India to Create 1 Million Jobs and Boost PV Inverter Market by Solar Ambition

PV Park in India
PV Park in India

India has been in unfavorable conditions until recently when its moves become inspirational as it targets to create miracles in the solar energy industry. As Modi took office, all kinds of projects about solar power have been put into practice or are being practiced. Recently news reports from the country have announced that India has set up a solar energy ambition of getting 100 GW of solar energy by 2022. More astonishingly, it is estimated that the goal will create 1 million job positions in India.

In the country many areas are out of reach for the national utility grids, and so these areas have been living in the dark. If some large-scale solar power projects can be built in the country, numerous families having no access to electricity will be able to rid of blackouts at night. On the other hand, when these projects are to be built across the country, human labor will be needed, and so jobs will be created. In detail, the jobs mainly come from project planning, construction, installation and operations.

By setting such a goal, India will not only create 1 million jobs to power the country’s economy and root out its high unemployment rate, but also it will boost the PV inverter market in the coming years. The basic knowledge is solar power doesn’t generate itself, it needs solar panels to convert sunlight into direct current and then PV invters to turn direct current to alternating current, which sustains each family’s power needs. In this process large numbers of PV inverters will be manufactured to do the converting job along with innumerable solar panels.

Currently there are two different situations found in the inverter market in India. One is these photovoltaic inverters will only be used in solar power plants. If so, string, single phase and three phase inverters will be produced to meet the needs. Simultaneously, other types of inverters specially made for these factories must be made. This is the majority of the total inverter market share. The other half share is manufacturers inside the country should also produce microinverters, which are the new invention in recent years. Their specialty lies in that they are only suitable for home power systems. By using these inverters, more electricity will be generated. This requires large sums of money of investment, which most Indian civilians cannot bear at all. Today, the quota for this part is very small but serves as the other half.

In addition, the media report that India hopes to make contributions to climate change by boosting its solar power. The typical example is that Modi and Obama have solidified their common commitment to fighting against climate change.

The Solar Inverters of Omnik New Energy

Omnik is a Suzhou-based company specializing in manufacturing solar inverters which include single phase, three phase, hybrid and micro inverters. Besides, the new energy company also produces monitoring devices, solar software and solar accessories. In Suzhou, China it is also able to install solar PV systems for residential and commercial buildings.

Single Phase Inverters
Omnik’s single phase inverters are highly efficient with their highest conversion efficiency reaching up to 97.8% and their highest MPPT efficiency reaching up to 99.9%. Their AC power ranges are from 1 kW to 5 kW. The outstanding feature of these products is all these inverters are transformerless. In addition, among them is one series designed mainly for the Japanese market.

Three Phase Inverters
These three phase inverters are mainly designed and produced for residential and large-scale commercial solar power plants. Their highest efficiency can reach up to 98.2% and their highest MPPT rate can reach up to 99.9%. Apart from these two features, these solar products are equipped with the IP65 technology which is water- and dust-proof. Also, the built-in Wi-Fi technology is also available.

Hybrid Inverters
These hybrid solar inverters combine the features of single phase and three phase inverters. The amazing feature of them lie in that they can be used in a grid-tied or an off-grid solar PV system with their highest conversion efficiency being 98.3%. Their AC power ranges are from 3 kW to 5 kW. Each device is designed with the IP21 technology and is suitable for any kind of installation at home.

Micro inverters
Omnik’s micro solar inverters are specially made for home solar power systems. They have transformers and their AC power ranges are from 300W to 600W. Their highest efficiency is 96.5%. They are designed with the AC/DC high frequency isolation technology. At most, 15 of them can be connected in a parallel format to convert DC.

Its monitoring devices are used to monitor its inverters, and Wifi-Kit, GPRS-Kit and PMB are its three monitoring products. Its software products include solar design software and design PV mobile apps. By using some of the software, you will be able to view the electricity statistics of your solar power system with your smart phone or iPad. Its accessories include weather station, PV model and battery.

Working principle of a grid-tied PV inverter

Before learning the working principle of a grid-tied PV inverter, you need to learn the basic function of a PV inverter. What is it? It functions to convert direct current into alternating current. Where does the direct current come from? It comes from the solar panels that absorb sunlight and turns it to direct current which a common family using alternating current cannot use. Thus, an inverter comes into use. The principle of a grid-tied inverter is similar to that of a common inverter.

The direct current generated by these solar panels is fed to an inverter. In daytime the solar modules generate solar electricity and keep feeding the inverter. As this happens the solar inverter directs the generated electricity to the household electrical loads or is fed to the grid.

The amount of electricity generated depends on the quality of sunlight. If your system produces more electricity than you need, the remained electricity will be directed to the utility grid. If you require more power than the power produced, the extra electricity will be drawn from the utility grid. Thus the utility grid serves as an infinite battery back-up for your system.

At the DC side of the system the power output of a module depends on the voltage. So by varying the voltage and the current the maximum power point can be found. Therefore, most inverters grid- tied or off-grid include a Maximum Power Point Tracking system.

At the AC side the grid interactive inverter supplies power in the sinusoidal form. The frequency of the power generated must be synchronized with the grid frequency. The feed in voltage must not be greater than that of the grid voltage.

On the occurrence of a power outage in the electricity grid, the grid-tied inverter is shut down. This shut-down ensures the safety of the service personnel who is responsible for the problem of power outage. Each grid interactive inverter must have this feature as mentioned in the National Electricity Code (NEC). This feature of autonomy is a key differentiating factor between solar inverters and grid tied PV inverters.

The quality of an inverter is essentially decided by its efficiency, which guarantees how much electricity can be finally generated and how much money one can finally earn by using the solar power system. The highest conversion efficiency is 98.5%, and the highest conversion efficiency of a micro grid-tied inverter is 96.5% or so.

Key factors to consider before buying a PV inverter

A PV inverter is an essential part of a solar power system, and it is always sold along with the system. So you don’t have to worry about only buying one inverter, and how to make your decision before you buy it. But sometimes we need to buy them without the system attached. Based on this concern, you need to consider some factors that are key to the products themselves. Now let’s check them out.

1.Type
Generally speaking, there are two types of inverters: grid-tied and off-grid inverters. If you have a grid-tied system, you need to buy grid-tied inverter; and if your system is stand-alone, you should buy an off-grid inverter. Also inverters can also be divided into commercial and residential inverters. They have different voltages and power ranges.

2.Efficiency
Efficiency is the core element that measures whether the device you choose is good or not, because it affects how much alternating current your system or power plant can convert. If your inverter has the efficiency of 96%, you will harvest more alternating current than those who only have inverters and their efficiency is only 92%. For a family, it is power loss; and for a power plant, it is money loss, large sums of money loss! In fact, the most efficient solar power inverter is 98.5%, and most commonly-used inverter efficiency is usually 98%, 97% or 96.5% (probably micro inverters).

3.High quality
In common conditions poor quality PV inverters often have bad circuitry, poor quality seals, noise while working and so on. These conditions can affect the product’s total converting efficiency, your daily life (loud humming noise can make you crazy) and the product’s lifespan. Off-grid inverters are often somewhat waterproof (such as in the rain) and are installed outside the house. If the quality is problematic, the solar inverter will not work well.

4.Input DC range
The electricity generated by solar panels is direct current or DC, which will be transmitted to the solar inverter. But the DC has a range. If it is more than what the inverter can bear, some amount of DC will be lost.

5.Maximum AC output
By learning the maximum AC output, you can reckon how many appliances your family should have. If you want to buy more appliances, you can install more panels and buy a larger inverter for this conversion. For a solar PV power plant, this also counts.

6.Brand Influence
What’s the influence of a brand name? It has two meanings at least. One is that it can somewhat guarantee high quality and high efficiency products. For example, Sunny Boy is a famous brand. Indeed their efficiency is excellent. Their highest efficiency can reach up to 98.5%. The other is that its credit is highly-approved. A big brand name don’t often cheat its customers, because if they do so, they will lose customers and followers. Certainly the two things are absolutely correct, for sometimes big names can also mean poor quality products. At least, not all of its products are excellent.

7.Price
I believe this is the mostly concerned factor for each buyer. Anyone wants to buy cheap price products, but they also care about product qualities. There is no exception to buy a PV inverter. Cheap prices products are not always problematic, while many cheap price products are indeed problematic. Before you buy, you had better consult with some who have already bought these products or installed a solar system at home if you buy residential inverters. If you buy commercially-used products, you need to consult with those power plants owners who have installed these products. Surely, checking retail and wholesale prices online and offline is also very necessary.

8. Customization
Google is a company that allows users to customize their browsers and search engine results, and so it is loved by users. The key point is that people love to control things, especially those that are important to them. Based on this concept, some inverter designers have also allowed users to customize their inverters. In fact, this is not only a matter of control but also a matter of usefulness. If an inverter can be customized, users will have more favorable and suitable products. This counts a lot!

In addition to these concerns, you may also need to concern about many other factors. But with these factors concerned, you can surely buy high quality and highly efficient PV inverters.

The PV power system and its working principle

omnik solar power system
omnik solar power system

What is a PV power system?
It is a system which consists of solar panels, power-charging and -discharging controllers, a solar inverter, a tester, and other computer and mobile electronic devices, storage batteries, and other assistant power geenration devices. It works to generate electricity by absorbing sunlight and converts it into home use electricity.

What are advantages of the system?
1.It doesn’t have moving components that often produce lots of noise. It is home-friendly.
2.It is environment-friendly and will never emit polluted air or water.
3.It doesn’t need a procedure which needs biofuels to power itself.
4.It is easy to repair and maintain, and so you don’t have to spend so much money on its repair and maintenance.
5.It is reliable and stable.
6.The solar panels all have a long lifespan and they often span up to 25 years.
7. You can easily expand your scale of power generation according to your individual demands.

Use of the PV power system
It is now a widely used system that can be generally divided into two types: stand alone and grid-tie power generation systems. So far, developed countries such as the UK and the US have begun to install the grid-tie power system in their cities. China and Japan are now following this fashion too. They are mainly building residential rooftop PV power systems and MW-level large-scale grid-tie power generation systems. It can be used in different areas, such as home, transport, communications, space and others.

Working principle
Although they have different sizes and forms, their working principle is the same. Generally speaking, it is a system that generates electricity from sunlight by its solar panels, and then charges the storage batteries through the control of the controller, or supplies the direct current load if the load requirement is satisfied. If there is no rich sunlight or if it is at night, controlled by a controller, electricity will be transmitted to the direct current load. If the electricity needs to be used in a house, the direct current must be converted by a solar inverter into alternating current.

What are grid-tie solar inverters?

grid tie inverter
grid tie inverter

Solar energy is now being used to generate electricity by numerous solar power plants scattered around the world. Solar inverters have been used to convert the direct current generated from sunlight into alternating current. Grid-tie and off-grid inverters are the two major types that are used, especially grid-tie inverters. But what are they?

Concept: Grid-tie inverters are those that turn direct current into alternating current and can synchronize to interface with a utility line. If direct current voltage is a little bit low, it will raise it by using its alternating current transformer, so as to get the standard alternating current voltage and frequency.

Requirements and features for each inverter:
1.Each inverter is required to have high efficiency.
2.Each inverter needs more reliability.
3.The direct current input voltage must be broad.
4.These inverters help each solar power system sell unused electricity to the utility grid.
5.They should be quickly disconnected from the utility grid when it is being fixed.
6.They don’t need storage batteries.

Transformer type: newer high-frequency transformer, conventional low-frequency transformer and transformerless solar inverters.

Inverter type:
Central inverters: They are often used in large-scale PV power plants (over 10kW). Their most prominent features are that each system has high power and low cost. However, they might be affected by the matching of PV modules and shading. If they are affected, the whole PV system’s efficiency and output will also be affected. Meanwhile, the reliability of the whole system is also affected by a PV unit team which doesn’t work well. The newest methods to solving this problem are two: adjusting it through space vector and developing new topography connections of the inverter.

String inverters: Based on the module concept, each PV string (1kW to 5kW) has MTTP at the direct current end and parallels and connects to the grid at the alternating current end. Lots of large-scale PV power plants use string inverters. Its features lie in that their efficiency won’t be affected by the module differences between strings and shading, and that this avoids the mismatches between PV modules’ best points and inverters. Therefore, more electricity can be generated. Today, transformerless string inverters are leaders among other kinds.

Multiple string inverters: These inverters can be installed in the PV power plants which have the capacity of thousands of MW. In addition, they have the features of central and string inverters. In these inverters, different single power peak value tracking and direct current to direct current converters are included. These direct currents are turned into alternating currents through a common direct to alternating inverter and connect to the utility grid. As the length of the direct current cable decreases, the shading between the strings and the losses caused by the distinctions between the strings will be reduced to the minimum amount.

Module inverters: They connect each module with a inverter. At the same time each module has a single maximum power peak value tracking. They are often installed in the power plants with the capacity from 50W to 400W. The total efficiency is lower than that of string inverters.