You’ve heard of Solar inverters but are you unsure about how they work? Direct current is taken from the solar panels and converted to alternating current by a solar inverter. This current is then used by domestic and commercial buildings to power all their electrical appliances.
These devices have evolved a great deal over the years and have become smarter and more intelligent to be able to provide satisfactory service to the new-age user. About 25-30% of the total solar system cost is accounted for by a solar inverter. The solar inverter price in India depends on the technology that is used and even factors like the brand, efficiency, warranty period affect the inverter price.
This article will brief you regarding the prices of solar inverters in India.
Types of Solar Inverters
Solar inverters are classified into three main types depending on their applications, benefits, and the functions they serve. These are- off-grid, on-grid, and hybrid inverters. Later on in the section, we will also discuss a few other types of inverters that are not so popular yet have their own benefits.
1. Off-grid/Standalone Inverters:
These are independent inverters that do not require the grid to function but do need battery storage. There is no need to hook this inverter up to a solar panel. Instead, they work by drawing DC power from batteries. PV arrays or other resources such as hydro-turbines, engine generators, and wind turbines are used to charge these batteries.
These inverters barely require any anti-islanding protection since they remain isolated from the utility grids. Excess solar electricity cannot be exported into the grid by these standalone inverters. These are extremely useful in remote areas where there is less scope for a utility grid.
The most useful feature of these inverters is that you no longer have to face issues when the utility grid has a power outage or some other technical problem. While the device has all these benefits, it also has some pros such as the load limitation and the higher cost compared to grid inverters. A 2-year warranty is usually offered on off-grid solar inverters in India.
2. On-grid/Grid-tied Inverters:
This is completely the opposite of off-grid inverters. On-grid inverters, as the name suggests, depend on the grid of the solar system to function properly. It relies on the electricity provided by the government to function. Grid-tied inverters function by matching their frequency with that of the utility grid sine wave. When there is a power cut, these inverters are designed to automatically shut down to ensure safety.
The drawback of the on-grid inverters is that they cannot provide power during an outage. However, on the bright side, these inverters are smart devices that are safe to use as they come with in-built protective components. In the current market, you will come across four types of grid-tied inverters- central plant inverter system, string inverter system, multi-string inverter system, and microgrid inverter system.
On-grid inverter systems are commonly used in urban and industrial areas where the electricity bill tends to be higher. These are best suited to be used in homes and also for commercial purposes. A 5-year warranty is offered on on-grid solar inverters in India. A few of the advantages of this device are- it utilizes 100% solar power, there is no limitation on the load, up to 70% subsidy is offered, and it takes up less space during installation.
String Inverters- The most commonly used on-grid solar inverters by both residential and commercial users in India is the string inverter. These are directly connected to the grid and in most cases do not support the battery backup. They tend to last for approximately 25 years or more and have a 5-year warranty on them. The good string inverters have an efficiency of 97-99% while the rest are less efficient..
Micro Inverters- The first physical difference you will notice between string and micro inverters is that the latter is much smaller in size and capacity. These inverters are installed on the back of every solar panel on the rooftop and each one is responsible for the conversion of energy in a single panel. For areas with partial shading, this is a great option.
Central Inverters- MW scale plants are known to use central inverters as these are huge, have their rooms with exhaust, and so on. These inverters are much more efficient than the other two on-grid inverters. Grid-related features like fluctuation management, balancing, etc. are found in central inverters.
3. Hybrid Inverters:
The third type of inverter that you need to know about while gathering information about solar inverters prices in India is the hybrid inverter. As the name suggests, this is a mix or combination of on-grid and off-grid inverters. You can be independent of the utility grid but also rely on it for energy supply when the lighting conditions are low or when there is not enough sunlight.
These devices supply excess power to the grid only after first charging the connected battery. On cloudy days or at night, this inverter uses the stored energy sourced from the sun, and when that is exhausted it turns towards the grid to recharge the battery. Anti-island protection is required since it comes with grid-syncing.
A 3-year warranty is offered on hybrid inverters by most brands. These are not yet popular in India because the net-metering connections are not supported by the utilities and even the regulations around the process are very unclear. Hybrid inverters are more expensive than on-grid and off-grid inverters and hence, not appealing to Indian consumers. There is also a limitation on the load that it can take.
Hybrid Solar Inverter Prices
We have provided you with a list of the prices of hybrid solar inverters. You can have a look at these and decide which one will suit your requirement and more importantly, budget. This list is concerned with transformer-based solar inverters and transformerless solar inverters can be less expensive.
Hybrid Inverter Model
3 kW hybrid solar inverters
3 kW 1P
5 kW hybrid solar inverters
5 kW 1P
6 kW hybrid solar inverters
6 kW 1P
10 kW hybrid solar inverters
10 kW 1P
10 kW hybrid solar inverters
10 kW 3P
On-grid/Grid-tie Solar Inverter Prices
On-grid solar inverters are less expensive when compared to hybrid solar inverters. In this section, we have provided the solar inverters price in India for home use. This is a list of on-grid solar inverters prices for MPPT based technology with inbuilt remote or web monitoring.
1 kW On-grid solar inverters
1 kW 1P
2 kW On-grid solar inverters
2 kW 1P
3 kW On-grid solar inverters
3 kW 1P
5 kW On-grid solar inverters
5 kW 1P
6 kW On-grid solar inverters
6 kW 3P
10 kW On-grid solar inverters
10 kW 3P
The prices of these solar inverters might change a little depending on the brand you choose.
Features of Solar Inverters
The price of a solar inverter will depend on the features that it comes with. The more the features and the smarter the features, the higher the price of the solar inverter will be. If you have a budget in mind, select a solar inverter that fits into that. However, do not compromise on the important features that are necessary for the proper functioning of a solar inverter.
1. IP Rating:
The full form of IP rating is Ingress Protection Rating. This measures the extent to which the inverter is protected against the harmful effects of dust, water, and other elements. This rating is a crucial feature that you must look for while buying an inverter since the device is subjected to harsh conditions like fluctuating voltages, water, dust, and high temperatures. The IP rating will inform you how well the machine is protected against all of this.
While checking the rating look for a double-digit number and you should know that each of the two digits stands for a level of protection measures taken by the inverter. For example, if the IP rating is 0, it means that there is no protection guaranteed by the inverter. If it’s 2 that means the inverter is protected against solid objects over 12 mm such as hands and tools. The same digit in the second position stands for protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees.
While navigating your way through the prices of the different solar inverters available, it is important to check the efficiency of the device. What marks the efficiency of a solar inverter? It is determined by how much of the energy that is produced by the solar panels is converted to AC power that can be used sufficiently. Due to heat and other factors, some of the DC that reaches the inverter is lost.
The loss will be lower when the efficiency is high. An increase in the usage of the power on your part will increase the efficiency of the solar inverter. This means that when the usage of power is little, the efficiency is somewhere around 50% and it can go up to 90% when you tend to use more energy to power all the appliances in your home.
The peak efficiency value is the highest efficiency that a solar inverter can attain and if your inverter has it that means the output is more. This will be beneficial for you and make it worth the money that you spent on purchasing the device.
3. Anti-islanding Protection for Grid-connected Inverters:
The most important feature that you need to look for in a grid-connected inverter is anti-islanding protection. When there is a power cut, the anti-island protection ensures that the solar PV system does not send electricity generated by the solar system to the grid. Engineers might be repairing the utility connection and these features protect them from receiving a shock. Until your inverter has this feature, it will not get approval to be connected to the grid.
4. Output Waveform:
Depending on the circuit design of the inverter, the devices can produce different waveforms such as sine wave, square wave, modified sine wave, and more. You need to be looking for an inverter that produces a true sine wave. A true sine wave is most efficient while powering inductive loads and that is precisely why you need to be looking for this output waveform. The same loads are powered using 20% more energy by other waveforms. The use of this excess energy can reduce longevity as the machine tends to get overheated. For the benefit of the electrical appliances in your home, we suggest you look for the true sine wave before purchasing a solar inverter.
5. Duration of the Battery Backup:
Another vital point you should check while sorting the solar inverters price in India is the duration of the battery backup offered by the inverter. There is a simple formula that is used to calculate the duration.
Time= Battery voltage (volts) x battery capacity (AH) x inverter efficiency/load (VA)
For example, consider you have to run a table light of 50 watts, a small bed light of 30 watts, and a fan of 80 watts, the battery voltage is 15 volts, and the battery capacity is 160 AH. The efficiency of the inverter is marked at 80%. Using the formula mentioned above, you can calculate the duration of the battery backup and the result will be 12 hours.
6. Additional Features to look for in Grid-connected Inverters:
Grid-connected inverters are the most commonly used inverters in urban areas and hence, there are a few additional features in the inverter that you must search for. It must have surge protection, overcurrent protection, PV array string fault monitoring, data logging, and other display features. You must be able to monitor the power generated by your PV system with software offered by a grid-connected inverter.
Along with these features, you must also check for the health of your PV system so that it is adequately protected against surges and overcurrent.
1. Features to be checked for in Off-grid Inverters:
An off-grid inverter is very similar to a regular power inverter. Make sure that the inverter you purchase has a decent battery management system so that battery overcharge is prevented and preferably has a temperature control system.. Overheating can significantly reduce the lifespan of the off-grid inverter.
Any good electrical appliance, no matter what its price is, needs to have a certain warranty period within which you can approach the company to cover any damages. A grid-tied inverter comes with a 5-year warranty in most cases, and off-grid inverters come with only a 1-year or even 2-year warranty. In the case of a really good quality on-grid inverter, you can forget about dealing with any damage once installed as the device is mostly flawless.
3. Miscellaneous Features:
Few miscellaneous features you need to look for while buying a solar inverter include MPPT, LCD, mobile app, bypass switch, and MCB protection.
MPPT- We recommend you to go for the MPPT technology for your inverter as it is 30% more efficient and faster than PWM technology-built inverter.
LCD Display- An LCD is really useful for individuals to monitor the status of the solar inverter. You can keep a watch on the battery status, real-time analysis of power generation, power consumption, and even the reason for inverter failure.
Mobile App (IoT)- If your inverter is equipped with WiFi then you must download the mobile app that will enable you to monitor the LCD, control, and service it.
Bypass Switch- In case your inverter fails, the power supply to your home will be disturbed. With the help of the bypass switch, the supply of electricity will not falter and you will have access to electricity at all times.
MCB Protection- Th MCB protection prevents any voltage fluctuation, and chances for a short circuit.
How To Install Solar Inverters
Installing solar inverters is no easy task and that is why you require the help of professionals to get the work done. In this section, we provide you with the necessary information required to install a solar inverter.
You need to decide on a location and position where the inverter will be placed. You must choose the cleanest and coolest place to place the solar inverter and keep it away from direct sunlight. The solar inverter is a powerful electronic that functions best when kept away from heat. The components tend to last longer in the shade.
The positioning of the solar inverter is yet another important aspect. There must be ease of access to the inverter so that maintaining and repairing can be done without any hassle. Comply with all safety protocols and local codes to ensure that the inverter functions well and is safe to use..
Another important component of installing a solar inverter is the wiring and mounting part of it. You must keep it simple and ensure clean and well-organized wiring. It can be tricky to get hands into deep wiring and attaching ground bushes and lugs can be worse. There must be enough space for service loops in well-installed solar inverters. There must also be attachment points to keep the wire management clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to calculate the size of a solar panel, battery, and inverter?
You can calculate the size of your solar system by first figuring out what is the daily peak consumption. Buy an inverter that can support your consumption pattern. Then select the battery and the number of batteries you will require. In the end, select the solar panel as per the capacity of the inverter.
2. How to connect a solar panel to a battery and inverter?
To do this you will require assistance from a professional. Once the panels have been installed, you have to connect them to the solar inverter. After this connect the batteries to the inverter all the while taking note of the terminals. Once all the three have been connected, check the load. You can avoid unnecessary accidents by employing an electrician to do this.
3. How and where to buy solar panels?
You can buy solar panels for your home online easily. If you buy them online, you will also receive different discounts on the actual price. You also become eligible for significant easy returns. If this is not accessible to you, you can visit any solar system brand store to purchase a solar inverter.
4. Can I connect the inverter directly to the solar panel?
It is not advisable or safe to connect the inverter directly to the solar panel because the sunlight is always fluctuating and never stable. You can use a solar charge controller to control the flow of current into the inverter/battery. There are inverters available in the current market that come with in-built solar charge controllers.
The prices of solar inverters vary depending on things like the brand, the place from where you are buying, the features available, the power it can generate, and so on. You must have complete knowledge of these factors to be able to compare the solar inverter price in India. This article has tried to guide you in the process so that you can buy a good solar inverter for your home or office with ease.