Can you connect solar panels to an inverter without a solar battery backup system? Absolutely you can. A solar battery backup is not required to connect your home to a solar array with an inverter.
What You Need to Know About Connecting Solar Panels to an Inverter Without a Battery Backup System
You should know the different configurations for Solar Arrays so that you can choose the one the best fits your energy needs. You will also need to know what kind of inverter is the correct one.
Finally, it would help if you also understood how much energy your home or business requires during peak times of the year.
To be frank, You don’t need a solar battery backup system, but you do need an alternative energy source.
Here are some of the major points we’ll be covering, and I’ve got more you’ll need to know;
- Solar power types with/without batteries
- When batteries are not needed for solar
- What batteryless solar is right for you
What Types of Solar Array Configurations Are There?
There are three general types of solar array configurations, They include:
- Grid-Tied — solar arrays remain connected to the utility’s electrical grid.
- Off-Grid — solar arrays Are on their own as there is no connection to the utility’s electrical grid.
- Hybrid — solar arrays are connected to the utility’s electrical grid and have a solar battery backup system in place.
Why Are Solar Batteries Important for a Solar Array?
The reality is that solar batteries are not always essential. Much of how you answer this question comes down to how your home or business uses energy.
Solar batteries provide backup electricity when your solar array is not producing energy or not producing enough energy. Cloudy days are an example of when an array makes less energy.
When the sun is down, the solar array stops producing energy. Solar batteries would supply power until the sun came up and the array begins to produce energy.
They also provide energy when your home or business consumes more energy than the solar array is making.
When Do You Not Need Solar Batteries?
You don’t need a solar battery backup if your home or business is Grid-tied. The grid will provide energy that you need when the solar array is not providing enough power, such as during the night.
You don’t need a solar battery backup system when you are off-grid; however, when the sun goes down, energy flow stops. Without a battery backup in an off-grid situation, you’d go to bed at sunset and get up when it rises.
Therefore, for most off-grid solar arrays, a battery backup is essential.
Why Does A Hybrid Solar Array Have Battery Backups and A Grid Connection?
A few reasons why a hybrid solar array has both a battery backup and a grid connection include:
- Grid Failure — is when that power grids do go down. Most of the state of Texas can testify to that.
- Save Money — This is another reason homeowners or business owners want to save as much money as possible. They do that by storing excess energy in the battery system and then using it when the solar array is not producing enough electricity. They rely on the grid only when it is necessary.
A hybrid system is one of the best ways to ensure higher control over energy production and usage. But what happens when the grid fails? Homes go without electricity.
That is what happened in Texas during one of the coldest times of the year — No heat, not power to run electric stoves, no electronics, and people died.
What Type of Solar Array Is Best?
Each of the three types of solar array configuration we discuss is strengths and weaknesses. A grid-tied system is probably the least expensive of the three formats. That is because solar batteries are costly.
For an off-grid system to work well, a battery backup is essential. The exception would be for remote locations or in extreme areas where the temperature may affect the batteries.
The hybrid systems are generally the most expensive since you would need more batteries (typically) for full storage of all the excess energy your array produces.
However, they can also offer the most savings in that you primarily use the energy produced by your array and less energy from the grid.
What Solar Array Is Best For You?
The short answer is that the best solar array configuration comes down to:
- How much energy does your home or business use?
- How much self-reliance do you want in terms of energy dependency?
- How much money do you want to save from annual energy bills?
How you answer these questions dictates which type of solar array is best for your home or business.
Why Do You Connect The Solar Array to An Inverter?
Solar panels create energy that becomes electricity, but it is a DC (Direct Current) form of electricity. Homes and businesses run on AC (Alternate Current.)
If you run DC voltage into an AC device, such as a refrigerator, it will burn up the motor and controls and ruin the refrigerator.
The same is true for all the electric appliances and electronic gadgets in your home —Boom! Burned out appliances. That’s a lot of damage.
You connect your solar array to an inverter to invert the DC voltage to AC voltage. When you do so, the electricity from the array becomes safe to use in your home or business. You also need to know what type of inverter your home needs.
There are different types of inverts, and they operate slightly differently from each other.
When You Connect Your Solar Array To an Inverter Without Battery Backup, Which Type of Inverter Do You Use?
When your Solar array does not have battery backup, you have a few types of inverters that work well.
The first is microinverters, which attach to each solar panel. They offer a high-efficiency rate and solve some problems that other types of inverts cannot solve.
The most common are string inverters, which handle the energy production from a string of panels.
Microinverters handle the energy production from one panel. String inverters handle the energy from many panels.
On par with microinverters are power optimizers, which act like a micro-inverter but are string inverters.
The difference is that they handle the energy from one panel rather than a string of panels.
How to use a hybrid Inverters without a battery
If you are not using a battery backup with your solar array and don’t plan to add batteries later, you would not need a hybrid inverter.
The strength of a hybrid inverter is that it can handle both AC and DC voltage simultaneously.
Therefore, the only reason to use a hybrid inverter without a battery backup system is when you plan to add batteries to the system later.
The DC energy flows into the inverter, becomes AC voltage, and then goes to the house or back into the grid with a string inverter.
With a hybrid inverter, the DC energy flows from the array to the inverter to the batteries, while the inverter also converts whatever power is available to AC voltage at the same time and sends it to the house.
It can also shuttle AC energy from the grid to the home or the batteries.
Should you Connect a Solar Array to an Inverter without a Battery Backup System?
Absolutely. That may or may not be the best configuration for your home or business. Still, many solar array installations connect the solar array to an inverter without a battery backup system.
- Solar-Plus-Storage 101 | Department of Energy
- Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Systems | Department of …
- Example Single-Line Diagram for a SolarEdge® string inverter …
- Solar Inverters – Energy Star
- Solar Integration: Inverters and Grid Services Basics