than paying your utility company) over a period of 3-5 years.
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For more information on solar power systems or to find out how much a system to power your house or commercial premises might cost, get your free quote today.