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Charge Controller, Inverter and Grid-Tie Inverter

Charge controllers receive Direct Current (DC) from the solar panels and/or wind generator,  then stores the electricity in the batteries in DC form; the stored energy  provides power to appliances and electronics in Direct Current, as well as Alternating Current form. If the appliance or electronic equipment operates with Alternating Current, then you need an inverter to convert the Direct Current to Alternating Current.

Charge Controllers

Charge controllers provide four basic functions: (1) channel the electrical charge from the photovoltaic array to the battery; (2) protect the battery from overcharging;  (3)protect the battery from discharging; (4) provide electricity from battery to load.  Some dealer and retail outfits sell customers chargers that do not protect the battery from discharging.  Solartech technologies DOES NOT sell chargers that don't protect the battery.  Purchasing solar equipment is an investment.  Common sense dictates that an investment should be protected. 


Inverters are typically used with appliances or electronics that require Alternate Voltages  (120VAC or 240VAC) to operate. Inverters are typically 90% efficient if used at the same capacity.  In other words, if the appliances that are operating off the inverter are consuming  at lease 90% of the inverter's capacity, the inverter is operating at 90% capacity.  On the other hand, if the appliances are only operating at 50% then the inverters capacity drops sharply.  That means, the inverter will consume more power to produce less power.  Therefore, when using an inverter, you need to size it for the load, even if it means purchasing additional inverters for each appliance.

Grid-Tie Inverters
Grid-Tie inverters operate in the same manner as regular inverters.  The main difference between them is that the grid-tie inverter interacts with the public utility grid.  The typical grid-tie inverter does not operate if there is a power failure.  Grid-Tie inverters operate under the same principle as a power plant generator:  the only way a power generator can put out power is if it has comparable input power.  In other words, the grid-tie generator replicates the signal provided by the public utility grid, therefore if the public grid goes down, so does the Grid-tie inverter.  There are some inverters that have a battery backup option to prevent total shutdown in the event of a blackout or brownout.


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