An inverter is a crucial part of a solar power system. If you are researching solar power, then you have come to the right place. You need to know the details of the inverter on which your entire power supply system will be based. And if you are anything like us, it’s easy to get confused over a dozen inverter options. However, we have you covered.
We will take you through the world of 3-phase inverters, its differences from single-phase inverters, and more.
First, let’s begin with understanding what a 3-phase solar inverter is.
What is a 3-Phase Solar Inverter?
A 3-phase inverter is a critical component of a solar power system. The main function of the inverter is to generate the DC electricity and convert it into three AC waveforms. It sends out electricity across 3 wires so there are fewer chances of a voltage drop. You can consider a 3-phase solar inverter depending on the size of your power supply. Here are a few basic features of the inverter.
1. Inverter Topology
A 3-phase inverter uses a combination of insulated gate transistors, power electronic devices, and metal oxide semiconductors to transfer the current from DC to AC. The devices switch rapidly to transfer the AC waveform that matches the grid’s voltage and stability.
These inverters have high-efficiency rates as they impact the total energy yield of the solar system. High-quality inverters usually have peak efficiency rates exceeding 98%. However, the efficiency depends on the design, components, and the inverter’s ability to track the maximum power rate of the solar panels.
3. Cooling and Heat Management
A 3-phase solar inverter is equipped with internal cooling mechanisms like fans or heat sinks to prevent overheating. There is adequate ventilation to promote seamless airflow.
4. MPPT Tracking
All the inverters have Maximum PowerPoint Tracking technology. This allows them to extract the maximum possible power from the solar panels. This is done via systematic adjustment of voltage to match the total power output.
5. Monitoring and Communication
There are plenty of modern inverters that have built-in monitoring systems and communication interfaces like wifi and ethernet to allow users to monitor the system performance remotely.
The real-time monitoring provides important data related to energy production, system status, and potential defects of a 3-phase solar inverter.
6. Solar Protection & Safety
There are various protection features that ensure the inverters function reliably and safely. They are equipped with features like over-voltage protection and anti-islanding protection to prevent them from transmitting the power back to the grid. Plus, there is ground-fault protection and over-the-current protection.
In summary, it’s safe to say that a 3-phase solar inverter is suitable for large commercial and industrial applications. It plays a key role in converting solar DC current into three-phase solar inverter AC power.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the detailed comparison of a 3-phase vs. single-phase inverter.
Single phase Vs. 3-Phase Solar Inverter- A Detailed Analysis
The choice of inverter depends on your power supply. Here’s a comparative analysis of a single-phase inverter and a 3-phase solar inverter.
|Aspect||Single-Phase||3-Phase Solar Inverter|
|Phase configuration||Single phase output||3-phase output|
|Applications||Suitable for residential and small-scale projects||Commercial, industrial, and large-scale projects|
|Power Output||Up to 10 KW||10 KW to several hundred KW|
|MPPT trackers||One MPPT tracker per string connections||Multiple MPPT trackers for several strings of panels|
|Monitoring||Traditional monitoring options exist||Built-in remote monitoring systems with advanced communication features|
|Cost||Low cost due to small capacity||High cost due to huge capacity and multiple features|
|Maintenance||Easy maintenance||A complex protocol is to be followed|
|Grid connection||Connect to single-phase grid||Three phase grid is the crucial component|
|Local balancing||Limited load capability||Efficient load balancing in a 3-phase solar inverter|
|Heat management||Less heat generation||Excess heat generated due to high-capacity|
|Flexibility||Less flexibility||Great flexibility with varying power output and loads|
|Size||Match the size to the panel capacity||Proper sizing is required for seamless performance|
|Regulations||Must comply with single-grid regulations||Must meet three-phase grid regulations|
The general rule for inverters relies on the size of your power systems and the total electrical load you want to power. It’s better to match your internal power system. A 3-phase inverter will be ideal for a 3-phase power output that’s greater than 10 KW.
Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of a 3-phase solar inverter.
Top 6 Benefits of a 3-Phase Solar Inverter
If you are still debating whether a 3-phase solar inverter will be worth your time and money or not, then check out the top 6 benefits listed below.
1. Balanced Power Distribution
A 3-phase solar inverter offers 3 AC waveforms that connect back to your home grid system. With a phase shift of 120 degrees, there is a balanced distribution of power across all the voltage lines. The even distribution of power output reduces the risk of electrical issues such as phase overload and voltage imbalance.
2. Huge Power Output
The increased power output is crucial for commercial and industrial facilities with high energy demands. A 3-phase solar inverter is designed to handle the higher output capacity making them ideal for large solar installations.
3. Optimized MPPT
Multiple maximum point power tracking inputs ensure efficient tracking of several solar string panels. This feature allows a 3-phase solar inverter to optimize energy production even during varying power outages.
4. Better Load Handling
Big industrial houses and commercial settings require uninterrupted power supply for their daily operations. There are 3-phase loads like machinery, pumps, and motors that require a 3-phase solar inverter to power these loads without the need for additional backup generators.
Scalable solutions are the need of the hour. A 3-phase solar inverter is well-suited for modular system designs that scale the solar installations as per energy demands. The greater flexibility allows for efficient power production in areas with fluctuating grid outages.
6. Effective Use of Grid Resources
When connected to the grid, a 3-phase solar inverter balances the power distribution and reduces grid instability by injecting power across all three phases. This is important in remote areas with frequent power outages.
Furthermore, a 3-phase solar inverter will help you reduce your dependence on on-grid power in the long term and also reduce your electricity bills.
Let’s move on to the frequently asked question of a 3-phase solar inverter.
FAQS- 3-Phase Solar Inverter
What is a 3-phase hybrid inverter?
A three-phase inverter usually sends 3 AC waveforms while simultaneously charging the solar batteries. This helps to store the excess energy produced during the day.
What is a hybrid solar inverter?
A hybrid solar inverter is a mix of a battery inverter and a solar inverter all in one piece of machine. It effectively manages the power load coming from solar panels, batteries, and the electrical grid.
How does a 3-phase solar inverter work?
A solar inverter transmits the electricity evenly across the three power lines of your home power system. This eliminates the frequent issue of a voltage drop.
What is the principle of a hybrid inverter?
Hybrid inverters work through a concept called DC coupling. The solar panels and batteries keep using one inverter and the DC current from the panels engages with the battery via a charger.
What is the difference between a solar inverter and a hybrid inverter?
Both the inverters function the same way. However, the key difference is that hybrid inverters have built-in battery systems that act as a backup power supply and as an energy storage system for later use.
To summarize, a 3-phase solar inverter is highly efficient and capable of handling huge power output. On the other hand, a single-phase inverter is less efficient but cost-effective. It is important to review your power supply system and monitor your consumption patterns before investing in an inverter for the long term.
India’s solar energy sector is going through a transformative phase. Investing in renewable sources of energy like solar energy looks like a good prospective option now. If you are looking to diversify your portfolio and venture into sustainable investing, contact Sustvest for further details.
Founder of Sustvest
Hardik completed his B.Tech from BITS Pilani. Keeping the current global scenario, the growth of renewable energy in mind, and people looking for investment opportunities in mind he founded SustVest ( formerly, Solar Grid X ) in 2018. This venture led him to achieve the ‘Emerging Fintech Talent of the Year in MENA region ‘ in October 2019.