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How to Use Solar Inverter Without Battery

5Kva solar inverter
A 5Kva solar inverter
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBKwrB3fhOE

One question we get asked many times is “can I use a solar inverter without battery storage?” If you intend to install a batteryless PV system, you’re probably asking yourself that same question. So, can you? Below, we discuss what using a direct solar inverter without battery means, and how to go about installing or using one.

Can I Use a Solar Inverter Without Battery?

You can! Many solar installations today are grid-tie systems that do not store energy in batteries. Instead, the grid acts as their storage. That being said, there are instances when solar storage is crucial, such as water pumps. Let’s see more about when it’s a good idea to connect solar panels to inverter without battery and when it isn’t.

Solar Inverter and Battery

In a non-battery system, your modules generate a lot of power during the day. This energy is then conveniently stored in a battery or pack of batteries, which then becomes useful when the sun goes down. A solar inverter and battery system is, thus, mostly convenient in the following situations:

  • If you live in an isolated location where you cannot easily access the grid
  • If you intent to completely depend on solar and do not want to incur utility charges
  • If you reside in an area those experiences frequent and prolonged outages

Can solar Inverter Work Without Battery?

The answer is yes. As we already mentioned, a solar battery is a good idea but not a necessity, especially if your home or business has a grid connection. Plus, if you live in a region where net metering policies are advantageous, you can always export excess energy to the grid and offset your energy bills.

A diagram for how to connect a grid-tie inverter without battery
A diagram for how to connect a grid-tie inverter without battery
Resource: https://www.researchgate.net

Solar Inverter Without Battery

A solar installation that uses a solar inverter without battery storage can be any of these three different types or configurations:

  • A system that’s off-grid and only works during the day when the sun is shining
  • A system that’s connected to the grid and depends on the utility provider to power your home or business at night
  • A hybrid system that should be having a storage system but, for specific reason, doesn’t.

1. Grid Tie Solar Inverter Without Battery

The grid-tie system is the most popular way to use a solar inverter without battery storage. This type of inverter, called a grid-tie inverter, is essentially designed for connection to the grid; it contains circuits that ensure the power coming from the panels is safely fed to the service line.

If your part of the world has a net metering policy, you could even earn credits for sending power to the utility company via the net meter. In the long run, this offsets your energy consumption while also helping to pay for your system.

2. Off Grid Solar Inverter Without Battery

In this system, you’re not connected to the grid and your loads are powered directly from the inverter (non-grid tie inverter). Using an off-grid solar inverter without battery storage has its downsides, though.

First, it means no power when the panels are not generating electricity. This is only practical if you’re powering a system or device that can only be used during the day, as that’s the only time when power is available.

You also get the inconvenience of inadequate power situations during overcast days, for example, which can affect your usage needs. So an off-grid solar inverter without battery is used for applications that allow intermittent or daytime operation, such as irrigation water pumps.

3. Solar Hybrid Inverter Without Battery

A hybrid inverter is meant for use with a hybrid solar system, that’s, a system that has a storage system (battery bank) and is also connected to the grid at the same time. But while that’s so, you can still use this type of solar inverter without battery storage. Here’s how that would work:

  • The inverter receives power from the panels and converts it into energy that your electrical loads can use called AC.
  • The DC to AC conversion happens throughout the day when the panels are continuously generating power.
  • At nighttime when no power is coming from the panels, your system resorts to your service line.
  • The grid then servers the purpose of battery storage, and powers your loads when solar energy is no longer available.

We recommend using a solar hybrid inverter without battery storage only if you intend to upgrade to a truly hybrid system in the near future. When used with storage, this system is most useful in remote areas where connection to the grid may not be feasible, or if you live in an area where blackouts are too frequent or common.

Solar inverter without battery circuit diagram
Solar inverter without battery circuit diagram
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF4th81y6ak

How to Use Solar Inverter Without Battery

A solar inverter without battery storage, as we have already seen, can either be done on-grid with your system connected to the service line, or off-grid without a service line connection. The grid-tie connection is the most used.

So, how do you go about using a solar installation that requires no storage system? Here’s how to connect solar panels to inverters without battery storage for both on and off-grid systems.

1. On-Grid Solar Inverter Connection Without Battery

This is the most common (and most viable) way to use a solar inverter without battery storage, and what we recommend for batteryless installations. The type of inverter to use is called a grid tie (or on-grid) solar inverter.

A grid-tie inverter will conveniently come with the necessary ports for the solar modules and the grid, and all you have to do is ensure proper connections are made via the electrical panels. The above diagram shows how to connect solar panels to inverters without battery in an on-grid installation.

2. Off Grid Solar Inverter Connection Without Battery

For an off-grid solar inverter connection without battery, you need an inverter that’s specially designed for off-grid application. But while this is possible, expect the inverter to drop off when conditions are unfavorable for solar power generation, such as overcast days.

Also, make sure the inverter is properly sized for the system, as it will need to cope with variable values for voltage from the solar modules.

Conclusion

Many people who own PV systems use them without storage backups, only the array and the inverter. In these installations, the inverter typically connects to the utility line, supplying excess energy to it. Using a solar inverter without battery storage to store energy for later use has its benefits and downsides. Using these as a guide, you can choose whether to use one.

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