Solar cells need an inverter because their DC output must be converted to alternating current (AC). The primary reason for this is that most of our household equipment requires AC power to work properly.

Therefore, the inverter does the conversion. It obtains direct current electricity from solar cells. The inverter then employs several electrical and electronic components to get the DC input to oscillate at 50 or 60 Hertz.

AC refers to the sinusoidal electrical current produced by the inverter. When the solar cell’s DC power is converted to AC, it may be used by our home appliances.

What Is A Solar Inverter?

Solar inverters serve an essential part of the solar energy system, also referred to as photovoltaic (PV) inverters. They are often regarded as the project’s brains. The solar panel inverter is advantageous because it converts direct current to alternating current.

Direct current is the flow of power in a circuit in a single direction, and it aids in delivering current when there is no electricity. What is a solar inverter’s function? This article describes what a solar inverter is and how it works.

How Does A Solar Inverter Work?

A solar inverter is among the essential components of a solar system. The inverter converts the energy produced by solar panels into a form that may be used in residential and commercial premises.

Why Do Solar Cells Need An Inverter?
  • It works by converting the varied direct current produced by solar panels into alternating 120V/240V or alternating current output. Most household appliances operate on alternating current as opposed to direct current. It is why solar panels must convert the direct current output they gather.
  • Technically, the light shines on your photovoltaic cells (solar panels) composed of crystalline silicon semiconductor layers. A junction joins positive and negative layers to form the layers.
  • The layers collect solar energy and deliver it to the photovoltaic cells. The energy circulates and knocks electrons loose. The movement of electrons between the negative and positive levels produces an electric current, often known as a direct current.
  • Once the energy is generated, it is either immediately transferred to an inverter or stored in a battery for later use. It relies eventually on the solar panel inverter system you own.
  • When energy is transferred to an inverter, it is typically in the form of a direct current. Nevertheless, your residence demands an alternating current. The inverter seizes the energy and sends it via a transformer, producing an alternating current output.
  • In summary, the inverter converts direct current to alternating current using two or more transistors that flip on and off incredibly quickly and feed the transformer’s two distinct sides.

Types Of Inverters For Solar Panels

There are three kinds of solar inverters available. Each type of solar inverter has its own set of pros and downsides. Before picking a solar inverter for your solar panel system, it is essential to understand these distinctions and the advantages and disadvantages of each kind.

String Inverters

To continue the metaphor, string inverters contain a central inverter or a central cash exchange.

It is a conventional inverter, and it functions adequately if there is no shadow from adjacent trees or a large chimney. Additionally, it is advantageous to have all solar panels facing the same direction. String inverters are the industry standard and the least priced option.


  • Lowest-priced
  • Standard inverter
  • Performs flawlessly with no exception.


  • If a single panel is broken or shaded, the whole output declines.
  • unable to monitor each panel separately
  • Not optimum if solar panels face various directions
  • Increasing power demands are more challenging and may need the installation of a second central inverter.


Each solar panel is outfitted with a micro-inverter, a tiny mechanism that converts electricity and is either incorporated into or placed beneath the panel. Imagine if there were little cash exchanges on every neighboring street corner.

Why Do Solar Cells Need An Inverter?

It allows each panel to operate at its optimal performance independently of its neighbors. Even if a tree limb shades the panel next to it for most of the day, the other panels may convert at full capacity.

Additionally, they allow you to check the functioning of each panel individually. This is useful for identifying problems with a single panel so they may be corrected before they affect the overall system’s productivity.

Any decrease in efficiency impacts only one panel. These can be more costly than string inverters, but they can pay for themselves if they allow you to generate more electricity overall.

Micro-inverters further make it easy to increase power consumption if desired. Suppose you purchase an electric vehicle, which will need an increase in your nighttime energy use.

Adding extra solar panels and inverters to a string inverter system is simpler and less expensive than adding a central inverter.


  • The whole solar panel system’s power production is unaffected by nearby tree cover.
  • Individual panel monitoring possible
  • Installing a second central inverter is more difficult and expensive than increasing power demands.
  • Excellent for rooftops where solar panels face in varying orientations


  • Greater initial expense
  • Not required if all panels face the same direction and there is no shading.

Power Optimizers

These devices fall between string inverters and micro-inverters in terms of function and cost.

Like micro-inverters, power optimizers have a component (the “optimizer”) beneath and within every solar panel. Instead of converting DC to AC on-site, these inverters optimize the current before transmitting it to a central inverter.

It is more cost-effective than a conventional micro-inverter configuration but more efficient than a string inverter, as delayed production from one panel does not affect the entire system.

Imagine being able to bypass the currency exchange office’s waiting queue. It is not as quick or handy as having a local exchange office a few feet away from your house, but there is no waiting at the central office.

As technology progresses, micro-inverters and power optimizers are gaining popularity and falling in price.


  • Highly efficient compared to string inverters
  • More affordable than micro-inverters
  • Individual panel monitoring is available


  • Greater initial expense
  • Not required if all panels face the same direction and there is no shading.
  • The ideal inverter for you ultimately relies on the shape and size of your roof, the proximity of trees, the amount of electricity you require, and your budget.

Can I Connect A Solar Panel Directly To An Inverter?

Theoretically, it is possible to connect an inverter directly to a solar panel, but in practice, the limited input tolerances of an inverter preclude this configuration. The voltage generated by a solar panel is not always identical to its rated voltage output.

AC Solar Panels

AC solar panels (also termed AC modules) are solar panels that contain an inbuilt inverter and are frequently referred to as “plug and play” modules. Manufacturers and distributors ship these solar panels with a microinverter already mounted to the back of the panel.

Why Do Solar Cells Need An Inverter?
AC Solar Panels

Inverters are essential components of solar panel systems because they transform the direct current (DC) power generated into useable alternating current (AC) electricity for the residence. Power is converted to AC at each panel with AC modules rather than a central inverter.

This conversion also occurs at the panel site when solar panels and microinverters are purchased and installed separately; however, many installers prefer AC modules since they are easier to store, transport, and install on rooftops. There are two types of AC solar panels:

  • Enphase AC Modules
  • SunPower Equinox

Do Solar Cells Produce AC Or DC?

Solar cells produce direct current: the sun’s rays encourage the passage of electrons, which generates a current. The current is direct because these electrons move in the same direction.

Why Are Solar Inverters Important?

  • The solar inverter is a crucial part of any solar energy system. It converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into AC electricity that may be used to power anything that requires electricity. Without an inverter, solar panel-collected energy has nowhere to go.
  • For your family to use solar energy. It must pass via an essential solar system component, the inverter for the solar panels. Inverters are a fundamental necessity for solar systems. It is responsible for converting the electricity gathered by the solar panels into a safe current.


1. What is the difference between a solar inverter and a normal inverter?

Solar batteries are used for several recharges. The solar battery is charged by the solar panel that is linked to it. On the other side, the normal inverter battery is powered by the chemical interaction between the fluid and the metal plate. It can endure between 5 and 15 years, depending on how well it is maintained.

2. Can I use a normal inverter with a solar panel?

It is produced by the solar system in the form of direct current electricity, with a solar panel absorbing sunlight and a solar inverter regulating the voltage. Since a standard inverter cannot handle DC electricity, it cannot be used in a solar system.

3. Can an inverter charge its own battery?

No, an inverter cannot be charged by its own output. In other words, the energy in a closed system is always constant. Additionally, inverters are not intended to take their output as input.

4. What size inverter do I need for solar panels?

As a general rule, you should match the wattage of your solar panels. Therefore, a 3000-watt solar panel system requires an inverter of at least 3000 watts..

Also Read: Do Solar Panels Keep My House Cool?