Solar Inverter review – This article gives you an insight into all the things you should know about the solar power inverters, price of solar inverters in Nigeria, classifications, types of solar power inverters, features and specs of solar inverters, where to buy solar power inverters in Nigeria and more on solar power inverters you should know.
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Table of Contents
Overview on Solar Inverter
What are solar inverters: A solar inverter or PV inverter is a type of electrical converter that converts a photovoltaic ( PV ) solar panel’s variable direct current ( DC) output into an alternating current ( AC) utility frequency that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.
It is a vital system balance (BOS) component in a photovoltaic system, enabling ordinary AC-powered equipment to be used. The special functions of solar power inverters are modified for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point monitoring and anti-islanding protection.
A solar inverter is a type of inverter that is more optimized for solar panel technology. It comes with a few characteristics that make it suitable for a solar power system.
This does not mean because your regular power inverter can be upgraded to a solar power system at any time when the need arises. The solar inverter is only made for solar out of the box. The price of solar inverters in Nigeria ranges from about 10,000 Naira (for only inverters).
Where to Buy Power Inverter
Konga Nigeria – See Offers
Basically, solar inverters may be classified into three broad types:
- Stand-alone inverters: This solar inverter which is used in isolated systems where the inverter draws its DC energy from photovoltaic array batteries. When available, many stand-alone inverters also provide integral battery chargers to replenish the battery from an AC source. These do not usually interface with the power grid in any way and, as such, are not expected to provide anti-islanding protection.
- Grid-tie inverters: This is a solar inverter that matches phase with a sine wave supplied by a utility. For safety purposes, grid-tie inverters are built to shut down automatically upon loss of utility supply. During utility outages, they do not deliver backup electricity.
- Battery backup inverters: These are special inverters designed to remove energy from a battery, monitor the charge of the battery through an on-board charger, and export excess energy to the power grid. During a utility outage, these inverters are able to supply AC energy to selected loads, and are required to have anti-islanding protection.
- Intelligent hybrid inverters: Known to be best in photovoltaic array control, storage of the battery, and utility grid, all of which are directly coupled to the device. Usually, these modern all-in-one systems are extremely flexible and can be used for grid-tie, stand-alone or backup applications, but with the use of storage, their main purpose is self-consumption.
Solar Inverter Prices in Nigeria
Below are the prices and capacity (KVA) specifications of solar inverters from different brands:
- Felicity Solar 3.5KVA / 24V – 161,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 5KVA / 48V – 225,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 7.5KVA / 48V – 366,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 10KVA / 48V – 452,000 Naira
- Prag 1.2KVA / 12V – 61,900 Naira
- Prag 2.5KVA / 24V – 100,900 Naira
- Prag 4KVA / 24V – 240,000 Naira
- Prag 5KVA / 96V – 319,000 Naira
- Mercury 2KVA Spirit Plus – 175,000 Naira
- Mercury 3KVA Spirit Plus – 185,000 Naira
- Mercury 5KVA Spirit Plus – 220,000 Naira
- Luminous 850VA / 12V – 64,000 Naira
- Luminous 1.5KVA / 24V – 90,000 NGN
- Bluegate 10KVA / 192V – 494,000 Naira
- Bluegate 1.5KVA / 24V – 87,500 Naira
- Bluegate 2.5KVA / 48V – 202,000 Naira
- PSC Solar Xantra 1.5KVA / 24V – 99,500 NGN
- PSC Solar Xantra 2.5KVA / 24V – 214,900 NGN
- PSC Solar Xantra 3.5KVA / 48V – 289,900 Naira
- MTN Solar Inverter (Lumos) – 20,000 Naira (4,500 NGN / month)
For Latest Prices of solar inverters, Click Here
What Really Make Solar Inverter Different
As you have already known that solar inverter is better optimized for use with a Photovoltaic (PV in short) panels. One of the first characteristics of solar inverters is that they have direct inputs for the Solar panels.
This implies that you can directly attach the PV panel to the power inverter. As a result, a good solar inverter should also have an integrated/built-in charge controller to control the current coming from the solar panel so that the battery does not get high enough to overcharge.
In fact, this is one of the significant differences between a normal inverter and a solar inverter. You will have to purchase the charge controller separately for a standard inverter.
This means that by simply connecting a solar panel and a solar charge controller to your device, your existing power inverter can be converted to a solar inverter. It may also need other accessories, but these two are the main additions.
Remember that you do need to purchase your solar panels individually with a solar inverter. A solar inverter can also be used without a battery (i.e. no backup power), but Nigeria does not find such an installation practical.
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Features of Solar Inverters
In times of optimization, a Solar Inverter is better optimized for solar power than that of the traditional inverters. For example, it will distribute power supply from the solar panels when connected.
This ensures that the inverter can draw power entirely from the solar panels when the energy from the Sun is ample, as during the afternoons, to power your home or office even though there is a public power source available. This can lead to tremendous savings on bills for electricity.
Similarly, charging from solar panels would be proiritised by a Solar hybrid inverter, allowing your batteries to charge through the PV panels even when the public power supply is on, also contributing to savings on your power bills.
Some solar inverters will allow you to prioritize charging, depending on the battery level, to solar panels or power grid. Some solar inverters are even smart enough to take as much of the grid’s deficit current as needed.
For example , assume that your battery needs 10A for charging, but your solar panels can only produce 7A (due to low sunlight), and if there is a public power supply, an intelligent solar inverter can source the excess 3A from the grid.
A Solar Inverter can also provide protection from the panels against high voltage and current. Bear in mind that the solar intensity varies during the day. This causes an issue of over-charging if the panels are directly attached to the battery.
Thanks to its built-in charge controller, a good solar inverter would be able to regulate the final voltage and current that gets to the battery within a safe range, ensuring the battery’s longevity.
It should also be able to tell you when you incorrectly link the panels (i.e. positive to negative, etc.) and also provide short-circuit safety.
Notice that a solar inverter would also allow you to do this in countries that enable customers to sell their excess power production to the power company.
A good solar inverter, particularly if you want to use it in a country such as Nigeria, should also have a broad input grid-voltage range.
Before it can start charging your battery or running your appliances, you would not want an inverter that needs 220V. A solar inverter with a range of 100V to 220V is ideal for use in Nigeria.
Types of Solar Inverter
Solar Inverters comes in different types and capacity. Your choice depends on your applications alongside the size of your pocket. See below the various types of solar power inverters:
Hybrid Solar Inverters
In small residential and office installations, this form of solar inverter is common. They combine a regular inverter and support for solar power.
Their success derives from their versatility is superb. This is because gradually, you will build your power system.
For example, upgrade can take place any time. For you can start with only the inverter and solar panels with a hybrid solar inverter and later add inverter batteries, or you can start with an inverter and battery and later add solar panels.
String Solar Power Inverters
Inverter batteries are not assisted by these solar inverters. Solar panels are directly attached to the device. The solar panel’s DC output is converted by the inverter to an AC voltage.
Central inverters are also called string inverters since it is possible to link the entire solar panel array to one central inverter. With each string connected to several panels, it can come with many strings.
Micro Solar Inverters
Except that each inverter is mounted on a single panel (unlike String Inverter, where you can attach several panels to a string), microinverters are identical to string inverters.
This leads to more stability as the whole system is not affected by the failure of one panel. This makes troubleshooting simpler and faster as well.
The Micro inverter is mounted under the solar panel or near to it. The drawback is that the setup would probably cost more.
Note that string inverters are not the only type of central inverter; it is also possible to identify hybrid solar inverters as such.
Grid Tie Solar Inverter
The Grid Tie Inverter is any solar inverter that can be directly connected to the power grid without a changeover switch being required. To complement the solar energy from the sun, these solar inverters will synchronize with the voltage and frequency of the power grid and draw as much power from the grid.
A grid tie inverter has the ability to drive the excess into the grid when energy coming from the panels exceeds what is needed in your home or office.
Off Grid Solar Power Inverter
It is difficult to directly connect these types of solar inverters to the power grid. When you want to use them in conjunction with the power grid, you would need a changeover switch. To make it more seamless, some off-grid inverters come with a built-in automatic changeover switch.
PayGo Solar Inverter Solutions in Nigeria
If you are looking for Pay as you go solar power solutions, here a few in Nigeria:
MTN Solar Inverter
Currently, MTN Mobile Electricity or Lumos Mobile Electricity is taking over many homes, offices, and small business. It is a solar off-grid solution operated by the leading telecommunication company in Nigeria.
The MTN Mobile Electricity kit consists of a few components, namely:
- 80W Solar Panel unit with Cables
- Solar Inverter (300Wh Lumos Solar Home System In-door Unit + 60W DC to AC Converter)
- USB Mobile Phone Charger
- 2 x LED Energy Efficient Bulbs
- Easy Self-Installation Mounting Kit
This costs you a down payment of 20,000 Naira plus a monthly subscription of 4,500 per month on a five year term. Because the solar inverter ‘s performance is only 60W, its use is limited to micro-power applications.
Azuri Quad Solar Power Inverter
The solar inverter is not provided by Azuri Quad. All you get is an indoor device that provides DC output to charge your phone and power your lights.
The Azuri Quad kit comes with the following:
- 10W Polycrystalline Solar Panel
- Four Bright Energy Efficient Lamps (300 lumens)
- USB port with cable and connectors
- Azuri Quad HomeSmart PayGo Unit
- 6500 mAh Battery (2 x 26650 Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries)
- Rechargeable Radio
- Up to 8 hours Power Supply
Solar Inverters are available at Nigeria’s leading online stores like Konga and Jumia. A solar inverter can be bundled or sold separately with solar panels and/or inverter batteries.
In review above, you should be able to find the solar inverter that suite your choice and income.